Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Combustion & Volcanoes…AKA: Last day of school! April 27, 2012

Filed under: Lower Elementary — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 11:20 am
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Today was our last official day of school for the 2011-2012 school year!  True to our family and style of homeschooling, we thought it best to explode stuff and start other things on fire. 😉

Jedi was learning about Pompeii in history the past week.  He read about it in his history book and watched a documentary on it.  So, to celebrate the last day of school, we decided to use a city lego minifigures and erupt a volcano, of course!

Jedi with his city of minifigures. There is an antacid tablet, some baking soda, and some dish soap in the chambers behind the volcano. In his hands is a measuring cup with white vinegar and red food coloring.


Poor minifigures.... 😉


We also had to finish up the last of our chemistry today…the lesson on combustion!  Now, Jedi is sort of the Mr. Krabs of the household…he loves money a lot.  He even has to pick up every penny he finds.  He was a little stressed out when I told him I was going to start some money on fire.  He was willing to try it because it was my own money and not his own. 😉

I filled a dish with 1/2 cup of 91% rubbing alcohol, 1/2 cup of water, and 1/4 tsp of salt.  Then I dropped the bills in the dish for about 5 minutes to soak.  During that time, I went to wash my hands (it’s VERY important that there is no trace of rubbing alcohol on your hands for this!)

After the soaking, I picked up the bills with metal tongs and lit it on fire!

Money on fire!


Jedi was very relieved to learn the following:

-Alcohol burns very fast–a couple seconds and it was over.

-The alcohol burns faster than the water evaporates, so the bill stays wet and safe.

-The bill is not paper–it’s cotton.  Therefore, the bill does not get damaged in the experiment.


And with that, Jedi now moves up to 3rd grade, Monkey moves up to kindergarten, and Bitty Bug moves up to preschool.  We’re taking all of May off school, and we’ll be back in the school room the first week of June!