Using food to demonstrate Earth-science concepts: A review

Jessica Winstanley, Mark Francek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper categorizes over one hundred print and web resources that use food to demonstrate earth science concepts with the goal of placing these resources in a more usable format for K-12 earth science instructors. Most activities: 1) are found with-nearly equal frequency from journals and from the web; 2) feature geologic rather than weather-,water-, or space-related themes; 3) are designed for a primary and middle school audience, but are adaptable to almost any education level, including introductory college classrooms; 4) meet the "Structure of the Earth" middle school National Science Standard; 5) require less than 30 minutes of instructor preparation; 6) cost less than $20 in materials for a class of 25; and 7) are adaptable for variety of group sizes. Outstanding examples of edible earth science include using candy bars to demonstrate weathering concepts, orange peels to mimic plate tectonics, and cookies to demonstrate mining and environmental reclamation. These activities are interesting, promote active learning, facilitate the teaching of the K-12 National Science Standards, and offer opportunities for interdisciplinary education. The main disadvantages of using this approach are safety concerns and, in some cases, extensive preparation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-160
JournalJournal of Geoscience Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


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