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We've been learning a whole lot about the ocean lately, so we thought it might be fun to put all that knowledge to use with a fun project! Join us as we make an ocean in a jar and learn a little more about the different ocean zones!
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SOURCES:
http://www.kcedventures.com/blog/science-for-kids-under-the-sea-ocean-bottle
http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/light_travel.html
http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/nwep6c.htm
(Intro)

Hi everyone! Squeaks and I were thinking that it would be fun to do an ocean project today, and Squeaks showed me a really fun activity to help teach us about the many zones, or layers, that you'll find in the ocean, and the different animals that live in each layer. We call it an ocean in a jar.

We recently learned about ocean zones with the help of our undersea experts Dr. Irene Stanella and her lab assistants, Wyatt and Ned. They taught us that there are three ocean zones, and that there are a lot of animals that live in these different zones. The first zone is the sunlight zone. Below that is the twilight zone, and the last zone is the midnight zone.

So let's grab some materials to start building our ocean in a jar. We'll need three different colors of blue paper, a light one, a dark one, and one in the middle. We'll also want some coloring tools, so we can draw and color different animals. Let's grab some white paper and some crayons. Finally, we'll need an empty jar and tape.

Before we start to build our ocean, let's look at a picture of the ocean zones. The sunlight zone is the shallowest zone, the one that's closest to the surface of the water, and the midnight zone, it's the deepest zone. The twilight zone is in between, and it's a little wider than the sunlight zone, but a little thinner than the midnight zone.

So, using this picture as a guide, let's set out the darkest piece of construction paper. Now, let's lay our jar next to that, so we can cut a piece that will wrap around the jar. Once we've marked out our construction paper and cut it out, let's use our other pieces of construction paper to make the twilight and sunlight zones. Alright, let's take our medium shade of blue and cut a strip about half the size of our dark piece of paper. Next, we'll cut our lightest blue construction paper half the width of the medium shade of blue. Let's tape the sunlight zone to the top of the midnight zone construction paper, and then we'll tape the twilight zone beneath that. There we go, we finished our layers!

You're right, Squeaks, we need to add some animals. We're going to draw our animals using some white paper, which we'll cut out later, but if you want to use stickers or pictures you find in magazines that's cool too. So, what should I draw for the sunlight zone? Great idea, Squeaks. Remember, this zone is called the sunlight zone, because it's closest to the surface. So, it get's lots of light. That makes it sunny and warm, so plants can grow there, which means plenty of animals to eat them. We have a lot of plants and animals to choose from, but we'll draw a dolphin and a sea turtle and some seaweed.

Now, let's think about what would live in the twilight zone. This zone gets really dark, really fast. So, what do you think that might mean for plants? Do you remember how plants need light to make their own food? Because this zone is so dark, there aren't many plants here, but there's enough food for the right kinds of animals. So, let's see. I'll draw some animals that don't rely so much on the sunlight to survive. I'll draw some shrimp and a swordfish.

And, finally, there's the midnight zone. This is the deepest and darkest zone. The pressure at the bottom of the ocean is really high. This means that the animals that live there are being squished from all the weight of the water above them. So, the animals in this zone have very special bodies to help them survive at these depths. For the midnight zone, let's draw a giant squid, an anglerfish, and one funny animal, the blob fish.

Awesome! Now, that I'm finished with my drawings, I'll cut them out and tape the in the zone where they belong. Next, we'll tape the construction paper around the jar, and fill the jar up with water. Now you've made an ocean in a jar.

Thanks for crafting and learning about the ocean with us. If you want to share an ocean you've made at home, just grab a grownup and send us an email at kids@thescishow.com or leave a comment down below, and we'll see you next time here at the fort.