Mystery Science Unit: The Birth of Rocks

Lava Experiment

Prepare the “Lava”

To prepare the “lava,” you will need water, flour, a 1-gallon Ziploc bag (or large mixing bowl), measuring cups, scissors, and (optional) red food coloring.

For thin lava, use plain water. You can optionally add a drop or two of red food coloring to make it look more like lava. A few cups of water will be enough for about 30 students (15 pairs).

To make thick lava, mix up the flour with water and (optional) red food coloring. You can mix up a batch in a plastic Ziploc bag without making a mess. You can also mix your lava in a mixing bowl. I use 1 cup of flour with 1 and a half cups of water. That makes enough for about 15 dixie cups full of lava.

Fill Cups with “Lava”

Fill half of the cups about halfway with the “thin lava.” Fill the other half of the cups about halfway with the “thick lava.”

These two pages below show you the questions we explored as a class. Feel free to go through the questions again with your homemade lava.