***This activity should be done with adult supervision***
Put down the play-dough and grab the VEX Robotics pieces for this easy DIY volcano! A twist on the classic science experiment, this volcano is built of VEX IQ pieces and cardboard tubing to create a science experiment exploding with creativity!
We all remember the classic play-dough volcano experiment from our childhood, and while kids today still love that fizzy explosion, it’s time for it to get an upgrade. This DIY volcano uses the traditional baking soda and vinegar to create a safe “lava”, but instead of messy play-dough, kids will build their volcano using VEX IQ construction pieces. The snap-together pieces are easy for kids to assemble, and BONUS, make for super easy clean-up! Just rinse off the plastic pieces after the experiment!
Now let’s get started building the volcano and then creating the lava! Here’s what you’ll need:
VEX IQ Pieces
- 2×12 Beams (24)
- 2×9 Beams (6)
- 1 Wide 1×1 Corner Connector (6)
- 1×1 Connector Pin (26)
- Locking Angle End Standoff Connector (12)
- Spider 48 Tooth Ring Gear (1)
- Baking Soda
- Red Washable Marker
- Empty Paper Towel Roll
2×12 Beam (3), 1×1 Connector Pin (4)
- Lay two 2×12 beams side by side
- Take another 2×12 beam and place two connector pins in the last two holes of the beam. Take two more connector pins and place one in each of the holes in the second row of the beam.
- Place this beam in the center of the first two beam and connect the three pieces with the connector pins.
2×12 Beam (1), 1×1 Connector Pin (2)
- Grab 2 connector pins and place them in each end of a new 2×12 beam.
- Snap this into right side of the beams in step 1.
2×9 Beam (1), 1×1 Connector Pin (2)
- This time grab a 2×9 beam and place a connector pin in the fourth row and the last row. The connector pins should be on the same side of the beam.
- Snap this piece on the left side of the beams. The ends should all lineup while the top of the left beam will be shorter than the others.
Repeat steps 1 – 3 until you have 6 sets total.
Locking Angle End Standoff Connector (12), 1×1 Connector Pin (18)
- Take 12 connector pins and place them into the ends of all 12 Locking Angle End Standoff Connectors.
- Take 6 more connector pins and place them in the remaining holes of just 6 of the Locking Angle End Standoff Connectors.
- Connect the remaining 6 Locking Angle End Standoff Connectors to the six just used so that each pair makes a 90 degree angle.
Spider 48 Tooth Ring Gear (1)
- Place the connected Locking Angle End Standoff Connectors in the holes just left of each corner of the Spider 48 Tooth Ring Gear.
1 Wide 1×1 Corner Connector (6)
- Flip the beam sets over and connect row 1.5 of each center beam to each Locking Angle End Standoff Connectors.
- Turn the entire object over and place a Corner Connector in each of the corners of the Spider 48 Tooth Ring Gear.
Scissors, Empty Paper Towel Roll, Red Marker
- Use the marker to mark about the teeth length of your scissors down the paper towel roll.
- Cut along this mark to make your paper towel roll shorter.
- Take the long end of the paper towel roll and color a few inches down one end.
- With the red side sticking up, place the paper towel roll in the center of the built VEX pieces.
- Now your volcano is ready for some baking soda and vinegar!
Spoon, Baking Soda, Vinegar
- Use a spoon to scoop out a few scoops of baking soda and place into the paper towel roll.
- Pour Vinegar into the paper towel roll until the mixture bubbles over.
- Do this step in a sink our bathtub for the easy clean up.