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Kiddos at Home Again? Make an Edible Aquifer!

Kiddos at Home Again? Make an Edible Aquifer!

Teach your children about aquifers (where your water in your well comes
from) and how pollution can get into the water and pumping causes the
water table to drop.

What you need:

  • Small gummy bears, chocolate chips, crushed cookies, breakfast cereal, or crushed ice
  • food coloring
  • vanilla ice cream
  • club soda or sprite
  • cake decoration sprinkles and sugars
  • drinking straws
  • spoons
  • clear cups

How to make it:

Fill a small, clear cup about one-third of the way with your first
ingredient. This represents all of the sand, gravel, and rocks in the

Cover your “gravel, sand, and rock layer” with clear soda which
represents water. This is our groundwater. See how the “water” fills in
the spaces around the “gravel, sand, and rock.” 

Spread a layer of ice cream over the soda. This layer of our aquifer is
called the confining layer, which is usually clay or dense rock. The water
is confined below this layer.

The next layer is our top layer of soil. Decorating sprinkles and some
colored sugar can be used to represent this layer.

Add some food coloring to a small amount of soda. The coloring
represents pollution. Can you think of some pollutants that can affect
groundwater? Watch what happens when we pour it on the land.

Using your straw, drill a well (push the straw down toward the bottom of
the cup) into the center of your aquifer.

Slowly begin to pump the well by sucking on the straw. Watch as the
water table goes down. Also, watch and see how the contaminants can
get sucked into the well area and end up in the groundwater by
eventually leaking through the confining layer.

Pretend it’s raining and recharge the aquifer by adding more soda. A real
aquifer takes a lot longer to recharge, this is just an example to speed up
the process.

Now it’s time to enjoy your aquifer!

Adapted by https://www.neponset.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/How-to-Make-an-Edible-Aquifer1.pdf

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