Whenever people think of model volcanoes, one of the first things that come to mind is the school science fair and science projects. This can take on many different forms and can be very simple or very complex. Here is some more information on making volcano models for school science projects.
The eruption and lava that model volcanoes is really what the science project is about. The result of different types of chemical reactions causes the eruption that is so popular with model volcanoes. There are many different chemical combinations and reactions that can cause the eruption and the lava flow that are associated with model volcanoes. The most popular ingredients used for the lava reaction is baking soda and vinegar. This is the most popular probably because these are very common household ingredients and they are not very expensive at all. Other ingredient combinations that can be used are yeast and hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and lemon juice. Sometimes the science fair project could involve determining which combination creates the most impressive or most explosive chemical reaction.
And while the eruption may be the most impressive part of the demonstration to most people, there is a lot more involved with volcanoes than just the eruption or the lava. Plate tectonics and the movements of materials inside the earth could also be a topic of the presentation given. You could discuss the origin of real lava and what properties it has. Do research on volcanoes in general and discuss their history. This can be very interesting from a scientific perspective but additional research on the history of volcanoes can also shed light on what kinds of expectations we can have in modern times for volcanic eruptions in real life. You could also get very detailed about what kinds of things are found on volcanoes and what climate conditions are usually the most common for them to exist. Your chart or presentation could incorporate a world map with pins indicating the most active and well known volcanoes. This type of chart would help facilitate a discussion on plate tectonics and the way that they move around the earth and the effects they have on land and sea. When you choose to do a science project on model volcanoes, be sure and research something that is related to volcanoes that is most interesting to you. You may be more interested in animal and plant life than you are in lava and what is involved with eruptions, so you could do research on types of plants and animals that live on volcanoes and what happens to them when the volcano erupts.
Your interest in volcanoes could also be in the structure of the mountain and how lava flows from the top to the bottom. This could involve making different types of indentions into the material that makes up the model and showing how the lava flows differently on one part versus other sections. You could demonstrate how lava flows work and how long they last. Even more studies could be done on the different types of rock that make up lava flows and what happens to minerals when they are heated to the extremely high temperatures needed to melt stones. Other research could be done on lava rock and what properties they have and what they are used for. This type of information could also be accompanied by a chart or poster that talks about different types of rocks and how extreme temperatures affect them. No matter what you decide to do for your science project model volcano, make sure that you have fun learning when you make it.