Erupting Fizz

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This is a highly visual demonstration that illustrates both the effects of density and chemical reactions. Like a density column, volcano eruption, and Alka-seltzer reaction all in one, learners will observe layering between immiscible liquids, a volcanic eruption from salt crystals and a lava-lamp bubble effect caused by Alka-seltzer. This instruction guide includes a helpful video illustrating each step of the demonstration as well as an explanation of how the substances in the glass are interacting with each other. Note: this activity calls for beer, but any other light-colored fizzy drink will work as well.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per group of students)

  • pint glass
  • lager or other fizzy drink
  • vegetable oil
  • food coloring
  • Alka-Seltzer tablet
  • salt
  • stirrer


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
      • Gases
      • Changes of Phase
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Institute of Physics,