How to Make a Volcano Model (for school, etc.)


Today I’m going to show you how to build a homemade volcano using two different methods: the first one is the old-fashionedย baking soda and vinegar one, and the other is going to use the recently-made-famous diet-coke and mentos reaction.

The way we’re going to go about constructing it is with some air-dried clay for the volcano itself, some wood for decoration, a bottle to contain and direct the explosion, and something such as food coloring or kool-aid to color the liquid with so that it’s orange or red, like lava would be, to make it more realistic.

Also, a little tip: if you’d like your lava to be a little bit chunky and thick, as real lava tends to be, you can add some gelatin to it like you’ll see in a moment (regular dish-washing detergent will also make it thicker, plus it will make it foam and bubble quite a bit). Our instructor is going to be, suitably, someone who designs science experiments for schools for a living (she also has experience actually teaching science). Let’s get started.

Part 1: Introduction and necessary materials and equipment

Part 2: How do volcanoes work and what effect do they have on the earth?

Part 3: How to build a model volcano

Part 4: Eruption method #1, baking soda and vinegar

Part 5: Eruption method #2, diet-coke and mentos

For those of you who live in a cave and have completely missed out on the internet’s love affair with diet-coke and mentos, go here and here (notice how many views that video has ๐Ÿ˜† ), that should take care of it.

Additional Resources and Further Reading

If you’re doing this for a science project, or you want some AWESOME science projects for future use, and especially if you’ve got a science project due very shortly and you’re getting desperate, I highly recommend you check out this guide to “24 Hour Science Projects, it’ll make your life SO much easier and it’ll save you a ton of time, believe me. These have all already been tested and used multiple times and shown to please and wow teachers and spectators, and (most importantly, right?) they almost always get an excellent grade if you do them as per the instructions.

Here’s a great page over at Storm the Castle that’s got a bunch of different homemade volcano projects with instructions for each one.

The Discovery Kids site has got a WICKED COOL setup where you can see an interactive graphic of how a volcano works plus they tell you how to build your own.

And, of course, you can always just buy your own volcano making kit like this one from Amazon.


  1. is it possible to use a cherry coke or am i limited to diet coke. i would like to get the lava color effect. thanks and great videos

  2. Other types of soda will work, but it’s been found (Mythbusters tested it) that diet coke works better than any other type.