Geology, Physical Science
1st – 3rd grades
Difficulty of Project
Less than $5.00
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
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.
- What causes erosion?
- What causes more erosion water and movement or water alone?
- Gather the necessary materials.
- Fill two cups halfway with water. Leave the third cup empty.
- Place a piece of candy in each cup.
- Swirl one cup gently in a circular motion for 15 seconds. Leave the other two cups alone.
- 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 http://www.kidsgeo.com/geology-for-kids/0059-introduction-to-erosion.php
“Erosion” by Steve Tomecek at http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=2849
“Erosion and Weathering” at http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/the-dynamic-earth/weathering-erosion-article.html
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.