By Rameen Naviwala
Are you looking for the proper science fair project for your K-2 student? Many students eagerly await their annual science fair as the school year rolls around. As parents and teachers, ensuring your K-2 student has the perfect science fair project for them is an honor. However, finding a unique and original science fair idea that works well within your budget and parameters can take time and effort. But these three science fair project ideas will not only excite your child to have a new, vested interest in all things STEM but also impress judges and other contestants. Here are the top three science fair project ideas for your K-2 student.
#1: A Simple Electric Circuit
For any students primarily interested in the technological aspects of science, making a simple electric circuit board can be an excellent idea for a science fair project. This project aims to help students understand how electric currents move through the path of conductive materials from one power source to another. Your child will learn the basics of electricity and how it can power anything. You can make an electric circuit board with household items like light bulbs, batteries, wooden boards, and small screws. You may need to buy some items like connection wires and simple switches. Luckily, those items are relatively easy to find at your local hardware store and can easily fit into any budget. This project takes little time, around an hour or two. However, please keep in mind that because electricity is used and other sharp materials are used to cut the wires, you will need to supervise your child or student to make sure everything is done safely.
#2: Regrowing Vegetable Scraps
This idea may be the perfect project for students more inclined to nature and its connection to science. If done right, vegetables can regrow from food scraps. Not only will your student or child learn more about the process of decomposing, but they will also learn the value of food. Food loss and waste account for a tremendous amount of greenhouse gas emissions. This project teaches your child or student the science behind it and how to minimize food waste within their homes to push for a better future. Materials for this project are relatively easy to obtain. The list of materials includes the end portion of Romaine lettuce, celery or green onion stalk (vegetable scraps should be approximately 5-8 cm high), a shallow dish or glass jar, water, a measuring unit of choice, and most importantly, a warm, sunny, indoor spot to grow your food. Unlike most science fair projects, this one can take a few weeks to see growth and to record progress. However, the valuable skills and lessons that can be learned make it a project to consider.
#3: Magnetic Slime
Does your student or child love science and slime? Magnetic slime is a project that will wow others at a science fair and amaze your student or child. They will learn about magnetic fields, one of the few natural forces we can see. They can better understand and appreciate magnetic fields using the slime. This is a relatively quick project that can be completed in around thirty minutes or an hour at most. The list of materials is long: washable school glue, water, baking soda, contact lens solution that contains both boric acid and sodium borate, iron filings, measuring spoons, measuring cup, mixing bowl, spatula, paper towels, and neodymium magnet. Fortunately, most of these are household items that can be found at home. Those outside your household can be found at your local pharmacy on a budget basis. This easy and quick project can teach your student or kid about magnetic fields while keeping them engaged through slime.
There are no wrong projects for a science fair, but these three are three top science fair ideas for your K-2 student to do while staying within budget and engaging your students. They are informative, easy to learn, and can spark a lifetime interest in STEM. NSTEM is an organization that aims to encourage just that with all its students. Check at your school for a local chapter; if there isn’t, you can start one yourself without any hassle.
Do you want more resources on the topic of science fair project ideas for your K-2 students? NSTEM’s vast resources database provides thousands of searchable STEM resources 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.
K-2 is where it all starts with STEM education. The National STEM Honor Society focuses on “From K to Career, NSTEM from the Start!” To start your K-2 Chapter of the National STEM Honor Society, click here.