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Title: Peanut Brittle Volcano
Time: 1 class period
KERA Goals: 2.4, 2.5, 2.6

Objective: 

Students will see simulated lava flow down a simulated volcano.  Students will learn that lava cools fastest on the surface.

Materials:

Activity:

  1. Talk to students about why there are volcanoes, where they are located and the parts of the earth. Explain why lava flows easily. This can be done while cooking the mixture.

  2. For each volcano, add to the electric frying pan:
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup white Karo syrup
    1 cup raw peanuts

    Boil together until mixture has an amber color.
    Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter, teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda.

  3. Place bleach bottle on a cookie sheet and drape aluminum foil over the bottle to form the volcano.

  4. While the mixture is still foaming, pour over the volcano and observe "lava" flow.

  5. Question students about where "lava" is going. Is it forming rivers? Does it clump at the bottom? Which part cools fastest? Tell the students that sometimes the top of the lava hardens before the bottom. Sometimes the molten lava flows out from the hardened outer shell leaving a hollow tube behind.

  6. EAT! 

  7. As a writing assignment, have the students write a paragraph on what they observed. Or have them predict where the lava will flow before you pour it and why; did the lava do as they predicted?

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