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Candy Plate Tectonics

Plate tectonics is an important idea to grasp in middle school science. This fun and delicious science activity for kids will show your children how plate tectonics work while allowing them to enjoy a candy bar treat.

Activity Instructions

Start by wathing the Plate Tectonics Video. 

Then, have your kids wash their hands, and hand them a candy bar that has several layers. Snickers, Milky Way, and Twix will work best. After they open their candy bars, instruct your kids to use a plastic knife to make cracks in the chocolate. These cracks represent fault lines. Explain to them how these fault lines are the meeting places of large plates, which are represented by the chocolate. Next, have your children demonstrate the following tectonic movements:

  • Tension: Have the kids pull the ends of their candy bars apart.
  • Compression: Have the kids push the ends of their candy bars together.
  • Shearing: Have the kids move the two halves of the candy bars opposite one another.

As they experiment with each type of movement, have your children discuss the changes they see in the layers of the candy, which represent the layers of the Earth. Explain that the movement of the plates causes, rifts, mountains, and earthquakes.

Materials

Outcome

This environmental science activity for kids will demonstrate the power of plate tectonics. An important concept, this idea will explain the occurrence of earthquakes, the development of mountains, and the appearance of rifts along the ocean floor.