What are the best science fair project ideas you can do with your kid?
A science fair project is one of the most fun ways for kids to learn science. Kids of all ages love getting involved in experiments and constructing models that stretch their minds and abilities. In the end, they get to present the results of their hard work to their teachers and peers at a science fair.
If you’re looking for school science project ideas, we’ve got a range of options your kids will love, including DIY tool kits like the Ultimate Volcano Kit – Erupting Volcano Science Kit for Kids that you can choose from.
What to know before you buy science fair project ideas you can do with your kid
Kids of all ages love the ideas of hands-on learning, but it’s important to choose an idea that they can get the most out of. The right science fair project should be challenging enough to stretch them outside their learning comfort zone without overwhelming them with complex concepts. Safety should also be an important consideration, especially for young science explorers. You’ll find that there are plenty of science fair projects appropriate for elementary, middle and high school.
Area of science
Knowing the branches of science that your kid will research and experiment on will make it easier to select the best project ideas for them. Consider your child’s interest and which topics they are most curious about exploring.
After choosing a topic and an experiment for your kid’s science fair project, it’s time to plan and shop for supplies. Think about the materials that you need to make the idea come to life. This may involve simple materials you can find at home, such as cardboard boxes and baking soda, to more elaborate ones such as wires and batteries. It’s important to make a complete list ahead of time, as some items may take time to find. Don’t forget to include supplies for the science fair project board.
Having a well-laid-out plan will ensure that you and your child have plenty of time for completing the project without rushing and skimping on quality. The general recommendation is to start six to eight weeks before the fair or as soon as teachers announce the project. Initially, kids should be brainstorming topic ideas and developing ideas for their presentations. Following this stage, you and your child should start outlining the details of what the presentation will look like and make a list of needed materials. The project should be near if not finished the week before the science fair.
Types of science fair projects
The most common type of science project, investigative projects use the scientific method to establish a hypothesis and test it. Based on your observations, you can either accept or reject the hypothesis. You can use these experiments as a chance to introduce your kid to concepts such as limiting variables, control groups and determining the significance of the findings.
As the name implies, the demonstration science project involves demonstrating a known scientific principle, such as surface tension or Earth magnetism. Unlike investigative projects, it doesn’t try to answer a question but often re-tests a classic experiment. This project is not recommended for middle or high school students, because it doesn’t challenge them to think critically.
Research projects are essentially science reports. Your child’s report should present your findings and information that you collected about specific topics. It’s recommended to start the project with questions that you would like to answer. When working with your child, help them find the most reliable and credible sources when gathering research for their report.
This science project often displays a collection of items to illustrate a student’s understanding of a topic or concept. For example, a butterfly collection or a collection of seashells can create an attractive display.
A model science fair project involves building a model to demonstrate a concept or a phenomenon. Your child can opt for classic favorites, such as a baking soda volcano or wind turbine. If you want your child’s project to stand out, give them some ideas that can jumpstart their creativity and come up with something unique and eye-catching.
How much do science fair project ideas cost?
You can create projects for as low as $20-$50. If you’re willing to spend a little more, you’ll find average-priced options that range from $40-$100. The most expensive setups can cost you anywhere from $100 to over $150.
5 science fair project ideas you can do with your kid
Egg in a bottle experiment
This experiment is an excellent way for kids to learn and demonstrate air pressure. A lit piece of paper is placed inside a glass bottle and an egg is placed on top of the bottle. When the fire goes out, the air inside the bottle cools and the air inside the bottle causes the pressure inside to become less than the pressure outside. The difference in pressure pushes the egg until it’s eventually pushed into the bottle. Adults should always complete the experiment, as it involves lighting matches.
As the Earth rotates, the sun appears to move across the sky, which is why most kids think the sun revolves around the Earth. Using simple tools such as the one created by VORCOOL Equatorial Sundial Clock or creating a sundial from scratch can help kids keep track of the Earth’s rotation. As the sun moves across the sky, the sundial’s central post casts a shadow on its circular plate.
A potato battery is an electrochemical cell where the potato acts as a buffer between two metal electrodes. This experiment helps kids learn how chemical energy converts to electrical energy and how batteries work. They also get a better grasp of the concepts of current, voltage and resistance. The 4M Potato Clock DIY Green Science Chemistry Engineering Lab is a ready-made setup that includes wires and prongs, a digital clock and two potatoes that you can use to quickly and easily build the potato battery.
Baking soda and vinegar volcano
Volcanic eruptions are one of the most powerful natural phenomena on our planet. Creating a miniature erupting volcano is a fun and safe way for kids to learn about this geological force. This classic experiment has become a favorite because it’s simple to set up and demonstrate. Ready-made kits like the Ultimate Volcano Kit – Erupting Volcano Science Kit for Kids can inspire a DIY model.
Solar system model
The solar system model is one of the basic subjects taught to students in science class and a great option to demonstrate your child’s understanding of how gravity works. Build a scaled model by learning variations in size and volume of each planet. If you need tools to guide your child, you can purchase kits that come with materials and directions, such as the 4M 3D Glow-in-the-Dark Solar System Mobile Making Kit.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.