Science Friday: Sidewalk Volcano

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Ingredients:

6 cups flour
2 cups salt
4 tablespoons cooking oil
warm water
plastic soda bottle
dishwashing detergent
food coloring
vinegar
baking dish or other pan
2 T baking soda

Dog optional.

Dirt optional.

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Happy Science Friday, friends! We had a stellar time with our experiment this past week and are super stoked to share it with YOU!

Ever since our sweet friends came to visit the oldest little girl has been asking if we could make a VOLCANO! To be perfectly honest she would actually have preferred to make a CHOCOLATE VOLCANO, but this vinegar and baking soda substitute was okay with her, too. 🙂

I HIGHLY recommend that you perform this project OUTSIDE! I knew this was going to be a messy endeavor, but WOW! It was really really messy. I also want to note that you should probably plan on doing this experiment in two shifts.

Meaning, make your dough to form the volcano around the bottle. Form the dough around the volcano. Then plan on washing EVERYONE’s hands so that you can continue with the ACTUAL experiment.

I hope you all have had a fabulous week, that your Science Friday is rockin’, and your weekend is fantastic!

XX, Megan

First, mix the flour, salt, oil, and water in a large bowl. (FYI we ended up mixing up TWO full batches of this dough.)

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I also HIGHLY recommend convincing a friend that they should join you in your fool-hardy scientific adventure. Especially when volcanoes are involved and ESPECIALLY when SIX children are involved! Thank you, Carla!!!

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Second, form the dough around the bottle… For us, this was a FLOP. I don’t know how I’d do this differently next time. To be honest, I think that I would make the dough a little more dry, mix it for a little bit longer, and use a MUCH smaller bottle (I was going for effect, folks, ha! I ended up having to cut the bottle in half to achieve a more volcano-like look).

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Third, add dirt. I don’t know what other experiments suggest you use to make your white paste look like rock, but we used rocks. I covered the top of the bottle with a paper towel to ensure that no dirt got dropped into the bottle. It looked… just as bad, but a little more authentically soil based!

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Fourth, inside the bottle add the red food coloring, six or so drops of dish soap, and fill your bottle 3/4 of the way full of warm water.

Fifth, add the baking soda to the water/soap/coloring.

Sixth, slowly add the vinegar.

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Now things were starting to pan out! Finally! Some actual half-way decent volcano action! The crowd was pleased. Then a few of them asked to try.

We added a few more tablespoons of baking soda, and let a few kiddos pour the vinegar.

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Then someone mentioned dinosaurs and more quickly than our model volcano could erupt the race for the plastic dinosaur figurines was on!

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Just one more. Another friendly reminder that this experiment is really best taken OUTSIDE!!! Happy Science Friday!

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