Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Achtung! Und Volcano!

We were studying Ancient Rome and Pompeii, and I thought it would be fun to make volcanoes that could actually “erupt”.  
I found this little project that another teacher had done and decided we would try it.  I paired the students up so that all of the younger ones had an older student to help them along as usual. It worked out pretty well, even though it was more time-consuming than I originally thought it would be.  Here is how we did it. 

                            How to Make Vinegar and Baking Soda Volcanoes

Art Sessions 1 & 2:  Tape a pop bottle to a board with masking tape, being careful to not cover the mouth of the bottle.
Cover the tape with newspaper and tape it to the board.
Mix 6 cups flour, 2 cups salt, 2 cups warm water, and 4 tablespoons oil.  Stir until it is lumpy, but pliable.

Spread salt-flour mixture over the top of the newspaper.  The thicker the better, though getting it too thick will cave in the newspaper.  We put two layers of this on in two separate sessions on different days.

One of the students decided to taste the mixture.  Since it was all edible, I told them it was all right and tasted some myself.  It was quite salty.
Art Session 3:  Paint the volcanoes black, red, yellow, and orange.  Some students added boulders, dinosaurs, roads, and trucks to their volcanoes.  (Guess, was it the boys or girls who did these things?)
Art/Science Session 4:  Once the paint has dried, fill the pop bottle about three-fourths full with really hot water.  Mix 1 cup vinegar, 4 drops red or yellow food coloring, and 6 drops liquid dish soap into a pitcher.  Pour the mixture into the bottle.  Add more hot water if needed to almost fill the bottle full.

Lay out three sheets of toilet paper, all connected.  Pour 2 tablespoons of baking soda lengthwise along the toilet paper.  Roll it into a tube and close ends tightly with a rubber band.

Quickly drop toilet tissue roll into volcano.  

We let each group go separately so that we could all see each eruption. We found that we got better results if we waited a little while and then shook the bottom of the volcano around a little bit.  Some were spectacular, some just foamed over; all worked to some degree and we had fun watching them erupt.