5 Science Fair Project Ideas You Can Do With Your Child – KXAN Austin

What are the best science fair project ideas you can do with your child?

A science fair project is one of the most fun ways for kids to learn science. Children of all ages love to participate in experiments and construct models that expand their minds and abilities. Eventually, they can present the results of their hard work to their teachers and peers at a science fair.

If you’re looking for ideas for school science projects, we have a range of options your kids will love, including DIY kits like the Ultimate Volcano Kit – Erupting Volcano Science Kit for Kids to choose from.

What you need to know before you buy ideas for science fair projects to do with your child

Grade level

Kids of all ages love hands-on learning ideas, 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 push them outside their learning comfort zone without overwhelming them with complex concepts. Safety should also be an important consideration, especially for young researchers. You will find that there are many science fair projects suitable for elementary, middle, and high school.

Field of science

Knowing the branches of science your child will be exploring and experimenting with will make it easier to choose the best project ideas for them. Consider your child’s interest and what topics they are most curious to explore.

Materials

Once you’ve chosen a topic and experiment for your child’s science fair project, it’s time to plan and shop for supplies. Think about the materials you need to bring the idea to life. This can include simple materials you can find at home, such as cardboard boxes and baking soda, to more complex ones such as cables and batteries. It is important to make a complete list in advance, as some items may take time to find. Be sure to include supplies for the science fair project board.

Planning

Having a well-crafted plan will ensure that you and your child have enough time to complete 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 the teachers announce the project. Initially, children should brainstorm topic ideas and develop ideas for their presentations. After this stage, you and your child should begin to outline the details of what the presentation will look like and make a list of materials needed. The project should be close if not finished the week before the science fair.

Types of science fair projects

Investigative projects

The most common type of research project, investigative projects use the scientific method to establish a hypothesis and test it. Based on your observations, you can accept or reject the hypothesis. You can use these experiments as a chance to introduce your child to concepts like limiting variables, control groups, and determining the significance of findings.

Demonstration projects

As the name suggests, a demonstration science project involves demonstrating a known scientific principle, such as surface tension or terrestrial magnetism. Unlike investigative projects, it does not attempt to answer a question, but often retests a classic experiment. This project is not recommended for middle and high school students because it does not challenge them to think critically.

Research projects

Research projects are essentially scientific reports. Your child’s report should present your findings and information you have gathered on specific topics. It is recommended to start the project with questions you want to answer. When working with your child, help them find the most reliable and credible sources when gathering research for their report.

Collections

This science project often displays a collection of items to illustrate a student’s understanding of a topic or concept. For example, a collection of butterflies or a collection of seashells can create an attractive display.

Models

A science fair model project involves building a model to demonstrate a concept or phenomenon. Your child can choose classic favorites like a baking soda volcano or a wind turbine. If you want your child’s project to stand out, give them some ideas that can stimulate their creativity and come up with something unique and eye-catching.

How much are science fair project ideas?

You can create projects for as little as $20-$50. If you’re willing to spend a little more, you’ll find mid-priced options that range from $40 to $100. The most expensive setups can cost you anywhere from $100 to over $150.

5 Science Fair Project Ideas You Can Do With Your Child

An egg-in-a-bottle experiment

This experiment is a great 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 pressure difference pushes the egg until it is eventually pushed into the bottle. Adults should always complete the experiment as it involves lighting a match.

Sun clock

As the Earth rotates, the sun appears to move across the sky, which is why most children think the sun revolves around the Earth. Using simple tools like 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 central stand of the sundial casts a shadow on its circular plate.

Potato battery

4M Potato Clock DIY Green Science Chemistry Engineering Lab

A potato battery is an electrochemical cell in which a potato acts as a buffer between two metal electrodes. This experiment helps children learn how chemical energy is converted to electricity and how batteries work. They also better understand 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 cogs, a digital clock, and two potatoes that you can use to quickly and easily build the potato battery.

Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano

Ultimate Volcano Kit - An erupting volcano science kit for kids

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 easy to set up and demonstrate. Ready-made kits like the Ultimate Volcano Kit – Erupting Volcano Science Kit for Kids can inspire a DIY model.

Model of the solar system

4M 3D glow in the dark solar system mobile kit

The solar system model is one of the main subjects taught to students in science classes and is a great way to demonstrate your child’s understanding of how gravity works. Build a scale model by learning the 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 instructions, such as the 4M 3D Glow in the Dark Mobile Solar System Kit.

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