How to make a Volcano


A volcano is any opening in the surface of the Earth that connects with a reservoir of molten rock and gases deep below. As the molten rock is pushed out of the volcano, usually under tremendous force and at a fearsome temperature, the distinctive conical mound of the volcano develops. By building a model Volcano, you can show how something works in the real world, but doesn’t really test anything.

The model Volcano you are going to be making is merely a simulation of one of nature’s most impressive displays of violence and power and should pose relatively little danger to life. However, unless you’re prepared to see your carpet and clothes sacrificed in the name of science, it’s probably best to take the usual precautions.


  • A large plastic soft drinks bottle (cap removed, contents consumed)
  • About ten drops of liquid detergent
  • Some warm water (never, ever use boiling water)
  • Lots of old newspaper and some wallpaper glue
  • Some baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • Some red food colouring
  • A bottle of strong malt vinegar


  1. Tear the newspaper up into small strips, dip it in the glue and use the resulting papier mache to build up a volcano shape, starting at the base of the bottle and building up until you have created a cone. Leave to dry.( Painting your Volcano is recommendable.)
  2. Half fill the bottle with warm water and add as much red food colouring.
  3. Add ten drops of liquid detergent.
  4. Pour in plenty of baking powder
  5. Check that the area is clear and that anything of value (clothing, carpets, furniture) is protected.
  6. Pour in lots of vinegar and take cover as your volcano erupts.

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Practise This Question

Which of the following factors influence the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium?
i. Gene migration
ii. Genetic drift
iii. Mutation
iv. Reproduction
v. Genetic recombination