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

EARTHQUAKE SCIENCE EXPERIMENT FOR KIDS

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.

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?

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SHAKY SCIENCE: EARTHQUAKE EXPERIMENT

SUPPLIES:

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

INSTRUCTIONS:

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

EXPLORE EARTHQUAKES FOR SHAKY SCIENCE

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STEM activities for kids. The best resource for science activities and STEM challenges you will ever need. We have everything science including chemistry and physics for kids for ages 3-9. We even have slime science and homemade slime recipes. Simple and easy kids science experiments that make for fun science activities kids can't get enough of!

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