By Lakshya Jain
Elementary school science fair projects are a fantastic way for students to learn about the scientific process and develop critical thinking skills. They allow students to explore their own interests and passions while also learning about the world around them. Whether you are a teacher looking for ideas for your students or a parent looking to help your child with a science fair project, we have compiled a list of 12 science fair project ideas for elementary schoolers.
1. Water Cycle Experiment
This experiment allows students to observe the water cycle in action. By creating a simple water cycle model, students can learn about the evaporation, condensation and precipitation that occurs in the water cycle. Learn more at the following NSTEM resource: https://www.irwp.org/youtheducation
2. Edgerton Center STEM Projects
The Edgerton Center’s “Do-It-Yourself” instructional guides promote STEM skills and awareness by providing students with the opportunity to engage in hands-on projects and experiments. These guides contain materials lists and step-by-step procedures that allow students to easily follow along and complete the project. Check them out here.
The guides also encourage students to pursue their own personal learning goals by substituting materials, tinkering, and exploring concepts as their interest leads. This allows students to customize their projects and really dive deep into the scientific principles behind them. These guides are perfect for elementary school students participating in a science fair, as they provide a fun and engaging way for students to learn about STEM concepts and demonstrate their understanding through hands-on projects.
3. Project WET
This is a fantastic resource for elementary school students participating in a science fair. Its focus on water sustainability education makes it perfect for students who are interested in exploring the ways in which we can protect and preserve our water resources. The program’s interdisciplinary approach means that it covers a wide range of topics, making it suitable for a variety of student interests.
Additionally, Project WET provides outreach and training for educators, ensuring that they have the knowledge and resources needed to effectively teach students about water sustainability. The hands-on programming encourages critical thinking and helps students develop the skills they need to explore scientific concepts in a deeper, more meaningful way. Overall, Project WET is a fantastic resource for elementary school students looking to learn more about water sustainability and make a positive impact on the world around them.
4. Seed Germination
In this experiment, students will observe the process of seed germination and the factors that affect it. By planting seeds in different types of soil and under different conditions, students can learn about the conditions that are necessary for seeds to grow. Take a look at the following NSTEM resource: https://www.laseagrant.org/education/projects/coastal-roots/.
Here are additional projects:
5. Plant Growth: This experiment allows students to observe the effects of different variables on plant growth. Students can choose to test the effects of different types of soil, amounts of sunlight, or amounts of water on a plant’s growth. By the end of the experiment, students can compare the results and draw conclusions about which variables were most important for plant growth.
6. Egg Drop: This classic experiment challenges students to design and create a structure that will protect an egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height. This project teaches students about engineering principles and problem-solving skills.
7. Color Changing Flowers: In this experiment, students will observe the effects of different colored water on the color of flowers. By placing flowers in different colored water and observing the changes in their petals, students will learn about the movement of water through plants.
8. Dissolving Candy: This experiment allows students to observe the effects of different liquids on the dissolution of candy. By placing different types of candy in different liquids and observing the rate at which they dissolve, students can learn about the solubility of different substances.
9. Making a Battery: This project allows students to create their own battery using a lemon and other household items. By following a simple set of instructions, students can learn about the principles of electricity and how a battery works.
10. Static Electricity: This experiment allows students to learn about static electricity and how it is created. By rubbing different materials together and observing the effects, students can learn about the transfer of electrons and the role it plays in creating static electricity.
11. Solar Oven: This project allows students to create their own solar oven and use it to cook food. By following a set of instructions, students can learn about the principles of solar energy and how it can be used to cook food.
12. Bouncing Eggs: In this experiment, students will observe the effects of different liquids on the bounciness of eggs. By placing eggs in different liquids and observing their bounciness, students can learn about the density of different substances and how it affects their buoyancy.
These 12 science fair project ideas for elementary schoolers are just a few of the many options available for encouraging your students’ love for science. By engaging in hands-on learning and exploring their own scientific interests, your students will not only gain a deeper understanding of scientific concepts, but also develop important problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Encourage your students to think creatively and have fun while learning about science with these exciting projects.
Do you want more resources on the topic of science fair projects? NSTEM’s vast resources database provides thousands of STEM resources that are searchable by category, school level and state. This comprehensive library includes info on enrichment activities, curricula, internships, scholarships and more. Check out a free sampling here. Or get an NSTEM membership today to unlock the complete list.
Grades 3-5 continue the STEM education journey, where students are interested in the natural world, in how things work, responding to stories told by teachers that give purpose and meaning to STEM disciplines, which molds them into thinkers, problem solvers and creators. The National STEM Honor Society sees grades 3-5 as a critical point in the NSTEM journey. To start your grade 3-5 chapter of the National STEM Honor Society, click here.