That's because her family dog really did eat her fake volcano, and she had the X-rays to prove it.
Payton showed her teacher the pins she used to attach candy to the project from inside the stomach of her yellow lab named Reggie.
The family rushed Reggie to the veterinarian's office, where he learned about the real danger of fake volcanoes.
Fifty straight pins showed up on his abdominal X-ray. Some were removed with an endoscope down his throat, but there were still more.
"We went in surgically," Dr. Brian Vanvechten said. "At that time, we pulled out the one large and four small straight pins."
Reggie has fully recovered from his research into high school science.
As for his owner, she says the next project will be completed far away from Reggie.