Everyone has heard of the classic volcano science project using vinegar, baking soda, and a little bit of red food coloring. This little experiment, however, is a little more extreme, and a little more realistic (do not worry, it is not actually dangerous!). This guide will teach you how to create a volcano project that really erupts with some force.
Unfortunately, the fake lava is not going to be quite so realistically red, but sometimes compromise means sacrifices! Here we go:
Gather your building supplies. For this project, you are going to need to start with a volcano. A prepackaged paper mache kit is recommended. Next, you need a two-liter bottle of diet cola. Use your paper mache kit to build a mountainous, volcanic structure around the bottle, leaving a hole at the top large enough to facilitate opening the soda bottle. Give your paper mache plenty of time to dry before you attempt the next step, or else you will end up with a sticky mess on your hands.
Paint your volcano. This is where you can get pretty creative, even though most volcanic mountains look pretty much the same. You can go for the standard black and brown color of rocks and dirt, or you can get a little artsy. Why not make a tie-dye themed volcano? It is just a science experiment, and science should be fun! After applying your paint, make sure that it is completely dry before you begin the next stage: Explosion!
Now it is time to add the trigger to the equation. Go to your local convenience store and buy a roll of mint Mentos. It is very important that you buy these in particular, as nothing else will work correctly.
Ready your presentation in a clear, outdoor space (trust me; you do not want this volcano erupting indoors!). Carefully take the cap off your diet cola, which, if you have followed directions, should be housed securely in your paper mache volcano. Commence with a dramatic countdown, and at its conclusion, drop a couple of the Mentos into the cola.
This is a fun experiment to do at school or at home, but if you are planning to attempt it, there are a few safety precautions to take. The reaction of the cola to the mints is very strong, and you definitely do not want to put your face near the opening of the soda bottle for the initial eruption. It is recommended that you wear goggles or some type of protective eyewear if you are going to be the one tossing the mints in the soda. Other than that, enjoy the spectacle!