A science project that gives kids an understanding of the layers of the earth.
Do you think your kids have a clear concept of the earth’s layers? They do if a smart teacher has given them this homework project found in Geology Rocks! by Cindy Blombaum. Kids can make a model of the earth, layer by layer, using nothing but chocolate, marshmallows and peppermint candy. Oh, you’ll need a toothpick and some wax paper too.
Teach kids to make an earth model layer by layer. Now that’s a science project!.
1. Start with a marshmallow for each child. Have the kids cut little slits in the marshmallows with a knife. (Or you can do it for them.)
2. Push a piece of peppermint candy down into the slit in the center of each marshmallow. Oh yes, unwrap the candy first! Stick a toothpick in each marshmallow.
3. Melt some chocolate chips in a saucepan on low, low heat, or in a glass dish in the microwave.
4. Dip the marshmallow. Have kids dunk the marshmallow into the melted chocolate, holding on to the toothpick. Dunk it and turn it until completely covered with chocolate. .
5. Cool it! (On wax paper.)
Tell kids they just made the earth’s crust out of chocolate.
What earth layers do these candy layers represent? First, the earth has a hard crust that has cooled and hardened, just like the chocolate on the marshmallow.
The next layer is magma, the mantle of the earth, made out of marshmallow.
Right under the crust of the earth is the soft layer that is 1800 miles thick. In reality, it heats up from the pressure of the earth’s surface, and from gravity, which makes it like hot melted rock. What better substance to model that than a gooey marshmallow!
In the center of the earth is the hard core, represented by peppermint candy.
Scientists do not think the center of the earth is made out of peppermint candy. They do believe that it is a hard core of metal, with a layer of liquid metal around that. The core of the earth is even a bit thicker than the mantle. It stays at a temperature of around 9000 degrees fahrenheit. That’s almost as hot as the sun’s surface!
Take a bite out of the candy earth.
With one science project, you’ve helped the kids build a basic model of the earth complete with a crust, a magma, and a core. You’ve even shown them the difference in the hardness and softness of different earth layers. Now let them take a bite out of it. When they get to the center, they’ll find the peppermint candy is too hard to bite. But at least it’s not 9000 degrees, like the real core of the earth, so they won’t burn their tongues!
What you’ll need for this science project, per child:
½ cup of chocolate chips
Geology Rocks! by Cindy Blombaum
A Williamson Publishing Book