My fourth grade students are incredibly lucky. They are going on a field trip to Mantua’s Inversand Fossil Dig. They will have a chance to learn about fossil formation, and even dig for their own fossils. I wish I was going on this trip!
Because they are going on this trip, and are also studying fossil formation in science, the fourth grade teachers asked me to run a fossil lab for STEM. Of course I said yes! This was a fun and easy (and VERY messy!) project that the students really enjoyed.
We started with playdough to create the molds for the fossils. Each student had a chunk of dough and a selection of shells and coral to choose from. They pressed the shells and coral into the dough to make a mold for their fossils.
Once they had their molds done, we lightly sprayed the dough with cooking spray to make our fossils easier to remove when they are finished. I then mixed up some plaster of paris and poured it into the molds to create the casts. The kids were a little disappointed to learn they have to wait a day or two for their fossils to harden enough to remove them, but I know they will be thrilled when they finally get them back.