Take Home That Blue Ribbon: 5 Science Projects That Really Wow

girl holding toothpick and marshmallow model of a cell

Science experiments are a wonderful way to engage children in active learning. Whether you are looking for a new ideas for a school project or just a fun summer project to inspire the kids. Here, we consider five great science projects:

1) Put Gravity to the Test!

What? Penny, 1-inch wide strip of stiff paper folded into a hoop, empty film canister, pen.

How? 1) Set the film canister on a table, 2) place the paper hoop on top and balance the penny on top of the hoop, 3) place your pen inside the hoop and quickly remove the hoop in a single motion, 4) watch as the penny drops straight down into the film canister, thanks to gravity!

2) Lava in a Cup!

What? Drinking glass, ¼c. vegetable oil, 1t. salt, water, food coloring

How? 1) Fill the glass ¾ full with water, 2) add 5 drops of food coloring, 3) pour the oil into the glass slowly, 4) sprinkle salt on top of the oil, 5) watch the oil rise and fall just like a lava lamp!

3) Buoyancy at Its Best!

What? 1L clear plastic bottle without labels, ketchup packet, salt

How? 1) fill the bottle with water, 2) put the ketchup packet in the bottle; it should float, if it sinks, add salt until it floats, 3) screw the cap on the bottle and squeeze its sides, the ketchup packet should sink when you squeeze and float when you release, 4) repeat the experiment with other condiment packets (mustard, soy sauce) to study their relative buoyancy.

4) Do My Eyes Deceive Me?

What? Sheet of white paper, black pen, ruler

How? 1) use your ruler to divide the paper into 6 x 6 one-inch squares with 0.5 inch of white paper showing around each square, 2) color the squares in black, 3) stare at the pattern, do you see the gray spots in the corners between the squares? This is an optical illusion; the gray spots aren’t really there!

5) Positively Electric!

What? Dry plastic comb, sink, head of clean dry hair

How? 1) turn the faucet on to get a thin stream of water, 2) run the dry plastic comb through your hair 10 times, 3) move the comb near the water, but don’t touch the water with the comb, 5) watch the water bend toward the comb! It’s not magic, it’s static electricity!

6) Best Cleaning Solution

What? Small rusty metal pieces, bowls, various dish soaps, water

How? 1) fill your bowls with some of the soaps you have chosen, a different soap for each bowl and add some water to each, 2) place a small rusty metal item such as an industrial fastener in each bowl, 3) give the solutions time to work the rust off the metal and see which solution works best!

Whether your child is gearing up for a school sponsored science fair, or you’re just looking for a fun, learning intensive project the whole family can enjoy, these science projects can’t be beat!

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