In this fun and easy geology science experiment, we’re going to make a rock in a cup.
  • Spoon
  • Wax paper
  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Magnifying glass
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Paper or plastic cups


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  1. Add a spoonful of sand into a paper cup. Add a second spoonful of gravel into the same cup.
  2. Pour a teaspoon of water into another cup. Blend in 5 spoons full of sugar until eventually it’s dissolved.
  3. Slowly add the sugar water solution into the cup of sand and gravel until it is moistened. Dump off any excessive water.
  4. Allow the “rock” to dry then with care tear the paper cup off while working over a section of wax paper.
  5. Permit the “rock” to sit undisturbed and solidify for a minimum of two days.
  6. Utilize a magnifying glass to watch your “rock” and observe any changes that may occur. Sketch an illustration of the things you observe. What type of rock have you made?


You may discover during this fun geology experiment that there are three varieties of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary.


Every rock is formed as a result of various processes which produce different materials. Igneous rocks are formed via the cooling down of melted materials while metamorphic rocks are created when heat and pressure alter other rocks. Sedimentary rocks are comprised of bits of rocks and minerals and in some cases remains of animals and plants. All of these pieces are compacted and held together by other minerals. Some examples of sedimentary rocks are sandstone and limestone.



Rock Formation: Nature's Time Capsules


Fun Facts about How Rocks are Formed:


  1. Rocks are formed through a process called the rock cycle, which involves the transformation of one type of rock into another over millions of years.

  2. Igneous rocks are formed when molten magma or lava cools and solidifies. Examples of igneous rocks include granite and basalt.

  3. Sedimentary rocks are formed from the accumulation and compaction of sediments such as sand, mud, and shells. They can be found in layers or strata. Examples of sedimentary rocks include sandstone and limestone.

  4. Metamorphic rocks are formed when existing rocks undergo changes due to heat, pressure, or chemical reactions deep within the Earth's crust. Examples of metamorphic rocks include marble and slate.

  5. The rock cycle is driven by various geological processes such as volcanic activity, erosion, and tectonic plate movements.

  6. Fossils are often found in sedimentary rocks, providing valuable information about past life forms and Earth's history.

  7. Rocks can have different colors, textures, and mineral compositions depending on the conditions in which they were formed.

  8. Weathering and erosion play a significant role in breaking down rocks into smaller pieces, which then become sediment for the formation of new rocks.

  9. Some rocks, such as geodes, can contain beautiful crystals or cavities filled with minerals, making them highly sought after by collectors.

  10. Rocks are important natural resources used in construction, manufacturing, and various industries.

Remember, rocks are like a record of Earth's history, and by studying them, we can learn fascinating stories about our planet's past.




I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and enjoyed creating your own rock in a cup to investigate and explore. These rocks are very easy to make and a lot of fun!
Pro tip: Use this activity to create some excitement around discussions or lessons regarding geology, rocks, and more!
If you love rocks, geology, and 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!

  1. How are igneous rocks formed? a) Through weathering and erosion b) Through heat and pressure c) Through the accumulation of sediments d) Through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava Correct answer: d) Through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava

  2. What type of rock is formed from the accumulation and compaction of sediments? a) Igneous rock b) Metamorphic rock c) Sedimentary rock d) Geode rock Correct answer: c) Sedimentary rock

  3. What geological process drives the rock cycle? a) Weathering and erosion b) Volcanic activity c) Tectonic plate movements d) All of the above Correct answer: d) All of the above