My first science fair project was nothing short of a
disaster. I was in fourth grade, and I wanted something
exciting. I couldn?t compete with the radiologist?s kid in
class who was blasting mung bean sprouts with X rays, so I
opted for flash rather than substance and decided I was going
to build a deluxe model volcano. Sure, looking up the
required encyclopedia entry on volcanoes wasn?t all that
flashy, and the volcano itself was a lump of clay painted
brown and white with a depression in the center for the
baking soda and vinegar ?lava,? but I was determined to go
I added red food coloring to my vinegar for that
molten effect, brought flash powder and a tape recorder of
volcano noises from something from Saturday morning cartoons.
I can say I learned plenty from my presentation that day. I
learned that red food coloring will stain, especially when
you don?t have anything to catch the lava as it spills across
the cafeteria floors, that flash powder won?t work if you get
it wet, and the rumbling sound effects will spook the
neighboring guinea pigs. I still got a ?B.?
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