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This Exploratorium activity can be used in many contexts because geysers are great opportunities for learning about heat and temperature changes as well as geological/space science phenomena. You'll need lab equipment for this activity/experiment.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • Ring stand
  • Metal ring or Burette/retort clamp
  • Hot plate or other heat source
  • Clean, empty 2-liter plastic bottle
  • Glass tubing, 75 cm or shorter in length
  • Erlenmeyer flask
  • Two one-hole rubber stoppers (one to fit the Erlenmeyer flask, one to fit the 2-liter bottle)
  • Safety goggles
  • Scissors or box cutter
  • Timing device such as a stopwatch or clock
  • Optional: food coloring


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
    • Earth Processes
      • Volcanoes and Plate Tectonics
      • Geochemical Cycles
    • Solar System
      • The Planets
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer
    • Chemistry
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
      • Changes of Phase


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Access Rights:

  • Free access