Crater Creation


Crater Creation

By Bethany Caldwell, Science Educator

August is for the astronauts. This month, we’re exploring everything SPACE and what better way to start than with a trip to our only natural satellite, the Moon! The Moon’s surface is full of big holes called craters which give it that distinct “Man in the Moon” appearance. Get your little one ready for their first moonwalk as you learn more about how these craters are formed with this fun and easy DIY activity!


  • Small Container
  • Sand or Pay Dough
  • Bouncy Balls or Rocks


Moon Crater Experiment

Fill your container with sand or Play Dough. Then, have your little astronaut take the bouncy balls or rocks and drop them onto the surface. Look at the mark(s) it left behind. You just made your very own crater! Try again to see how many “craters” you can make.

The Science

Craters on our Moon are created when asteroids, meteorites and/or comets hit its surface at great speeds. These hard-hitting impacts leave behind huge gashes that scar the surface. The Earth is also full of craters just like the Moon, but thanks to wind and the ever-changing surface of our planet, the craters are harder to see. The Moon doesn’t have water, wind or humans walking around on the surface so the craters that were formed years and years ago still remain the same! You can see some of the most prominent craters on the Moon when you look up in the night sky. Astronomers, scientists who study the night sky and planets, have even named a few of them. So, as you create your own craters, don’t forget to name them!

Further Exploration

  • Try using a bigger bouncy ball, rock or other item. How did that change the size and shape of your crater?
  • Some comets and meteorites come from farther out in our galaxy. Try dropping your “comet” from a higher point to see if that makes your crater bigger!

Jump aboard your rocket ship and BLAST OFF to Adventure Science Center all August to enjoy out-of-this-world, astronomical activities for the whole family. ????




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