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Roger Weller, geology instructor
Geology can be fun for everyone! There are many different ways for elementary students to learn and enjoy geology. An always favorite way for teachers and students alike are the infamous science projects. Porosity, fossils, and erosion are three geology subjects that kids can do fun science projects. Here are some examples of these science projects.
A porosity science project would have a purpose “to measure the amount of water stored in the pore space of a soil sample.” There is a list of four procedures:
1. On a flat surface, fill a beaker with 500ml of sand.
2. Using another beaker fill it with 500ml of water.
3. Pour water into the sand filled beaker slowly. When the water reaches the top of the sand, stop; this means the sand has reached it saturation point.
4. Using questions such as “How much water is
left in the beaker?” and “How much water is now held in the pore spaces of the
sample sand?” will help determine the percentage of the pore space or
“porosity”, of the sample sand.
Another project can help students learn how fossils form by making their own fossils. To create their own fossils students will need: plaster of Paris, leaves, shells, water, cardboard, and petroleum jelly. To make their own fossil have the students follow these easy steps:
1. Mix a modest amount of water and about a handful of plaster of Paris making the concoction thick and silky.
2. Using the cardboard spread the plaster about an inch thick and a bit wider than the size of the students’ leaf.
3. Cover the leaves with the petroleum jelly and position onto the plaster. Press down on the leaf gently, pushing it into the plaster mixture.
4. Keep the plaster in a warm place and let dry.
5. When the plaster is dry remove the leaf and the student will have their very own fossil of a leaf!
Have the students follow the same
instructions using shells rather then leaves to create another fossil!
One more science project the students will love comes from the subject of erosion. Even though this project is for children, it might come in handy later on in their lives with appropriate land usage. This project will show how the movement of glaciers causes erosion. Here are the steps on how to do the project:
1. Use a piece of aluminum foil, 12 square inches and structure a box shape having edges two inches high.
2. Place the aluminum square in the freezer for the night.
3. After removing the aluminum block of ice, stroke it over a chunk of clay.
4. At the end of the project ask the students these questions:
a. “What did the block of ice feel like?”
b. “What happened when you rubbed it over clay?”
c. “How can you relate this to glaciers?”
Using these and other science projects can help the students discover their own creativity and help make learning geology fun and exciting for young students.