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Activity Book 5: Secondary Level

Best suited for ages 16+

Reading the Phases of the Moon in a Tide Table

Fisheries and Oceans Canada


To learn how to read a tide table and investigate the position of the moon in relation to the tides.


Read a tide table to find out when to visit a given location. Make predictions about the position of the moon by studying the high and low tides on a tide table.


Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon on the waters of the Earth. Because the moon is so much closer to the Earth than the sun, its influence is much greater.

The moon takes 24 hours and 52 minutes to travel around the Earth. For most of Atlantic Canada this produces two high and two low tides each day. These are called semi-diurnal tides. Each tide is 6 hours and 13 minutes apart. The tides change by an hour each day, due to the extra 13 minutes in each one.

When the sun and moon and Earth are in a straight line, during the times of a full moon and new moon, the gravitational pull on the Earth is the greatest. It creates high tides that are very high and low tides that are very low. These are called spring tides.

When the sun and moon are at right angles to each other they pull in opposition to one another and the difference between high and low tides is not very great. These tides are called neap tides.

However, in places like the Bay of Fundy, where the mouth of the bay is wide and deep and the head of the bay is narrow and shallow, when the neap tide advances, a large volume of water has to fit into a smaller space. As a result, even during neap tides the water rises higher and falls lower along the Fundy shore than other places in Atlantic Canada.

Tide tables give you information on the time and height of the tide. It's important to remember there are differences that can increase the effects of the tides, depending on your location, the size of the ocean basin, configurations along the shore, and storms.

Tide tables can be purchased from your local Fisheries and Oceans office, your provincial Geographic Information Centre, or a bookstore. They can also be purchased from the Canadian Hydrographic Service in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.


  • Pick a day on your tide table and investigate when the highest tide and the lowest tide will be. When is the best time to walk along the shore?
  • By studying the tide table can you determine when a full or new moon will occur?
  • Can you also determine when the sun and moon are at right angles to one another, during the 1st and 3rd quarter of the phases of the moon?
  • Become a moon/tide detective and keep a tidal diary. Over a period of 28 days follow the position of the moon and the changes of the tide. Draw on the tide table the different phases of the moon. Do you see a pattern? Graph the tidal ranges over time.
  • Remember to take into account that the shape of the coast can delay the spring tides.


  • Study the historical uses of tidal power and the potential of tidal power as an energy source.
  • Visit a tidal bore. The most dramatic tidal bores are located in Moncton, New Brunswick, and Truro, Nova Scotia.
  • Study some tidal legends such as Glooscap and The Whale in the Bay of Fundy.
  • Using a tide table, compare the high tide times at different locations along the coast. Is it the same? Why not?
  • Have students represent the sun, moon, and earth. Put a string around the earth to indicate the tidal bulges and attach elastics to the string between the earth, and the sun and moon. This represents the gravitational pull. Have other students represent the opposing bulges caused by the centrifugal force. Then let the students move to show neap and spring tides.

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Food Safety and Food Quality Quiz

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

1. How long can leftovers stay on the counter?

  1. 20 minutes
  2. 2 hours
  3. 5 hours

2. What should we use to wash fresh fruit and vegetables before eating them?

  1. Detergent
  2. Bleach
  3. Water

3. What is the premium, or best grade, for processed fruit and vegetables?

  1. Canada Fancy
  2. Canada Choice
  3. Canada Quality

4. On average, how many eggs does a hen lay in a year?

  1. 52
  2. 300
  3. 365

5. How many litres of milk does the average Canadian drink per year?

  1. 22 litres
  2. 67 litres
  3. 92 litres

Answer Key

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What elements are you made of?

National Research Council Canada

Every element that exists on Earth is also part of you. But just six elements make up 99 percent of your body's mass. What are they, and why do you need them? Use the clues to choose the elements from the list below.

  • Potassium
  • Oxygen
  • Sodium
  • Nitrogen
  • Chlorine
  • Hydrogen
  • Magnesium
  • Carbon
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Fluorine

Element #1-61%

Clue: Like all animals, we need a minute-by-minute supply of the gas form of this element in order to stay alive. It's also a component of water, which makes up about 65 percent of your body's total weight.

Element #2-23%

Clue: Without this element, you would just be a pile of loose atoms. It gives structure to the molecules that you're made of, and is the basis for all life on Earth.

Element #3-10%

Clue: This element is number one in several ways - it's the first element of the Periodic Table of the Elements, and was the first element created after the Big Bang. It's also a crucial component of the water that makes up about 65 percent of your body's weight.

Element #4-2.6%

Clue: The gas form of this element makes up 78 percent of the air we breathe. In its liquid form, it can be used to quickly freeze just about anything, including tissue samples or genetic material.

Element #5-1.4%

Clue: This element is a major component of your skeleton and teeth.

Element #6-1.1%

Clue: Dangerously flammable in its elemental form, this element is also part of the body's system for storing energy.

Answer Key

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Canadian astronauts and astronomers

Canadian Space Agency


Through research and presentation, the students will be able to answer questions regarding Canadian astronauts.

Lesson Overview:

In this lesson, the students will work in groups to research a Canadian astronaut, developing a profile of their astronaut for presentation in a learning center. They will then visit the other groups' centers to learn about more astronauts before participating in a team quiz game on the subject matter.

Developing the Lesson:

Divide students into small groups and assign each group one of the following Canadian astronauts or astronomers to research:


  • Chris Hadfield
  • Steve MacLean
  • Julie Payette
  • Bob Thirsk
  • Bjarni Tryggvason
  • Dave Williams


  • Jaymie Matthews
  • Paul Hickson
  • Jayanne English
  • Sun Kwok
  • David Levy
  • Terence Dickinson
  • Tyler Foster

Instruct groups to develop a profile of their astronaut, including a picture, to be read by their classmates in a later class period. Profiles should be in note form and easily read, and must be completed in one period.

Next period, students should lay out their profiles at different points in the room and begin circulating between them, taking notes about each of Canada's current astronauts, and asking questions when necessary. Students should be encouraged to study these notes for the following period.


Collect profiles from which to develop factual questions for a team quiz game the next day. The winning team may be rewarded in an appropriate manner.

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The difference between comets, meteors and asteroids

Canadian Space Agency

Through this activity, students will become more familiar with both the unique characteristics and the similarities of comets, meteors and asteroids. Students will also learn how to group and sort information with the use of Venn diagrams. This activity involves having students analyze and order a list of characteristics pertaining to comets, meteors, and asteroids.

Materials and Resources:

  • Student worksheet (next page)
  • Teacher worksheet key (in answer guide)

Begin with focus questions:

Do you know the difference between comets and meteors?

Did you know that comets travel across the sky very slowly?

Do you know where comets come from?

  1. The teacher should then provide students with brief overview to comets, meteors, and asteroids.
  2. The teacher will then distribute and explain the worksheets to the students.
  3. Students are to use the list of characteristics at the bottom of the worksheet to fill in the Venn diagram.
  4. Students should work in groups of two to decide how they will fill in the diagram.
  5. Student will need to identify the similarities and differences between the comets, meteors and asteroids.
  6. Students must be able to justify and explain why they placed the characteristics in the different parts of the diagram.
  7. Once all students have had the opportunity to complete the diagram, begin the closure activity.


As a closure activity, the teacher will review the diagram with the students. The teacher should make an overhead image of the diagram to fill in eliciting feedback from the students. Once completed the teacher should summarize the characteristics displayed in the diagram.


Once the entire activity has been completed, the teacher should take in the students' worksheets for grading. Students should also be evaluated on their ability to work in small groups.

Student name:

Student worksheet: Difference between comets, meteors and asteroids

Add the characteristics listed below on the appropriate location on the Venn diagram.


  1. Progress across the sky very slowly
  2. Remnants of the formation of the solar system
  3. Reflect sunlight
  4. Rocky composition
  5. Orbits the Sun in highly elliptical orbits
  6. Measure a few kilometres indiameter
  7. Most found in the asteroid belt
  8. Most are less than a kilometre in diameter
  9. Most have slightly elliptical orbits
  10. Most are less than 100 m in diameter
  11. Also known as shooting stars
  12. Most burn up as they enter the Earth's atmosphere
  13. Streak across the sky very fast
  14. Most are fragments of large asteroids
  15. Icy objects
  16. Meteor showers are caused by the Earth passing through the debris path of a comet
  17. Tail always points away from the sun

The difference between comets, meteors and asteroids

Answer Key

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Biology Basics Part I

National Research Council Canada

Looking through a microscope, you discover there is an organic sample in a Petri dish. Identify its structures and components to discover what the sample is.

Biology Basics Part 1

What is the organic sample in the Petri dish?

How did you determine your answer?

Answer Key

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Biology Basics Part II

National Research Council Canada

Looking through a microscope, you discover there is an organic sample in a Petri dish. Identify its structures and components to discover what the sample is.

Biology Basics Part 2

What is the organic sample in the Petri dish?

How did you determine your answer?

Answer Key

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Biology Basics Part III

National Research Council Canada

Looking through a microscope, you discover there is an organic sample in a Petri dish. Identify its structures and components to discover what the sample is.

Biology Basics Part 3

What is the organic sample in the Petri dish?

How did you determine your answer?

Answer Key

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Biology Basics Part IV

National Research Council Canada

Looking through a microscope, you discover there is an organic sample in a Petri dish. Identify its structures and components to discover what the sample is.

Biology Basics Part 4

What is the organic sample in the Petri dish?

How did you determine your answer?

Answer Key

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Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Johnny and Lisa have finished high school and are looking for summer jobs before they go to university in the fall. They've decided to visit Grandfather who works at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), the federal government department responsible for northern development. AANDC offers many rewarding careers. Let's find out more about the kind of careers you can have at AANDC.

Johnny: I like science and numbers. Is there anything like that for me?

Grandfather: Let's take a walk and look around. This is Melissa. She is a Finance Officer. Melissa helps us budget our programs wisely. Finance Officers work with everyone in the department to ensure we have money for all the projects we need to develop each year.

Help Johnny complete the Sudoku as he practices his logic skills.


The numbers 1 to 9 must appear only one time in all the vertical columns, horizontal rows and 3 x 3 sections.


Answer Key

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Understanding spectrometers

Canadian Space Agency

There are two spectrometers onboard SCISAT-1.The first belongs to the Measurements of Aerosol Extinction in theStratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation (MAESTRO) experiment. The task of the MAESTRO spectrometer is to record the spectrum of the sun before and after sunlight has passed through the Earth's atmosphere.

Analysis of the spectra will give the MAESTRO scientific team information about various processes involved in the chemical and physical dynamics of the Earth's atmosphere, especially about the opacity of aerosols in the atmosphere and how they affect the atmosphere's energy balance.

Understanding Spectrometers 1

A spectrometer is really a very simple device which has extraordinarily powerful applications.

Basically it consists of three parts

  1. A small telescope which collects light from a luminous source. The light is focused into a thin beam using a narrow slit and a set of specially designed lenses.
  2. A diffraction grating (which acts like like a prism) to produce a spectrum from the incident beam of light.
  3. A detector, such as a photocell, to measure the intensity of the light in various regions of the spectrum. A simple voltmeter and a photocell can be used as a detector system.

Understanding Spectrometers 2

To record the spectrum the voltmeter can be replaced by a chart recorder. As the detector "scans" across the spectrum, the intensity of the light at each point can be recorded.

The detector can also be attached to a computer interface. This allows the computer to record the light intensity, this data can be stored, transmitted and printed as a graph for analysis.

The spectrum can be scanned by either moving the detector or, more commonly, by rotating the grating.

Understanding Spectrometers 3

The scanned result usually looks similar to the chart shown above.

Every source of light has a unique spectrum. From analysis of the spectrum one can determine such things as the temperature, chemical composition and motion of the source.

The x-a xis plots the wavelength and the y-a xis plots the intensity of the light at each wavelength in the spectrum.

Students have been given a photocell attached to a voltmeter which measures the voltage output of the photocell. A spectrum is projected onto a ruler as shown and at various positions along the ruler the intensity of the light from the spectrum is measured with the photocell. The voltage output is proportional to the intensity of the light that illuminates it. By moving the detector across the spectrum the voltage produced by the photocell is recorded at each position along the spectrum, as illustrated above.


Using the data collected in the chart below, plot the intensity (voltage) against the recorded position (on the ruler) to build a spectrogram (chart) of the observed spectrum.

Recorded data
Detector position (mm) Recorded voltage
300 0.0
320 3.0
350 7.0
360 5.0
370 7.0
380 9.5
390 9.0
395 10.5
410 2.0
420 8.0
425 7.0
440 11.5
450 10.0
470 15.0
500 6.0
520 9.0
530 5.0
550 8.0
590 3.0
595 4.0
600 2.0
610 3.5
620 1.0
625 2.5
650 1.0
660 0.5
665 0.0

Answer Key

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