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Make Baking Soda Volcanoes


Students will explore chemical reactions and acids and bases by creating an exploding volcano! 

Experiment Length

30 minutes


day 2

  • Cup

  • Sand or clay (optional)

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar

  • Dish soap

  • Food coloring

  • Water

  1. Go outside or put a tray under the cup, this is going to get messy!

  2. Mix a few drops of food coloring, a teaspoon of dish soap, and a tablespoon of water into a cup.

  3. Using sand or clay, form a volcano shape around the cup (optional)

  4. Add two tablespoons of baking soda to the cup and stir. What do the baking soda and dish soap have in common?

  5. Add two tablespoons of acid to the cup and watch the volcano erupt! What do you see happening? What is being created in the chemical reaction?

the science

When acids and bases mix, a chemical reaction occurs. In this experiment, the baking soda and dish soap were bases, and the vinegar was an acid. All of these things are also called reactants, they were what existed before the reaction occurred. When we poured in the vinegar, we initiated a chemical reaction, and carbon dioxide bubbles were made. The carbon dioxide was a product, what was made after the chemical reaction occurred. 

Taking it further

Try using different types of acids (lemon juice, soda) and bases (soap, Windex, toothpaste) and see what makes the biggest reaction!

Try making an exploding lemon:

What makes a reaction go faster? Try heating the reactants, stirring them, etc.

Inspired by

Special thanks to Honor Pimentel for the Spanish translation

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