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Pasta Coquina: Make Your Own Sedimentary Rock

based on 25 ratings
Author: Michelle Wilde

Problem:

What is coquina? What is it made of?

Materials:

  • 1 disposable cup
  • 1/2 cup of pasta, at least three shapes and sizes (shells, macaroni, rotelle, whatever you’ve got)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 disposable stirrer
  • 2 tablespoons white glue
  • 1 piece of wax paper
  • 1 sample of coquina
  • 1 magnifying glass
  • 1 piece of paper and a pencil

Procedure:

  • Take a small amount of the pasta (maybe about a quarter of it) and break it into smaller pieces.
  • Put all of the pasta, whole and broken, into the cup.
  • Pour the water over the pasta and use the stirrer to stir it around until all of it is wet all over. Pour out the water out carefully.
  • Put the glue in the cup with the wet pasta and stir it until the pasta is evenly coated with it.
  • Dump the glue-coated pasta out onto the wax paper and leave it out to dry where it won’t be messed with.
  • Leave it to dry completely (this may take a day or so).
  • Pick up your homemade sample and look it over carefully. Draw a close-up picture of it showing the different shapes.

​Why?:

Coquina is a sedimentary rock that’s formed when seawater minerals cement seashells and sand together.

References:

Dig It!: Over 40 Experiments in Geology, by Lockwood DeWitt and B. K. Hixson, pp. 165-168 (Loose in the Lab Science Series, 2003).

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