Fun Science Projects for Kids

What a Relief!

A relief map shows the high points and low points of a certain area.
A relief map shows the high points and low points of a certain area.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

What kind of map will earn you comments like, "What a relief"? A relief map! This special kind of map points out the different highs and lows of Earth's landscape. It's like a small model that shows mountains, hills, and valleys.

Whether you create a map of your back yard or the whole United States, you'll find high points and low points. To get started, find a sturdy piece of plywood -- that makes a good base for your map.

What You'll Need:

  • Plywood,
  • Plaster of Paris or modeling clay
  • Paints

Step 1: Draw an outline of the area you're going to map on a piece of plywood.

Step 2: Use plaster of Paris or modeling clay to fill in the outline. Pile up the clay to show the high places.

Step 3: If you're mapping a large area, such as the state you live in, you'll need to look at a map that shows mountains and valleys. If you're mapping a small area such as your backyard, just map what you see.

Step 4: After your map dries, paint it. Use different colors to highlight the highs and lows. For example, you could paint the highest mountaintops white like snow, and the valleys green like plants.

How long did it take you to make your map? You could have timed yourself with a water clock. Keep reading to learn how in fun science projects for kids.

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