Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Don't Forget the Classics

We spent Memorial Day Weekend at my parents' house and had a great time of fishing, boating, and playing.  While we were there, Eli somehow got it into his head that he wanted to build a volcano.  Let me tell you, it's very handy when your kids have a grandpa who spent a career as a science teacher.  Enter....the Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano.  A classic.

Grandpa fashioned a volcano using a pizza box, some cardboard, tape, and a film canister.  Film canister?  People still have those?  Thankfully, Grandpa is not one to throw potentially useful things away.  Grandma provided a large supply of baking soda, vinegar, and even made a special trip for red food coloring for the "laba," as Eli called it.  I tried to convince his it was lava, but he was not going for it.

Grandpa fashioned the cardboard into a cone, with an opening large enough to rest the film canister inside.  You put some baking soda in the film canister, add some vinegar, and put it in the volcano.  Leaving the cap OFF of the canister allows for a slow flow of lava, hence my kids close-up viewing of it. 

You can also create more of a lava explosion.  To do this, put baking soda in the film canister, add the vinegar, cap it QUICKLY, and shake it, and place it in the volcano.  If you do this, make sure to have everyone stand at a safe distance.

Ooooo and Ahhhhhh

Have you ever been doing something "for the kids" and then suddenly realized that the adults were having more fun?  I think we got to that place.


Another classic not to forget...Diet Coke and Mentos...
Grandpa the Science Teacher drilled a hole in the Mentos and strung them on fishline.  Then, drop it into the DIET pop.  Another one to stand a safe distance from.  Again...not quite sure if this is for the kids or the adults...

What wonderfully scientific questions we are asking.

Finally, two sites, among LOTS, that describe the chemistry of each of these reactions:

Have fun with these classics!


  1. Oh my word. That is a riot! And I'm willing to overlook the waste of diet Coke for the sake of science (and adult humor!).

  2. Christy... I don't know if I could have done it with Coke Zero. THAT'S the good stuff!