In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we're going to show you how to make Easy Earth Science Excavations. These excavations are super easy to make and are a great teaching resource to include in your next lesson or discussion about geology, rocks, minerals, and more.


Be sure to check out our free Digital Dig program. Your students will learn about Earth Science and get rewarded with free rocks and minerals.





Plaster of Paris


Mixing Bowl

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Popsicle sticks – Popsicle sticks are inexpensive, readily available, and make great excavation tools.

Safety goggles or glasses – You we need to provide or borrow a set for each student.

Optional – Brushes and magnifying glasses.

2 oz condiments cups and lids – 1 set of cups and lids for each student

Tray – Make sure the tray or cookie sheet is big enough to hold a cup for each student. This will make moving the excavations easier.

Assorted rocks, minerals, and gemstones. You can find these inexpensively online but you can also just pick up some pretty rocks and use them in you Easy Earth Science Excavations.


Check out our amazing Rocks and Minerals Class Packs and send you students on an awesome Earth Science field trip without leaving your classroom!




  1. Arrange the condiment cups on the tray making sure you have one for each student. You may want to make a couple extra excavations.
  2. Place some rocks and minerals in each 2oz cup.
  3. Mix 3 cups sand with 1 cup Plaster of Paris.
  4. Add 1 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  5. Pour the mixture over the rocks.
  6. Gently tap the sides on the tray to shake the condiment cups. This will settle the mixture down, around, and under the rocks.
  7. Place the Easy Earth Science Excavations in front of a fan overnight until they are completely dry.
  8. Place a lid on each excavation.
  9. Distribute the excavations, excavation tools, and safety goggles to the students and have fun watching them dig in and discover the awesome rocks you have hidden inside.


Looking for more Earth Science related teaching resources? Check out our Digital Dig by Subject for all kinds of trivia regarding geology and other Earth Science topics.