Want to do a quick, simple science experiment that’s sure to be a child pleaser? Mad Science simulated a volcano at Number 3’s party. It was such a hit, that we have already done it ourselves – twice!
Using only 3 common household items, you too can create a volcano in the safety of your own home.
Making a volcano
To make a volcano you will need some kind of glass vesicle to be the volcano. I like to use a flower vase with a tapered neck to make it more volcano-like. And unless you want “lava” all over your table and floor, you should put the vase in a shallow dish.
You will also need:
- Dish detergent
- Baking soda
- A spoon
- A funnel (optional, but useful)
- Put some vinegar into the vase. You want the vinegar to be about a half-inch deep covering the bottom of the vase.
- Add a couple of drops of dish detergent.
- Carefully spoon in about a tablespoon of baking soda (this is where the funnel is handy) and watch your lava bubble over.
You can keep adding vinegar and baking soda to make your eruption even bigger. This is great fun for the kids!
How it works
The reaction between vinegar and baking soda is a classic acid-base reaction. Vinegar is a weak acid, called acetic acid, while baking soda is basic. When the two combine, they undergo a reaction that transforms them into carbon dioxide gas and water. The gas bubbles rise up and cause the liquid to overflow the vase. The dish detergent makes it foamy for more effect.
Because it creates water, you can just dump everything down the sink to clean up.
This is a really quick experiment, but you can use it to talk about many things such as:
- Grade level: Elementary school
- Difficulty rating: ♥ (out of 5 hearts)
If your kids really get into the reaction, you’ll soon be buying industrial sized packages of vinegar and baking soda!
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