Summer of Science: Erosion Part 1

The past few weeks we’ve talked about our planet on a grand scale; what it’s made of, its rotation and revolution, and why it’s shaped the way it is.  This week we’re still talking about our Earth, in particular, we’re exploring how the erosion shapes our landscapes. 

Science Experiments Erosion

And as an added bonus we’ll be doing three experiments today and another two on Thursday!  Before I get on with the experiments don’t forget that next month’s topic is Weather!

1. Erosion via Abrasion


  • pencil (be sure it doesn’t have a plastic coating)
  • nail file


I asked the kids to imagine their pencil as a rock and the nail file as sand and other dirt particles in the air rubbing against the rock.  Overtime the wind and sand wear down rocks until they’re only sand and dirt, much like their pencil.

abrasion experiment

2. Wind Erosion


  • Sand or flour
  • straws
  • container


I would highly recommend doing this experiment outside, just in case you’re kids get crazy with their straws.  All you’re going to do is blow into, onto, across, the sand with your straws to show how the wind shapes dry landscapes. 

Erosion from Wind

I’m still experiencing camera issues so you’ll have to excuse the photos but this was the best one I could find.  When you blow across the sand it will be lifted by the air and move in a semicircular pattern, as they air loses it’s energy the sand will fall and create a mound.  If you change the direction of your ‘wind’  you’ll change the shape of the mounds.  Sidenote: When we lived in Colorado we visited to the Sand Dunes, highly recommend it.

3. Moisture’s Effect on Erosion


  • Same as above with the addition of a sprinkling of water


Sprinkle a bit of water into your container before adding the sand.  Try to blow both the wet and the dry sand.  What happens.  I promise you I don’t normally sound so stupid when I’m explaining things.

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