How to Make an Erupting Volcano
Students create and demonstrate an experiment
that stimulates their interest in natural disasters. The experiment
concludes with a simulated volcano eruption.
shallow pan or box;
papier marche volcano model
painted in natural colors such as green, brown, dark gray, black or
reddish brown (enlist Art Teacher to help forming model with paste
and paper mixture)
small container, such as a 0.25
liter used water bottle;
2 - 3 tablespoons of baking
few drops of red food coloring;
5 drops of liquid dishwashing
cup of vinegar.
Handout for Observations
Use the shallow pan or box to
hold the paper volcano model.
To students: As you form it, think about the shape. Will you make
a composite cone, cinder cone, caldera, shield, or plateau volcano?
Once you've shaped the volcano, let it over night.
When the volcano is completely
dry & you are ready for the eruption, pour 1cup of water into
the hole of the container at the tip of the volcano. Stir in the baking
soda, red food coloring, and liquid dishwashing detergent.
To cause eruption, slowly and
carefully pour in vinegar. The base (baking soda) and the acid (vinegar)
combine to produce a good bubbling-over effect due to chemical reaction.
Watch what happens. How is
your lava flow is similar to or different from the real thing?
Record your observations on
Children gather together and discuss the activity. Talk about the result.
Ask if anyone know why the volcano erupts. Introduce the students to
chemical actions, which they will learn more about in the middle school.
For safety reasons, eye-protection gear should be provided.