Candy Bar Core Sample
Geologists learn about the geological history of an area by taking core samples of the earth’s crust. They examine the sample and do experiments with some it to determine the types of rock in the sample. Any layers of soil or rock in the core sample also help the geologist determine what has happened in the area the sample was taken from. The geologists can determine if the sample has organic or inorganic material. They can find out if the rock is igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic. Further testing or examination can specify the types of minerals in the rocks. The geologist takes all of this information to make a geological history of the area. He/she may also use the information to predict what might happen in the future under specified circumstances. The core sample tells the soil composition, how the area was formed, the age of different layers, of climatic changes, and of possible traces of life.
Materials: Mini candy bar chunks, straws, paper, pencil, paper towels, plastic knife, poster board size paper
Vocabulary: geology, geologist, organic, inorganic, sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic, core sample, rock
Procedure: Important-check for allergies
1. Pass out a candy bar chunk to each student. These represent the earth.
2. Pass out straws to each student. This is the sample instrument- the core
3. Pass out a paper towel, piece of paper, and pencil to each student.
4. Discuss the candy bar chunk and straw and what each represents. Talk
about how a geologist uses a core sampler to take a sample.
5. Demonstrate how to use the straw to take a core sample by inserting the
straw into the candy bar chunk. Pull the straw out.
6. Show the students the sample.
7. Draw what the sample looks like on a large piece of paper so all can see.
8. Talk about what was in the sample using the straw and the drawing. The
sample may contain layers. Discuss what the layers might represent. The
sample may contain “pieces of rock”. Discuss what they are.
9. Label your drawing.
10. Instruct the students to take a core sample of their pieces of earth, to
draw a picture of what they found and label the drawing. 11. If desired, pass out plastic knives to groups of 4-8. Demonstrate how to
cut the candy bar piece in half from top to bottom. Compare how this
looks to the core sample.
12. Eat the core sample and piece of earth.
1. How many different layers did the core sample have?
2. What are the layers made of?
3. How thick are the layers? Which is the thickest? Thinnest? 4. How do you think the layers were formed?
5. Do you think there is any organic matter in the sample? 6. Were there rocks in the sample? How were they formed? 7. What type of rocks do you think they are? (sedimentary, igneous,
8. What does the sample tell about the geological area it was taken from? 9. Do pieces of earth usually taste like chocolate?
10. Do you eat rocks?
Science Processes and Skills;
3. Creating a Model
4. Data collection