It’s All Sediment Until A Turtle Pees

We had an absolutely fabulous time at zoo school this week.   We were rock sleuths.  We were given 14 different rocks with clues for each and we had to guess which rock we were looking at.  It was super fun!

Have you heard of a drill core rock?  It’s a man-made rock that is removed from hundreds of feet below the surface.  By pulling one of these samples, geologists can study rocks deep within the Earth.  Would you like to make your own drill core using cupcakes? Of course you would!

What you need:

  • Cupcake mix
  • Plastic knife
  • Frosting (act as soil)
  • Food coloring (at least 3 different colors)
  • Baking cups
  • Transparent straws

What to do:

Prepare cupcakes according to package direction but using 3 different colors of batter; layer batter in baking cups. Put frosting as the last layer, which is equivalent to soil.
Let kids use the straw to take some core sample from the cupcake by rotating the straw like a drill. Explain how geologist dig and analyze the composition of Earth’s interior similarly.

Thank you Kids Activities Learning Games for this great hands on experiment.

Once we were done studying rocks our zoo guide brought out some really cool animals.  Our favorite was a pancake tortoise named Flap.  It was a small bumpy turtle that doesn’t hide inside of its shell it actually wedges itself  between rocks, cracks and crevices then blows itself up so that it cannot be removed by predators.  While my son was petting this interesting creature it peed all over our table, the floor and just barely missed my child’s hand. The indecent showed us that pancake tortoise can hold a lot of fluid in its little body.

Anyway, I do believe that was by son’s favorite part of the entire class.


About Jennifer

Jennifer is a homeschool mom to 2 energetic boys. She, her husband and boys, love playing outdoors exploring new places and making new friends! Being a homeschooling mom, she considers travel a perfect extension of her children's education. You can find Jennifer tweeting about life and her adventures at @jennparkerson.
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