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Hamden Hall Country Day School
Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

Erupting Volcanoes: Budding Scientists Explore the World of Chemistry

While most are too dangerous to view up close, active volcanoes make for interesting conversations and, in classrooms, science projects. Second-grade students carried out their own volcanic eruptions in a recent hands-on STEM activity.

The students have been learning about landforms and oceans in science class, and teacher Claire Rich knew she wanted to bring the lesson to life with the classic baking soda and vinegar volcano experiment, which mimics what happens under the earth’s crust to create volcanic eruptions. Before the fun could begin, the volcanoes had to be constructed using everyday materials including plates, coffee cups, tape, tinfoil, and sand from the playground. Mrs. Rich carefully placed the cups of red-colored vinegar and baking soda on the tables for the next step – eruption time!

With anticipation in the air, each student got the chance to activate their own volcano. One-by-one, they took a seat behind their creation donned in safety goggles and added the baking soda to the top followed by the vinegar. As the chemical reaction began, the red “lava flow” erupted down the side.

“The volcano experiment is a great way for students to understand what is happening underneath the Earth and the science of chemical reactions,” explained Mrs. Rich.

Hamden Hall Country Day School

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