As we have been exploring Space we have enjoyed reading the Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System. What is great is that each time we read it we learn something new! On the page all about how the children explore Mercury we noticed that there were lots of craters on the surface. So we decided to make our own craters from meteorites! (inspired by this activity on Science Buddies)
Our planet surface was a box with about a third of a bag of flour poured in - this experiment is best done outside or on a large dropcloth.
Our meteorites were balls of different sizes and materials. The first ball we dropped into the flour was a small, hard bouncy ball.
It left a small and rather deep hole! So we randomly selected the next ball which was a soft, medium sized ball. The girls predicted it would make a bigger and deeper hole. They dropped it in and.... well we don't have a good picture but it made a wide and shallow hole. This was a great discussion for how not only the size but how dense the ball/meteorite is and how that can make a difference.
Our last ball/meteor was the largest ball and also a bouncy ball. It made quite a spray as it landed on our planet surface.
- balls of different diameters
- Pour about a third of a bag of flour into the box and shake the box gently to create a smooth surface.
- Drop a ball into the flour. Note the size, shape and depth of the crater.
- Repeat with additional balls and note how the crater changes depending on the density and circumference of the ball.
- Play and explore how different objects create different sized craters.