Sanity Savers, STEM Edition: Snow Volcano

Presented by National Grid

Written By Dan Walsh
STEM Educator

Supply ideas:

Vinegar, dish soap, food dye, baking soda, snow, small cup

Length:

10 minutes 

Academic Subjects:

Science 

Directions for Snow Volcanos  

Today we are going to be looking at an explosive subject, volcanos! A volcano is a type of landform (sometimes a mountain) where molten rock erupts through the surface of the Earth. One of the most active volcanoes in the United States is Kīlauea in Hawaii. Kīlauea last erupted on December 20th, 2020. Now let’s create our own volcanos outside in the snow!!  

  1. Find a nice snow pile to create your own volcano. 
  2. Carve out the top of the volcano. 
  3. Place your cup in the hole. (The cup will prevent the snow from melting in the next few steps) 
  4. Sprinkle some baking soda into the cup. 
  5. Add a drop of dish soap. 
  6. Add a few drops of food dye. 
  7. With the help of an adult slowly pour in vinegar. 
  8. Marvel as the baking soda and vinegar react and pour out of the volcano. 

Snow Volcano Vocabulary:    

Lava– Molten rock that breaks through the surface of the Earth.  

Magma– Is molten rock stored under the surface of the Earth.  

Let’s take a look behind the scenes of what happened when you combined the baking soda and vinegar. Both the baking soda and vinegar are made up of different building blocks or elements. When the elements touch each other, they have a reaction. Hydrogen ions in the vinegar react with the sodium and bicarbonate ions in the baking soda. One of the results of the reaction is gas bubbles! The bubbles form in the liquid and cause the volcano to fizz! 

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