How to Make a 3D Volcano for a High School Project

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The live volcano experiment is a basic experiment performed both by teachers as demonstrations and students as science projects. A volcano is not overly difficult to make, but you will need a wide-open space, and you will have plenty to clean up afterward.

Volcano Exterior

    In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, cooking oil and water.

    Mix the ingredients, working the dough with your hands so it becomes firm enough to spread around the exterior of your bottle.

    Place your bottle into the bowl with the dough. Start forming the dough around the bottle until it hardens and gives the likeness of a real volcano exterior--wide at the bottom, then narrowing as it goes upward to the bottle's mouth. Do not allow dough to cover or get into the bottle.

Internal Ingredients

    Place the volcano in a large plastic container or large baking pan, and set up the volcano in a wide-open area.

    Pour warm water and red food coloring into the volcano bottle until filled to the top.

    Add liquid detergent and baking soda.

    Pour vinegar in and take a couple steps back. The chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar will cause the "lava" to spew from the volcano.

    Things You'll Need

    • Sports drink bottle (any size)
    • Mixing bowl
    • 6 cups flour
    • 2 cups salt
    • 4 tbsp. cooking oil
    • 2 cups water
    • Baking pan or plastic container
    • Paper towels
    • Warm water
    • Red food coloring
    • 6 drops liquid detergent
    • 2 tbsp. baking soda
    • 1/4 cup vinegar


    • Cut out the bottom of a corrugated cardboard box to use as a volcano base. Add fake miniature trees and paint around the base after the dough hardens to give the look of vegetation around the volcano.

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