Back when I taught in public school and the STEM fair (the “A” hadn’t quite made it into the acronym yet) rolled around, I remember specifically sharing with students that, while extremely cool, an erupting volcano does not a science experiment make. Why? Well, at the time, I assumed that having a student dump a few materials into a cup did not require much scientific questioning or knowledge. This week, the students proved it is capable of doing so much more than that!
Our GFT elementary students enjoyed a mini volcano unit this week, stemming from a book brought in by one of their peers. After reading and discussing the book aloud, they got to work building the volcano. Not only did debate over the proper materials to use take place, but the teamwork, sharing, patience, and wonder they experienced was inspiring.
Next came the fun part… the eruption! They measured and added the materials to create quite the show! Then, things got really messy! The food coloring was brought out to create a magical, swirling demonstration of color blending. And the grand finale came when the children discovered some fake “snow” that they could also incorporate into the eruptions. The mess and comradery are ones they will remember, for sure!