Moon Craters

craters Children can learn how moon craters are formed with this fun, easy activity!

Goals:

  • To teach children about the moon and how its craters are formed
  • To show the similarities and differences between the moon and the Earth

Before You Start: Gather materials needed: a large pie tin, round objects of various size and weight (for example: balls, marbles, apples, etc.) flour, a chair and a tarp or newspaper to protect your floor (if experiment is done indoors). Fill the pie tin approximately 3/4 full with flour.

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Talk to the children about the moon and it's relation to the Earth. Be sure to discuss the moon's crater and how they are formed.

Step 2. Place the pie tin on the ground and have kids take turns dropping round objects into the tin.

Step 3. After each item is dropped, remove the item noting the size of the crater.

Step 4. While the kids are dropping the objects into the tin, ask them if they typically see craters on the earth. Explain to them that most meteors burn up when they enter the earth's atmosphere and do not reach the ground, so the surface here does not resemble the moon. Since the moon has no atmosphere, the craters are free to crash on its surface.

Step 5. Have kids stand on a chair and repeat the experiment. Did the craters from each item get bigger?

Furthermore: If a higher perch, such as a deck, is available, this can be repeated. (Kids love to see the flying flour, so this doesn't get old very fast!) You could also use craft sand or Moon Sand® in place of the flour for a similar effect.

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