Volcanos!!!

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Last week at the Carlyle Public Library the Grade 2-3’s made some fantastic erupting volcanos!  To start each student was given a small glass bottle and some clay.  (Since we had a class of 33 we used a variety of clay to make different looking volcanos: Crayola Model Magic, Crayola Air Dry Clay and No-Name brand Modelling Clay.)

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The Crayola Model Magic is such a great product to work with.  I really love it because it is as workable as clay but it is very lightweight and can be painted or coloured on with markers as soon as you are done modeling it.  It will dry overnight in open air or you can keep it in an air tight container and play with it as many times as you like.

Just look at the great volcanos the Gr 2-3’s came up with using their creative minds!

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Now for the fun part:  The Eruptions!!!

The first eruption I tought the kids about was a very simple soap bubble and water recipe.  (Everyone knows this from blowing milk bubbles at restaraunts and having parents yell “STOP THAT!”

Recipe:

Water (Fill your volcano container half full)

Food Colour (Just a few drops)

Squeeze of dish soap (Play with the amounts to see what happens)

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The next volcano eruptions we tried were a little more reactive.  The old stand-by: Baking soda and vinegar.  Of course I tried to go into the chemistry behind this reaction, but honestly, everyone was too excited to take in much science. 🙂  (Thank goodness for hand-outs!)

For those of you wondering: Vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base, when the two are mixed they create a wonderful reaction that releases carbon dioxide (The same stuff that makes pop fizzy).

Recipe:  Baking Soda and Vinegar Eruption

1-2 TBLSP of Baking soda into your volcano

Food Colour (As little or as much as you like)

1/4-1/2 Cup vinegar

When the vinegar is added to the baking soda you will get a very fizzy reaction!!!  Kind of like this:

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But nothing can beat my new favourite:  Elephant Toothpaste.   Why is it called elephant toothpaste… well, you’ll have to let me know if you find out… all I know is that the reaction is bigger, lasts longer and is exceptionally fun to play in when it stops.  Make sure an adult helps with the hydrogen peroxide!!

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Recipe for Elephant Toothpaste

A clean 16 ounce plastic soda bottle

  • 1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid (20-volume is a 6% solution, ask an adult to get this from a beauty supply store or hair salon)  *NOTE we used regular 10-volume pharmacy brand at it still creates a great foam
  • 1 Tablespoon (one packet) of dry yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons of warm water
  • Liquid dish washing soap
  • Food coloring
  • Small cup
  • Safety goggles

NOTE: As you can see from the picture, foam will overflow from the bottle, so be sure to do this experiment on a washable surface, or place the bottle on a tray.

1. Hydrogen peroxide can irritate skin and eyes, so put on those safety goggles and ask an adult to carefully pour the hydrogen peroxide into the bottle.
2. Add 8 drops of your favorite  food coloring into the bottle.
3. Add about 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap into the bottle and swish the bottle around a bit to mix it.
4. In a separate small  cup, combine the warm water and the yeast together and mix for about 30 seconds.

5. Now the adventure starts! Pour the yeast water mixture into the bottle (a funnel helps here) and watch the foaminess begin!

Foam is awesome! The foam you made is special because each tiny foam bubble is filled with oxygen. The yeast acted as a catalyst (a helper) to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. Since it did this very fast, it created lots and lots of bubbles. Did you notice the bottle got  warm. Your experiment created a reaction called an Exothermic Reaction – that means it not only created foam, it created heat! The foam  produced is  just water, soap, and oxygen so you can  clean it up with a sponge and pour any extra  liquid left in the bottle down the drain.

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