Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Volcano Time!

Science: Geology, rocks, minerals, earthquakes, volcanoes, continental drift, etc.  This has been a really fun unit for Shannon. She performed mineral scratch and streak tests for identification. She broke apart a geode. We found rocks in our back yard (mostly igneous, unsurprising for this area) including a really awesome sedimentary conglomerate. We've grown sugar crystals, salt crystals, and even baking soda crystals. Today we're playing with graham crackers ... sliding them over a bed of peanut butter to demonstrate continental drift.

Tomorrow, though, we're supposed to build a volcano. You know, the traditional baking soda red food coloring erupting science fair volcano.

I hate that. I think it's a really lousy demonstration of "what happens when a volcano erupts" ... fine if you're just wanting to show effects, but VERY poor if you're trying to look at causes. Which I prefer. See, to demonstrate the causes of a volcanic eruption, you need to show that it is NOT a chemical reaction, but instead heat and pressure.

I think we're buying dry ice tomorrow, and doing a "don't try this at home" experiment instead. Place dry ice inside a pop bottle. Seal lid. Go inside and wait.  Watch out for shrapnel. ;-)

Yup, I live dangerously.

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