based on 75 ratings
Author: Nancy Rogers Bosse

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

Materials and Equipment

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

Background Information

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.

Terms, Concepts, and Questions to Start Background Research


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? 

Experimental Procedure

  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

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