Discovery Cube’s “Crater Formation”

Discovery Cube’s “Crater Formation”

When you look at the Moon, you will notice it has a lot of craters. You might even observe differences in the various craters like size and shape. This activity will help you understand how craters form.

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Scroll down to read real reviews from educators and parents with helpful tips and tricks!

Time Needed:
30-45 minutes
1st Grade
Space Science
Educator Rating:
Parent Rating:

What I'll Learn

Learn how meteor impacts form craters on the Moon’s surface.

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Before you begin, watch this video by SciShow Kids:

What to Do

What I Need

What to Do: Step-by-Step Instructions


Fill the pan ¾ full of flour.

On top of the flour, lightly sprinkle a thin layer of cocoa powder, dry coffee grounds, pepper, or another dark powder found in your kitchen.

Tips & Tricks:

If you have a sifter, you can use it to help you spread a thin layer of your dark kitchen powder.

Drop a marble or small rock into the pan.  What happened?

Carefully remove the marble without disturbing the surrounding flour.

Use the ruler to measure the width and depth of the crater.

Fun Fact:

The Moon’s surface is covered in craters.  They come from meteors or asteroids crashing into the surface of the Moon.  The Moon has no atmosphere, which means there is no wind, weather, or plants.  When an asteroid hits the Moon, there is nothing to erase the mark from the crater.  This is why we can see the impact of so many asteroids and meteors on the Moon (and not on Earth!).

Drop the same marble or rock from a different height or gently throw it from a different angle.  How does this impact compare to your first?

Drop your other marbles or rocks from different heights and different angles.  Do different sized marbles/rocks make different sized craters?  Does the height or angle make a difference?

When you are done, what patterns do you see?
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