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Projects for Science

By Natasha Stiller

Ever have just a few minutes in your schedule with nothing to do? Consider some short projects that could fill those minutes with engaging information and projects for your students.

Science Project Ideas

Science is such a fun subject that can be applied in an array of themes and catered to a diverse age group. The study of science can cover so many different topics in nature and our lives, as well as cross curriculum objectives. There is always excitement to be had in discovering science projects in the classroom.

To add quick science projects to the classroom, try some cooking experiments. Discussing how powders dissolve into liquid, then harden during cooking, or how frozen objects melt help children really see the science of cooking. Examples include making instant pudding and watching the substance of a powder and liquid (milk) dissolve to form a gelatin substance. You can make all sorts of fun snacks with jello: ocean/land cups, dirt cups, etc. Students can watch ice cream soften to make hand-stirred milk-shakes, or students can make jello-jigglers, watching the effects of powder mixed with liquid and cold temperatures from the refrigerator.

The study of birds or other animals can be conveyed with observation of animals, then creation of animals through a variety of substances, including model magic, salt dough, or recyclable materials. Puppets can be made from socks, the food cycle can be discussed with these puppets and children can interact their own knowledge through these experiments and observations.

To show children chemical changes, you can make volcanoes using baking soda and vinegar, or Diet soda and Mentos. Allowing students to see physical changes with simple experiments allows them to think critically and apply their knowledge to further experiments.

Science experiments can focus on observations and tracking, such as weather. With the study of weather, children can track temperature, make their own barometers to track pressure and wind travel. Students can also measure rain fall as well as create their own demonstrations of the water cycle. When you cover standing water, with sunlight source, the water will start to evaporate, collect on top of the container, and then start to trickle back down to the starting water source. This is a great observation for students to understand how water changes form and cycles.

Role –playing scenarios can be utilized after learning about different situations in nature as well. Oil spills can be demonstrated with pictures, as well as trying to mix water and vegetable oil. Students can visualize examples of the impact of this combination on wildlife and how difficult clean-up efforts are.

Children can also emulate the experience of a baby sea turtle, after hatching and trying to locate a light source. Example: set children in the middle of the room with a light source on two sides, one brighter, and one softer with the sound of the waves. Which direction would the turtle go based on instinct to follow light?

Science projects for school can be adapted to different themes, or to meet a variety of curriculum objectives, but will always enthrall students. Projects for science can be short or long, depending on what objectives are to be learned and what time is available within the class. Utilizing science as a time filler is an excellent way to teach objectives in other subject areas as well and fit time increments easily within ten to twenty minutes.