Have you ever thought about what you are standing on? Sand, rock and what’s beneath that? Make a mini earthquake model and find out what happens to buildings built on sand. This fun and simple earthquake experiment is a great geology activity for multiple ages.

Explore Earthquakes For Earth Science

There are so many fun themes to explore for Earth Science including making this hands-on earthquake model. Learn about weather, space, the oceans, and of course geology!

Get ready to add this simple earthquake experiment to your lesson plans this season. Our science activities and experiments are designed with you, the parent or teacher, in mind! 

Easy to set up, quick to do, most activities will take only 15 to 30 minutes to complete and are heaps of fun!  Plus, our supplies lists usually contain only free or cheap materials you can source from home!

Let’s explore what causes earthquakes and what happens to buildings during an earthquake with this easy and fun printable earthquake science project. While you’re at it, make sure to check out these other earth science activities.

Earth Science For Kids

Geology is included under the branch of science known as Earth Science. Earth Science is the study of the earth and everything that physically makes up it and its atmosphere. From the ground we walk on to the air we breathe, the wind that blows, and the oceans we swim in.

Earth science is learning about…

When it comes to doing Earth Science activities for preschool through to middle school science, keep it fun and very hands-on. Pick science activities where kids can be involved and not just watch you!

Make it STEM or STEAM (Science + Art) with a wide range of science projects that combine parts of science, technology, engineering, math, and art (STEAM). Learn more about what is STEM.

What Causes Earthquakes?

The earth’s outer layer is like a puzzle made up of large pieces of land. These pieces are called the tectonic plates, and they slide around slowly on the surface and occasionally bump into each other. See our edible plate tectonic model.

Sometimes this movement generates earthquakes. Earthquakes create energy, which is radiated out in the form of waves called seismic waves.

Soft soils like sand will amplify the movements more than solid ground like bedrock. Sand can also undergo a “liquefaction process” during an earthquake. This means the sand can change from behaving like a solid to behaving like a thick liquid, which can make the shaking worse.

Make a simple oobleck or goop mixture below to find out how an earthquake impacts buildings built on sand. The oobleck represents the sand, and liquefaction process.

Use candies as a building, with marbles to represent the movement of an earthquake. What do you think will happen to your building when it gets a bit shaky? Let’s find out!

Earthquake Science Fair Project

Science projects are an excellent tool for older kiddos to show what they know about science! Plus, they can be used in all sorts of environments including classrooms, homeschool, and groups.

Kids can take everything they have learned about using the scientific method, stating a hypothesis, choosing variables, and analyzing and presenting data.

Want to turn one this earthquake experiment into an awesome science fair project? Check out these helpful resources below.


Build An Earthquake Model

Pair this earthquake experiment with this easy edible plate tectonics model!


  • Wax paper
  • Square candies
  • Peanut butter (or sunflower)
  • Plastic knife
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Pan
  • Tray
  • Marbles


STEP 1: Mix 2 cups cornstarch with 1 cup water. Pour into your baking pan.

STEP 2: Cut a piece of wax paper and spread your peanut butter onto it as a base.

STEP 3: Build a tower, building, or house out of your candies, using peanut butter to hold the pieces together.

STEP 4: Place the marbles into a larger pan or tray and then set your cornstarch container on the marbles so it rolls freely.

STEP 5: Now place your structure with the wax paper on top of the cornstarch mixture and shake the bottom pan! Did your structure survive?

More Fun Geology Activities

When you finish this earthquake activity, why not explore more earth science with one of these ideas below. You can find all our earth science activities here!

Make your own tasty sedimentary rock to explore geology.

Explore the stages of the rock cycle with a crayon rock cycle or candy rock cycle!

Why not grow sugar crystals or make edible geodes!

Explore the layers of soil with simple LEGO bricks or make an edible soil layers model.

Explore soil erosion for kids.

Learn all about volcanos with these volcano facts and even make your own volcano.

Make this fun plate tectonic model.

Learn about how fossils are formed.

More Fun Science Projects for Kids


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