Science Activity: Volcanoes

Summer time – the perfect time for some messy outdoor experiments.  Harvey is back into volcanoes and lava so it was time to bring it to life.  We made a lovely thick foamy eruption today, which Harvey enjoyed immensely.

Volcano Eruptions

Aim:  Create a lava-like eruption from a bottle

Materials:

  1. Empty Water bottle or conical flask
  2. 6% hydrogen peroxide ~100mL (you can get them from chemist
  3. Liquid soap
  4. One pack of dry yeast
  5. Food colouring
  6. Warm water
  7. Small bowl

Method:

  1. Pour hydrogen peroxide into the water bottle
  2. Add one-two squirts of liquid soap
  3. Add several drops of food colouring & swirl the bottle around to mix the ingredients
  4. In a separate bowl, mix one package of yeast with ~3 tablespoons of water
  5. Keep your child back a little and pour the yeast solution to the mixture of hydrogen peroxide
  6. Watch what happens

Results/Observation:

Analysis

Yeast contains a catalyst which causes decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide in to water and oxygen gas.  The sudden release of oxygen causes rapid bubbling because of the soap in the bottle.  The reaction is exothermic, as you can feel the bottle warms up as more energy released during this reaction.

 

Conclusion

As with previous experiments, learning through doing is a very effective way to engage a child and also enhance family time.  Harvey enjoyed this activity, which was further enhanced by some fun outside water play afterwards.

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