UNDERSTANDING THE ROCK CYCLE
In this fun and easy geology science experiment, we’re going to explore and investigate the rock cycle.
Important: Adult assistance and supervision is required for this experiment.
- Starburst candies
- Aluminum foil
- Wax paper
- Toaster oven
- Oven mitts
- Remove the wrappers from the Starburst candies. You three candies each of three different colors.
- Stack three different colors on top of each other.
- Place a piece of aluminum foil on a sturdy table.
- Now place a sheet of wax paper on top of the sheet of aluminum foil.
- Put your stack of Starburst candies in the foil and fold the foil over so the stack of candy is covered.
- Now use the heel of your hand to try and smash the candy flat. Remove the candy and observe. This represents pressure creating sedimentary rocks.
- Next make another stack of candy. Make sure the colors are in the same order as your first stack.
- Put a piece of wax paper in another sheet of foil. Put the stack of candy inside and fold the foil wrap the stack up.
- You will need adult supervision for the next steps.
- Have the parent put the stack in a toaster oven for a short time, just long enough for the candy to become malleable. Remove the candy and using an oven mitt, put pressure on the candy stack. The combination of heat and pressure will represent the forming of a metamorphic rock.
- Now make another candy stack and wrap it in foil and wax paper like before.
- Have the adult put this in the toaster oven for several minutes until the candy melts to liquid. Have the adult remove the candy and open the foil. Set it aside for several minutes and allow it to cool. DO NOT TOUCH THE CANDY FOR SEVERAL MINUTES AS IT WILL BE EXTREMELY HOT!
- Once the melted candy hardens, this will represent our igneous rock.
The Rock Cycle Adventure: Unveiling the Secrets of Earth's Ever-Changing Rocks
Fun Facts about Understanding the Rock Cycle:
- Rocks can go on an incredible journey through the rock cycle, transforming from one type to another over millions of years.
- The three main types of rocks are igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic, each with its own unique characteristics and formation process.
- Igneous rocks are formed from molten magma that cools and solidifies either beneath the Earth's surface or through volcanic eruptions.
- Sedimentary rocks are created through the accumulation and compaction of sediment, which can include pieces of other rocks, minerals, and even the remains of plants and animals.
- Metamorphic rocks are formed when existing rocks undergo intense heat and pressure, causing them to change their structure and mineral composition.
- The rock cycle is a continuous process of transformation, where rocks can be weathered, eroded, melted, and reformed into different types.
- Weathering and erosion break down rocks into smaller pieces, which are then transported and deposited to form sedimentary rocks.
- Heat and pressure deep within the Earth can cause rocks to undergo metamorphism and transform into new rocks with different properties.
- The rock cycle is driven by the Earth's internal heat and energy, along with external forces such as weather, water, and plate tectonics.
- Understanding the rock cycle helps us unravel the Earth's history, as different types of rocks hold clues about past environments and geological events.
Exploring the rock cycle is like embarking on a thrilling adventure through time, witnessing the incredible transformations that shape our planet's landscape. By learning about the rock cycle, we gain a deeper understanding of Earth's geological processes and the fascinating stories embedded within rocks.
- Which type of rock is formed from molten magma? a) Sedimentary b) Igneous c) Metamorphic d) Fossilized
Correct answer: b) Igneous
- What process forms sedimentary rocks? a) Weathering and erosion b) Melting and solidification c) Metamorphism d) Volcanic eruptions
Correct answer: a) Weathering and erosion
- What drives the rock cycle? a) Plate tectonics b) Weather patterns c) Human activities d) Sunlight
Correct answer: a) Plate tectonics