Volcanoes in Year 3

In Year 3 the children built a volcano out of Papier-mâché and painted it. As part of our Geography topic this term, they have learnt all about extreme earth and they were keen to carry out a science experiment simulating a volcanic eruption. This activity coincided with British Science Week and the theme was ‘Connections’ so the children chose to look at the links between what is happening below the Earth’s crust and what we see happening on Earth above.We chose to use the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda in our experiment. The science behind this is that when baking soda is mixed with vinegar, a reaction takes place and makes a vinegar volcano. The two chemicals, acetic acid (in vinegar) and sodium bicarbonate mix and react to create carbonic acid. This chemical is very unstable and instantly breaks down to carbon dioxide and water. The bubbles that we see are the carbon dioxide escaping from the mixture.In our experiment, we added different amounts of the vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and washing up liquid to see what effect this had on the eruption. Towards the end of our experiment we even tried adding paint and glitter to make it colourful.