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Kids GeoZone

Make Your Own Volcano

A volcano is produced over thousands of years as heat a pressure build up. That aspect of a volcano is very difficult to recreate in a home experiment. However this volcano will give you an idea of what it might look like when a volcano erupts flowing lava. This is a classic experiment in which a chemical reaction can create the appearance of a physical volcano eruption. You should look at pictures of volcanoes to be familiar with the different types. (A shield volcano, for example, is the most common kind of volcano, and yet few people know about them). The reaction will bubble up and flow down the side like a real volcano (only much faster!). Look for videos of volcanoes erupting and be sure that you understand how heat and pressure work to really make volcano erupt. Have fun!

To make an erupting volcano you will need:

A volcano - Talk to an art teacher about making a volcano out of paper mache or plaster. If you're in a hurry to make your volcano, use a mound of dirt outside.
A container that 35mm film comes in.
Red and yellow food coloring (optional)
Vinegar
Liquid dishwashing soap


What to do:

Go outside
Put the film canister into the volcano at the top
Add two spoonfuls of baking soda
Add about a spoonful of soap
Add about 3 drops of the red and yellow food coloring

Now for the eruption!:

Add about an ounce of the vinegar into the container and watch what happens.

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