Jason Lindsey, left, explains the volcanic eruption process to students in Candi Flatt’s Gifted & Talented class Wednesday morning using a combination of peroxide, dish detergent, and potassium iodine.
Adair County Gifted & Talented students at all grade levels were treated Wednesday to a visit from Jason Lindsey, whose “Hooked on Science” program provided a lesson about volcanoes.
“He shows it in a fun way that the kids can relate to,” Gifted teacher Candi Flatt says of Lindsey’s methods. “It’s so much easier for them to grasp with this hands-on style of learning.”
Lindsey tailored his methods depending on which of the four groups were in class at the time. With younger students, early in the morning, he introduced basic concepts. Later in the day, with middle and high school students, the explanations gained more depth. The one constant in each of his four presentations were the experiments to mimic volcanic eruptions.
“I told him to make it over the top,” Flatt says. “I wanted it to be something the students haven’t seen before. He brought a winner with the volcanoes and they’re definitely excited about it.”
For one demonstration, used to explain the process of pressure building up under ground for long periods of time, Lindsey and a volunteer pumped air into a water bottle filled with Styrofoam. When the cap popped, the imitation “rock and ash” rained down on the students. To illustrate the way lava pours out of volcanoes, Lindsey added potassium iodine to peroxide and dish detergent, which led to a large, foamy “eruption.”
The lesson is especially applicable to Flatt’s students who will represent Mexico, a country with extensive volcanic activity, in March at the Kentucky United Nations Assembly (KUNA) in Louisville.
“It’s a great learning opportunity for all of our students, especially the ones that are learning about Mexico’s geography for KUNA,” Flatt says. “The young ones have fun and learn a lot, and the older ones do too. Everyone likes seeing explosions.”