Volcanic Eruptions

Materials:

  • 10ml dish soap
  • 10ml cold water
  • 400ml white wine vinegar
  • food coloring
  • baking soda (as needed)
  • empty 2L soda bottle
  • tape
  • large box
  • construction paper

Instructions:

  1. Tape the bottle into the box to secure it
  2. Students can decorate construction paper with houses or people
  3. Tape the paper around the bottle to make it more volcano-like
  4. Combine dish soap, vinegar, and food coloring into the bottle
  5. You can have the students practice mixing colors with the food dye and experiment with what color the volcano will be
  6. Quickly pour the baking soda into the bottle and step back

Words to know:

  • Volcano- an opening in Earth’s surface
  • Erupt- to spew out melted rock, ash, and gas
  • Magma- hot, liquid rock deep in the earth
  • Lava- hot, melted rock when it erupts and reaches the surface

How it works: A chemical reaction will occur between the vinegar and baking soda, which creates CO2. The carbon dioxide gas builds up quickly and needs to escape, so it goes out the top of the bottle, causing the eruption!

Discussion: Does the amount of vinegar change the eruption? How would more baking soda effect the reaction? What colors were created from the food dye? Ask if anyone has experienced a natural phenomenon or seen a volcano explosion of TV. What occurs in a real volcano to result in an eruption?

Reflection: This is a very hands-on and fun experiment that can be done with all ages. Students will be able to learn about the chemistry of a artificial volcano, as well as real volcano eruptions. They can also practice mixing colors and the outcome. This activity is a great learning experience for students in more than one subject and gets everyone involved.

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