Thursday, October 7, 2010

Easy model volcano

This week, we made a simple model volcano, though if you want to knock it out of the park, I'd go with people who know what they're talking about (use the recipes on the right of this page).

For ours, we made quick playdough: 1 cup flour, 1/2 c. salt, 2 T. cream of tartar, 2 T. oil, and 1 cup minus 1 T. water. Cook it on medium-low heat until it forms a ball. We added red, blue, and yellow food coloring to make it brown (not that you can tell here), a quick color blending lesson.

Next, my son formed it into a mini volcano, making a cavity inside.

We placed baking soda inside the hole. The more, the better.

We added a little food coloring to some vinegar to make it more magma-looking, though discovered too late that we didn't need this much vinegar; the end result was more watery than fizzy.

Pour the vinegar into the hole, and you've got a little eruption. This is a good time to remind that the mantle and magma heat up, the expansion causing pressure--like the fizz of our mini-volcano--till the volcano can't contain it anymore.

The whole experience took about ten to fifteen minutes, and occupied all of my other kids. Now that's my kind of science experiment.

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