Adaptations of Cave Critters

Adaptations of Cave Critters Activity Source: Adapted with permission by National Park Service Caves with the National Natural Landmark (NNL) designation are some of the most fascinating of the thousands of caves around the world, and each one is unique. Caves’ special features are the product of various types of rock, their geologic setting, local climate, and time. This diversity in cave environments provides unique habitats for many different species of plants, animals, and other types of organisms. [Read More]

Chocolate Rock Cycle

Chocolate Rock Cycle Activity Source: The Geological Society of London. Adapted with permission. How sweet is this activity? It’s an introduction to the rock cycle using chocolate! Chocolate can be ground into small particles (weathered), heated, cooled, and compressed — just like rocks. Unlike rocks, chocolate can undergo these processes safely and at reasonable temperatures. Use your chocolate to create “sedimentary,” “metamorphic,” and “igneous” chocolate. And at the end of it all, make a tasty treat! [Read More]

Find Your Park

Find Your Park Activity Source: Adapted with permission by National Park Service. A park can be many different things to many different people. For many people, Canyonlands National Park is a favorite showcase of geology. In each of the park’s districts, you can see the remarkable effects of millions of years of erosion on a landscape of sedimentary rock. The Green River has carved a channel out of rock layers deposited nearly 300 million years ago creating an open book for earth science enthusiast of all ages. [Read More]

Finding Slope

Finding Slope Activity Source: Soil Science Society of America. H.M. Galloway, A.L. Zachery, Agronomy Department, Purdue University, Revised by S.S. Fulk-Bringman. Adapted with permission. Earth scientists play an important, if largely invisible, role in many aspects of our daily lives, such as building homes or growing food. For example, geoscientists help determine which locations would be best for undertaking these vital activities. The slope of the soil is an important soil property to consider when building or planting. [Read More]

Humans and Water, Past to Present

Humans and Water, Past to Present Activity Source: Adapted with permission by Archaeological Institute of America. Humans use lots of water. We need it for various activities, including agriculture, transport, washing, and recreation. Most important, we need to drink fresh water to stay alive. Today, in many regions around the world, fresh water comes straight to where we need it. But in some places, people must carry gallons of water from the closest stream, river, lake, or well to their homes. [Read More]


Liquefaction Activity Source: Adapted with permission by Soil Science Society of America. When it comes to slipping, sliding, and stability in soils, the key word is “liquefaction.” During an event like an earthquake, liquefaction is the process by which saturated soil behaves like a liquid. This can be problematic, as a liquid soil loses structure and can cause buildings to sink, foundations to crack, and soil to slide down slopes all at once. [Read More]

Making Caves: How Solution Caves Form

Making Caves: How Solution Caves Form Activity Source: Adapted with permission by National Park Service Caves form through a variety of natural processes depending on their local geology and climate. Flowing lava, melting ice, dissolving rock, and crashing waves are the major processes that form these wondrous environments. In this activity, students will observe a model of how the most common type of cave — solution caves — form. Materials Per student or small group: [Read More]

Rock Pop

Rock Pop Activity Source: Geological Society of America. Adapted with permission. How can a cave form from solid rock? Most caves are found in limestone, a rock made of materials of calcium carbonate. This rock is unusual because the solid minerals it is made of easily dissolve in weak acids. The most common weak acid in the environment is actually water! This acid forms when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves in the rain water to form carbonic acid. [Read More]