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Make your own volcano!

You will need:

  • 100 mL Vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons of bicarbonate soda mixed in 150mL water
  • 150mL Detergent
  • A few drops of Orange or Red Food Colouring
  • A 500mL container


  1. Mix the detergent, food colouring and vinegar in the 500 mL container.
  2. Set the mixture outside, or at least in a place where you are allowed to get messy! You could make a model of a volcano around the container using dirt or play dough if you want.
  3. Stir the bicarbonate soda with the water in a glass... when it's mixed .... add it to the 500mL flask!

    Pouring bicarbonare soda mix into volcano
    Pouring the bicarb solution into the volcano crater

    Erupting vinegar and bicarb volcano
    Erupting vinegar and bicarb volcano! 

Volcano erupt using bicarb soda and vinegar
Simple volcano science experiment in action :)
Be Amazing Book Front Cover; Ben Newsome, teacher & founder of Fizzics Education. Be Amazing -how to teach science the way primary kids love
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There are really two chemical reactions that occur here:

  • Vinegar + Bicarbonate Soda ---> Carbonic Acid + Sodium Acetate

    The carbonic acid is unstable though, so it breaks down into water and carbon dioxide, causing the massive 'eruption' you saw in the experiment.

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.
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