How to Build a Geyser Science Project

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A geyser science project demonstrates the physical properties of how heat from within the earth can cause a buildup of pressure, which results in an eventual release. This release is characterized by hot water shooting from cracks or openings in the ground. Because geyser science projects involve heat sources and pressure, it is important that they be conducted with adult supervision.

Things You'll Need

  • 250-ml or 500-ml Pyrex flask
  • Hot plate or Bunsen burner
  • Glass tubing between 12 and 16 inches long
  • Single hole rubber stopper fitted for the flask
  • Ring stand or flask holder
  • Drill
  • X-gauge twist bit
  • Plumber's putty
  • Plastic container
  • Drill a hole into the center of the bottom of the plastic container. The hole should be just big enough for the glass tube to fit through. If the hole is slightly bigger than the tube, use plumber's putty to seal the open space.

  • Fill the flask with water until it is about 3/4 full.

  • Insert the stopper in the flask.

  • Place the glass tube into the stopper's hole and dip it into the flask so that it reaches about three quarters of the way to the bottom of the flask.

  • Put the flask on a ring stand above a Bunsen burner or on top of a hot plate.

  • Place the plastic container on a ring stand about a foot above the flask.

  • Place the glass tube through the hole in the plastic container so that extends up about an inch.

  • Apply plumber's putty around the the hole in the plastic container to seal the area where the tubing is inserted.

  • Fill the plastic container with water until the flask and the tube are full. Make sure that the opening of the tube that is sticking up through the bottom of the plastic container is not submerged.

  • Turn the Bunsen burner or hot plate on.

  • Watch as the water is heated how it erupts from the tubing and splashes into the plastic bowl.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can create the same project using some household items, substituting a can with a screw on lid for a flask and copper tubing instead of glass tubing.
  • Use a slightly larger or smaller gauge bit depending on the diameter of your glass tubing; however, an X-gauge bit will work for most glass tubes.
  • Because of the heat sources, this project requires adult supervision.

References

  • Photo Credit erupting geyser image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com
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