Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Crayon Rock Cycle

After two days of that kind of stat compiling, forgive me for being a mite bit wiped. So let's stick to an at-home science experiment today. We'll make crayon rocks.

There are three types of rocks, as you know: sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous. You can use the same set of crayons to make all three types. You just need some crayons you're okay with not using anymore, and parents, I assume you're the ones I'm talking to.

Here's the video form; I'll explain it again below:

First, you make sedimentary rock. Sedimentary rock is formed when layers of sediment settle on top of each other. To make this, all you have to do is take some crayons, shaving them with a knife to create 'sediment'. You'll want different colors to create different layers. It's suggested that you separate out each color and pile them on top of each other after you're done; one video doing this used cupcake wrappers to keep the wax in one place. Press them on top of each other so the whole mass of crayon wax sticks together- you don't want to do it too hard just yet; you just want it all to stick together- and voila, a sedimentary rock.

Next is metamorphic. Metamorphic rock is characterized by the intense heat and pressure it's been placed under, changing it from a previous form. You can get this from your sedimentary rock by tamping it down even further. Really start pressing on it. If you want to generate heat, you can do that either from the heat of your hand, or by generating friction by placing something between your hand and the crayon wax- a book cover, maybe- and pressing and rubbing around so that the book creates friction on the wax. In the clip above, there's also a layer of aluminum foil employed so that you don't just end up coloring the book cover.

Finally, there's igneous rock, which is of volcanic origin. All you have to do here is melt the wax into 'lava' and then let it cool. That simple. I'd suggest you use a candle here, as putting that aluminum foil into a microwave would be kind of bad for your microwave.

And then, of course, you have one big, brand-new, slightly misshaped crayon at the end.

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