DaVinci Science Center Gives Exploding Lesson
Active volcanoes erupt due to gas pressure. Using common household ingredients, the children explored how a volcano can have slow streams of lava or violent bursts of debris. By placing a mini-volcano canister filled with alka-seltzer into water, the children witnessed the quiet flow of lava (red dye) leak from the volcano. Different materials were then used to create a bigger effect. Mixing baking soda and vinegar created an acid base reaction. The result was foaming white lava quickly exploding from the volcano's cone.
A variety of engaging experiments were introduced. The students made bagpipes out of PVC piping, a plastic glove and tape. They discovered the kinds of prey eaten by predatory birds by dissecting an owl pellet. With translucent tubes and layered play dough of multiple colors, the children learned how to take samples of the earth's crust.
Most importantly, the children learned that science can be fun outside of the classroom!