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Erosion in Action.

In "Water Power!" (pp. 14-15), you learned about a scientist who used a model to study how waterfalls can form. The model showed how bedrock erodes, or wears away. In this activity, you will build a model to study how water and wind can erode rock. Follow the instructions to build the model. Perform the tests, then answer the questions below.

Materials: sugar * water * measuring cups * bowl * spoon * pie or cake tin * graduated cylinder * ruler * drinking straw * paper and pencil

Build Your Model:

Pour 2 cups of sugar and V4 cup of water in the bowl. Mix with a spoon until the sugar and the water form a paste. Pour the mixture into the tin. Then put the tin in the freezer. After two hours, remove it from the freezer. This is your model bedrock.

Test Your Model:

Perform the actions in the left column, and record your observations about how your actions affect your model in the right column.

TEST                                OBSERVATIONS

Pour 50 ml of water on the
rock from a height of 30 cm.

Pour water on the rock from
different heights.

Use the straw to softly blow
the water on the rock.

Use the straw to blow harder
at your model.

Analyze Your Model:

1. How did your model change after you added wind and water? How did adjusting the height of the water and the speed of the wind affect your model?

2. Make a claim about how wind and water can affect bedrock. How do your observations from your model support your claim?


1. Observations may include that water formed depressions in the model, and blowing on the model caused pieces of sugar to move around. Pouring the water from higher up and blowing harder on the model led to more erosion. 2. Answers must include claims that are supported by evidence collected from testing the model.

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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2019
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