What you have just made is a simple version of what is happening inside the Earth all the time. The bottom graham cracker represents the core of the Earth. The icing represents the magma - melted rock that is in between the core and the tectonic plates. The top graham cracker pieces represent the tectonic plates. The tectonic plates (tectonic means things that happen on the surface of the Earth) float around on this melted rock and move in different ways, which we just demonstrated. When the plates run into each other and push each other up, that is convergence, and it can cause mountains and volcanoes to form. When the plates run side by side, sometimes they stick and slip. The slipping is when earthquakes happen. Of course, there are many other things that happen in the Earth’s crust, too, but this is a good place to start.
Variations and Related Activities:
Making a volcano - We have all made volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar. But, you can take the process two steps further by making layers of different kinds of lava on your volcano. Check out another Cool activity to make a volcano with simulated aa and pahoehoe lava.
Links to more information and activities:
See where the latest earthquakes have happened, and what magnitude they were:
Watch live webcams from Kilauea volcano in Hawai’i: