Volcanoes

Try this at home

Bi-carb Soda Volcano

You Will Need

  • Vinegar
  • Bi-carb soda (otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate or baking soda)
  • Red food colouring
  • Three plastic cups
  • Foil
  • Plastic plate
  • Sticky tape

What to do

  1. Do this activity outside with adult supervision
  2. Tape a plastic cup right-way up to the middle of the plate.
  3. Lay foil over the top of the cup and fold it around the plate.
  4. Make a hole in the centre and fold the foil to the inside of the cup. Stick it all down. This is your volcano.
  5. To make it erupt, use the second plastic cup. Fill it about full with bi-carb soda.
  6. Place the cup of bi-carb soda into the volcano.
  7. In the third cup, pour in some vinegar and add red food colouring. This will make it look like red lava when the volcano erupts.
  8. Now you’re ready. Pour the vinegar slowly into the volcano and watch it erupt!

What’s happening?

The vinegar and bi-carb cause a chemical reaction. This reaction produces a gas called carbon dioxide, which fizzes and bubbles through the liquid.

Discover more

  • Try using different amounts of bi-carb soda and vinegar and see what difference it makes to the eruption.
  • Do you have any pumice stone in your bathroom? Does it float or sink in water?

Did you know?

  • Molten rock has two different names. If it is underground we call it magma. Once it has erupted and is above the ground we call it lava.
  • Real lava is made from melted rocks. It heats up deep underground, and the rocks turn into lava, just like the way ice turns into water.
  • Pumice stone is volcanic rock with air bubbles trapped inside. The air inside gives it a low density, and it floats in water. Get some pumice stone and play with it in the bath!