In this activity, students make a simple model of a cinder cone by pouring a granular material such as rice bubbles into a conical pile and measuring its slope. This is then related to the shape and formation of cinder cone volcanoes.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • describe the shape of a pile of granular material poured from above
  • relate the shape of their model cinder cone to that of real cinder cones
  • explain the concept of ‘angle of repose’
  • describe the formation of cinder cones.

Download the Word file (see link above) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • instructions on what you need and what to do
  • ideas for extending your students.
    Published 9 April 2010