Natural Disaster (Lemon Volcanoes)

Room 5 nearly had a natural disaster on their hands as they did a scientific investigation to create lemon volcanoes. The results were delightfully messy.

The materials used were:

  • Dishwashing liquid

  • Lemons

  • Baking soda

  • Food colouring

  • Iceblock sticks / spoons / plates

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We did our POE → predicting, observing, and explaining what we see and think. Our books were in the middle of the action, with some volcanoes erupting their ‘lava’ onto our paper. This is the price you pay for being a scientist!

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One prediction: “It will explode when you put the dishwashing liquid in.” - Jack

One observation: “It came up and turned into two colours - purple and black. My prediction was not right.” - Donald

One explanation: “Lemon juice has citric acid and this causes it to foam up.” - Emma

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This experiment really allowed us to investigate. It built on our prior experiences, allowing us to work together to share and examine our own and others’ knowledge. We asked questions, looked at evidence, explored a simple model, and developed a simple explanation. There was a great kids’ website which showed us a video to guide us and even told us the science behind the outcome - how the citric acid created causes the bubbling effect.

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The best part of this was Room 5 working with a buddy. Mrs Graham was impressed with the support we gave each other and the discussions that were had. We were all participating and contributing - this is an important Key Competency. We also loved watching each other because we all mixed different colours. Some of the results looked pretty disgusting - that was excellent.

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Finally, we did a whole class investigation where we put in extra dishwashing liquid and extra baking soda. You can check out the video.

The only person to drip a single drop onto the carpet was Mrs Graham.

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Keywords: Science, volcanoes, investigation

2018 Room5 LemonVolcanoes 6.5