Friday, May 7, 2010

Volcanic Eruptions

In light of the erupting Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland recently, which coincidently interrupted Ess and Eee's uncle and aunty's move to Northern Ireland, along with our scientific study of energy we have been exploring volcanoes. Stories of Mt Vesuvius in Italy particularly took Ess' fancy as well as a great interactive website enabling you to set the viscosity and gas levels of potentials volcanoes and see the resulting eruptions.

Today we have made our own volcanic eruption at home with some hard work, enjoyment, excitement, anticipation and a little fear of the unknown as the volcano began to erupt in our bathroom. :) Little Eee was particularly frightened and rushed back to sit on my knee as she saw the "lava" emerge. This soon calmed as intrigue set in.

The instructions we followed can be found here.

Ess and Eee helped measure, pour and mix to create an enormous batch of playdough, which required lots of kneading to bring it all together. We coloured the dough with a little green food colouring.

The quickest job was building the volcano around a bottle which had been filled with a mixture of water, oil, dish washing liquid and brown vinegar.

After inserting some tissue filled with bicarb soda and waiting and watching for a few long seconds, our volcano began erupting.

Lava continued bubbling out of the crater, exiting the magma chamber, for quite some time.

The volcano was quite happy to continue erupting over and over as more bicarb and vinegar were inserted, providing great entertainment and intrigue for a couple of curious little girls watching from afar, not quite certain just how far all this would all go.

I am very grateful we live where we do - in a country where the most recent volcano was hundreds of years ago. I cannot imagine the fear of living life day to day knowing that soon there might be a volcanic eruption just down the road. Seeing the fear in my little girls as they stood watching such a small, yet unknown commodity in the form of a chemical reaction in our bathroom has caused me to be thankful for our circumstances which we take for granted. I hope they will never know the fear resulting from being in the vicinity of a live volcano.



This Post made me smile - our Daddy was not able to make some business flights within Germany - but I was happy he stayed in Munich though, much better than him being away from home and not being able to come back!

Our tall girl was very much interested in the volcano and the eruption as well and I just love that you made this experiment, quite dareful I may say and I understand little Eee excitement...

Dear Cee, you are doing a wonderful job there in teaching Ess at home! Again I wish we could have joined you with this experiment (at least it would have safed me from repeating it in a couple of years for the little man and the tall girl)...

Big hug Nina

David said...

What a beautiful volcano!! We are looking fwd to chatting with you all again sometime soon.

With love from Noen Iron!

Homestay Mama said...

That reminds me of chemistry class when I was in high school a very long time ago! I think we used potassium chloride in water or something like that to create little mini explosions--or something. If it's not already obvious from that last sentence---I barely passed the class! I was like your girls, standing waaaaay back when my lab partners were working on the assigned experiments! :-)

Cee said...

Dear Nina, it is interesting to hear how the volcanic ash cloud effected your husband's flights. I can imagine how would have loved having him home. Glad you and your treasures enjoyed the volcano we made.

Love to you from SA David :)

HS Mama, oh how I loved reading about your chemistry experiments. I loved chem and all the hands-on work we did in High School. I was really fortunate to have a really smart partner for all our tests etc. She went on to be come a doctor. No standing back for me!

Sandy Naidu said...

Looks like fun, educational and a good way to keep young minds busy - Can also work as a science project...I am going to keep this in mind for my son whos starts school in a couple of years...

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