All About Volcanoes: Science Lesson and Experiment

Have you ever seen a volcano? You might already know a few things about them, like how they can erupt with lava! Let’s learn more about volcanoes, and then make a model volcano and chemical reaction.

A volcano is a mountain that opens downward to a pool of molten rock below the surface of the earth. It is a hole in the earth from which molten earth and gas can erupt.

The molten rock below the surface of the earth is called magma. When the volcano erupts, the magma is pushed through the main vent or conduit, out of the throat, and to the surface. Once the molten rock reaches the surface, it is called lava.

Lava can be up to 2000 degrees! Eventually it will cool and harden, and turns into lava rock. Lava rock can actually become other rocks, like granite. Some people have granite counters in their kitchens at home!

Within the volcano are many layers of rock, ash, and more lava. The opening of the volcano at the top is called the crater.

Volcanoes can be active, dormant, or extinct. An active volcano could erupt! A dormant volcano hasn’t erupted in many years, and an extinct volcano is a volcano that scientists don’t think will ever erupt again.

There are 161 potentially active volcanoes in the United States! Check out this cool map to see where some of them are, and to see how scientists are keeping an eye on them.

Now that we know all about volcanoes, are you ready to make your own? Get the instructions and list of supplies you’ll need to complete this awesome chemistry experiment here.

For more awesome STEM, check out these cool lessons on constellations, binary code, architecture, and plants!

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