How Mountains Are Formed by Tectonic Plate Collision

The nature counselor at Pine Ridge worked on the Geologist activity badge with our Webelos. She was very knowledgeable and had plenty of rocks for the Scouts to pass around and look at.

One of the requirements for Geologist is to talk about how mountains are formed. She did a very simple demonstration of mountains being formed by tectonic plates coming together (fold mountains).

A demonstration like this will help your Scouts understand the concept much better than just looking at a picture and talking about it.

How Mountains Are Formed by Tectonic Plate Collision

This demonstration shows how mountains are formed when the Earth’s tectonic plates collide.


Two bath towels or large hand towels


  1. Fold the towels into approximately one foot by one foot
  2. Place them next to each other on a flat surface.
  3. Explain that these are like the Earth’s tectonic plates.
  4. Push the towels together so they crumple. They should raise up like mountains.
  5. Explain that this is one method of forming mountains.


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