Make the Volcano Model in 4 Simple Steps!
How Does a Volcano Work?
A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface. On Earth, volcanoes are most often found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging, mostly found underwater. Today, we will try to make a volcano model in 4 easy steps.
Volcanic eruptions are one of the most powerful natural forces on our planet. Making your own miniature erupting volcano model is a great and safe way to start learning about these incredible geological features. This experiment also boosts a child’s creativity and lets them know more about science experiments and technology.
Materials Needed to Make Volcano Model
- An empty two litre soda bottle
- A plate or something circular to trace for a perfect circle
- Glue gun
- Aluminium foil
- Masking tape
- Paper towel tubes x4
- Paper towel
- Craft paint: brown, black, grey, and green
- White glue
- Three bottle caps
4 Steps to Make the Volcano Model
1. Building the shape:
- Trace a large plate or something circular onto a piece of cardboard. This will be the base of your volcano model!
- Then cut out the circular cardboard shape. Cover the bottom side of the volcano with aluminium foil and tape it down with masking tape. This will help keep the cardboard dry so you can use your volcano model over and over again.
- Place the empty two litre soda bottle at the centre of the base and hot glue it into place with a glue gun. Glue three bottle caps to the base of the volcano. The three bottle caps will help keep the bottom of the volcano model dry when the explosion happens!
- Cut out the four paper towel tubes in half lengthwise to make 8 halves. With masking tape, tape the bottom of one of the halved tubes to the edge of the base of the volcano, and tape the top of the halved tube to the top of the bottle.
- Continue taping the halved tubes around the bottle – start with four, then add the remaining strips in between.
- Once finished, reinforce the shape by wrapping tape around the bottom, centre and top. This will also make adding the paper mache easier.
2. Covering the surface:
- Make a paper mache glue paste (see below for recipe), and tear your newspaper into 2”x 3” strips. Dip the newspaper strips into the glue paste one piece at a time and squeeze out any excess by slipping the strips between your fingers. Apply the pieces onto the volcano by overlapping the edges.
- Once you’ve reached the bottom, wrap the paper around the bottom edge. Leave to dry overnight and store the remaining glue paste in the fridge.
- For our second coat we used a strong paper towel – some paper towels are stronger than others – it will dry strong and add a bit of texture for the final look. If you prefer a smooth finish, continue adding two more layers of paper maché with the newspaper strips, remembering to let it dry between layers. If you are using strong paper towels, use large pieces with straight edges.
- Dip the pieces into the glue paste and squeeze out the excess, as you did with the newspaper strips. Stretch large pieces first, then fill in smaller areas with smaller pieces. Leave creases for added texture. Once covered, leave to dry overnight or to speed up drying time use a hair dryer.
- For the final coat, paint on a mixture of water and white glue the consistency of shampoo. This will help seal the final layer and make the volcano model more durable and reusable.
3. Decorating your volcano:
- Paint the volcano with your dark base colour, we used dark brown. Then dry brush your mid and light tones onto the surface. You can also glue on moss to look like tree tops!
Ingredients for the eruption:
- Four cups of warm water
- One squirt of dish soap
- Five drops red and yellow food colouring
- Four tbsp of baking soda
- 2/3 cups of white vinegar
- Tray or lined box to catch over spill
4. Setting up for the eruption:
- Place the volcano on a tray large enough to catch the spill from the eruption. Add warm water, dish soap, food colouring and baking soda in a bowl (a bowl with a spout works best!)and mix together. Pour the mixture into the empty soda bottle inside your volcano model by using a funnel. Then with the funnel in place, when you’re ready, add the vinegar and quickly remove the funnel to watch your volcano lava erupt!
This science project doesn’t not only make your child more creative but it makes them more knowledgeable about volcanoes. This article can help you and your child do one of the most fun science experiments together.
This volcano model gives your young learners a chance to explore their creativity and scientific skills at the same time! So, when are you making this 4-step volcano eruption model with your kids?