In this lesson, students will compare and contrast satellite data to float data.

The first satellite was launched in 1962 and collected three types of data, with NOAA launching the first ocean-specific satellites in 1970. Floats were first built in 1980, and ARGO launches started in 1999, which collected ocean data. In this lesson, students will compare and contrast satellite data to float data. In addition, students will understand the importance of collecting data from multiple sources and how limiting factors of each data set causes gaps in their interpretation of the data.



Joanna Rodriguez and Stacey Sebert

Additional Resources

Next Generation Science Standards

Crosscutting Concepts
  • Scale, proportion, and quantity
  • Systems and system models
Core Ideas
  • PS4.C: Information Technologies and Instrumentation
  • ETS2.A: Interdependence of Science, Engineering, and Technology
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concepts

  • 1.H: The ocean is connected to major lakes, watersheds and waterways because all major watersheds on Earth drain to the ocean. Rivers and streams transport nutrients, salts, sediments and pollutants from watersheds to estuaries and to the ocean.
  • 3.E: The ocean dominates the Earth’s carbon cycle. Half the primary productivity on Earth takes place in the sunlit layers of the ocean and the ocean absorbs roughly half of all carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere.
  • 3.F: The ocean has had, and will continue to have, a significant influence on climate change by absorbing, storing, and moving heat, carbon and water.