Dec 30, 2016

Homeschool: Discovery Erupting/Glowing Volcano Review

We got some pretty cool STEM gifts for Christmas this year! I was planning on working them into the next block of school (that begins next week). But, the boys had very different plans. They just couldn't wait to try them out. The first one we tackled was the Erupting Volcano by Discovery. 

First, I will say that I loved the fact that you had to use plaster wraps to create the volcano. The boys really enjoyed it (even my oldest that doesn't like getting his hands You just cut strips of the dry plaster and dip each piece in water. Then smooth onto the cardboard cone. NOTE: You have to wait 6-8 hours for the plaster to dry. We let it dry overnight and started painting it the next day. There's a few things that COULD have posed a problem if I were not prepared:
1. There is NOT enough paint to cover the entire volcano. Because I craft alot, I had some paint in my stash to finish the job. So, you may want to grab some extra brown and glow-in-the-dark paint at your local craft store.
2. Despite the box saying this is an "Erupting Volcano" set, there is no citric acid or baking soda included. We do scientific kitchen experiments often and knew how to create a "volcanic eruption" so it wasn't a big deal. We used lemon juice and baking soda. Then used vinegar and baking soda. (Both work well)
Note: The explosion is NOT going to be huge but it will create a small flow of "lava." 

After we finished our experiment, we read the volcano facts included and watched Bill Nye The Science Guy: Earth's Crust AND The Magic School Bus Blows Its Top (both can be found on YouTube or Netflix). 

I really enjoyed this kit and so did the boys (age 8 and 9). The kit does say ages 12 and up but I think a child as young as 6 can do this, with adult guidance. 
BONUS: It comes with a cool poster of volcano facts! 

You can purchase the kit here: Discovery Erupting Volcano 

This kit came with a cardboard base and a cardboard cone shape. You smooth the plaster strips onto the cone to create the outer layer of the volcano.