Mr. Bednarz’s 6th grade class learned about fossil fuels and climate change this month. In our first November session the kids were taught about the formation of fossil fuels as well as some of the impacts of climate change. To explain fossil fuels further the students stacked different kinds of breads together to represent different layers of sediment. Gummy bears were placed in between the bread sediment layers to represent dead organic matter. Pressure was applied to the ‘sandwiches’ by stacking books on top, and when we came back later in the week we looked at the results.
The kids broke up into groups of 4 to look at what happened to their gummy sandwiches. The kids cut open the sandwiches and observed the changes caused when these two forces are applied. Gummy bears could easily be picked out of sandwiches that had just had pressure applied, but when some heat was added with a panini press our gummies melted! This illustrates that both heat and pressure are required to change organic matter into fossil fuels.