Fun science projects are the heart’s desire of every elementary and middle school student headed to the science fair. To most kids, a science project simply has to be fun. Frankly, most teachers share this view. From a teacher’s standpoint, it’s much better for a student if he or she is interested in the topic being studied.
Of course, a fun science project isn’t the final goal. The purpose of a science project is to teach the child about science. To do that, teachers and science fair administrators usually have strict guidelines about what a project or experiment must include. Experiments must usually follow the scienctific method. Demonstrations must explain a scientific principle. All projects must include research and references.
But a science project is also supposed to whet a child’s appetite for science. A fun and interesting project will make a student want to learn even more about our fascinating world and the scienctific laws that govern it. And a fun science project is a great way to do just that.
Here is a list of idea for science projects that will expand a child’s science knowledge and experience, but also meet that number one kid requirement – of fun.
1. Show how yeast gives off gas. Put yeast in a bottle of warm water, top it a balloon, and watch the balloon fill up with gas. This project can be done as a demonstration in front of the class, or as an experiment.
2. What can you do to speed up a chemical reaction? Plop Alka Seltzer into a cup of water and time it. Then crush the Alka Seltzer, and watch it fizz even faster after you put it into a cup of water. Still another time, reduce the amount of water, add Alka Selter, and see how fast it dissolves. This is a demonstration science project, and is terrific to wow classmates.
3. Explore the concept of density. Pour water, Karo syrup, rubbing alcohol, and vegetable oil into a tall container. Watch how they layer. Then drop in different items, like a penny, a cork, a Lego or a candle, and see where they float – or sink. The concept of density is advanced enough for middle schoolers, but can still be understood by kindergarteners.
4. Show how a chicken egg is a cell with a selectively permeable membrane. Soak a raw egg in vinegar for a weekend. The shell will come off. Then put the egg into dark syrup and watch what happens! This is another project that can be done as an investigation or a demonstration.
5. Rub a sheet of plexiglass with a wool sock, then show how balloons and hair stick to it. Or, try make a ball of aluminum foil dance, as shown in this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PKrSdnSgyw.
Detailed instructions for these projects are available at https://www.24hourscienceprojects.com. You’ll also find all sorts of reference materials to help with the science involved. We’ll definitely be able to steer you in the right direction as you search for fun science projects.
Photo by woodleywonderworks