Vinegar Volcano!

A vinegar volcano is great to make with everyone and can be made at home. Why not try making your own volcano with the kids for lots of fun that will keep kids and adults entertained for hours. It is easy to make and everyone can join in the fun whilst learning about science.

This exciting experiment can be carried out at home but you may want to wait for a warm, dry sunny day as things can get very messy!

You will need:

  • Material to make a volcano (see below)
  • Vinegar
  • Food colouring
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Cup
  • Teaspoon

Method:

  • First of all you will need to make the volcano. It’s best to build your volcano around a cup or bottle but you can make it out of playdough, papier mache, lego – let your imaginations run wild! You can even keep things simple and just use the cup.
  • Next, fill the cup 1/2 full of vinegar
  • Add in a few drops of food colouring and try and dribble this around the sides of the cup a little
  • Add in a heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (aka baking soda but NOT baking powder) and watch your volcano erupt!

 

The Science Bit:

When baking soda is mixed with vinegar, a reaction takes place and makes a vinegar volcano. The two chemicals, acetic acid (in vinegar) and sodium bicarbonate mix and react to create carbonic acid. This chemical is very unstable and instantly breaks down to carbon dioxide and water. The bubbles that we see are the carbon dioxide escaping from the mixture.