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Simply STEM (July)

Welcome to this month’s Simply STEM activity! Today, we are recreating a volcano eruption! This activity will allow your students to see how different chemicals react when they are mixed together. Before you start the activity, ask them to make predictions about what will happen when the vinegar mixes with the baking soda. 

Time: 20 minutes 

Description: What causes baking soda and vinegar to fizz when they’re mixed together? Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and vinegar is acetic. The two chemicals mixed together cause this reaction because it breaks down into carbon dioxide and water. This is why it bubbles and fizzes. 

Materials List: 

  • Green paper cup 
  • Small empty spray bottle 
  • Moss
  • Paper bowl 
  • Measuring cups
  • Funnel 
  • Tape 
  • Scissors 
  • Small toy animals (optional) 
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar 
  • Dish soap
  • Red food coloring 

Step 1: Cut a small hole on the base of the paper cup. Make sure it is big enough for the top of the small spray bottle to fit through it. 

Step 2: Put the small spray bottle through the hole you created in Step 1. Put your cup in a paper bowl. 

Step 3: Tape your cup to the base of the paper bowl so that it doesn’t move around. Put moss around your cup. Make sure to fill the bowl so that the bottom is not visible. 

Step 4: Add small toy animals around your bowl for decorative purposes. This is optional. 

Step 5: Take your funnel and put it in the opening of your volcano. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 5 drops of dish soap. 

Step 6: Mix 4 drops of red food coloring and ½ cup of vinegar together in a separate container. Add that mixture to your volcano. Watch the fun begin! Ask your students to write down their observations. What did they notice? Were their predictions correct? 

Thank you for checking out this month’s Simply STEM activity! We hope you have fun recreating this activity with your programs. See you next month for another activity! Missed last month’s activity? Check it out here:

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