Science Fun: Simulating a Glacier

Here's a very simple, desk-top demonstration of how a glacier works. Its so simple, yet very effective, that even the youngest student can begin to grasp how a glacier works.

Project Supplies:

a baking pan or aluminum pan
modeling clay
sand
an ice cube

Project Directions:

1. Mold a land form in the baking pan or aluminum pan using the modeling clay.

2. Place the ice cube on the top of the clay land form and push it into the clay lightly. Slide it back and forth several times.

3. Remove your ice cube and place some of your sand in the trench the ice cube formed. Now place the ice cube your glacier in the trench on top of the sand for a few minutes.

4. Remove your glacier and study it. Observe and record why happened to the glacier in your science journal. What happened in the trench?

5. Remove the excess sand from the clay. Rube the glacier with its embedded sand across the clay surface. Record what happens as you move your glacier. How does the sand in the glacier affect the clay land form?

This action is very similar to what happens when rocks and other materials are dragged over land by a glacier. You may want to investigate some areas around the world that have been affected by glaciers.

For further thought: Describe how a glacier can form a lake. Can you think of a way to demonstrate this?


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