10 Science Fair Project Ideas

Ideas for Elementary Science Fairs

Science Fair Projects present an interactive and effective method of helping students gain a better understanding of academic concepts. However, the projects must contain some important elements to make them effective learning methods. One such element is the background research. The background information helps a learner understand the topic and the problem that needs solving. Secondly, the project requires one or more hypothesis or assumptions, which the learner wants to either prove or disapprove.

Science Fair Project

A successful Science Fair Project should also detail the materials and step by step procedure required to conduct the experiment. Lastly, it must show visible results and a conclusion that either proves or disapproves the hypothesis. After which, the experimenters can suggest how the project findings are applicable in everyday life.

The following are interesting 10 Science Fair Project Ideas for Elementary school students.

1. Separating Salt from Water to form Salt Crystals

The experiment is about how to use a solar process to separate salt from water.

Hypothesis: If the conditions are ideal a person can separate dissolved salt from water.

  • Requirements
    • Salt
    • Water
    • Cooking pot
    • Two sheets of black paper
    • Baking sheet.
  • Procedure
    • Create a fairly concentrated solution by mixing the salt and water in the cooking pot, until all the salt dissolves.
    • Spread one piece of black paper evenly on the baking sheet.
    • Pour the salty water into the baking sheet and cover it carefully with the second black paper.
    • Place the baking sheet on a table or by the window, where there is direct sunlight.
    • Record the observations after three to four days or until all the water evaporates.

What do you think will stay on the baking sheet after all the water evaporates? What is the role of the black paper?


2. Determining What Gum has the Longest Lasting Flavor

Although chewing gum is not ideal in class, it can be one of the interesting 10 Science Fair Project Ideas for Elementary school students. It offers a fun way to find out what kind of gum has long-lasting flavor.

Hypothesis: When gum has artificial chemicals its flavor lasts longer than if it contained natural fruit chemicals.

  • Requirements
    • Three varieties of natural fruit-flavored gum
    • Three variety packs of mint-flavored gum
    • Six volunteers
    • A timer
    • Notebook
  • Procedure
    • Divide the six volunteers into two groups each consisting of three members.
    • Give the first group the mint flavored gum to chew and the second group the fruit flavored gums.
    • Note the time each of them started chewing and let them continue chewing until the gum loses flavor.
    • Record in the notebook the times it took before each member's gum lost flavor.
    • Compare the results.

Is it the mint-flavored or the fruit flavored gums that lasted longer? Why do you think the results turned out that way?


3. Measuring the Amount of Rain

Students often wonder how meteorologists measure the amount of rainfall that pours. The following experiment helps the learners understand how to measure rainfall.

Hypothesis: With the right equipment it is possible to know how much rain fell.

  • Requirements
    • An empty 2-litre bottle
    • A handful of gravel or pebbles
    • A pair of scissors
    • Masking tape
    • Water
    • Ruler
    • Permanent marker, pencil and paper.
  • Procedure
    • Use the scissor to cut off completely the top of the bottle just below the area the bottle narrows, to create a funnel shape.
    • Place the pebble in the bottom bottle followed by the funnel-shaped part, facing upside down.
    • Use the tape to hold securely the two bottle parts together.
    • Use the permanent marker to trace measurements similar to those on the ruler, on the masking tape. Number it from top to bottom in millimeters.
    • Stick the numbered tape vertically against the bottle, to form the rain gauge.
    • Place the rain gauge on a level ground outdoors that is in an open sky. When it is about to rain.
    • 24 hours after the rain check the gauge and note the water level in it. Make a note of the date and amount of rain.

4. Creating A Homemade Lava Lamp

The experiment provides a fun and interesting way of exploring the relationship between water and oil as well as that of acids and bases.

Hypothesis: If someone tries mixing water, oil, acids and bases an explosive reaction takes place.

  • Requirements
    • A clean capped plastic soda bottle.
    • Vegetable oil
    • Water
    • broken pieces of Alka-Seltzer tablets, two tablets for each liter of water
    • Food color
  • Procedure
    • Fill the plastic bottle three-quarter way with the vegetable oil.
    • Add water into the bottle leaving a small space at the top.
    • Add 10 or more drops of the food color.
    • Put the Alka-Seltzer tablet a piece at a time until the bubbling stops.
    • Close the bottle and tip it back and forth or even shake it and see what happens.

What takes place when you add water, the food color or the Alka-Seltzer to the bottle?


5. Creating a Self-Inflating Balloon

The experiment explores the relationship between acids and bases.

Hypothesis: When acids and bases combine they produce energy that can inflate a balloon.

  • Requirements
    • A laboratory test tube
    • An inflatable balloon
    • A teaspoon of baking powder
    • Vinegar
    • A funnel
  • Procedure
    • Position the test tube in a secure upright position.
    • Fill the test tube halfway with vinegar.
    • Add the baking soda inside the balloon using the funnel.
    • Gently stretch the mouth over the test tube to cover it. Make sure that the balloon fits tightly on the test tube.
    • Lift the balloon so that the vinegar inside drops into the test tube and gently shake.

Watch what happens to the balloon. Why do you think that happens?


6. Determining if the Size of Airplane Affects the Distance it Travels

Kids love paper planes and what better way than to use the toys to help the study basic Aeronautics principles.

Hypothesis: If the airplane has large wings it flies the farthest.

  • Requirements
    • Three sheets of paper that are of the same thickness and weight.
    • A measuring tape.
    • A pair of scissors.
    • A ruler.
    • A pen and notebook
  • Procedure
    • Make three paper planes of different sizes using the pieces of papers.
    • Mark a spot on the ground.
    • Stand on the marked spot and throw the first plane forward in a quick swift motion and note where it lands.
    • Use the tape measure to get the distance between where the plane landed and the marked spot.
    • Record the distance on the notebook.
    • Repeat the procedure with the other two planes.
    • Repeat the procedure with the different planes at least three times.

What do you notice about the planes? Is there any consistent trend about the distance covered by the paper planes?


7. Egg in a Bottle

The experiment is a classical method of learning about the effects of air pressure as well as how fire consumes oxygen.

Hypothesis: If the temperature lowers, the pressure of a given volume of air reduces.

  • Requirements
    • A glass bottle
    • A peeled hard-boiled egg
    • Pieces of old newspaper cuttings
    • A matchbox or lighter.
  • Procedure
    • First place the peeled boiled egg on the mouth of the bottle to ascertain that it cannot get inside the bottle.
    • Remove the egg and take the pieces of newspaper and light it.
    • Drop the lit newspaper into the empty bottle.
    • Replace the peeled egg in the mouth of the bottle.

What happens to the egg after a few seconds? Why do you think the egg reacts like that?


8. Make a String Telephone

The experiment provides a unique way of training the kids about the history of telecommunication as well as how sound travels through solids.

Hypothesis: If one connects two solids using a string the solids can transmit sound.

  • Requirements
    • Two paper cups.
    • A pencil or sewing needle.
    • A 15 to a 20-meter piece of string preferably a kite or fishing line strings.
  • Procedure
    • Poke a tiny hole with the pencil or needle at the bottom of the two paper cups.
    • Thread the string through the cups and fasten them by tightly tying the knots.
    • Hand one cup to one kid and let another kid move far away with the second cup so that the string is tight.
    • One kid should speak into the cup while the other one places the cup against his or her ear.

Does the kid hear what the other kid is saying? Can they clearly communicate with each other?


9. Make a Stethoscope

The experiment helps the student get a basic understanding of the body and how the heart beats. It also offers an opportunity to learn about medicine.

Hypothesis: When using a hand-made device it is possible to listen to the body's pulse rate.

  • Requirements
    • An inflatable balloon.
    • A short piece of tubing.
    • Two small plastic funnels.
    • A pair of Scissors.
    • A timer.
    • Calculator.
  • Procedure
    • Fit the two plastic funnels on each side of the tubing.
    • Use the scissor to cut off the top third of the balloon.
    • Stretch the cut balloon over one end of the open funnel and secure it tightly using a rubber band.
    • The stethoscope is ready.
    • Place the end with the balloon cover of the stethoscope, against the chest or the skin, while holding the other end of the ear.

What does one hear? Try doing a breath-taking activity, for instance, running around for a few minutes and then take the pulse again. What happens?


10. Make A Glass Disappear

The experiment uses light to make glass invisible. It is a fun and adventurous way to teach kids about light, invisibility, refraction as well as the speed of light.

Hypothesis: By using light it is possible for glass to disappear.

  • Requirements
    • A large clear glass bowl.
    • A clear glass cup that can fit inside the glass bowl.
    • Baby oil.
  • Procedure
    • Pour the baby oil in the bowl to a level similar to the glass cup.
    • Gently place the glass cup into the bowl containing the baby oil.
    • Make sure that no baby oil gets into the glass cup.
    • What happens to the glass cup?
    • Next pour the baby oil into the glass cup until it is full.

What happens to the glass cup?