What's underneath a volcano such as Olympus Mons? Using
playdoh to construct your own volcano and `expensive drill core equipment' (i.e.
straws and craft knives), students can reconstruct its history and learn about
the problems associated with these sampling techniques.
The Playdoh Volcano module is composed of two 'hands-on' practicals, one to construct a volcano and a second to analyse a volcano. Both practicals require a full hour each to complete, but either can also be run on their own (although the analysis section will require the students to be given a pre-constructed volcano).
Depending on the time available, equipment, and the nature of the students, the lesson could also be entirely non-practical, with the teacher leading a discussion and encouraging participation from the students. In the latter case, it is strongly recommended to use several images such as slides and internet pictures to illustrate the talk and place the topics into a context the students can understand more readily.
This experiment is a slightly modified version of the Hawai'i Space Grant Consortium's Lava Layering experiment. You may find more information about the experiment from their pages.