Solar system models
Building models is a fun way to explain many concepts in science. Have you ever tried building a model of the solar system using craft materials? Your planets will be fun to create and will represent the real celestial bodies, but it may prove very difficult to get a realistic scale for your model. Click here to find out why. Click here for a different model which is not to scale, but it is really useful if you want to explore the solar system and build your own model.
Erupting volcano models
Have you ever used bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to make an erupting volcano model? Volcanoes erupt when molten rock called magma rises to the surface. As magma rises, bubbles of gas form inside it. If the magma is thick, gas bubbles cannot easily escape and pressure builds up as the magma rises. When the pressure is too much an explosive eruption can happen.
When you mix bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, a chemical reaction occurs and carbon dioxide is produced. Just like carbon dioxide bubbles in a fizzy drink, the carbon dioxide rises to the top of the mixture. This creates the bubbles and foam you see when you mix bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. This experiment is always fun to try at home, click here for simple instructions.
Which parts of this model are a good representation of a volcanic eruption?
Why don’t you try building a tornado by following the instructions in the video on the right? Click here for photographs of lots of different science models you could try at home.