Moon Impact Craters Lab Activity

Moon and Impact Craters Lab Activity, Moon and Impact Craters, Moon Impact Craters, Impact Craters on the Moon, Impact Craters on Moon

Moon Impact Craters Part 1

In this activity, you will create impact craters in plaster of Paris.

Supplies Needed per student or group:

  • Prepared plaster of Paris OR dry plaster, water and a container
  • Projectiles
  • Tempura paint and sifter (your teacher may substitute a different powdered medium)
  • Meter stick and ruler
  • Data chart

Moon and Impact Craters, Moon Impact Craters, Impact Craters on the Moon, Impact Craters on Moon

Impact Craters on the Moon Activity Procedure:

  1. Get together with your group and gather all necessary supplies. Ensure each group member has a Data chart and a pencil.
  2. Ensure your group has at least 3 projectiles.
  3. On your data chart, write a description of each projectile, including the mass and dimensions.
  4. Prepare the plaster of Paris, if not done beforehand. You should use 1 part water to 2 parts plaster, or according to your teacher’s directions.
  5. Drop the first projectiles into the plaster. Be sure to measure the height before dropping the projectile and record the measurements on your data chart.
  6. Measure the width (diameter at its largest point) of your impact crater and height of the rim, and record on your data chart. Illustrate and label your crater.
  7. Leave the projectiles in the plaster and allow to harden.
  8. Pick another location in your container and drop another projectile from a different height and repeat steps #5 and #6. If you drop too many projectiles in one area, your craters will be distorted, so be sure to space out your projectiles.
  9. Repeat steps #5-#7 until you have dropped all your projectiles.
  10. Clean up your work space.
  11. Complete your data chart and questions. Turn in your to teacher.

Impact Craters on the Moon Part 2

In this activity, you will create impact craters in plaster of Paris.

Supplies Needed per student or group:

  • Projectiles SET A – 4 marbles, ball bearings or large sinkers of identical size and weight
  • Projectiles SET B – 3 spheres of equal size but different materials of varying mass
  • Tempura paint and sifter (your teacher may substitute a different powdered medium)
  • Large tray or sturdy box 8-10cm deep and about 1/2m on each side
  • Meter stick and ruler
  • Lab balance to measure mass of SET B
  • Data chart

Moon and Impact Craters, Moon Impact Craters, Impact Craters on the Moon, Impact Craters on Moon

Moon Impact Craters Lab Procedure:

  1. Get together with your group and gather all necessary supplies. Ensure each group member has a Data chart and a pencil.
  2. Ensure your group has at least 3 projectiles for SET A and SET B.
  3. On your data chart, write a description of each projectile. Measure the mass using the lab balance of each projectile and record on your data chart.
  4. Prepare dry materials:
    • Place a 3cm even latter of dry materials on the bottom of the tray.
    • Sprinkle a thin layer of red powdered tempura paint (or substitute material provided by your teacher) over the dry material with the strainer.
    • Place another very thin (2-3mm) even layer of dry material on top of the tempura paint, just enough to conceal the color of the paint.
    • Sprinkle another layer of blue tempura paint (or substitute material provided by your teacher) on top of the second layer of dry materials. NOTE: Very fine craft glitter can be used in place of the blue tempura paint for a sparkle effect.
  5. Drop SET A projectiles into the dry materials from the same height. Record data and crater observations on your data chart.
  6. Drop SET B projectiles from different heights. Be sure to measure the height using the meter stick before dropping. Record height and crater data on your data chart.
  7. Experiment with different velocities by throwing the projectiles into dry materials.
  8. Clean up your work space.
  9. Complete your data chart and questions. Turn in to your teacher.

 

Moon Impact Craters Lab Activity:

Students record their predictions and results of the lab activity. Once the activity is finished, discuss the lab activity and answer post-lab questions.

We also provided some of the Resources below for you to use in class. iTeachly Members can access all the content for the activity and the following lesson.

Students must come up with a unanimous answer for each question. Discussing the answers usually, results in some excellent dialogue on this topic.

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Moon and Impact Craters Lab Activity, Moon and Impact Craters, Moon Impact Craters, Impact Craters on the Moon, Impact Craters on Moon

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