Volcano Science Project

Volcanoes are extremely powerful, though often beautiful natural phenomenon. Power and beauty are two of the strongest natural basic needs or drives in a human soul. Therefore, when we simulate an explosion that replicates even a fraction of the depth of the power and beauty of volcanoes, we have done something great.

Research volcanoes and their eruptions. Try not to get distracted for too long with the literature on how people sacrificed other people to these purported volcano gods. (That is another scientific discipline, called anthropology.) Instead, learn about what powers their eruptions in scientific terms; what are acid/base reactions? What are --s? Build an answer to this question: how can a volcano be simulated? Does anything happen when acids and bases are mixed? Why? What is a decomposition reaction?

Hypothesis:

From your research you should discover why chemical reactions occur when certain substances are mixed. From this you will predict which mixed substances (yeast and hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and vinegar, or baking soda and lemon juice) will produce the most explosive eruption in your volcano.

But we aren’t doing just that. We are applying the scientific method to see which combination of materials best duplicate the natural phenomena of a volcano.

What you’ll need:

  • Sand
  • Small square sandbox or square plywood board
  • Four drops of red food coloring or dye
  • Small plastic cup
  • Any accessories you can build to add to the effect (things like trees, a lake, or bushes, etc...)
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Yeast
  • Hydrogen Peroxide

First, prepare the sandbox by adding sand to it. It you don’t have a box, but only plywood, pour the sand on top of that. However, you must devise some sort of border for the plywood so that the sand doesn’t go everywhere.se wet sand. Dig a hole out of the middle and put the plastic cup into the middle of the volcano. Make some ridges down the outside of the volcano. Also, dig trenches through the rest of the sand on the flat part of the science project. .

Next, formulate which substances you will test as to their … velocity after exploding.

  1. Test baking soda by adding a teaspoon to the plastic cup within the volcano. Once you have done this, add three or four drops of red food coloring. The reactive substance will boil over the cup and down the side of the volcano.
  2. If you’ve added miniature trees, lakes, houses, cars and such things, you’ll have a valuable re-enactment of an erupting volcano.

  3. Build another small volcano site and use yeast and hydrogen peroxide. keeping all else the same.
  4. Build a third site and use baking soda and lemon juice, keeping everything else the same.

Conclusion: Analyze the data. Which of the three experiments provided the most realistic duplication of an actual volcano? (Was that what we were looking for?) We were actually looking for the most explosive substances. Let’s rephrase our conclusion. Which substances produced the most explosive reaction?

For extra points** WHY?

Rita Meacham

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