Q: Dear Owlie, 

When I went on a Water Discovery field trip to the Chino Creek Wetlands and Educational Park we made an Edible Aquifer. It was so much fun that I want to make one today in honor of National Ice Cream Soda day! Would you mind sharing the recipe with me, and explaining what an aquifer is again? I would greatly appreciate it! 

Sincerely, 
I Scream for Ice Cream 

A: Dear I Scream for Ice Cream,

I would be more than happy to help you out! Making an Edible Aquifer is one of my favorite activities during the Water Discovery Trips! First things first! An aquifer is underground layer of rocks and soil that hold water. Some aquifers can sit just a few feet underground, while others sit hundreds of feet underground! Before you do this activity, make sure you have your parent’s permission and help!

The materials you need will be:

  • A clear cup 
  • Clear soda of choice
  • Cookie Crumbles
  • Gummy bears
  • Ice cream
  • Sprinkles
  • A drinking straw
 
Directions: 

1. Fill your cup with clear soda. This represents the groundwater. 
2. Cover the clear soda one-third of the way with cookie crumbles. This represents the layer of the sand, gravel, and rocks in the aquifer. 
3. Pour gummy bears into the cup. This represents the hard rocks. 
4. For the layer of clay or dense rock, called the confining layer, use one scoop of ice cream
5. Then, add a layer of cookie crumbles on top of the “clay” (ice cream), to represent the gravel and sand. 
6. Add sprinkles to the the top of this to represent the layer of soil, grass, fertilizers and pesticides. This layer also represents the pollutants that could harm our safe drinking water. 
7. Using your straw, drill a well into the center of your aquifer and push it down to the bottom of the cup. Try drinking the edible aquifer to see how difficult it can be for the water to move throughout a real aquifer.  
8. Add a little more clear soda to the top to represent rain fall that replenishes the aquifer.

And there you have it! An edible aquifer! 

Enjoy!
Owlie    

Download the PDF here: http://www.ieua.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Edible-Aquifer_IEUA.pdf