MAKE A METEORITE DIG KIT

If you love the intrigue and awesomeness of outer space then this make your own meteorite dig kit is the excavating adventure for you. In this quick and fun make your own excavation tutorial, we will show you how to create a meteorite dig kit with for the little aspiring astronauts in your life to dig in and enjoy. 
 
 
Materials:
 
  • Sand
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • Meteorites - these can easily be found and purchased online but can be a little expensive. As an alternative, roll up tight little balls of aluminum foil. You can make different shapes and sizes. These replica "meteorites" are just as fun to discover as the real things.  
  • A container in which to pour the excavation. This will need to be big enough to fit your meteorites. Plastic trays or containers work well.
  • Optional - Colored sand, small gravel (colored aquarium gravel is really cool!), or some other material to sprinkle across your excavation to give your excavation a little character. This is fun if you want to simulate that your meteorite dig is a sample from a distant planet. 
  • Optional - Oven mitts or oversized gloves. This add a little extra fun and challenge as the person excavating the meteorite dig kit can pretend they are wearing astronaut gloves. 
  • Excavation tools. Wooden dowels and other blunt instruments work well. Sharp tools are unsafe and not necessary as the excavations are reasonably brittle and excavate easily. 
  • Safety goggles
  • Small brush

 

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Instructions:
 
  1. Put one cup of sand in your mixing bowl.
  2. Add one-third cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Use the wooden spoon to mix the sand and Plaster of Paris.
  4. Add one-third cup of water and mix.
  5. Keep adding small amounts of water until you reach a pancake like batter consistency. 
  6. Add your meteorites to your container.
  7. Pour a layer of the mixture into the container to cover the meteorites.
  8. Gently tap the sides of the container to remove any air bubbles. This will also allow a little mixture under the meteorites. Your foil meteorites may want to float a little bit so be sure to push them back into the mixture after it begins to harden. 
  9. Optional - sprinkle the colored sand or gravel across the wet surface of the meteorite dig kit. 
  10. If room permits, add another layer of meteorites or two if available and cover with more mixture.
  11. Set the meteorite dig kit in a safe location to dry undisturbed overnight. I like to put the excavation in front of a fan.

 

Now the meteorite dig kit is ready to be enjoyed. Find an area that is easy to clean up, distribute the safety goggles and excavation tools, and let the excavating begin. Encourage this use of the oven mitts for a little added fun!

I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and enjoyed making a meteorite dig kit. These excavations are very easy to make and a lot of fun!
 
Pro tip: Use this activity to create some excitement around discussions or lessons regarding the planets or outer space. 
 
If you love excavating as much as we do, be sure to check out our Excavating Adventures monthly subscription by clicking the link below and get an awesome new excavation delivered each month loaded with rocks, minerals, gemstones, fossils, and more!
 

Happy Excavating!

  

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