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Lava flows are responsible for forming a great number of features on the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars). In order to understand how lava flows and forms geological features, have children experiment with cake batter lava. Take a cookie sheet with sides and have the children make a landscape using play dough. Include mountains, valleys, and hills. Mix up some cake batter (just use the mix and some water to keep the batter safe). Then, incline the cookie sheet, and allow cake batter to flow down the landscape. Children can experiment with different landscapes and learn how geological processes form landmasses.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|