How can we know what’s underground if we can’t see it? One method is core sampling. I wrote a post about my experience taking sediment samples from the bottom of Long Island Sound, and this is just one example of a real life use for core sampling. An easy way to model core sampling at home is with cupcakes.
- cupcake pan and liners
- cake batter
- food dye
- clear straws
All you need to do is whip up your favorite cake batter and separate it into about 5 bowls. Use food coloring or a natural dye to make 5 different colors, then spoon each color into your lined cupcake pan. Be sure to vary the layers so each cupcake is different. Bake the cupcakes, then allow them to cool and top them with your favorite frosting.
Use a foil or opaque cupcake liner and cover the whole top with frosting so you really can’t see any of the colors.
Bake strawberries, blueberries or chocolate chips into the cake to play the role of fossils.
You will need to make the batter very dark so the layers will be obvious in the straws.
The layers will compress a little as you push down on the cupcake, so you may not be able to tell their relative thickness.
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Cookie Mining (coming soon!)
This post is part of my Fun Family Learning series. Please let me know what you think about it and feel free to request a future topic!