Summer is nearing an end but there is still time to build a sandcastle! The good news is you don't even need to go to the beach to do so. The beach experiences way too much erosion by wind and rain anyway to keep a sandcastle around for multiple days. Can you think of other ways erosion affects the land or other things? What does all this have to do with this month's challenge? This month, your challenge is to engineer sand so it can withstand the erosion elements of wind and water. You're going to test out different recipes to determine which sand would be best to keep a sandcastle in tact during a windy day or a wet one. What ingredients might we need to do so? How much of each ingredient? How can we test out a recipe before building an entire sandcastle?
Your sand recipe does have some criteria and constraints. Only the materials provided can be used in your recipe. The same kind of sand should be used when performing tests against each other. Other sands can be used as long as all groups have access to the same sand. Try to change only one variable at a time so fair tests can be done. Use a Dixie cup as the standard size of a brick to measure the effects of erosion.
*This idea and challenge can be further explored in the Advancing STEM Grade 4 Unit, Centuries of Change: Processes That Shape the Earth.
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