Archives for September 2009

Science Project Topics by Type

Recyling aluminum foil.

Recyling aluminum foil.

There are five types of science projects, and we’ve included a fast and easy example of each.

1. What condition is most favorable for decomposing an apple? Place three identical apples in zip lock bags. Add soil to one, water to another, and let the third simply be exposed to air. Watch the decomposition over three weeks. This project is an observation or demonstration, as the results cannot be measured.

2. What products in the home are made from recycled material? Gather items made from reclaimed materials and arrange them into an attractive display. This is a collection.

3. What kinds of birds live in Hawaii? Use books and the internet to research the answer to this question. Type up your findings and present them in a paper. This is a research project or a science report.

4. What temperature water is best for activating yeast? Fill three small bottles with water, one with hot, one warm and one cold. Add sugar and yeast to each bottle, and quickly place a balloon over the bottle mouth. Measure the tallest balloon to see which temperature activated the yeast. This is an experiment, or an investigative project. It follows the scientific method.

5. Make a model of DNA. Use craft beads and chenille wire to make a model of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the building block of life! This is a model.

You can use any of these fast and easy science fair projects, as long as they conform to the guidelines of your fair. But don’t stop at these. Let them give you ideas of your own!

Get the instructions for fast and easy projects and a FREE parent’s guide to science projects at 24 Hour Science Projects.

Kids Science Projects By Dan Whyman

What you will want to do is take a couple of different areas of science and write them down. For example, you could choose the following: earth science, weather, and plants. And then take each area and come up with 1-2 experiments for each.

We will take earth as our first example. You can take a 2 litre pop bottle and fill it half with water. Then mix in some soil and let the mixture settle out for 5-10 minutes. The kids will see pebbles settle first. Sand normally settles next. Silt comes next. Then some dirt particles will float very long periods. Organic things like leaves and bugs will usually float. The lesson is just a brief introduction into geology. Make sure you are paying attention to your kids’ reaction, especially if one of them really seems to enjoy learning about dirt.

Next, let’s take the weather. Something we all can learn from. Let’s look at why the grass is wet in the morning. Take a 2 litre bottle and cut the top off. Fill it about 2/3 with warm tap water. Feel the outside. Now add several ice cubes and stir until melted. Now check the outside of the bottle again. Notice any moisture (if not continue to add ice cubes). The water on the outside is really forming from air surrounding the bottle. The water is condensed from the atmosphere when the water temperature is cooler then the dewpoint of the air. Dewpoint is calculated from the relative humidity and temperature of the air and is most easily remembered as the temperature that water vapor changes state into a liquid. This is why we get dew on the grass during the night time.

The final experiment we will look at is easy to do. The kids will really enjoy this one. We are going to make a mold garden (on purpose). Take several pieces of bread and sprinkle with water. Leave the bread out for several hours (overnight works best). Put the bread into a 2 litre bottle and cap it. Place the bottle in a sunny stop for a couple of days. What you will see starting to grow is mold. Don’t open the bottom to avoid letting the mold spores out (can cause sickness). Penicillin was discovered by a very similar experiment back in the 1930’s. Make sure you share this fact with the kids.

Remember to have fun with the kids. They may surprise you at the last moment with their forgotten assignment but by being prepared you can turn it around.

Visit our website at for more fun science ideas and resources.


Get your FREE parents guide to science projects at We also have a list of fast and easy science project guides that can be done in a very short amount of time – many of which are easily adaptable for use with more than one child.

Eight Great Human Behavior Science Project Topics

Human Behavior Science Projects explore the fascinating ways that human beings behave. Behavioral projects are a popular choice for kids headed to the science fair. While gathering enough test subjects can be tricky, these projects can be a great way for students to learn about testing, meet interesting people, and have fun. There are so many things to discover, that the hardest part may be simply choosing a topic. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started.

1. Determine the soothing effect of music by taking the pulse before and after a five minute session of classical piano.

2. See if more people are visual learners or auditory learners by having humans memorize a telephone number that they only see, then a different one that they only hear.

3. Discover if wearing glasses helps or hurts a salesperson’s profit. Have a salesperson wear glasses for a series of days, then go to work without the glasses. Compare their total sales for the two periods.

4. Find out if yawning is contagious behavior by watching a group of children before and after the group leader yawns. Note that because it is such a primitive reflex, yawning is a very popular human behavior science project subject.

5. Are younger children more inclined to like their teachers than older students? Rate the popularity of teachers that teach different ages of kids.

6. Measure the time it takes for children to learn a poem set to music or not set to music.

7. Find out if the scent of lemon helps attention by calculating test scores of people who have or have not sniffed a lemon. This is a great science project that might help ADHD students!

8. Find out if two ears or one are better at localizing a sound by hiding an object, and timing how long individuals take to find it. (Get a complete project guide for this project at Online Science Projects.)

Of course, you don’t need a study of human behavior to know that students like to come up with new and unique ideas. So put on your thinking cap and come up with your own human behavior science project!

PS Need ideas on where to conduct your human behavior experiment? Check out our middle school science project blog!

Beyond the Science Project Board

It’s not just science projects. In general, school, homework and learning can be a real struggle for many children – I know this firsthand from watching my boys. Early on, I decided that my guys should never have to look far for the proper tools. Like a busy executive, they needed to concentrate on the task before them, and should have anything they need close at hand. There is a closet in our house that looks like the school supply section at Wal-Mart. The boys have tools to stay organized. They have plenty of socks, underwear, and soccer clothes. We have calculators, computers, dictionaries, encyclopedia, rulers, compasses, and yes, we keep spare science boards. (We even keep completed projects, as you may have read in the post about doing science projects with more than one kid.

To prepare for this article, I walked through my house and made a list of the supplies we keep on hand. This list can be a springboard for getting supplies ready for your children. Let this list help you as you help your children to help themselves.

Lots of pencils
Markers – wide tip & fine point
Permanent markers
Highlighters in several colors
Zip lock bags – all sizes
Glue and glue sticks
Spray adhesive
Scotch tape – wide and thin
Duct tape and packing tape
Sticky tack
Thumb tacks
Paper clips
Paper fasteners
Index cards
LOTS of Notebook paper, wide and college rule
Notebooks – 1 & 3 subject in both rules-
with the THICK cardboard covers
Graph paper
Graph paper NOTEBOOKS (invaluable for math)
Card stock in white and colors
Colored computer paper
Construction paper
Science boards

White drawing paper
Folders – pocket and prong
Manilla file folders
Envelopes – including large yellow ones
Full sheets of sticker paper
Newsprint, bought for $1 at the newspaper office
Pencil cases
Bookbags (one of the boys broke his yesterday
and I was grateful we had a spare)
Notebook dividers
Looseleaf binders in several sizes
Sheet protectors
Baby food jars
Old magazines – including National Geographic, Science Journal
given away free by our local library
Tempera paint
Wall Map
Old set of encyclopedias and science journals
Electronic Dictionary – for the short definitions
and the easy look up
Calculators, some cheap, some not
Extra Ink Cartridges
Memory sticks/thumb drives

I’m quite aware that this is a LOT of stuff. But you’re going to buy it anyway. Cut down on the stress and buy it in advance. Science project time will be here before you know it!

And while you’re getting supplies, add our free science project guide at


Winning Science Project Ideas

Winning science project ideas are a hard thing to find for most parents. I once proposed a project to our principal entitled, “Do Science Projects cause maternal insanity?” We have four boys, and throughout middle and elementary school, they were required to enter the school science fair. At first, each experiment was a huge struggle. But over the years, we figured out how to do a science project that worked, wasn’t expensive, didn’t require months to complete, and that conformed to the strict science fair guidelines. We also found that science projects really could be fun! That was a novel idea to us…

As you search for science project ideas, here are some hints to help you choose a winning science project for your child:

1. Know your science fair guidelines. What kind of project does your science fair require? There are five kinds: investigative (experimental), demonstration, research, models, and collections. (For more detailed information on types of science projects, get a FREE Parent’s Guide to a Science Project at

Are there other restrictions? Can you use food, or animals? Does your child have to redo or recreate the project in front of the judge?

2. Brainstorm. After you know all the specifics for your science fair, make a list if project ideas that meet the requirements. Try to get projects with a variety of science topics. You may want to do this before your child gets involved, so you won’t have to say “No – not suitable” so many times.

3. Narrow it down. Look through your list of projects, and eliminate the ones that look too complicated or hard to do. Remember, your child is supposed to do the project with your assistance only.

Check the list of supplies. Are they readily available? Can you afford them?

Do you have enough time to complete the project? If the science project is due next week, you don’t have time to study the long term effect of anything.

Make sure the science project is on your child’s level. He or she should be able to get a good grasp of the scientific basics. Science projects for third graders probably shouldn’t involve advanced physics.

4. Finally, let your child choose the science project idea that he or she likes the best – and you’ve got a winner.

Have fun!

P.S. Get your FREE Parent’s Guide to a Science Project here. We’ll point you in the direction of some winning science project ideas!


Science Projects for More Than One Kid

So both your kids have to do a science project?! Science Projects for families with more than one child can be an daunting task for parents. Science fairs are generally held at about the same time, so even if kids are in different schools, their projects probably have due dates that are near each other. Here are five ideas to simplify the process.

1. Let kids work together on the same project. They can each do the experiment, and will each have to do a science board or report, but you’ll only have to help find one idea and gather the materials from one list. This is the way to go if your kids are in different schools.

2. Use different variables for the same experiment. If you’re comparing amounts of Vitamin C in substances, for example, let one child test various canned fruit juices, and another child test different juices from fresh fruit. The research and procedure is the same, but the experiments are different.

3. Recycle projects. Our family has always done projects together, then saved them in the attic. One year one of our boys used the same experiment his brother had done the year before. We redid the experiment, but reused the science board, simply adding the fresh data and photographs.

4. Submit different types of the same project. If your school science fair allows it, one child can submit and experiment based project, and the other submit a demonstration. For example, one child can demonstrate how to take the shell off an egg without boiling, and another can experiment to see if water goes through the membrane.

Science projects are supposed to be wonderful learning experiences for kids – and they can be. Don’t let your family get bogged down in the process. Look for ways to streamline and coordinate, and make science fair time a fun educational time for your kids.

Get your free parents guide to science projects at We also have a list of fast and easy science project guides that can be done in a very short amount of time – many of which are easily adaptable for use with more than one child.


New Fan Page on Facebook

Since our kids spend so much time on Facebook, we thought it would be fun to put up a fan page where we – and you – could post your pictures of your science projects and tell a little about what you have done.

Here’s our new page:

So – what do you think? Won’t you be our fan?!