Make a Volcano

Make a Volcano

Make a Volcano

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

100mL of Vinegar

4 Tablespoons of bicarbonate soda mixed with 150mL of water

150mL Of detergent

A few drops of orange or red food colouring

A 500mL container

And for a more realistic looking volcano, brown coloured play dough  

Materials needed for a volcano experiment
1 Make a volcano science experiment - adding detergent to the sand volcano (1)

Mix the detergent, food colouring and vinegar in the 500 mL container.

2 Make a volcano science experiment - sand volcano in a baking tray

Put the mixture outside, or at least in a place where you are allowed to get messy.

3 play dough

If you want, you can make a mode of a volcano out of the play dough. However this is not necessary.

4 Make a volcano science experiment - adding bicarb soda to water

Mix the bicarbonate soda and water into a glass and stir.

5 Make a volcano science experiment - pouring bicarb solution into cauldron

Pour the Bicarbonate soda and water mixture into the 500mL container; the container with your detergent, food colouring and vinegar mixture.

6 Make a volcano science experiment - erupting bicarb and vinegar volcano

And Stand back.

Why Does This Happen

Reacting vinegar and bicarbonate soda together produces carbon dioxide and water.

The reaction is as follows

Vinegar + Bicarbonate Soda —> Carbonic Acid + Sodium Acetate

The carbonic acid is unstable though, so it breaks down into liquid water and carbon dioxide as a gas, causing the massive ‘build up’ of pressure you saw in the experiment.

The water is left in the vinegar solution whilst the carbon dioxide rises and fills the balloon on the bottle.

The Continental Drift theory put forward by Alfred Wegener in 1912 describes the Earths outer layer, the crust, as being made up of giant ‘plates’ that drift apart and together over millions of years. These plates, now known as tectonic plates, sit on the outer mantle of the Earth known as the asthenosphere. The asthenosphere contains solid rock that moves like a very slow fluid over geological time because of enormous pressures within the the Earth. The movement of the asthenosphere carries the tectonic plates together and apart.


It is along these divergent and convergent plate boundaries where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions mainly occur, as well as mountain and ocean trench creation.


Other areas for volcanic activity are ‘hotspots’ far from the plate boundaries. These are areas where the hot magma from the outer mantle has melted the crust, forming a vent for a volcano to form. Once magma is erupted from the a volcano it is called lava, which can be between 700oC and 1200oC.

Learn more!

From the rock cycle to volcano formation, we’ve got your geology unit covered!
Get in touch with FizzicsEd to find out how we can work with your class.


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