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Wednesday April 5, 2017 at 12:29pm Age: 2 yrs
Category: Middle School, District


You know geysers and hot springs, but do you know fumaroles? If you have a sixth grader in science class, today is the day to ask him/her about all three.

As part of a unit on volcanoes, and other phenomena typical of volcanic regions, science teachers organized an outdoor geyser lab, inspired by the popular Diet Coke-Mentos experiment: A tube of Mentos is dropped into a bottle of Diet Coke; the rough, dimply surface of Mentos encourages bubble growth through a process called nucleation; and nucleation creates enough pressure to erupt the soda out of the bottle.   

Eruptions varied from 2-feet high to a record 18-feet high. “That was incredible,” Mrs. Lee said. “That was the best I’ve ever seen in the four years I’ve been doing this lab. You guys are lucky!”

Student Alex Norwood agreed: “This really showed us how high and powerful a geyser can be. I didn’t expect it to go that high!”

Back in the classroom, interactive multi-media showed students how all three basic elements of a geyser – water, heat source, and a plumbing system (reservoir and vent) – must work together to produce a geyser, versus a hot spring or a fumarole.

A geyser cooking game on – “don’t cook the ice-cream!” – combined fun with additional geyser science and kept students engaged.

That geyser lab sheet should be a breeze!