Hands-On Lesson #8
(Volcanic Cones and Eruptions)
Why Does Magma Rise??
Materials: Glass jar 9/10 filled with honey
Small steel ball (steel marble)
The students will place a small cork and a small steel ball into an empty glass jar.
The students will then fill the jar with honey and watch what happens. They should
write down their predictions as to what will happen after the honey is placed in
the jar. The students should write down what they see occurring and why they believe
The students will observe that materials made of less dense material (cork) will rise
in a much denser medium (honey). The steel ball will remain on the bottom of the
jar because it is denser than the medium that it is in (honey). Magma will rise
in the Earth for the same reason, the magma is produced by the melting of the oceanic crust
and the top layer of the mantle. The melting material is less dense than the surrounding
mantle and that causes it to rise.
- modeling clay or playdough
- popsicle sticks for shaping cones
- wax paper
The students will construct a 3-d model of the three basic
volcano cone shapes using modeling clay or playdough.
- shield cone
- cinder cone
- composite cone or stratovolcano
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