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3.3 based on 89 ratings

Updated on May 15, 2013


Geology, Physical Science

1st – 3rd grades

Difficulty of Project

Less than $5.00

Safety Issues
Material Availability

Readily available or easily purchased from a grocery store

Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project

One hour to collect the data; another day to prepare the science fair display

To investigate how water and movement affects erosion

  • 3 clear plastic cups
  • 3 pieces of small candy-coated chocolates
  • Water

The movement of water is one of the primary causes of erosion. Water alone will cause some erosion, but not at the rate of water movement.


erosion: the wearing away of rocks


Water movement causes erosion.

Research Questions:
  • What causes erosion?
  • What causes more erosion water and movement or water alone?

  1. Gather the necessary materials.
  2. Fill two cups halfway with water. Leave the third cup empty.
  3. Place a piece of candy in each cup.
  4. Swirl one cup gently in a circular motion for 15 seconds. Leave the other two cups alone.
  5. Repeat Step 4 every 5 minutes for one hour. Be sure to swirl the same cup each time and leave the other two cups alone. Observe the candies and record any changes.


“Introduction to Erosion” at

“Erosion” by Steve Tomecek at

“Erosion” at

“Erosion and Weathering” at

Nancy Rogers Bosse has been involved in education for over forty years â first as a student, then as a teacher, and currently as a curriculum developer. For the last fifteen years she has combined a career in freelance curriculum development with parenthood â another important facet of education and probably the most challenging. Nancy lives in Henderson, Nevada with husband and their three teenagers.