Boys holding mud for crafts for kids

Science Experiment: Stream Table

Stream Table

Get ready to learn more about geology, erosion, and rivers within landscapes. Here at Cave of the Mounds, we are on the side of one of the highest points in Southern Wisconsin, which means when there is heavy rainfall, streams produce in softer, muddier areas. We also have disappearing streams that lead underground to help erode away small caves. This activity will demonstrate how water carves out the land it passes through creating rivers and transforming the landscape.

You will need:½ gallon wax milk cartons, Sand, Rocks, Soil, Pebbles, Water

  1. Cut a half-gallon milk carton in half from top to bottom to make the stream table. 
  2. Fill the container about halfway with a variety of sand, rocks, soil, and pebbles. 
  3. Set the carton at an angle propping up one end and set the other half of the carton at the lowest point to catch the water or do the activity outside and let the waterfall to the ground. 
  4. Slowly pour water onto the container starting at the highest point and continue pouring until all the materials are wet and the water starts to carve out a stream. 
  5. Look and see which material eroded or moved the most and what implications this has for future construction on different land-forms.
Landscape Photo of a barn and a flowing stream in the Driftless Area. That stream table is an example of the importance of water.