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Join Jessi and create your own mini landscape, to see how water can cause erosion, and change a landscape into something different! #sciencegoals

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SOURCES:
http://learninglabresources.com/2014/01/erosion-and-landforms-science-activity-with-a-freebie.html

IMAGES:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABrown_River_Medway_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1200418.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AWhite_Cliffs_of_Dover_02.JPG
(Intro)

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 do they form? Well, they formed when the materials that make up the land were 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 that's OK to make a mess. OK, we'll need a deep pan or a tub. We'll also need a plastic or paper cup, and some scissors so we can poke a hole in it, and some water. And finally, we need something to make our mini landscape with. 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 all of our supplies, let's make a landscape. First, let's fill our pan about halfway full with dirt, and this is where things get really fun! It's time to get messy. Alright, let's make sure our landscape has a slope, kind of like a little hill so that the pan has more dirt on one end than 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 maybe a cliff over here. Once our landscape is finished, let's take our cup and poke a hole in the bottom. Very careful. You might want to ask a grownup for help with this part. Next, hold the cup of water over the side of the pan that has the most dirt or sand. That's the top of our slope.

Now, let's pour the water in. 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 at the top? Is there more or less dirt here 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 we put it into 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 it moves them along.

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 though that little hole? Keep experimenting and asking questions, and let us know what you discovered!

And, thank you for joining us on this fun, messy 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 you have a question for me, grab a grownup and leave a comment down below or send us an email to kids@thescishow.com. And, we'll see you next time!