Sputtering Volcanoes & Exploding Disasters


Lesson 105

“I can’t wait to do our science project today,” said Jessie during recess.

“Me too!” Justin replied excitedly. “I love volcanoes! And now we get to make our very own. We’ll make it explode with lava oozing all over it—kaboom, goosh!” Justin threw out his arms like an explosion.

“You sound like a crazy scientist,” said Jessie.

Justin made a crazy face, and Jessie laughed.

After recess, the class quickly found their science partners and took their places. First, they were each given a lab coat to keep their clothes clean. Then everyone put on safety goggles just in case something splatted or squirted.

“All right, class. I have given you everything you will need. You all have the volcanoes you made yesterday. Now comes the tricky part—putting it all together just right so it will actually work.”

Everyone listened to instructions and watched carefully as their teacher, Mrs. Bentley, showed them what to do with her example volcano.

Justin and Jessie went right to work.

“First you mix this,” said Jessie, handing a bottle to Justin. “Then you pour it into the top of the volcano.”

Justin did as Jessie directed.

“Stand back; here it goes!” Justin said, pouring the mixture.

The two watched excitedly, waiting for their volcano to explode. They waited and waited, until finally, their volcano let out nothing but a small burp and a tiny puff of steam—buurrp—hiss.

“Huh? What happened?” asked Jessie. “We must have done something wrong.”

The kids stared at their volcano, trying to figure out why it didn’t explode the way it should.

“I know!” shouted Justin. “I forgot to add this stuff.”

He held up a small cup of powder and dumped it in the top of the volcano then stepped back, expecting an explosion of orange goo at any moment.

“I hear something,” said Jessie. “Here it comes!”

Sure enough, a glob of orange lava surged up and over the side of the volcano—gurgle! But that was it, nothing more.


Justin and Jessie looked dejectedly at their volcano with its sad stream of lava.

“Mrs. Bentley,” Justin asked, “what’s wrong with our volcano? Why won’t it explode like yours did?”

Mrs. Bentley looked at their experiment and asked them what they had done so far. Then she explained what they should do to try again.

“I’m not so sure I want to try again. We’ve tried twice now, and nothing’s happened,” Jessie complained.

“Keep trying,” said Mrs. Bentley, encouragingly. “You’ll get it.”

“Okay.” Jessie sighed and turned to Justin, watching him remix the orange coloring.

“I guess we have to start over,” he said as he poured the mixture again.

“Ready? Here it goes,” said Jessie, picking up another cup of powder and dumping it into the volcano.

Suddenly, the volcano began to sputter and spew orange goo out the top.

“Uh oh! Better get back!” Justin shouted, but as he did so, his foot caught the table leg and jiggled the table.

The volcano wobbled then tipped over on its side. More orange lava exploded from the hole—bloosh, goosh!

“Whaa! Ick! Help!” shouted Jessie as orange globs pelted her lab coat—splat, splot!

“Eeew! Blecch! We must have put too much powder in.” Justin wiped off his face as the volcano spewed out another round of lava—bloop!

When Mrs. Bentley saw what was happening, she hurried over to help Justin and Jessie set their volcano upright.

“Oh dear,” she said, wiping orange goo off her hands. “We better clean this up before you try again.”

“I don’t think I want to try again,” said Jessie, wiping orange gunk out of her hair.

“Me neither,” said Justin sadly. “It’s just not working.”

“Yeah, we give up. It’s a disaster.”

“Now, I want you to think about something,” the teacher replied. “Do you think I would give you a project that I knew you could never do?”

“No,” they said gloomily.

“But how come it’s so hard?” asked Jessie. “I thought this would be easy and turn out really cool.”

“Well, not everything’s easy. Some jobs take longer than others, and some are just plain harder. But that doesn’t mean you should quit.”

Justin and Jessie frowned as they looked around the classroom, noticing that all the other students were still busy with their volcanoes.

“Don’t feel bad,” Mrs. Bentley said. “Alyssa and Maria just now got their volcano to work. And Michael and Patrick are still trying. You shouldn’t give up, either. Remember, I’ve given you everything you need to get the job done. You just need to keep trying—I know you’ll get it.”

Justin and Jessie cleaned up and repaired their volcano and put it back in its place on the table.

“Okay, are you ready?” Justin asked.

“Yep, let’s do this,” Jessie said with determination.

First, Jessie mixed the coloring with the bottle of liquid and poured it in the top of the volcano. Justin was ready with the powder and dumped it in right away. The kids watched closely. Soon, they heard a hissing noise, then suddenly a spurt of orange gooey lava spewed from the top and oozed down over the sides of their volcano.

“Hey! Cool!” cried Justin. “We did it!”

“It looks just like a real volcano,” said Jessie happily.

“Good job, you two!” Mrs. Bentley exclaimed. “It’s working perfectly.”

“I’m glad we didn’t give up,” said Justin.

“Me, too,” said Jessie, giving her science partner a friendly fist bump. “It was a perfect disaster!”

A Fun Part of Answers Bible Curriculum

Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.