Volcano Science

Why do Volcanoes erupt? A volcano is a spot in Earth's crust where molten rock, volcanic ash and certain types of gases escape from an underground chamber. Magma is the name for that molten rock when it's below ground. Scientists call it lava once that liquid rock erupts from the ground — and may start flowing across Earth's surface.


Let’s first watch this video about volcanoes and how they form.


Next, let’s conduct an experiment to learn how a volcano can erupt right in your own living room!

Activity Instructions

for Observers (Pre-K through 2nd Grade) and Explorers (3rd Grade through 5th Grade)

What you’ll need: 

  • 8oz water bottle 

  • Party hat  (or one piece of brown construction paper rolled like a cone)

  • Vinegar    

  • Baking soda

  • Red food coloring 

  • Measuring cup and tablespoon 

  • Funnel

  • Scissors 

  • Tray or cookie sheet



  • Set up a tray or cookie sheet to prepare the experiment and place an empty water bottle in the middle of the tray.

  • Cut an inch off the top off of the party hat and place the party hat over the water bottle. The party hat opening should be flush with the top of the water bottle.

  • Funnel 2 Tbs of baking powder into the water bottle

  • Pour a ¼ cup of vinegar into a measuring cup

  • Add a few drops of red food coloring to the vinegar 

  • Pour the vinegar into the water bottle 

  • Watch the volcano explode!


Watch this video to learn how to do the experiment.

Why does this happen? The red “lava” is the result of a chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar. In this reaction, the carbon dioxide gas is produced, pressure builds up inside the plastic bottle until the gas bubbles out of the volcano. This is a good representation of what happens in real volcanoes.

Turn It In

Take a picture or video of your volcano and upload it to Padlet.

If you haven't printed the bingo board page, please print it now. Cross off this activity square, since you've completed it.


You'll bring your bingo board print-out to the PS29 garden on  Sunday, May 23 between 2-4pm to collect your prize. If you're not in Brooklyn, email us and we will send you your prize.