5 Reasons I Love Science Projects As A Learning Tool

Anytime you create a fun, challenging and hands-on assignment for your students to use in class, or as a homework assignment, you are creating an awesome and highly effective learning experience. You can be sure the kids will love a classroom activity or homework assignment that is not lecture, books and paperwork! Including one day science fair projects in you teaching tool box really and truly helps create a positive, healthy, well-rounded classroom where you can feel learning ooze from the walls.

Here are five reasons why I love this kind of teaching tool:

1) I love one day science fair projects because they break up the boring pencil and paper routine.

Reason: You do not want students to get turned off about your subject because it is all books and paperwork. Students that come home with a pile of books, and all of them require basically the same thing, read and answer questions, does not instill a love of learning in most kids. Having hands-on projects gives them something to look forward to and builds excitement.

2) I love these one day science fair projects because they are short and sweet, with easy to follow directions.

Reason: You want to keep the attention of the students, and long drawn out complicated projects sometime lose their appeal. Having shorter, easy to follow projects that can be completed in one classroom period or in one evening as homework ends up being a nice neat package with a higher probability of success.

3) I love one day science fair projects because they encourage independent work habits.

Reason: In this instant world, kids expect things to be handed to them, and expect answers to instantly appear. A project where they must do something first, have a process to follow and gather the results themselves, and draw their own conclusions, will help build patience and independence, both great work habits to acquire.

4) I love one day science fair projects because they are perfect thing for parents to have access to on those nights their child comes home and tells them they have an experiment due tomorrow.

Reason: Having access to quality science projects that can be downloaded immediately, and have complete, easy to follow directions, with built in spreadsheets for data entry that can be transformed into cool charts, will save the night for both parent and child!

5) I love one day science fair projects because they are hands-on, active, and multisensory, which is one of the best approaches to teaching ever.

Reason: Whether you call it motor memory, or hands on learning, or multisensory, what you are doing is bringing together, seeing, hearing, and doing into one learning experience. The memory of the lesson learned will be much stronger than if they were just to read it in a book.

“It is no good knowing about the taste of strawberries out of a book.” (Aldous Huxley) reflects the theme behind multisensory approach to teaching. Teachers that create an active, hands-on learning environment will create lessons that will be remembered forever. Science teachers who use one day science fair projects regularly will may end up helping to create independent thinkers that actually like science.

Here is a link to a great digital resource for simple, easy to follow 24 hour science projects, weekend projects and demonstration projects. Often these digital products cost less than what you would pay for a pizza.

One Day Science Fair Projects – Step by Step Blueprints for Students and Parents – http://24hourscienceprojects.blogspot.com

Find some great Middle School Science Projects too! http://24hourscienceprojects.blogspot.com

My name is Sue Gnagy Fegan and I used a structured, sequential multisensory teaching approach for the past 34 years. I saw first hand the benefits of engaging students in productive, hands on activities to make learning more meaningful and more fun.

Science Projects can be fun and easy, as well as educational! Click here for more information!

One Day Science Fair Projects: Great for Weekend Hands-on Fun!

The weekends are often the only time during the school year the family can kick back and relax from the busy daily routines of work and school. This is a great time to get into the habit of doing something hands on with your kids to get them away from their electronic devices for awhile. The first things that comes to mind is doing something crafty, putting a puzzle together, or baking cookies together. Another idea that you may not have thought of is to search for some simple one day science fair projects that use everyday household materials to answer everyday questions that come up naturally, like “Is there the same amount of vitamin C in juice as there is in oranges?” This article will explore some of the benefits bringing a science project into the weekend mix of activities.

One HUGE benefit that goes without saying, is the opportunity for quality time. Those words have become a catch phrase, and overused at times, but the bottom line is any chance to spend some time with your child without other distractions, is time well spent. Doing a hands on project is even better since it encourages healthy conversation, and a chance to give advice without appearing to nag. Since it is a science project, it opens their curiosity doors to talk about other science things in our everyday world.

Another benefit of bringing one day science fair projects into your weekend routines whenever it works out, it that it will give your child a sense of independence. These are not projects that need a parent hovering, they can be involved in the process, but a well organized project with easy to follow directions will give the child ownership of the project and the ability to do it themselves. Eventually they will learn from doing these projects how to set up up follow up projects of their own. Once they learn how to look at vitamin C, they might take a look at different salsa sauces.

Enough can’t be said about the benefit of understanding that 21st century learning is a blend of electronic time saving devices and old fashioned hands-on doing. The experience of actually doing something yourself can not be replaced, like building, creating, baking or experimenting with things you gather, touch and use. For example, the stash of one day science fair projects you find could be stored online, so kids might use their phones or computers to get the directions, and record the data,but the actual doing it part, will be a hands-on event. It ends up being a lesson in how to blend the best of both worlds.

Taking the time to work some hand-on activities into your weekend schedule will be a valuable habit for any family. You will be happy to get more cookies baked, cool projects made of wood and interesting one day science fair projects results stuck on your refrigerator. Do not worry, you still have plenty of time for laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the bathroom, and paying your bills.

Here is a link to a great digital resource for simple, easy to follow 24 hour science projects, weekend projects and demonstration projects. Often these digital products cost less than what you would pay for a pizza.
Go to my Blog!
One Day Science Fair Projects
Step by Step Blueprints for Students and Parents

Look for great Middle School Science Projects too!
(on the blog’s top right side bar!)

My name is Sue Gnagy Fegan and I used a structured, sequential multisensory teaching approach for the past 34 years. I saw first hand the benefits of engaging students in productive, hands on activities to make learning more meaningful and more fun.

Want to get your Science Project over with? Get it done in a day, with your satisfaction guaranteed!

Science Projects on the Internet for Eighth Graders

easy science projectsThe internet can give you an advantage when looking for a science project for you middle school student.  You are sure to be able to find the perfect 8th grade science project for your student that will fulfill their science project requirements, and hopefully follow their interests as well. The thing is to know where to look to get the best and most results.

Start your search by looking  for science projects that suit your 8th grader’s science interests. For example, if they want to do a science experiment that has to do with star gazing or space, you can search  “8th grade science projects, astronomy” to be sure to find a project that is appropriate for their grade level.  However, you will probably need to find a more specific science project website in order to get the best results.

There are certain websites that exist to host whole databases of science projects for kids of all ages, and can be searched by grade level or subject area. Some great science project databases include http://www.akronlibrary.org/DBS/SFDB/Default.aspx as well as http://www.youth.net/nsrc/sci/sci.index.html. These websites that are intended specifically for students searching for feasible and fun science projects will likely be more reliable and easy to use than doing a broader search, where the results might be hard to verify. Another good resource are the 8th grade project guides available for free at http://www.middle-school-science-projects.com/guide.pdf, that are designed with the usual hypothesis through results structure in mind.

Visit 24 Hour Science Projects

today for your fun science projects!

7th Grade Science Projects on the Internet

The internet is definitely one of the most diverse tools at your disposal when trying to find a great 8th grade science project. You will be able to find a fun and eduational science  project, no matter what your student’s interests, that will satisfy the school science project fair requirements.  Knowing where to look is the trick.

Always start with a general search for a project in your child’s area of interest. For example, “8th grade science projects, marine biology” or “8th grade science projects, earth sciences.” This route might yield some useful results, but you may be at risk of becoming overwhelmed with too many results, or too many projects that don’t suit your child’s curriculum or interests.

You can try searching for websites that contain large inventories of science project ideas, or if you are having difficulty narrowing down your results, browse several subject areas at once. Very often these databases, like the ones found at http://www.akronlibrary.org/DBS/SFDB/Default.aspx or http://www.youth.net/nsrc/sci/sci.index.html, are capable of being searched by grade level or subject, and have reliable science projects that are age appropriate for your student. This might be a better strategy than finding a project idea on an independently run website that might not be trustworthy. You can also find a free online 8th grade science project guide at http://www.middle-school-science-projects.com/guide.pdf

Check out 24 Hour Science Projects

today to get your science experiments!

Middle School Science Projects

If you are on the search for a middle school science project you are probably looking for something that is a little more interesting than the average baking soda volcano.  Well, have no fear; there are plenty of options out there that will please your child as well as their science teacher.

If you have a music lover, you may want to consider something like “music vs. noise”.  Most children love music, which makes this an interesting experiment for them.  However, you should take care to actually base your experiment on facts rather than opinions.

There are countless projects related to eggs.  Some of which include; floating eggs, sinking eggs, egg in a bottle, egg spinning, the egg drop, and the process of eggs turning into chicks.  Not only is this group fun for students, but eggs a relatively low in cost, so if you need to start over, it will not be as disheartening.

Weather is also an interesting category.  You can choose from things like tornados, hurricanes, thunder, lightening, rain, hail, and fog.  Learning how each element forms and the effects that it has on the environment around it are great project ideas.

This is only a small sampling of middle school science projects.  There are many resources available to help you find the best project for your child.

If you’re looking for a ready made experiment, get one of our Science Project guides. They’ll take you step by step through the experiments, all of which follow the scientific method.


Photo source: 123dan321

At a Glance – All of our Science Fair Topics

People often ask me for an entire list of all the science fair topics we have. Here’s a list of each project topic, and along with a link where you can get instructions on how to get the topic turned into something ready for your science fair!

24 Hour Science Fair Topics:
demonstration topic
• Does the shape of ice affect melting time?
• Does covering the mouth really help prevent the spread of germs?
• Which toilet tissue is most biodegradable?
• How does salt affect the boiling point of water?
• Which citrus fruit has the most Vitamin C?

These experiments are available here: 24 Hour Science Projects

Weekend Science Fair Topics: weekend science project topic
• Take the shell off an egg without boiling, and find out if water will go through the membrane.
• Use toy cars to find out about friction!
• Are two ears better than one? Get a group of friends to find out the answer.
• Which brand cereal stays crunchy longest? You’ll love this tasty experiment.
• Feeling a bit warm? Which type of insulation works best?

Turn these topics into experiments here: Weekend Science Projects

Watch This! Science Project Topics:
vitamin c topic
• Demonstrate that yeast is alive by watching it blow up balloons!
• Show how one Lego sinks, and another one floats in this amazing lesson on density.
• Show off how static electricity works – you’ll make aluminum foil dance!
• Prove that chemical reactions can be sped up – right in front of your friends.
• Make oil and water mix.

Get these demonstration science fair project here Watch This! Science Project Topics.

Middle School Science Project Topics:
chemistry topic
• Experiment to find the effect different hair products has on hair.
• Analyze soil, then test its water carrying capacity.
• Find out what makes yeast grow the best.
• Test and see if the amount of Vitamin C in juice diminishes over time.
• Make a solar heater from inexpensive (or recycled!) products.

Get all five Middle School Science Project Topics.

P.S. Each of our Science Fair Topics are great for the science fair. They’re educational, affordable, and fun! AND they can all be finished by this time tomorrow!

Science Project Application – Or How to Cool Turkey Broth

It’s always great when you come across a really great science project application. And today, I cooked up a great one. (Pun intended – sorry!)science project application

We had our big Thanksgiving meal over the weekend, and I’m just getting to making broth from that huge turkey carcass. I covered it with water, added a couple of onions and garlic…and simmered away. I needed the broth to be ready quickly, so after it cooled a bit, I got ready to put it into the refrigerator.

So I grabbed a pot. And then saw a second pot. Hmmm. One pot was tall and thin, another was wider at the base. Which one would allow the broth to get cold the fastest?

Then I remembered the science project, A Slice Of Ice, where you experiment to see if ice melts faster at a high surface area or a lower one. I knew that the opposite was true, too, so I looked at the two pots, and realized that the one with the wide base had a greater surface area than the tall and skinny one.

Who says science can’t be applied to everyday life?! I love it.

P.S. So – with my science project application hat on – which one did I choose? Get your copy of A Slice of Ice here – and find out!

Elephant toothpaste on the David Letterman show – by Rajeev Goel

The following wonderfully fun post is shared by Rajeev Goel, the creator of Our Science Fair which I referenced in yesterday’s post about organizing a science fair.

A couple of weeks ago — Nov. 12 to be exact — David Letterman had Kid Scientists on his Late Show. This is something he does once every few months, and in this case, the Kid Scientists were his first guest on the show, coming on even before his A-list movie star, Amanda Peet. I applaud The Late Show for doing this, and I just think it’s an amazing idea. I love the fact that ordinary school kids are getting their chance at five minutes of fame. In a world where science isn’t considered the most glamorous of professions, these kids are basically selling scientific exploration as being fun, cool, and something to aspire to. It’s also noteworthy that the kids chosen to be on the program are diverse in terms of gender and race. On Nov. 12, he had a boy and two girls, one of whom was Asian Indian.

Many would agree that the first girl, “Heather”, had the most exciting demonstration. The video of her demo is here:

For the curious among you, I thought I would break down her demonstration.  It can be tough to follow everything she says on air, since things move along fairly quickly.
First, she says that she has two beakers of cyalume.  Cyalume is another name for the chemical “diphenal oxalate”.  But really only the red beaker contains cyalume, and in fact, it’s a mixture of cyalume and a special fluorescent dye.  The chemical formula for cyalume is:
The other beaker, the one with the clear liquid, contains a hydrogen peroxide solution:
12-year old Heather says that when you “mix the two together, they will undergo chemiluminescence.”  She proudly and patiently explains to Mr. Letterman that “chemiluminescence is when the chemicals will give off cool light due to the excitations in the electrons.”  The chemical reaction that takes place is as follows (from Wikipedia):
Wikipedia explains further:
By mixing the peroxide with the phenyl oxalate ester (aka, diphenal oxalate), a chemical reaction takes place; the ester is oxidized, yielding two molecules of phenol and one molecule of peroxyacid ester (1,2-dioxetanedione). The peroxyacid decomposes spontaneously to carbon dioxide, releasing energy that excites the dye, which then relaxes by releasing a photon. The wavelength of the photon—the color of the emitted light—depends on the structure of the dye.

Once they have their bright yellow glowing liquid, Heather asks Mr. Letterman to pour it into the giant graduated cylinder, which appears to already contain about half a liter of liquid dishwashing soap.  Then, she asks him to add the manganese dioxide:

Since manganese dioxide is actually a black powder, I can only assume that the black liquid in the measuring cup is actually a water-based manganese dioxide solution.  When Mr. Letterman adds this to the giant cylinder, the crowd goes wild.  As Heather explains, “The manganese dioxide will act as a catalyst and break down the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas.  The oxygen gas bubbles will get caught in the soap, and it will also get very hot.”  The chemical reaction is as follows:

As you can see, the manganese dioxide is not actually part of the equation.  That’s because it’s only a catalyst, and doesn’t actually get consumed as part of the chemical reaction.  Anyway, resulting the water and oxygen gas (and heat) all get mixed up in the dishwashing soap causing it to create enormous amounts of suds, enough to overflow the giant graduated cylinder.

Sometimes this demonstration is known as “elephant toothpaste” (for obvious reasons), and you can find numerous examples on the web of this experiment being performed by kids in their school chemistry labs.  For example, check out this video.

Well, I hope that helps clear things up, and now you know enough to try this out yourself, assuming you can get a hold of the chemicals.  If you do, please follow all appropriate safety precautions … these chemicals are dangerous, and the chemical reactions produce a lot of heat.
Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this post.  Teachers and science fair coordinators:  don’t forget to get your free science fair website at OurScienceFair.com.
Rajeev Goel

Fun Science Projects

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