Volcanoes - Experiments, Fun Facts and Science to try in your classroom

The team here at Extra! have put together some fun experiments, fun facts and science resources for your classroom! For a great learning resource about volcanoes and current affairs then look no further than the Extra! Earth Issue: Volcanoes out on March 12.

Explosive Facts for your classroom

There are volcanoes on every continent, even Antarctica.


Did you know that over 80 percent of the Earth's surface is of volcanic origin? Volcanic gas emissions over hundreds of millions of years formed the Earth's earliest oceans and atmosphere, which supplied the ingredients vital to evolve and sustain life. Volcanic eruptions have produced mountains, plateaus, and plains, which eventually weathered into majestic landscapes and formed fertile soils.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s dramatic landscape is due to our highly charged natural hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunami, floods and landslides.  Our volcanoes are world renowned for their frequency of eruptions and volumes of material ejected.


Many volcanoes, in Aotearoa New Zealand such as Taranaki and Ngauruhoe have the classic cone shape but there are many other volcanoes that are not so easily detected.  Tarawera looks like a collection of hills with flat tops rather than a volcano that ‘blew its top”. Lake Taupo is in fact a caldera created by a supervolcanic eruption which occurred approximately 26,500 years ago.

Sources say, some 1,500 volcanoes are still considered potentially active around the world today.  Most of the world's most active volcanoes are positioned around the ring of fire, a 25,000-mile long, horseshoe-shaped zone that stretches from the southern tip of South America across the West Coast of North America, through to Japan, and on to New Zealand.  

  • Find more of our explosive fun facts here

  • Test your classroom’s knowledge with our fun interactive quiz here

You can also make a fun class project with the below video:

Come with us, on this journey to investigate volcanoes, and how much this natural phenomenon has impacted our landscape and our lives.

To find more information and for more explosive reading, order our Extra! volcanoes issue here.