Science Fair Volcano – Cool Lava Tests!

If your school has a Science Fair, consider encouraging your child to join.

We’ve been working on a volcano for my daughter’s Science Fair.  She’s doing it with a friend.  They’re in 2nd and 1st grade respectively.

It’s been fun to test out the lava.  Here are the tests that we’ve been doing for the "explosion"…

Volcano Lava Test 1

8 Tablespoons Baking Powder
1 Cup White Vinegar (mixed with Red Food Dye)

Put Baking powder into bottle and then slowly add in the food dye vinegar mixture.

Results: Not thick enough!  It would make a huge mess at the Science Fair.

*****

Volcano Lava Test 2

3 T. Baking Powder
2 T. Corn Starch
1/2 Cup White Vinegar (with red food dye mixed in beforehand)

Mix together the baking powder and cornstarch in the bottle.  Then slowly add in the food dye vinegar mixture.

Results: Better, but it can still be thicker so it doesn’t end up all over the floor.

*****

Volcano Lava Test 3

3 Tablespoons Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Liquid Dish Soap
1/2 Cup White Vinegar

Results:  This is the best eruption we’ve made in terms of looking like lava and not being too watery – all we need is to add more dye and we’re set!

*****

I think it’s great to encourage kids to join a Science Fair.  I tried to subtlety warn my daughter that not everyone will win.  Because that’s not what’s important in doing it.  It’s the process.  It’s completing a project through to the end.  It’s seeing at a young age that you can do a scientific experiment, even though it’s tricky.  It’s even learning that sometimes your experiment doesn’t work (which happened with an electricity experiment my son tried one year).  That’s science too!  Not all experiments yield positive results. What’s important is to see the process of the experiment from the first step through to the final step.  And, I hate to say it, but for girls, there’s also the matter of making science  accessible and friendly.  That’s so important too.

If you can encourage your child to join a Science Fair, please consider doing it!  It’s a great experience for children to have.

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009 at 3:46 pm and is filed under Science. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Science Fair Volcano – Cool Lava Tests!”

  1. Cameroon info Says:

    funny, i was watching this an listening to the BBC coverage of the Iceland volcano. pure coincidence but very instructive.
    Did you know of the 3 killer volcanic lakes of the world? Two them in Cameroon

    see
    http://www.cameroon-today.com/lake-nyos-cameroon.html

    very informative

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