Making an apple volcano is a great way to learn about baking soda and vinegar reaction. You can use old apples that you have forgotten about in the fridge that were going to get thrown away anyway so you don’t waste food.
You can’t go wrong with baking soda and vinegar when it comes to science experiments for kids. It’s just too fun to watch the fizzy reaction.
The apple volcano is a fun twist on the good ol’ baking soda and vinegar volcano. After we built a volcano out of LEGO, why not try using an apple as the volcano vessel?
To not waste food, we picked an apple in the fridge that had been pushed to the back and forgotten about. It was wrinkly and slightly shriveled and just did not look appetizing.
This is the perfect fall experiment as autumn is apple season! Your kids will have fun learning about apples and eating lots of them. Apple volcano science is the natural fit for your apple unit study.
Let’s get erupting!
How to Erupt an Apple Volcano
- Baking soda
- Container with raised sides (to catch the “lava”)
- Knife (to core the apple)
- Optional: food coloring
- Optional: dish soap
- Optional: pipette or dropper
- Core the apple. Do not core all the way through – you want to leave the bottom of the apple intact.
- Put the apple on the plate or tray.
- Fill the core of the apple with baking soda. There is no exact measurement, but just make sure you don’t fill up the hole all the way. Leave some room for the vinegar.
- Optional: add a drop of dish soap to make the eruption nice and foamy. You can also add a couple of drops of food coloring for a more colorful eruption.
- Slowly pour in the vinegar. If you have younger kids who can’t control how much they pour, then it’s better to use a pipette or dropper.
- Watch the eruption take place!
The Science Behind an Apple Volcano
As explained in the LEGO volcano experiment, the chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar is what causes the eruption.
When you combine an acid (the vinegar) and a base (the baking soda) together, carbon dioxide is formed. The dish soap collects the carbon dioxide gas and makes more and bigger bubbles that flow out of the apple core.
As simple as the apple volcano is, you can do a lot of experiments and teach your kids about the scientific method. When doing these extensions, always ask your kid first what he thinks will happen.
- Instead of adding baking soda to the apple, pour in vinegar instead. Then add the baking soda to the vinegar. Was the eruption bigger or smaller?
- If you didn’t add the dish soap, add a drop; or if you did add dish soap, then omit it this time. Do you observe a big difference when it comes to the lava coming out?
- Try adding a different liquid to the baking soda. For example, you can try lemon juice, milk, or water. Make a prediction about what’s going to happen.
- Try using different apples. Does the type of apple make a difference for the eruption?
Final Thoughts on the Apple Volcano Science Experiment
You really can’t go wrong with baking soda and vinegar. Kids love watching the chemical reaction, and they also love sticking their hands in the fizz afterward.
Plus, you usually have the supplies in the house so there is no need to go out and spend money to buy materials for the experiment!
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