By | May 24, 2015

Objective: To demonstrate the processes of mid ocean ridge formation.

Standards: Structure of the Earth System (plate tectonics and its relation to volcanoes, mountain building, and earthquakes) and Energy in the Earth System (convective circulation in the mantle that propels plate tectonics).

Materials: Two graham crackers and peanut butter.


(1) Place two graham crackers against each other with their edges touching.

(2) Place a small amount of peanut butter underneath the graham crackers where their edges meet.

(3) While applying downward pressure, slide the crackers apart from each other.

Science Behind It: As you slide the crackers apart, the peanut butter should “ooze” or flow up from below the crackers. This is a representation of magma circulating convectively in the mantle below Earth’s crust and forcing its way up between plates at a divergent boundary. This demo should be used to illustrate such landforms as the Mid – Atlantic Ridge.

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