Have you ever seen the Grand Canyon in Arizona? Or the White Cliffs of Dover? Or maybe you’ve been to the beach recently! These landscapes are all beautiful. But how did they form? They formed when the materials that make up
the land are moved from one place to another. This movement is called erosion. And you can see erosion in action for yourself
… right at home! We’re going to create our own mini landscape,
to see how water can cause erosion, to change our landscape into something /different/! Before we gather our supplies, we’re going
to make sure we’re in a place where it’s ok to make a mess. Now, we’ll need a deep pan or a tub. And we’ll also need a plastic or paper cup
that we can poke a hole in, and some water. Finally, we need something to make our mini
landscape! You can use sand or potting soil, or anything
that’s made of little pieces that can move from one place to another! Now that we’ve gathered our supplies, let’s
make a landscape! First let’s fill our pan about halfway with
dirt. And this is where things get really fun! It’s time to get messy! Let’s make sure that our landscape has a
slope — kind of like a little hill — so that the pan has more dirt on one end than
on the other. This slope will allow our water to move from
place to place, so we can see erosion in action! Next, let’s add some little features to
our landscape, just for fun! Maybe a couple of mountains over here, and
a little cliff over here. Once our landscape is finished, let’s take
our cup, and fill it with water. And very carefully poke a small hole in the
bottom. Make sure to ask a grown-up for help if you
need to! Then, hold the cup over the side of pan that
has the most dirt or sand. That’s the top of our slope! And look! The water is dripping down through the hole
and moving down across our landscape! As it moves, you can see that the water is
taking some of the dirt with it, moving it from the top of the slope to the bottom. So, how do we know that we created erosion? Well, does your landscape look different than
it did before? Is there more dirt at the bottom than there
was when you started? How about the top? Is there more or less dirt than before? And what about in between? Can you see where the water traveled from
the top of the slope to the bottom? Finally, take a close look at the water. What color was it when it was in the cup? That’s right! It was clear! But what color is it now that it’s run down
the slope? Right again! It’s turned a mucky brown color! That’s because as the water was trickling
over the dirt, it picked up tiny pieces of it and moved them along! If you’ve ever seen a muddy brown river,
that’s how the river got that way! As the river runs down a slope, it picks up
bits of the dirt and rock that it flows over, and moves them! Now, what if we did this again, but tried
it a little differently? Do you think you could change how your landscape
erodes? If you created different features in the dirt,
would that change how much the dirt moves? What if you made the slope of your hill steeper? And what if you dumped all of your water out
at once, instead of letting it trickle through that little hole? Keep experimenting and asking questions, and
let us know what you discover! Thank you joining me for this messy, fun experiment! And we’d like to give a big thank you to
Google Making Science for helping us make this episode! If you have a project you want to share, or
have a question for Squeaks and me, grab a grown-up to leave a comment down below, or
send us an e-mail to [email protected]! And we’ll see you next time!