How to Build a Mountain out of Plaster of Paris
If you are teaching geology to grammar school students, you can make the lessons more exciting by including the students in a hands-on project related to their work.
For example, the kids can make a volcanic mountain out of Plaster of Paris, which can be later filled with materials that will make it flow with artificial lava like a real volcano. In order to make a mountain from Plaster of Paris, it is helpful to follow a few guidelines that will ensure the mountain will be firm enough to be used as a volcano model.
Place a sheet of cardboard onto a flat surface. Tape a paper towel tube into the centre of the cardboard.
Crumple up newspaper into a mound, and tape the mound onto the cardboard around the paper towel tube.
Cut plaster of Paris strips into 12-inch long pieces.
Fill a bowl with water, and dip the strips into the water, then wrap them around the newspaper mountain. Cover the mountain with at least three layers of Plaster of Paris strips. Do not cover the top of the paper tube hole.
Allow the plaster to dry completely.
Paint the outside of the mountain using acrylic paint. Allow the paint to dry completely before using your mountain for a volcano project.