This activity is related to a Teachable Moment from April 19, 2017. See "How NASA Studies and Tracks Asteroids Near and Far."
- For related resources in Spanish, see the Explora Más en Español section below.
Use baking ingredients to whip up a moon-like crater as a demonstration for students. This activity works in classrooms, camps and at home.
ManagementWatch the "DIY Space: How to Make a Crater" video tutorial at the top of the page for instructions on how to do the demonstration.
- Spread about an inch of flour into your cake pan.
- Add a layer of sprinkles. (No need to completely cover the flour layer.)
- Add a third layer of cocoa by sprinkling it over the top with a spoon or sifting it for a more even coating.
- Simulate a rock impacting the surface, by holding one of the rocks above your head and dropping it into the cake pan. Observe the "ejecta pattern" created by the impact.
- Try dropping different size rocks and different angles and heights, and see how the ejecta pattern differs from one impact to the next.
- Related activity: Impact Craters - Holes in the Ground - download PDF
- Read about impact craters on Pluto