Earthquake Science for Kids
We live in Southern California, so I am no stranger to earthquakes. My older two boys have experienced a pretty big quake. Lately JZ (6) has been asking me a lot of questions about earthquakes, and he really wants to know what causes an earthquake. We love hands on science experiments, so I set out to find a way to demonstrate an earthquake to him. I found this site to be a great resource in explaining earthquake science to kids. My Google search found all sorts of awesome looking demos for older children and for high school science projects. Eventually I came across this experiment and felt it was much better suited for the age of my boys.
Directions: This demonstration is so simple and requires very little set up. Punch two holes on one side of one of the cardboard rectangles. Tie a string through the holes. Repeat with the second piece of cardboard. Tape the two pieces together, but leave room so they can sit apart. Set the cardboard side by side on the cookie sheet side by side. Cover the cardboard with dirt. You do not need a thick layer of dirt, but you do want all of the cardboard covered.
Here is a close up of the taped cardboard, so you can see exactly how I set it up.
Instruct your kids to gently pull on the strings.
JZ and J-Bug (4) thought is was so cool to watch the boards shake, causing the dirt to bounce. It didn't explain what causes earthquakes, but it is a nice visual to go along with the information we read.
More cool demonstrations for kids: