Science projects are great ways for kids to learn the most fascinating things about how the world works and show off their knowledge at the same time. The many wonders of science have helped our lives in ways that many of us still don’t completely understand. Our entire society has been largely built on the work of brilliant scientists. Working on a fun science project helps kids understand and appreciate these wonders, and creative ideas are the best ways to explore the possibilities of science. Consider these 5 creative ideas for your children’s next science projects.
- Build a Battery
Batteries have power many things in our lives, from phones to cars. Truly, the battery is one of the most significant scientific developments of our time. Your kids can learn amazing things about how batteries work by making their own and studying the results as part of a fun science project. One of the most popular science project ideas is to make a battery out of a potato (yes, it really works), and you can make the project even more interesting by building a battery from pennies and nickles. Compare the two, see which works better, and come up with theories about why they are so different.
- The Magic of Evaporation
We all know that our bodies sweat to keep us cool in hot situations, but we rarely think about how this phenomenon really works. The cooling effect of perspiration actually comes from the evaporation of sweat from your skin. Test this concept by using chocolate candy. Cover two similar foil wrapped candies with wet and dry paper towels and warm them under close lamp light. After a few minutes, unwrap the candies and compare them. You’ll likely find the “wet” candy was much more resistant to melting. Why does this happen?
- Analyze the Soil
In the world of geology, a big concern is the many ways in which humans impact the environment. One of the ways we leave our mark on the Earth is compacting soil when we walk over it. In this easy experiment, you can measure soil density by making a simple instrument out of a knitting needle and a thread spool. Place your instrument on the ground and push the needle into the soil until it stops. Measure this in several different areas to come up with ideas about soil compaction in different areas.
- The Autumn Leaves
The beautiful color changing of leaves in the fall is a sight that everyone loves, but what is really happening to the leaves here? Collect samples of leaves in several different stages of color changing from the same tree, shred them up and muddle each into separate small portions of rubbing alcohol. You can then measure the colors using paper towels in a process called paper chromatography. Think carefully about your results.
- Magical Levitating Magnets
Purchase magnets from science supply stores or online retailers like www.chemicalwire.com for this experiment. Compare the effects of matching the North and South poles of your magnets and try to come up with an arrangement that can actually make the magnets float. This is a fun and interesting project that can illuminate the properties of polarity and magnetic force.