Daylight Day 51: How to make a volcano

I got Mum to agree that she wished there were two of her doing all that wedding prep. She sat in Pi’s cloning machine and BOOM! Two Mums.

Still not EMO, despite suddenly copping twice as much wedding talk. I wish we could cure EMOs without actually talking to people.

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If you would like to actually WIN Pi’s bizarrely unfair science fair, here’s how (lifted directly from http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/buildavolcano.htm):

Time Required: 30 minutes

What You Need:

  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 cups salt
  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • warm water
  • plastic soda bottle
  • dishwashing detergent
  • food coloring
  • vinegar
  • baking dish or other pan
  • 2 T baking soda

Here’s How:

  1. First make the ‘cone’ of the baking soda volcano. Mix 6 cups flour, 2 cups salt, 4 tablespoons cooking oil, and 2 cups of water. The resulting mixture should be smooth and firm (more water may be added if needed).
  2. Stand the soda bottle in the baking pan and mold the dough around it into a volcano shape. Don’t cover the hole or drop dough into it.
  3. Fill the bottle most of the way full with warm water and a bit of red food color (can be done before sculpting if you don’t take so long that the water gets cold).
  4. Add 6 drops of detergent to the bottle contents.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons baking soda to the liquid.
  6. Slowly pour vinegar into the bottle. Watch out – eruption time!
  7. Chemistry is Cool 🙂

Tips:

  1. The cool red lava is the result of a chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar.
  2. In this reaction, carbon dioxide gas is produced, which is also present in real volcanos.
  3. As the carbon dioxide gas is produced, pressure builds up inside the plastic bottle, until the gas bubbles (thanks to the detergent) out of the ‘volcano’.
  4. Adding a bit of food coloring will result in red-orange lava! Orange seems to work the best. Add some red, yellow, and even purple, for a bright display.

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