Volcanic Pressure

Science at Home

Arizona Science Center and #SariOnScience are here to be your resource for bringing science to life at home. From crafts to experiments, we’re here to be your resource for fun science activities that spark curiosity and motivate learning! Materials are easy to find, most activities take an hour or less, and the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning is limitless.

Volcanic Pressure Experiment


Volcanoes are ruptures in the crust where matter from beneath the surface can escape. This matter can be lava, ash, or even gases. This easy activity shows how gas can build up so much pressure that it eventually forces its way out of a volcano.

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One (1) Metal Funnel
One (1) Skillet
One (1) Piece of Modeling clay (about the size of your thumb)
Two (2) Cups of Water

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1. Flatten out your piece of modeling clay and use this to cover the narrow end of the funnel.
2. Pour the water into the skillet and place it on a stove.
3. Turn stove on to medium heat.
4. When little bubbles start to form, place the funnel large-end down into the water.
5. Turn up the heat and stand back!

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Guiding Questions

1. What kind of gases do you think are in a volcano?
2. How long did it take for your clay to pop off the top?
3. What volcanoes can you name? How many of those are active?