Edible Earth Parfaits!

This activity is a fun and easy way to understand the geology of an aquifer. You will build your own edible aquifer, learn about confining layers, contamination, recharge and water tables.

Key Topics: Earth Science, Geology, Groundwater, Wells
Subject Area: Science
Grade Levels: All ages
Duration: 25 - 30 minutes

Materials Needed:

a.. Vanilla ice cream

b.. Clear soda pop

c.. Small gummy bears, gummy pieces or crushed ice

d.. Variety of colored cake decoration sprinkles and sugars

e.. Drinking straws

f.. Clear plastic cups

g.. Spoons

To teach about the geologic formations in an aquifer and how a well is built.

Activity Steps:

1. Begin by reading aloud the What is groundwater? page to the students. With older students, you may also want to go over the Groundwater ABCs.

2. Begin to construct your edible aquifer by filling a clear plastic cup 1/3 full with gummy bears, gummy pieces, or crushed ice (represents gravels and soils).

3. Add enough soda to just cover the candy/ice.

4. Add a layer of ice cream to serve as a "confining layer" over the water-filled aquifer.

5. Then add more crushed ice on top of the "confining layer."

6. Colored sugars and sprinkles represent soils and should be sprinkled over the top to create the porous top layer.

7. Using your straw, drill a well into the center of your aquifer.

8. Slowly begin to "pump" the well by sucking on the straw. Watch the decline in the water table.

9. Now recharge your aquifer by adding more soda which represents a rain shower.

10. Review what you have learned as you enjoy eating your edible aquifer.

NB Anne

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