Watch out! Geysers of Diet Coke at Woodson!

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 –¬†written by STEM Facilitator Kiara Byrd

April 23 - 2 It’s the day after Earth Day and the Woodson girls were going to be learn about one earths natural wonders. I showed them a video clip to explain what a geyser is and how it works. Most importantly what were the three key things to have a geyser eruption. Jailon said water was one, Semajah said magma as the second part in making things hot, and Rachel said the igneous rock as the final piece to the puzzle.

To their surprise, the girls were going to make their own geysers today, using diet coke and mentos. How will they be able to do that without the three key parts?? I’m glad you asked.
I explained to the girls that with the materials we have we do have similar key parts. The first thing is the water, which is a liquid and our liquid is the diet coke. Our second part is the magma heat and how this experiment works is that, with a mentos capsule it has tiny holes around it. When the capsule comes in contact with the diet coke it causes tiny bubbles of CO2 to form off the capsule, pushing our liquid up like the magma heat boiling the water. And last but not least the igneous rock that helps with the water movement, our mentos capsule is our igneous rock.
I had 4 bottles so the girls were put into 4 groups. Because this experiment can get messyApril 23 - 3 we had the chance to go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather for a little bit. But not without our protective gear, in order to not mess up our clothes from the eruptions. The girls also made tubes out of construction paper to be able to distribute all the mentos into their bottles without an immediate blast of coke in their faces lol.
When we made it outside the girls were very excited. “Can we start now Miss Kiara?” Tahnya ¬†asked. “Yea I want to see what’s going to happen.” Said Alana. I asked the girls to get in their separate groups and keep a safe distance between them so they do not get splashed by the other bottles. I first explained they had to duct tape the construction paper tube to the bottles and stick a toothpick at the bottom as a stopper, so all the mentos can be put in. Each group had their turn to display their geyser. One group in particular wanted the full experience, my 5th graders. Even with the protective wear, the girls stood directly next to their geyser and enjoyed every second of getting messy from the eruption. They screamed and laughed at the same time. I admired their bravery.
April 23 - 4After our geyser eruptions, we headed back inside to get cleaned up. With a few minutes left I wanted to get started on our science presentation ideas. The girls named off a few even including our geyser experiment we just did. Tahnya and Arianna even showed me on how to make a marble design with nail polish. After so many, we barrows it down to three projects and I can’t wait for them to show me their skills on creating their own things to take home.

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