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Rocking 4th Grade Science Experiment
Rocking 4th Grade Science Experiment
Posted on 01/13/2022
Learning at Black Mountain Elementary is a rock solid foundation for educational success. Fourth graders in Ms. Sarah Harris’ class spent time on Friday shaking up an experiment to learn more about erosion.By: Breanna Hensley
BCS Communications Dept.

Learning at Black Mountain Elementary is a rock solid foundation for educational success. Fourth graders in Ms. Sarah Harris’ class spent time on Friday shaking up an experiment to learn more about erosion.

“The lesson is called ‘Will a Mountain Last Forever,’” explained Ms. Harris. “Students are seeing that over time rocks at the top of a mountain may start out being jagged, but with erosion and weathering they will become more rounded.”

In teams of two, the children colored two sugar cubes (symbolizing rocks) before placing them in a plastic container. Then, they took turns vigorously shaking the cubes inside the container. After several rounds students evaluated changes to the look, feel, and size of the cubes.

In the beginning, students thought the sugar would behave differently, but they were amazed by what actually happened.

“I thought the sugar would turn to sand, but they stayed almost the exact same shape,” stated fourth grader Wyatt McSwain. “I learned that if rocks fall down a cliff, they won't break down into pebbles. The rock will stay close to their original shape and size.”

This energetic class enjoyed the process of the experiment. Each group even got creative with how they shook the container.

“I enjoyed shaking the container. My partner, Maddie Hensley and I, would jump up and down to try hard to break the cubes,” said fourth grader Maddie Boone. “I thought it would do a lot more than it did. I expected the cubes to break, but they didn’t!”

Students found that even small cubes took a lot of effort to weather down, which gave them respect for the erosion of large boulders. Next time students pick up a rock, they may think a little differently about how it came to be.

“They will remember this experience when they see a rock,” said Ms. Harris. “Many will think back to this activity and know why the rock looks and feels the way it does.”Learning at Black Mountain Elementary is a rock solid foundation for educational success. Fourth graders in Ms. Sarah Harris’ class spent time on Friday shaking up an experiment to learn more about erosion.


Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, [email protected], 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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