large (tall) plastic vial
lots of newspaper
black, white and brown spray-paint
1’X1’ cardboard pieces
Approximate Time Needed
No two volcanoes are exactly alike, but we can divide them up into four basic types.
Cinder cones are steep-sided, symmetrical cones formed by the eruption of mainly ash, cinders and other pyroclastic, or solid, ejecta. This is like Mount Vesuvius in Italy.
Shield volcanoes are broad, gently sloping domes formed by lava flows from a central vent or fissure. These can be found in Hawaii.
Composite volcanoes are formed from alternating lava flows and pyroclastic debris mixed with ash. They are somewhere in between shield volcanoes and cinder cones. Mount Saint Helen’s was a composite volcano.
Calderas are formed when the top of a composite volcano collapses following an explosive eruption. New cones can begin to build in the calderas, which sometimes have water in them. Crater Lake in Oregon is a caldera.
We can make a model of the different “class” volcanoes. This picture shows a shield, a composite and a caldera.
Tape the large vial to the center of your cardboard base. For a shield volcano use the film canister instead. This will be the magma conduit. Crumple up the newspaper into balls.