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
Check out our awesome $1 excavation offers by clicking the image below.
- 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.
I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and had fun learning how to understand the rock cycle.
Pro tip: Use this activity to create some excitement around discussions or lessons about geology, the rock cycle, and identifying different types of rocks!
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!