DMS students get explosive lesson in science

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 13, 2006

Five volcanoes exploded in Demopolis early yesterday morning, but they weren’t featured on the news because they were homemade creations of Addy Card’s sixth-grade earth science class at Demopolis Middle School.

“We made the dough to go around the two liter bottle on Wednesday. Then we painted them yesterday,” Card said.

“And now we are putting in warm water, dishwashing detergent to make it bubbly, red food coloring to make it look like lava, baking soda and vinegar.”

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Only in her second year of teaching, Card, who calls herself “young and fun,” said she sees how her students relate better to interactive projects.

“Especially for my special education and lower end students,” she said, “For them to do something this amazing…just to see the look on their faces makes me feel great.”

The students divided themselves into groups of five and were allowed to paint their erupting creations with their choice of colors.

“My group did ours that way because I knew it would be cute,” Rosa Robertson said of her group’s blue, white and brown volcano. “I came up with the design.”

“We wanted ours to look like it actually erupted, so that’s why we did ours the way we did,” Kevan Momenpour said of his group’s classic brown design with red paint dripping around the top.

Although most of the students had done a similar project before, they thoroughly enjoyed the chance to make a mess in the classroom.

“We didn’t have brushes, so we had to stick our hands it,” Trent Cook said with a smile.

“We got to get our hands dirty,” Robertson added.

The students liked the project so much, they said they have plans to do it again some day.

“It was exhilarating,” Cook said about the exploding experience.

“I’ll probably do it again, but not at home,” Robertson noted.

Although Card said her intentions were to close a chapter on volcanoes with a hands-on experience and showing them how to work together, her students said they also learned something else.

“We learned how to make volcanoes,” Robertson said.

“I learned how to make the dough that goes around the bottle,” Cook chimed in.

“I learned not to trust people,” Mitch McPherson said, “because if you are trying to get something done, they will mess it up.”