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8th Grade Core
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On the previous Sci-ber text page, you learned that earthquakes bring energy from Earth's interior to the surface. Now, you have the opportunity to model how these earthquake waves move energy. If you do this correctly, you might be able to "eat" your model!


  • 8" x 8" pan
  • Two six ounce Jell-o® gelatin (green is fun to use)
  • Spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Plastic wrap
  • Knife
Safety concerns: Be sure to keep all chemical safety rules. As with all science lab activities, the most important safety rule is to follow all teacher directions.


  1. Heat two and a half cups of water to boiling.
  2. Stir in both gelatin mixes.
  3. Pour the liquid gelatin into the pan.
  4. Refrigerate the pan until the gelatin becomes firm
  5. Lay down a piece of plastic wrap onto the counter.
  6. Cut the plastic wrap in half ... keep both sides touching at this point.
  7. Gently warm the bottom of the pan until you can slide out the gelatin from inside it.
  8. Slide the gelatin out of the pan and onto the wrap.
  9. Try to keep half of the gelatin on each side of the cut in the plastic wrap.
  10. Now cut the gelatin in half to match the cut in the plastic wrap.
  11. You are going to slide the gelatin halves past each other. The cut between these two halves represents a "fault."
  12. Watch as your "fault" builds up energy that is released in the gelatin earthquake!


    1. What happened when the gelatin pieces were being slid past each other?
    2. Which locations in your model demonstrated an earthquake better than others?
    3. How was this activity similar to a real earthquake?

Review Science safetey rules here.

Get the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader , and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 8th grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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