Science Project: How to Make an Erupting Volcano Model

Monday, July 3, 2017

We made this volcano to go along with our First Great Lesson: The Volcano and this is our first paper mache project at home.  I tell you, I tried to avoid these kinds of activities and projects because they are messy, and requires a lot of work.  But since it’s summer, I decided to try it and much to my surprise I enjoyed making this model more than the boys did.  This project was inspired by a post I read from Red Ted Art.  So read along and learn how we made our model as simple as possible for less work.

How to Make an Erupting Volcano Model

So here’s what you need:
Because my hands were so busy, this is the only photo I had before we covered everything with newspaper.  Here’s what we did:
  1. Place a double sided tape at the bottom of the empty water bottle and place it in the middle of the tray.
  2. Cut cardboard strips, add double sided tape on the ends.  Tape one end on the top of the bottle, and the other end on the tray.  Do this on the sides of the bottle, creating something like a tent or a diagonal column.  The purpose of this is for supporting the paper mache later on.
  3. Dump crumpled newspapers inside the column (as seen on the photo below).
  4. Create your glue mixture (glue plus water).
  5. Cut the newspaper into strips or small pieces and put them in the glue mixture.  Make sure all of which are covered with glue.
  6. Start covering your volcano structure with gluey newspaper.
  7. Once satisfied with your volcano, take it outside to dry your model.  Ours took 3 days to dry.
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Once your model is dry, paint it with acrylic paint.  We used this brand (Reeves Non-Toxic Acrylic Paint) to create a reddish kind of volcano.  Mavi wanted to make it gray or black, but I bought the brown paint already when he told me.

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Now, I learned from Red Ted Art, that to make your volcano waterproof (or reusable) you need to paint it with layers of varnish (we did three layers).  So after two days of drying our model, we added the glossy varnish and as you can see, Vito was doing it for me.  Good thing that what we are using doesn’t really have that strong smell.  We let it dry again for several days.

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And there it is!!! So glorious and ready to put to test!  Mavi added the skulls, this is from Safari Toob Mammal Skulls.

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See our crater?  I loved that we used a small water bottle, but it seems that we will be needing  A LOT of vinegar and bicarbonate soda with this.  I was wondering what would be the effect if we used a thinner tube something like a test tube.  Maybe we can try that next time.

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For the volcano solution:  just mix red food coloring to the vinegar and place an ample amount of bicarbonate soda in the volcano (plastic bottle) and you’re ready to go!

And now see it in ACTION HERE!!!

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