What it is: Virtual Volcano is a Discovery Channel interactive where students learn about and test out volcanoes. First students get information about plate boundaries, active volcanoes around the world, and tectonic plates. They see all of this information on a 3-D rotating globe. Next students can learn about the different types of volcanoes, they will discover the three most common categories and read about each categories profile and its association with types of magma. Then students can take a journey inside the volcano. Here they will learn about the vents and how the volcano works. After students have learned some basic information about volcanoes, they can build their own volcano and watch it erupt. Students can set the conditions for the volcanoes, changing the viscosity and gas. When they are finished creating the volcano, they can test out it’s eruption.
How to integrate Virtual Volcano into the classroom: Virtual Volcano goes beyond the vinegar and baking soda models. This site really gives students an inside look at exactly how a volcano works. Students can adjust the viscosity and gasses and get a real idea about what is going on when a volcano erupts. This site would make an excellent experiment center on classroom computers while your students are learning about volcanoes. The site is also perfect for whole class instruction with a projector or an interactive whiteboard. Be sure to invite students up to adjust the conditions of the volcano and create their own eruption. Discuss the type of volcano the class has created and make predictions about what the volcano will look like before erupting it.
Tips: In the upper right corner of the volcano simulator you will find a link to information about Pompeii. Students can learn about Pompeii and take a quiz. There is also an excellent video of a volcano eruption here.
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Virtual Volcano in your classroom.