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Science Fair Volcanoes

Updated on November 13, 2011

Make Your Own Volcanic Eruption

Chemical volcanoes are a fun and safe way to model real volcanoes and examine the processes that occur during a volcanic eruption. Get safe and easy instructions for making your own chemical volcano, then get ideas for ways to make the volcano into a science fair project.

Make a Chemical Volcano

Safe and Easy Eruptions

First things first! Let's look at different ways you can safely simulate a volcanic eruption using chemicals you probably already have at home:

Vinegar & Baking Soda Volcano

This is the classic science fair project volcano. Basically, what you do is use clay, playdough, soil, or papier mache to mold a volcano around a jar or bottle. Fill the bottle most of the way full with warm water. Add a lot of red food coloring, a healthy squirt of dishwashing liquid, and a heaping scoop of baking soda. When you are ready for the eruption, pour some vinegar into the container.

Yeast & Peroxide Volcano

Form the cinder cone of your volcano just like you would for the baking soda and vinegar volcano. The difference is, fill your jar or bottle with hydrogen peroxide solution (sold at a pharmacy or grocery store). When you are ready for the eruption, pour in a packet of quick-rising yeast.

Mentos & Diet Soda Volcano

It doesn't really matter what container you use for either the baking soda/vinegar volcano or the yeast/peroxide volcano. The Mentos and diet soda volcano works best with a 2 liter bottle of diet soda, however. The candies just barely fit into the mouth of the container. To cause this eruption (which will shoot into the air like a fountain), roll a sheet of paper or index card into a tube. Stack a roll of mentos candies so they form a single column inside your handmade tube. Drop the candies, all at once, down into the 2-liter bottle of diet soda.

More Volcano Recipes

Example of an Eruption

Here's a look at what you can expect from an erupting baking soda and vinegar volcano.

Make the Volcano a Science Fair Project

Tip: Use the Scientific Method

Ok, now you know how to make a chemical volcano and get it to erupt. Congratulations! There is more to a science fair project than making the volcano. You need to relate the simulation to science. There are multiple ways to do this.

The Model

This is the classic project, suitable for younger explorers. Learn about how real volcanoes work. Make your working model as much like a real volcano as possible. Explain how the chemical volcano is like a real volcano. Identify ways in which it is different.

The Demonstration

There are multiple types of volcanic eruptions. Not all of them involve lava bubbling up from a cinder cone. The next step up from making a model of a volcano is to explain how a volcanic eruption occurs and relate this to the chemical reaction that takes place in a chemical volcano. All of the volcanoes I have listed produce carbon dioxide gas, which tries to float up from the liquid, gets caught in bubbles, and froths out of the volcano. Even though this is a different principle from how volcanoes erupt, the escape of liquids and gases from the cone is much like what happens when lava and hot gases flow.

Experiments with Chemical Volcanoes

Is there a 'best' proportion of ingredient to cause the perfect eruption? Does the temperature of the ingredients matter? Does the volume of the container make a difference? There are several variables you can control when you make a chemical volcano. You can propose a hypothesis about what will happen if you change one or more of these factors.

Volcanoes at Amazon

Mentos & Diet Soda Experiments

Mentos with diet soda makes a great volcano, though you can also compare the eruption to a geyser or fountain. All you have to do is drop a roll of mentos candies all at once into a 2-liter bottle of diet cola.

Which Volcano?

The baking soda and vinegar volcano uses easy-to-find ingredients, the yeast and peroxide volcano is less common/more unusual, while the mentos and soda volcano erupts like a fountain.

Which type of volcano is your favorite?

See results

Mirage Volcano

One of the attractions at The Mirage hotel in Las Vegas is a huge artificial volcano. The volcano is a light and sound spectacle, yet there is a ton of science behind its workings.

Science Fair Project Help - Volcanoes and More

Whether your science fair project involves volcanoes or some other topic, help is available so this year's project can be your best science fair project ever!

Tell Me What You Think - Comments or questions about volcano science projects?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      ay man how u make a volcaon

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i think the volcano projects aren't realistic..

      i haven't seen the rocks and the lava made from baking soda and vinegar are like,i can't understand butit seems yuckie!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i think valcanoes are amazing.

      im studying then in school. i think there wonderful in all ways. :]

    • EdTecher profile image

      Heidi Reina 8 years ago from USA

      I love these ideas for creating volcanoes. I'm often asked by parents and students for science experiment ideas. I'll pass this along.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      the mentos and diet coke video izzzzzzzz soosooooooooooooo coooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      it's awesome

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      The volocanos are so cool and the shows are fun to watch!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      The volocanos are so cool and the shows are fun to watch!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      to make a volcano is the esay thing to do but that's not the reason i do i do it 2 have fun

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      GO DIET COKE AND MENTOS! I LOVE VOLCANOES!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      ui like how volcanoes work

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Where is the other beautiful projects???

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      those are cool but i know some different ones!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      this is hard

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      thank you so much, this really helped me! thanks1

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      we r sooooooooooo goin 2 use thiz 4 our project

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      hello =D im doing a scinece project so i thought id look this up on google. Me and my bfl kaitlyn Traxler, love the vidioes and the ideas you had shown us and thanks for the tips! will need them!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i still need help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!=p

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      coolio.But i think on one of the volcano explostions,to much goo came out

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      this is awesome

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to cat] Well get some help

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      this is soooooooooo helpful

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      this is good for mii project!!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      this is really helpful but i don't know how to write my hypothesis

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      that was awesome!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i wanna try for my science fair this may. wish me luck!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      this is really gooddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      o.m.g this volcano worked prety good man!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      gee! that's yo cooo! coo!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i love making volcanoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      were does it say that i can do a volcano experiment?

      cuz i wanna do i and i don't know what to do

      [in reply to lexi]

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      me too dude[in reply to lexi]

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      super-helpful! thanks a bunch!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      nice information, thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i did it for a school project gonna get an A

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 7 years ago

      I haven't tried one of these yet, but I will one of these days! Great lens. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 7 years ago

      Great lens on a classic childhood experiment! Blessed by a squidangel

    • Laura Schofield profile image

      Laura Schofield 6 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      Great lens and it looks like we can have some fun with it over the summer (I've got 4 kids). I've featured this on my back-to-school planning page at https://hubpages.com/education/back-to-school-plan . Who knows, maybe this will be one of my kids' projects.. Thanks!

    • Asinka profile image

      Asinka Fields 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      This was so much fun, had no idea we cud make volcanoes in this manner.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I did not know there were so many types of volcanoes

    • joanv334 profile image

      joanv334 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing!

    • dwnovacek profile image

      dwnovacek 6 years ago

      Wonderful volcano-making instructions and suggestions! Blessed by your Science neighborhood Squid Angel!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Oh, I really LIKE this lens... very nice! Lensrolliing it to my two (loosely) related lenses - Drive-in Volcano, and Win a Project Weather Scholarship

    • profile image

      promotional-coupons-codes 6 years ago

      Hey I made one working volcano for my science exhibition. Thanks for the lens

    • Bella Stella profile image

      Bella Stella 6 years ago

      This looks great. I am going to try the experiment with the mentos! I have always liked chemical experiments, especially at school. However, I hesitate to proceed to any of them because I might cause...damages. Thank you for suggesting this safe version of a volcanic eruption!

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      i would love a Mentos and Coke volcano! cheers

    • RetroMom profile image

      RetroMom 6 years ago

      Nice lens, I really like what you done here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha I don't understand any of this

    • profile image

      SamcoRep 5 years ago

      hi Dr Helmenstine. i am a science student from Samoa. we are given an assessment that we have to choose a topic to do an experiment on. therefore i came across your project here and find it interesting so i decided to use it as my topic. however i hope you wont mind if i sometimes might need your help due to any difficulty that might occur. with all due respect, thank you.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 5 years ago from Northern California

      Don't know why we didn't get to do these when I was younger. Might have made science more interesting to me at a younger age.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I always enjoyed science at school but we never did anything like this.

    • bluewren56 lm profile image

      bluewren56 lm 5 years ago

      I love science projects for kids... I think it SHOWS them how things work, rather than just TOLD how they work, and they learn more also. Great lens.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Volcano science projects are such fun. Kids love them and in my opinion they are great way to educate, because they just WANT TO KNOW the science behind the reaction!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 4 years ago from Australia

      What a great, fun way to teach science. Blessings.

    • estellaeffects lm profile image

      estellaeffects lm 4 years ago

      Just in time for my daughters project... Thks so muchhg..

    • profile image

      msarticlereader 4 years ago

      Thank you for posting this. I think i am going to try to make are volcano with the pop and mentos.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thanx soo much for posying it.when i saw it i wcolaas like how can it pop with mentos and cola it was amazing thanx again ;

    • aliwings profile image

      aliwings 4 years ago

      My son made one which was a great success at school.

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 4 years ago from Florida

      I wish I'd seen this lens when my kids were in school!

    • bjj james profile image

      bjj james 4 years ago

      I wish I would have done this as a kid.

    • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

      OUTFOXprevention1 4 years ago

      Loved these as a kid! Thanks for sharing.

    • imagelist lm profile image

      imagelist lm 4 years ago

      A really helpful lens...

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