How to Make a 3-D Model of the Earth's Four Layers

by Micah McDunnigan, Demand Media

    All humans live on the uppermost part of the Earth, it's crust. However, the layer of the Earth with which people are most familiar is the smallest of four layers. Below the crust lies the Earth's mantle, then the outer core, then the inner core. Using some clay and a Styrofoam sphere, create an impressive 3-D model of these four layers of the Earth.

    Step 1

    Draw two lines marking out 1/4 of your sphere. Start at the center of the top of the sphere, and continue down to the center of the bottom of the sphere.

    Step 2

    Cut along these lines to cut out 1/4 of the sphere. This will create a cross section whereby you can see inside the sphere.

    Step 3

    Mark a circle in the center of your cross section to set where the earth's core will be. Make the core take up about 1/3 of the total area inside your sphere.

    Step 4

    Draw another circle inside the one you just made, one that takes up a little under 1/3 of the core. This will separate the inner core from the outer core.

    Step 5

    Stick yellow clay to the innermost circle to mark the inner core, the hottest layer of the earth.

    Step 6

    Stick orange clay to the area of the next circle, around the inner core, to mark the outer core.

    Step 7

    Stick red clay to the largest area inside the cross section to mark the earth's mantle.

    Step 8

    Use blue and brown clay to create the oceans and continents across the outer surface of the sphere. This is the uppermost and thinnest layer, the crust.

    Tips & Warnings

    • Be careful when handling the knife. This will prevent injuries from the sharp edge, and keep you from damaging the Styrofoam.

    About the Author

    Micah McDunnigan has been writing on politics and technology since 2007. He has written technology pieces and political op-eds for a variety of student organizations and blogs. McDunnigan earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of California, Davis.

    Photo Credits

    • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images