Empowering Student Innovation for a Clean Energy Future

Eruption of Pollution, Solar Evolution

The impact of our pollution has affected numerous areas of the world. We have designed our art project using recycled materials to prevent them from becoming more pollutants. Our art project is based on Mt. Kilauea, HI. By using a lampshade found on the side of the road we had our stable structure to build our faux volcano. We then cut our emptied livestock feed bags into strips and using a flour/water mixture to make papermache we adhered the strips to the lampshade, creating our rocky, volcanic shape.

There are two solar powered areas of our design. The background is a flip painting, with a wire coat hanger being the arm. The solar powered area is the eruption of the volcano. To complete the solar power the student’s had to explore the different capabilities of the various solar panels and decide which one/s held enough power. This was a great team building project as everyone not he team thinks a different way and each has their own set of skills. This was helpful in putting the pieces of the “puzzle” together to make this design successful.

We experimented with two different recipes to create our volcanic explosion. The first recipe was a mixture of water, baking soda and vinegar. This recipe was fun but we noticed it was a quick super fizz. The second recipe we used consisted of Diet Coke and Mentos. We discovered that this recipe made more of an elevated explosion, which of course is the one the kids chose for the final explosion! The set up we decided worked the best is to place the Diet Coke bottle inside the volcano and using a toilet paper roll we fashioned a “funnel tunnel” that fit around the mouth of the bottle. This “funnel tunnel” then had a slit cut into one side where a piece of plastic is inserted. This is to hold the mentos steady over the mouth of the bottle without allowing them to fall in. The piece of plastic then has fishing line tied to it which is strung through three metal clips with the other end of the line taped to a small three blade fan. This fan is powered by a solar panel. When the sun’s rays hit the solar panel the fan spins, tightening the fishing line and pulling the plastic piece out of the slit in the “funnel tunnel”. This causes the mentos pieces to drop into the Diet Coke and BOOM! Explosion time!

One thought on “Eruption of Pollution, Solar Evolution

  • What a great idea with the lamp shade!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *