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Oreo Moon Phases

Oreo Moon Phases

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Science Fair Project Description

Discover a tasty way to learn about the Moon's phases using Oreo cookies! With the chocolate cookie representing the Moon and the filling representing the part of the moon the Sun lights up, create your very own edible moon phases!


The hypothesis is that the different phases of the moon can be represented with Oreo cookies.


When we look up at the bright moon, what we see is the light of the Sun reflecting off the moon's surface. Depending on the moon's location relative to the Sun, the moon's shape will appear to change as the moon orbits the Earth. The different shapes of the moon are called moon phases. You may be familiar with the full moon phase, but did you know there are a total of 8 different moon phases? We'll learn about each moon phases in the procedure. We'll use Oreo cookies to represent the different moon phases.

Scientific Terms

Moon's phases, sunlight, orbit, reflection, new moon, waxing crescent moon, first quarter moon, waxing gibbous moon, full moon, waning gibbous moon, last quarter moon, and waning crescent moon.


  • at least 8 Oreo cookies or any chocolate sandwich cookies filled with frosting

  • a popsicle stick or kid-friendly knife

  • 2 plates


1) Learn about the moon phases before doing the oreo moon phases activity.

Younger kids can learn about the 4 moon phases: new moon, first quarter moon, full moon, and last quarter moon.

Older kids can learn about the 8 moon phases: new moon, waxing crescent moon, first quarter moon, waxing gibbous moon, full moon, waning gibbous moon, last quarter moon, and waning crescent moon.

The Moon Phases

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

new moon phase

The Moon is invisible because the side that gets sunlight is facing away from us. The Moon rises and sets at the same time as the Sun and is mostly up during the day.

waxing crescent moon phase

We see a thin sliver of the Moon because only a small part of the illuminated side faces Earth. The visible part gradually gets bigger each day as the Moon moves in its orbit.

first quarter moon phase

The Moon has completed a quarter of its monthly journey around Earth. You can see half of its illuminated side. A first quarter moon rises around noon and sets around midnight. The best time to view it is during the evening when it's highest in the sky.

waxing gibbous moon phase

Most of the illuminated side of the moon is now facing Earth, with more than half of the moon visible, though not completely.

full moon phase

During the Full Moon phase, we see the entire side of the Moon illuminated by the Sun. The Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, which is why it appears fully lit.

waning gibbous moon phase

During the waning gibbous phase, the Moon starts moving towards the Sun again and more than half of the moon is lit. Now, the opposite side of the Moon reflects the Sun's light, making the previously lit side appear to shrink.

third quarter moon phase (Last quarter moon phase)

The moon is again half lit, but on the other side when compared to the first quarter moon.

waning crescent moon phase

The Moon is getting close to the point in its orbit where its dayside is facing the Sun directly, so we only see a thin curved shape.

Now that we've gone through all the moon phases, you're ready for the oreo moon phases activity!

1) Put 8 Oreo cookies on a plate and carefully open up the cookie sandwich so that the cream filling is left on one cookie. The white Oreo cream filling represents the lit portion of the moon. When the moon is completely lit up, it's a full moon. The dark cookie represents the part of the moon not lit by sunlight. When the moon is completely dark, it's a new moon.

2) With a popsicle stick or kid-friendly knife, carefully scrape away the white cream filling according to the diagram of the moon phases to make the other moon phases. Put the excess cream filling on the second plate.

3) Compare the moon phases to see how the Moon changes shape in relation to the position of the Moon, the Sun and the Earth.


The oreo moon phases activity shows the different phases of the moon, from the full moon, where no frosting is removed, all the way to the new moon, where all the frosting is removed, and back to a full moon again.


As the Moon orbits the Earth, it appears to change shape because of the sunlight reflecting off its surface. By creating edible Moon models, it becomes clear how the Moon's phases change.

Also consider

Observe the Moon in the sky and compare it with the oreo moon phases to see the similarities and differences between the real Moon and the edible representations.

Represent different types of lunar eclipses, such as a total lunar eclipse and partial lunar eclipse, with the Oreo cookie moon phases.


The moon phases as seen from Earth:

Check out the animation to see what moon phase the moon is at today!

Related videos

Hey there! Here are some awesome videos about this science project that we think you'll really like. They're not only super fun, but they'll also help you learn more about the science behind the project. So sit back, relax, and get ready to have some fun!!
Check out this cool video on moon phases from NASA with clear demonstrations on why we see the different shapes of the Moon!
Explore why we see the 8 different moon phases and how to do the oreo moon phases activity with this detailed video from the Louisiana Art & Science Museum!
Follow along with this Oreo moon phase activity from the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, which includes a helpful drawing of the Earth and the Sun. The drawing will help you understand why we see different shapes of the Moon.
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