Family travel should include visiting a Volcano

October 6, 2017  | By tickettolearn

Natural wonders have a big impact on kids. The first time they see a huge wave bigger than a building, stand in a 50 MPH wind or if they are really lucky see an eclipse can change their view their surroundings and possibly ignite a love of learning. Unfortunately, most natural wonders are hard to plan to get to see.

Seeing a Volcano is one natural wonder that can be seen, even get close to the lava flow that has a meaningful impact on kids and adults.

We think we are standing on solid ground but witnessing a volcano changes your perspective. Deep below us is fiery molten rock looking for an exit. When you visit Yellowstone National Park, you experience the geyser Old Faithful and numerous others where boiling water heated by the earth’s core is escaping.

Consider that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (F). What temperature do you bake normally? Gold melts at 1,948 degrees F. Steel melts at 2,500 degrees F. Lava, from a volcano, is ejected from a vent in the earth along a tunnel at between 1,300 and 2,200 F. In other words, really hot! How cool to witness this natural wonder. As it cools it goes back to being hard rock.

Amazingly there are 224 volcanoes in the United States, with over half located in Alaska but the most active is Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii which has been active since 1983. The hard part about visiting Kilauea is deciding whether you want to hike to the lava flow, fly over the volcano in a helicopter or experience the lava flow dumping into the ocean by boat.

Witnessing a volcano up close raises all sorts of questions and creates the opportunity to introduce a bunch of new vocabulary words: Hot spot (not an internet connection), Earth’s crust (not a pie crust), Plates (not what you eat off), Plate Tectonics (this takes some explaining), and if you really want to engage – Ring of Fire! This catchy name indicates the area in the Pacific where you can find 75% of the planet’s volcanoes.

Enrich your child’s education, plan to visit a volcano. Video of Volcano