Use chocolate and marshmallows to demonstrate the properties of lava!
You can conduct this experiment while students observe, or allow students
- block chocolate broken into chunks (1 chunk per student)
- marshmallows (3-4 per student)
- sauce pan
- hot plate
- wax paper
- Have students observe the properties of the chocolate and the marshmallows.
What is the texture? Hardness? Is it solid, liquid, or gas?
- Place the pieces of chocolate into a saucepan; place the saucepan
on a hot plate; turn on the hotplate.
- Discuss what you notice happening to the chocolate.
- Add the marshmallows to the chocolate.
- After a few seconds, use a spoon to carefully scoop out “blobs” of
the mixture and drop them onto wax paper.
- Watch the mixture cool and observe the changes to the mixture as
- Explain that this process is similar to what happens when a volcano
becomes active: the solid earth is exposed to extreme heat and changes
from solids into liquids. As it cools the liquid (molten lava) transforms
into solid rock.
A great wrap up for this experiment — students can eat their lavachocolate-marshmallow
Lisa Siegman. Instructor. New York: Nov/Dec 1998. Vol. 108, Iss. 4; pg.
20, 1 pgs