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


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.

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

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.

Tips & Warnings

  • 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.


  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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