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Viscosity of Lava Lab

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What impacts the viscosity and ability of lava to flows out of a volcano? In this lab, students will measure the speed of corn syrup lava as it flows down a clipboard, representing the side of a volcano. Students will test 4 variables: dissolved water, undissolved solids (representing crystallization), air bubbles (volatiles), and temperature.

Materials needed: Corn syrup, clipboard, wax paper, masking tape, beaker, spoons, water, sand, hand mixer or whisk, ice and warm water bath (or fridge and microwave), stopwatch, ruler, and a plastic bin.

Note: this lab is fully editable, so if you wish to simplify or eliminate any of the trials you are welcome to do so.

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