Student Activities

Make Your Own Caldera

Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade

The Yellowstone Caldera is 30 x 45 miles (48 x 72 km) wide. Simulate for yourself how the Yellowstone Caldera was formed.

What You'll Need

  • Large shoebox
  • Newspaper or craft paper
  • Balloon
  • Plastic straw
  • Binder clip
  • Tape
  • Flour

Series of three photographs showing the 3 steps in the activity.

What To Do

  1. Line your box with paper and punch a hole in one end. Insert the straw into the balloon and tape it tightly so no air leaks out. Feed the straw through the box hole.
  2. Blow up the balloon with just enough air to fill the box. Fold over the end of the straw and seal with the binder clip. Place the box on paper and sprinkle flour over the balloon until it is completely covered.
  3. Slowly take the binder clip off and allow the balloon to deflate. Can you see the edges of your caldera?


Printable version of the activity.

Download Make Your Own Caldera

Last updated: August 16, 2018