Darling Daughter’s Geography Homework

Darling Daughter was set Geography homework to make a cross section model of the earth to illustrate the different layers of the planet. We discussed how best to do this and almost immediately rejected the obvious spherical cake on the grounds that the finished models are to be on display for some weeks in the Geography department.

It occurred to us that polystyrene spheres with some sort of mouldable filler might be the best option. Thank goodness for the internet! I ordered solid and hollow spheres in more or less the correct sizes to make an almost scale model. We then went off to Hobbycraft and, after a huge amount of deliberation, decided that gel wax for making candles would be the least stressful option for people who really aren’t craft-oriented. We also bought some wax dye, some sand in different colours and some decorative glass rocks for texture.

The model took two weekends to complete, by the time Darling Daughter had painted the outside of the spheres and allowed time for the different layers to dry. Thank goodness, also, that I had ordered some spare polystyrene spheres, as they melt if the wax is too hot.

So, here are some pictures of the finished model:

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Now, cost was an issue. I suppose she could have made a papier maché model, but, having tried that before, I can tell you that it takes absolutely ages to do. Even if we’d made a cake and decorated it, I’m sure it would have cost many tens of pounds.

I’d also like to point out that this was Darling Daughter’s work and planning. We provided help only with the shopping and the melting and pouring of the heavy, hot wax. To us this is a homework project and NOT an opportunity for competitive parenting of the most despicable kind. I don’t doubt that there will be some extreme examples of this in the classroom this morning. Apparently, one year a chef parent produced a gateau creation with a chocolate crust, a caramel mantle and a spun sugar core. *rolls eyes*

Luckily, Darling Daughter is the artistic one in the family and can paint and draw well. I do hope she receives the recognition she deserves for her hard work.

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