Thursday, February 22, 2018

Preschool STEAM Station: Sedimentary Rocks

We are on a wirlwind adventure this month as we study different destinations all over the world in our Small World box from Mother Goose Time.

One of Avaleigh's most favorite activities happened this week when we "visited" the Grand Canyon, and it just so happened to be a STEAM station activity.
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. 
(so glad they included Art... it used to be called STEM a few years ago)

The Grand Canyon activity we did really focused on SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, and ART.

Sedimentary rocks are formed from the compaction of layers upon layers of sediment, which are evident in the rows of colors we observe in the Grand Canyon.  The picture MGT sent was perfect to catch the idea of layers.

So how do you get this idea of layers of sediment forming rocks to preschoolers?
You break out the play dough.
Through the use of kitchen tools (technology), Avaleigh pressed and rolled out an assortment of colored play dough into thin rectangular layers.  We discussed the colors she had and she picked which color would go next in her layer stack (art).

Once her layers were done, she pressed them together using the pressure of her hands (compaction).  Then it was time to cut into the rock.... I mean play dough ;) 

Using more tools from her kitchen (knives), Avaleigh cut and cut into the playdough rock to reveal a rainbow of layers.

Isn't that beautiful!?!

Of course afterwards, she wanted to press all the colors together and form a ball, but it didn't turn into a glob of gross brown color immediately like I thought it would.
It turned into this rainbow mix.
Still lovely.

This STEAM station reminded me of one of my favorite labs I did with my 6th graders- a ROCK CYCLE lab, which you can read about here (rock cycle rap included).
Understanding big concepts like sedimentary rock formation doesn't start in 6th grade.  
It starts right here in preschool.  

That's what I am doing right now each and everyday with our Mother Goose Time curriculum...
laying out the foundation for understanding hard concepts.

Want to read more preschool STEAM ideas? Click here.

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