How to create a science fair project

How to create a science fair project

Science fair is an opportunity for students of all ages to ask big questions, conduct meaningful research, and make exciting discoveries. Browse hundreds of science fair project ideas to find the ideal project according to grade level.

Preschool Science Project Ideas

Preschool is not too early to introduce children to science! Most preschool science ideas aim to interest kids in exploring and asking questions about the world around them.

  • Play with silly putty and examine its properties.
  • Look at flowers. How many petals does each flower have? What parts do flowers share in common?
  • Blow up balloons. What happens when you release an open balloon? What happens when you rub a balloon on your hair?
  • Explore color with fingerpaints.
  • Blow bubbles and look at how bubbles interact with each other.
  • Make a telephone with cups or cans and some string.
  • Have preschoolers categorize objects into groups. Discuss similarities and differences between objects.

Grade School Science Project Ideas

Students are introduced to the scientific method in grade school and learn how to propose a hypothesis. Grade school science projects tend to be quick to complete and should be fun for the student and the teacher or parent. Examples of suitable project ideas include:

  • Determine whether insects are attracted to lights at night because of their heat or their light.
  • Does the type of liquid (e.g., water, milk, cola) affect seed germination?
  • Does the power setting of the microwave affect how many unpopped kernels are in popcorn?
  • What happens if you pour a liquid other than water through a pitcher-type water filter?
  • What type of bubble gum produces the biggest bubbles?

Middle School Science Fair Ideas

Middle school is where kids can truly shine at the science fair! Kids should try to come up with their own project ideas, based on topics that interest them. Parents and teachers may still need to help with posters and presentations, but middle school students should have control of the project. Examples of middle school science fair ideas include:

  • Examine food labels. How does the nutritional data for different brands of the same food (e.g., microwave popcorn) compare?
  • Is laundry detergent effective if you use less than the recommended amount?
  • How permanent are permanent markers? Are there chemicals that will remove the ink?
  • Can a saturated solution of salt still dissolve sugar?
  • Do green bags really preserve food longer?
  • Are goldfish water chemicals really necessary?
  • What shape of ice cube melts the slowest?

High School Science Fair Ideas

High school science fair projects can be about more than a grade. Winning a high school science fair can net some nice cash prizes, scholarships, and college/career opportunities. While it’s fine for an elementary or middle school project to take hours or a weekend to complete, most high school projects run longer. High school projects typically identify and solve problems, offer new models, or describe inventions. Here are some sample project ideas:

  • Which natural mosquito repellents are most effective?
  • Which home hair color holds its color through the most washings?
  • Do people who play car racing video games have more speeding tickets?
  • Which high school sport is associated with the most injuries?
  • What percentage of left-handed people use a computer mouse with their left hand?
  • What season is worst for allergies and why?

College Science Fair Ideas

Just as a good high school idea can pave the way for cash and college education, a good college project can open the door to graduate school and gainful employment. A college project is a professional-level project that shows you understand how to apply the scientific method to model a phenomenon or answer a significant question. The big focus on these projects is on originality, so while you might build on a project idea, don’t just use one someone else has already done. It’s fine to use an old project and come up with a new approach or different way of asking the question. Here are some starting points for your research:

  • What plants can detoxify gray water flowing from a home?
  • How could the timing of a traffic light be changed to improve intersection safety.
  • Which home appliances use the most power? How could that energy be conserved?

This content is provided in partnership with National 4-H Council. 4-H science programs provide youth the opportunity to learn about STEM through fun, hands-on activities and projects. Learn more by visiting their website.

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So you have a science fair coming up at school and want to make a project that’s sure to win a prize ribbon? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Choosing the right project requires plenty of research. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best science fair projects for young learners to help you along your search.

These 50 science fair project ideas are all great for early and older elementary school students, with a few suitable for middle school students as well. Make a topic that fascinates you, come up with a hypothesis, and see what happens next!

Plus, once you’ve chosen your topic, use this science fair project how-to video from NASA as a helpful guide.

Important note: Some of these science fair projects require the help or supervision of an adult. Always make sure an older family member is nearby and knows what you’re doing as you work on these projects.

1. With this science fair experiment, you can learn what factors affect melting ice.

2. Try this magic milk experiment for an easy science fair project that younger students can accomplish.

3. How much sun does a seed need to sprout? Discover the answer by trying this project you can easily complete from home.

4. Build your own water clock and see how well you can get it to measure time.

5. If you’re interested in a little microbiology, try out this egg cell experiment.

6. What’s the best way to prevent apples from browning? Find out for yourself and make sure to record the results.

7. Do birds eat more food if it is a certain color? Find out with this intriguing experiment.

8. Discover how clouds turn water vapors into rain and diagram a few common types of clouds through this kid-friendly science fair project.

9. Make your own plant cell model using styrofoam and playdough.

10. Learn about aerodynamics by experimenting with paper airplane shapes and seeing which one flies best.

11. Learn how to accelerate the rusting process with this quick and thought-provoking science project.

12. Want to learn about water and density for your project? Perform this floating egg experiment and try out the follow-up questions at the bottom.

13. This project about bending light is perfect for older elementary school students who want to dip their toes into physics.

14. This biology-based science experiment asks, “Will plants grow towards a specific light source?”

15. Learn about greenhouse gases with this science fair idea.

16. Experiment with what makes fruit ripen quickly and write down your results to present at your science fair.

17. Use this hands-on experiment to explore how carbonated sodas affect teeth.

18. Which factors affect evaporation? Find out for yourself with this project that’s perfect for students who can complete it with a little adult supervision.

19. Find out which types of toothpaste work the best and, after measuring your results, try and come up with a conclusion.

20. If the weather is warm out during your science fair, try building a solar oven.

21. For a simple chemistry project, you can make sugar crystals and see what material works best for growing them.

22. Which common material is the best heat conductor? Find out with this science fair project that can be done with adult supervision, as it needs boiling water.

23. Craft your own thermos bottle and test it out for a project all about insulation.

24. Make a DIY thermometer and test it out for a practical and hands-on science project.

25. Try this celery experiment to learn how plant capillaries work.

26. How does the air temperature affect movement? Use this fun idea as a model for your own experiment.

27. If you’re passionate about the environment, try this recycling experiment for your science fair project

28. How does paint color affect drying time? Make your predictions and test it out for yourself.

29. Learn which soil is best for growing tomatoes if your science fair takes place during warm weather.

30. Build your own lemon battery and see if you can get it to work to learn about electricity.

31. If you want to try the epitome of science fair projects, try making a science fair volcano.

32. How much sugar is in different popular foods? If you’re interested in health science, try this fascinating experiment.

33. If you’d rather look at prompts and create your own project, use these science fair questions for inspiration.

34. Does music affect plant growth? Discover for yourself with this project.

35. For a science fair project that will encourage others to recycle, make your own paper.

36. If you have a few furry friends in your neighborhood, consider testing if dogs are colorblind with this project.

37. How does temperature affect air pressure in a ball? Find out the answer with this sporty science project.

38. Build your own pulley and see what kinds of objects you can make it carry.

39. Learn a little about chemistry with this science fair experiment that asks which paper towels are the most absorbent.

40. What is the dirtiest spot in the average home? Find the answer by cultivating bacteria growth in this experiment.

41. Discover how to test thermal energy by observing water temperature.

42. Can you grow seeds with liquids other than water? Find out with this kid-friendly science experiment.

43. This Sun or Shade science fair project is perfect for elementary school students.

44. This cool science fair project asks an intriguing question about insect biology: what sweetener do ants prefer?

45. Make a working model of lungs for a science fair project that’s sure to fascinate.

46. Want to try a science fair project that can only end with tasty treats? Bake some cookies and try one of these sweet experiments.

47. Interested in astronomy? Try out this experiment that teaches why the moon’s shape seems to change every day.

48. What are the effects of disinfectant on germs? Use this science fair project as inspiration for your own.

49. Put your math skills to the test with this science fair project centered around the game tic tac toe.

50. What’s stronger: magnetism or gravity? Find out with this science fair experiment that’s perfect for early elementary students.

How to create a science fair project

Illustration: The Spruce / Kelly Miller

If you’re tapped out on model volcanoes and dinosaur dioramas, try out one of these clever science fair project ideas instead. With plenty of new ideas to try as well as some classic fair crafts, this is the best, most comprehensive list of fun science-based learning activities. Get your kids excited about the school year and this year’s science fair and tackle one of these projects!

Sprout House

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A sprout house is a perfect way to teach biology, ecology, and just a little bit of green thumb magic! Set up your sprout houses—or sprout villages and cities if you’ve got ambitious scientists in your midsts—and watch them grow. This is a great craft for kids of ages 4 through 9, and easily can be adapted to be more simple or more advanced.

Kinetic Sand

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Make this DIY kinetic sand as a standalone project to learn about chemistry. Or, you can take it a step up (literally!) and incorporate some physics by making some incredible sandcastles! We recommend this project for children ages 7 to 10.

Craft Stick Catapult

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Get in on some kinetic fun with a physics-inspired catapult craft. Launch pom poms and other small, soft objects as far as you can with an easy at-home mini catapult. We recommend this craft for children ages 5 and up.

Galaxy in a Bottle

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Kids Activities Blog

This craft is super easy and perfect as an independent project for older kids. Do some reading on space science to learn about nebulas and black holes, and then make this galaxy in a bottle as a cute model. We recommend this craft for ages 3 and beyond. While it’s easy for little ones, tweens especially will love to hang onto the final product as a cool room decoration long after the fair is over and done with.

Silly Slime

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Slime is a fun craze these days and can be bought in any toy store. But just because it’s a trend, doesn’t mean it’s not a great science project. And what better way to get kids excited about science than show them how one of their favorite things to play with is also a polymer? We recommend this project for children ages 6 and up—there’s no age cap on slime!

3D Glasses

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This super cool project shows your kids the light-science behind traditional 3D glasses. With DIY glasses that actually work, you can find some easy 3D images online or dig up an old 3D picture book from your garage (or find one at a used book store) to test them out. We recommend this physics and light activity for kids ages 6 to 8.

Clouds and Rain Weather Model

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Maybe you can’t bring a storm indoors, but you can get pretty close with this creative weather model. If you’ve got some budding meteorologists in the house, this is a great way to talk about the process that changes clouds to rain. We recommend this craft for young children ages 3 to 6, as it requires no “lab” work.

Homemade Spectroscope

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See all the colors of the rainbow with an easy homemade spectroscope. It’s a great way to recycle old CDs and DVDs that are scratched, broken, or out of use. This is a great color science/physics project for 4 to 10 year olds.

Easy Fake Snow

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Whether the weather is hot or cold, fake snow is a super-fun and science-y activity to make any day. This could work as both a meteorology project to talk about the weather or a chemistry project to talk about the process of turning baking soda and shaving cream into “snow.” We recommend this as a sensory activity for younger children with lots of supervision, so it doesn’t get in any mouths or eyes, and as a chemistry-based craft for kids ages 7 through 9.

Crystal Names

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Step up your homemade crystal game and make some crystal names! With just hand-shaped pipe cleaners, hot water, borax, and food coloring, you can make your own beautiful crystalized name. Talk with your kids about the chemistry behind the craft and the processes of crystallization with a helpful “Behind the Science” section on the tutorial. We recommend this craft for children ages 3 through 10.

Chromatography Butterflies

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Study the spread of water molecules and color particles with a science craft that doubles as a beautiful art project. Chromatography butterflies are a super sweet way to sneak school into playtime. For a science fair, set up some stations and string up a clothesline to display your “research findings.” We recommend this color science activity for children ages 4 to 7.

Paper Plate Clock

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For kids just learning to tell time, this is the perfect STEM-based craft. An easy paper craft with a practical application, have your kids move the hour and minute hands to different times to test how well they know analog time. We recommend this counting craft for kids ages 7 to 8, or whenever your children are learning about time in class.

Lava Lamp

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Maybe you’ll remember this groovy little craft from your own science fair days—an at-home lava lamp! Teach chemical density science with just oil, food coloring, water, and some recycled water bottles. We recommend this craft for kids ages 7 to 9.

Bubble Blowing Mixture

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Thought bubble blowing was just a fun summer activity? Well, it can more than easily make for a great science fair project, too. This is a chemistry project that we recommend for children ages 6 to 8.

Bouncy Balls

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Bounce into learning with this craft that doubles as a chemistry and a physics exercise. Walk your kids through the process of mixing the materials to make the balls, and discuss what makes some balls bounce and others drop and stay put. We recommend this craft for kids ages 5 and up.

Lab Reports and Research Essays

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How to create a science fair project

Writing a science fair project report may seem like a challenging task, but it is not as difficult as it first appears. This is a format that you may use to write a science project report. If your project included animals, humans, hazardous materials, or regulated substances, you can attach an appendix that describes any special activities your project required. Also, some reports may benefit from additional sections, such as abstracts and bibliographies. You may find it helpful to fill out the science fair lab report template to prepare your report.

Important: Some science fairs have guidelines put forth by the science fair committee or an instructor. If your science fair has these guidelines, be sure to follow them.

  1. Title: For a science fair, you probably want a catchy, clever title. Otherwise, try to make it an accurate description of the project. For example, I could entitle a project, “Determining Minimum NaCl Concentration That Can Be Tasted in Water.” Avoid unnecessary words, while covering the essential purpose of the project. Whatever title you come up with, get it critiqued by friends, family, or teachers.
  2. Introduction and Purpose: Sometimes this section is called “background.” Whatever its name, this section introduces the topic of the project, notes any information already available, explains why you are interested in the project, and states the purpose of the project. If you are going to state references in your report, this is where most of the citations are likely to be, with the actual references listed at the end of the entire report in the form of a bibliography or reference section.
  3. The Hypothesis or Question: Explicitly state your hypothesis or question.
  4. Materials and Methods: List the materials you used in your project and describe the procedure that you used to perform the project. If you have a photo or diagram of your project, this is a good place to include it.
  5. Data and Results: Data and results are not the same things. Some reports will require that they be in separate sections, so make sure you understand the difference between the concepts. Data refers to the actual numbers or other information you obtained in your project. Data can be presented in tables or charts, if appropriate. The results section is where the data is manipulated or the hypothesis is tested. Sometimes this analysis will yield tables, graphs, or charts, too. For example, a table listing the minimum concentration of salt that I can taste in water, with each line in the table being a separate test or trial, would be data. If I average the data or perform a statistical test of a null hypothesis, the information would be the results of the project.
  6. Conclusion: The conclusion focuses on the hypothesis or question as it compares to the data and results. What was the answer to the question? Was the hypothesis supported (keep in mind a hypothesis cannot be proved, only disproved)? What did you find out from the experiment? Answer these questions first. Then, depending on your answers, you may wish to explain the ways in which the project might be improved or introduce new questions that have come up as a result of the project. This section is judged not only by what you were able to conclude but also by your recognition of areas where you could not draw valid conclusions based on your data.

Appearances Matter

Neatness counts, spelling counts, grammar counts. Take the time to make the report look nice. Pay attention to margins, avoid fonts that are difficult to read or are too small or too large, use clean paper, and make print the report cleanly on as good a printer or copier as you can.

How do you do a science fair project?

How to create a science fair project

Ask a parent, teacher, or other adult to help you research the topic and find out how to do a science fair project about it.

Test, answer, or show?

Your science fair project may do one of three things:

Test an idea (or hypothesis.)

Answer a question.

Show how nature works.

Topic ideas:

Space topics:

How do the constellations change in the night sky over different periods of time?

How does the number of stars visible in the sky change from place to place because of light pollution?

Learn about and demonstrate the ancient method of parallax to measure the distance to an object, such as stars and planets.

Study different types of stars and explain different ways they end their life cycles.

Earth topics:

How to create a science fair project

How do the phases of the Moon correspond to the changing tides?

Demonstrate what causes the phases of the Moon?

How does the tilt of Earth’s axis create seasons throughout the year?

How do weather conditions (temperature, humidity) affect how fast a puddle evaporates?

How salty is the ocean?

Solar system topics:

How to create a science fair project

How does the size of a meteorite relate to the size of the crater it makes when it hits Earth?

How does the phase of the Moon affect the number of stars visible in the sky?

Show how a planet’s distance from the Sun affects its temperature.

Sun topics:

Observe and record changes in the number and placement of sun spots over several days. DO NOT look directly at the Sun!

Make a sundial and explain how it works.

Show why the Moon and the Sun appear to be the same size in the sky.

How effective are automobile sunshades?

Study and explain the life space of the sun relative to other stars.

How to create a science fair project

Try to find out what people already know about it.

Do one of these:

State a hypothesis related to the topic. That is, make a cause-and-effect-statement that you can test using the scientific method.

Make a plan to observe something.

Design and carry out your research, keeping careful records of everything you do or see.

Create an exhibit or display to show and explain to others what you hoped to test (if you had a hypothesis) or what question you wanted to answer, what you did, what your data showed, and your conclusions.

Write a short report that also states the same things as the exhibit or display, and also gives the sources of your initial background research.

Practice describing your project and results, so you will be ready for visitors to your exhibit at the science fair.

Follow these steps to a successful science fair entry!

Have you ever wanted to be a mad scientist? Has your lack of control over lightning disheartened you? Never fear; this experiment will let you bend electricity to your will by showing you how to make lightning!

Materials

  • Rubber glove
  • Plastic fork
  • Tin Foil
  • Wood or plastic cutting board
  • Styrofoam plate or rubber balloon
  • Head of hair or wool
  • Cool, low-humidity day ( Grade

Results

You should have seen and felt a spark when you touched the foil. When you lifted the foil off and touched it again, you should have felt another spark. Your hand doesn’t spark, and most non-metallic objects won’t spark when you touch the charged object either. All metals insulated by your glove that touch both your charged object and your hand will spark.

You’re experimenting with static electricity. The static electricity you see is caused by the movement of electrons. Electrons carry a negative electrical charge, which causes them to be attracted to protons and repelled from other electrons. When you rub an object on your hair, it does one of two things: it either puts electrons onto the balloon, or strips electrons off of the Styrofoam plate. This gives the balloon or plate a net charge, meaning the object has either more electrons or fewer electrons than protons.

Metals are special materials in that their electrons are free to move almost wherever they like, instead of being stuck on the material’s molecules. When a metal object is placed near something with a net charge, all of the electrons in the metal will move to be either as far away from a negative charge as possible or as close to a positive charge as possible. Metals are called conductors. Your plate and your balloon are both insulators—they don’t let their electrons move where they want.

When your spatula moves close to the charged object, the electrons either want to get close to or far away from the object. When you bring your hand up to touch the spatula, the electrons flow to you or flow onto the spatula, depending on whether the spatula is touching the Styrofoam plate (towards) or the rubber balloon (away). Your skin is actually quite conductive! After the electrons move, the tin foil has a good number of electrons for its location (close to the charged object). When you move the tin foil spatula away from the charged object, it suddenly has a lot more or way fewer electrons than it needs, and so more will jump from your body to balance it out. You can keep going back and forth like that for a long time, since the electrons (or lack of electrons) on the charged object doesn’t change.

Your hand doesn’t spark because your body provides a path to ground. What that means is that when you bring your hand close to the balloon, all the extra electrons needed come from or go into the ground you’re standing on! Because of the rubber glove you’re wearing, the tin foil spatula has no path to ground, so it cannot equalize its charge. When you touch it, you are providing it with a path to ground for the electrons to move and balance things out. The earth has plenty of electrons to spare, and they move all over the place.

So what makes lightning? Lightning occurs when there’s a big charge difference between the clouds in the sky and the earth. Lightning is just a bigger version of the sparks you saw!

Disclaimer and Safety Precautions

Education.com provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. Education.com does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against Education.com that arise thereof. In addition, your access to Education.com’s website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by Education.com’s Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on Education.com’s liability.

Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.

Making a volcano for a science fair project is not as challenging as it seems to be. Here is a detailed guide which will explain how to make a volcano model for school by using simple supplies.

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Making a volcano for a science fair project is not as challenging as it seems to be. Here is a detailed guide which will explain how to make a volcano model for school by using simple supplies.

How to create a science fair project

How to create a science fair project

How to create a science fair project

How to create a science fair project

Science is a subject that requires practicals and demonstrations, along with theory, to make the topic more understandable and easy to grasp. For science students, studying the subject becomes more fun with science fair projects. A science fair project displays commonly asked queries on any science topics; be it math, physics, chemistry, biology, microbiology, earth science, technology, health, and medicine.

There are certain tips for a successful project such as – the project title should be an interesting one and it should not be very costly to make the necessary arrangements. Moreover, the project should not be time-consuming, otherwise there are chances of the students getting bored and not completing the project.

How to Make a Volcano for a Science Fair Project

The volcano science project is a common yet interesting topic among students. It helps them in understanding how a volcano erupts and also about the triggering factors of a volcanic eruption. There are several ways of making a volcano model. However, the simplest one is created by using baking soda and vinegar. Following is a step-by-step procedure for making a volcano erupt.

  • The requirements for making a volcano model are baking soda, vinegar, clay/play dough, food coloring either red or yellow (preferably red), and a plastic funnel or plastic water/soda bottle.
  • Gather the required supplies and keep them at a handy place. To make the project less messy, you can prepare a workplace by laying old newspapers over a flat surface.
  • First of all, take a strong base for placing the volcano model. You can make use of plywood or a hard cardboard. But, make sure that the base has boundaries in order to prevent overflowing of the fluid after the volcanic eruption.
  • Place the plastic funnel or bottle at the center of the base. You can secure this by using tape. The top center of the plastic funnel or bottle should be cut open, and this will serve as the opening (crater) from which the lava will erupt.
  • Once the plastic funnel or bottle is secured properly, mold the clay or play dough around it, to make the shape of a volcano. While putting the clay or dough, you should not cover the opening.
  • For the eruption part, mix about 6-8 drops of detergent and a pinch of red food color. Add this mixture to a cup (about 500 ml) of warm water and stir well. The water quantity depends upon the size of the plastic funnel or bottle that you have used. Gently pour the solution and ensure that it fills about 2/3rd of the plastic funnel or bottle.
  • Now, add about two tablespoons of baking soda to the solution, and allow the mixture to settle for about 2-3 minutes. To make the volcano erupt, you can pour vinegar gently from the sides of the opening. The volcano will erupt in a few minutes due to the chemical reaction between baking soda (a base) and vinegar (an acid).

What happens during the volcanic eruption is, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, represented as NaHCO3) combines with vinegar (acetic acid, represented as CH3COOH) to give sodium acetate (NaCH3COO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and water (H2O). Try to understand the reaction properly, so that you can answer any question raised by others. The chemical reaction behind eruption of volcano is given below:

NaHCO3 + CH3COOH → NaCH3COO + H2O + CO2
Or, Sodium bicarbonate + Acetic acid → Sodium acetate + Carbon dioxide gas + Water

Well! This way, you can test volcano theories practically and understand the subject even better. In case, you find it hard to make a volcano model on your own, purchase volcano making kits that are available in the market. You just need to follow the protocol exactly as mentioned in the kit. To make the erupting volcano look more real, decorate the background with a scenery of forests, and also, don’t forget to place pebbles and rocks on the volcano sides.

How to create a science fair project

When you send your trash to the landfill, what happens to it? It may get buried under loads of landfill waste. If some of your waste is organic material like vegetables and fruit, this means that it will rot without oxygen. This is called anaerobic decomposition.

If you compost, you likely use the process of aerobic decomposition to help you a long. This process involves oxygen-loving microorganisms that help decompose the materials in the compost. You may even add air to the compost pile by turning it. This speeds up the process of decomposition and makes your compost warmer and less stinky.

Anaerobic means that there is no oxygen present. So how does food waste rot without oxygen? In anaerobic decomposition, bacteria that like this sort of environment work to break down the food waste. These bacteria have been around since long before plants existed!

When the bacteria break down the organic waste, the process releases methane and other gases such as carbon dioxide. These gasses are known as biogases, and can be harnessed as a source of energy. In this experiment, you’ll learn how to make biogas by creating an anaerobic environment and seeing how effective different types of fruits and vegetables are when it comes to creating methane.

Problem

How much methane do different types of food scraps produce?

Materials

  • 5 Mylar balloons
  • 5 soda bottles
  • Duct tape
  • Funnel
  • Permanent marker
  • Pureed onion
  • Pureed blueberries
  • Pureed lettuce
  • Bleach
  • Teaspoon
  • Funnel
  • Old kitchen scale
  • Blender

Procedure

  1. First, create some fruit and vegetable purees. One by one, puree half a cup of blueberries and half an onion in a blender. Weigh them and make sure you have the same weight of blueberry and onion puree.
  2. Now, puree an equivalent weight of lettuce leaves.
  3. Finally, puree another half of an onion. Weigh it to make sure it is the same weight as the first half, and put all of your pureed fruits and vegetables aside.
  4. Mark the different bottles with a permanent marker. Label one Control, one Bleach, one Blueberries, one Onions, and one Lettuce.
  5. Place one batch of pureed onion with ½ a teaspoon of bleach into one container and fill it to the top with water. Place a Mylar balloon at the top and seal the balloon to the end of the pop bottle using duct tape.
  6. Now, create the other containers. Use the funnel to place blueberries in one container, plain onion in another, and lettuce in another. Fill each container to the top with water and add a Mylar balloon to each. Leave the control container empty and tape a balloon to the top.
  7. Watch the balloons and photograph them if possible. Watch what happens to the balloons over the next week, and use this time to make a hypothesis. What happens to the items in the bottles? Why?

Results

The balloons over the blueberries and onions will inflate the most. A few days after inflating, the balloons will begin to deflate.

Certain fruits and vegetables release a lot more methane than others, and scientists are still trying to figure out why. Onions win out over most vegetables, and blueberries and bananas are high if you’re looking for gas-rich fruits. The control bottle and the bottle with the bleach did not produce a larger balloon. This is because bleach kills anaerobic bacteria.

Why did the balloons shrink? If you use traditional balloons, they may shrink because the gases leak out through the pores, but even if you use Mylar, the balloons will shrink in a few days. How come? At first, the gas produced will be warm due to the processes going on inside the bottle. After a few days, the gases in the balloons will get cooler and shrink, so the balloons will get smaller.

If we were to simply release these gases into the atmosphere, they would contribute to climate change, since carbon dioxide and methane are both greenhouse gases. However, when harnessed, biogas can be a useful source of energy from garbage. Landfills, treatment plants, and other places where anaerobic processes occur can be set up to collect biogas, which can be used in place of coal, oil, or other fossil fuels to produce energy.

Disclaimer and Safety Precautions

Education.com provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. Education.com does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against Education.com that arise thereof. In addition, your access to Education.com’s website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by Education.com’s Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on Education.com’s liability.

Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.

By Charles M | Submitted On October 03, 2010

Award winning science fair projects cannot be missed, they are those that are original, have been planned and researched well and the way they have been presented is superb. No ounce of detail has been “brushed over” and they captivate the reader making them want to learn more about the scientific principles that they contain. There simply is no mistaking them for any old run-of-the-mill science project.

In this article you will find out what steps are involved in creating science projects that win awards. If you have received an invitation to participate in your science fair and you are still undecided about whether you will take part, don’t be.

Your science fair will not only allow you to investigate an area that interests you but providing you do well, you will have the chance to win some great prizes. A great performance could also lead to many future opportunities such as scholarships to top colleges not to mention it would also look great on your CV, potentially winning you brownie points with future employers.

So how do you go about creating award winning science projects? Well firstly you will need to create a plan of action. This will involve you becoming familiar with the different types of science fair projects there are and the different science fair categories from which you can select your project topic.

Some projects will require you to build a model whereas others typically won’t; a research paper is a good example of this. You will also need to create a project time-line and checklist so that you can stay organized and on top of things and make sure to also get yourself a science notebook. You will use this to keep a journal of all your observations and ideas.

One of the first steps of your project will be to select a science fair topic. This however, may not be as straightforward as it seems. In order to award winning science topics you will need to first generate as many ideas as you can.

Make observations of the things around you. Think about what interests you and the things that you are curious about. Write down all of your ideas in your science notebook. The more ideas you get down on paper the better. You want to give yourself the best chance of picking the best topic; one that you are interested in and one that you will have enough time to explore.

After you have all your ideas down, pick the top three science fair ideas and let your ideas sit for a few days. This will give you some much needed time away from your project ideas and when you return to make your science fair topic selection, you will have a fresh outlook on your ideas. Award winning science fair projects explore ideas that can be tested so above all, make sure your topic is testable.

After you have selected your topic, what you will need to do is some background research so that you have all the background information you will need to proceed with your project. You want to become something of a “mini expert” with regards to your chosen topic. Science fair questions play an important role in this process. You will need to ask testable science fair questions that will guide your research.

Once you have acquired the necessary background knowledge, you are in a good position to form your science fair project hypothesis. Your goal is to form a hypothesis that can be tested based on the background research you have done on your chosen topic and the insights that you have gained. You will then need to design an experiment to test your hypothesis. Make sure that you can afford the materials for your experiment and most importantly, you will need to allow enough time to complete your experiment.

Your next step will be to carry out your experiment several times over and collect scientific data. This is not only good scientific practice but it can also uncover many things that you may have overlooked in a prior run of your experiment. It is also important to stay as objective as you can when collecting data and making observations so keep in mind that your experimental datum may not support your hypothesis. This is a perfectly normal part of the scientific inquiry process. What you will then need to do is interpret your results and draw conclusions.

After you have drawn your conclusions, you will need to write up your project paper and organize your science fair display. You have put in a lot of effort so make sure your display and presentation reflects this. You don’t want a “shabby” display to undo all the great work you have done.

Now all that is left for you to do is to look over your findings, prepare your presentation speech, go out there and wow the judges.

A list of science fair project ideas based on earthquake science.

Project Ideas

How to create a science fair project

  • Earthquake myths Examine earthquake myths and interview people about these myths to find out what they think. What would be the best way to get rid of myths? Is there any group of people who tend to believe myths more? Older people? Younger people? Other groups?
  • Seismic waves What types of seismic waves are there? What do they look like on a seismogram (recording)? What effects do different kinds of waves have on different kinds of buildings?

How to create a science fair project

  • World-wide earthquake hazards Which areas around the world are most vulnerable to earthquakes and why? What are the major problems dealing with earthquakes in different areas?
  • Earthquake risks Investigate the current earthquake risks in your area. If there are none currently, have there ever been earthquakes there in the past? Why, and why aren’t there any now?
  • Plate tectonic model Build a model that simulates plate motions and their effects.
  • San Andreas Fault Learn about the different segments of the San Andreas Fault. Demonstrate how each segment behaves differently and why.
  • Plate tectonics Cut a world map along the plate boundaries, and try to fit the pieces back together like they were millions of years ago. Observe how each piece has moved to its current position.

How to create a science fair project

  • Tsunamis Demonstrate how a tsunami is created.
  • Fault models Make models of different kinds of faults and investigate the tectonic setting of each (where are these types of faults generally found?).
  • Earthquake-proof buildings Try to design a building that can withstand an earthquake. What works? What doesn’t work?Why?
  • Earthquake preparedness Find the most effective ways to prepare for an earthquake. Test the effectiveness of different types of earthquake brackets and straps, etc. Determine the safest places to be inside the house, outside, in car, etc. Prepare on earthquake plan for your family, class, school.
  • Monitoring earthquakes Monitor earthquakes locally, regionally, or globally, and plot them on a map.
  • Locating an earthquake Show how earthquakes are located. Create a fictional story about an earthquake and write a news story with a map showing the epicenter.
  • Stress & strain Make a model to show how stress and strain affect different materials (wood, silly putty, etc.)
  • Earthquakes & volcanoes Investigate how earthquakes and volcanoes are related.
  • Magnitude & intensity Show the difference between magnitude and intensity. What controls the magnitude of an earthquake? What affects the shaking intensity?
  • Earthquakes on other planets Do earthquakes occur on other planets? Which ones? Why or why not?
  • Other ideas to brainstorm Interior of the earth, earthquakes & roads, earthquakes & buildings, earthquakes and the Eastern US, “Ring of Fire”.

How to create a science fair project

Atw Photography / Getty Images

Crystals can make fun, interesting science fair projects. The type of project depends on your age and educational level. Here are some examples of crystal science fair projects and ideas to help launch your own creativity in choosing your own project.

Make a Collection

Younger investigators may want to make a collection of crystals and work out their own method for grouping the crystals into categories. Common crystals include salt, sugar, snowflakes, and quartz. What other crystals can you find? What are the similarities and differences between these crystals? What materials look like crystals, but really aren’t? (Hint: Glass doesn’t have an ordered internal structure, so it isn’t crystal.)

Make a Model

You can build models of crystal lattices. You can show how lattice sub-units can grow into some of the crystal shapes taken by natural minerals.

Prevent Crystal Growth

Your project can involve ways you might prevent crystals from forming. For example, can you think of a way to keep crystals from forming in ice cream? Does the temperature of the ice cream matter? What happens as a result of freezing and thawing cycles? What effect do different ingredients have on the size and number of crystals that form?

Grow Crystals

Growing crystals is a fun way to explore your interest in chemistry and geology. In addition to growing crystals from kits, there are many types of crystals that can be grown from common household substances, such as sugar (sucrose), salt (sodium chloride), Epsom salts, borax, and alum. Sometimes it’s interesting to mix different materials to see what types of crystals result. For example, salt crystals look different when they are grown with vinegar. Can you figure out why?

If you want a good science fair project, it’s best to test some aspect of growing crystals rather than simply growing pretty crystals and explaining the process. Here are some ideas for ways to turn a fun activity into a great science fair or research project:

Presenting Your Project

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How to create a science fair project

The first step to creating a successful science project display is to read the rules concerning the size and types of materials allowed. Unless you are required to present your project on a single board, I recommend a tri-fold cardboard or heavy poster board display. This is a central piece of cardboard/posterboard with two fold-out wings. The folding aspect not only helps the display support itself, but it is also great protection for the interior of the board during transport. Avoid wooden displays or flimsy poster board. Make sure the display will fit inside any vehicle that is required for transportation.

Organization and Neatness

Organize your poster using the same sections as are listed in the report. Print each section using a computer, preferably with a laser printer, so that bad weather won’t cause the ink to run. Put a title for each section at its top, in letters large enough to be seen from several feet away (very large font size). The focal point of your display should be your purpose and hypothesis. It’s great to include photos and bring your project with you if it is allowed and space permits. Try to arrange your presentation in a logical manner on the board. Feel free to use color to make your presentation stand out. In addition to recommending laser printing, my personal preference is to use a sans serif font because such fonts tend to be easier to read from a distance. As with the report, check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

  1. Title
    For a science fair, you probably want a catchy, clever title. Otherwise, try to make it an accurate description of the project. For example, I could entitle a project, ‘Determining Minimum NaCl Concentration that can be Tasted in Water’. Avoid unnecessary words, while covering the essential purpose of the project. Whatever title you come up with, get it critiqued by friends, family, or teachers. If you are using a tri-fold board, the title usually is placed at the top of the middle board.
  2. Pictures
    If at all possible, include color photographs of your project, samples from the project, tables, and graphs. Photos and objects are visually appealing and interesting.
  3. Introduction and Purpose
    Sometimes this section is called ‘Background’. Whatever its name, this section introduces the topic of the project, notes any information already available, explains why you are interested in the project, and states the purpose of the project.
  4. The Hypothesis or Question
    Explicitly state your hypothesis or question.
  5. Materials and Methods
    List the materials you used in your project and describe the procedure that you used to perform the project. If you have a photo or diagram of your project, this is a good place to include it.
  6. Data and Results
    Data and Results are not the same thing. Data refers to the actual numbers or other information you obtained in your project. If you can, present the data in a table or graph. The Results section is where the data is manipulated or the hypothesis is tested. Sometimes this analysis will yield tables, graphs, or charts, too. More commonly, the Results section will explain the significance of the data or will involve a statistical test.
  7. Conclusion
    The Conclusion focuses on the Hypothesis or Question as it compares to the Data and Results. What was the answer to the question? Was the hypothesis supported (keep in mind a hypothesis cannot be proved, only disproved)? What did you find out from the experiment? Answer these questions first. Then, depending on your answers, you may wish to explain ways in which the project might be improved or introduce new questions that have come up as a result of the project. This section is judged not only by what you were able to conclude but also by your recognition of areas where you could ​not draw valid conclusions based on your data.
  8. References
    You may need to cite references or provide a bibliography for your project. In some cases, this is pasted onto the poster. Other science fairs prefer that you simply print it out and have it available, placed below or beside the poster.

Be Prepared

Most of the time, you will need to accompany your presentation, explain your project, and answer questions. Sometimes the presentations have time limits. Practice what you are going to say, out loud, to a person or at least a mirror. If you can give your presentation to a person, practice having a question and answer session. On the day of the presentation, dress neatly, be polite, and smile! Congratulations on a successful science project!

Save this idea for later so you don’t forget to use it!

If you’re looking for instant ice experiments, don’t forget frost in a can! Make your own frost using this simple guide on how to make frost in a can!

We live in Texas. That means we get, one, maybe up to three freezing days per winter. When we get snow and ice, we usually just end up playing in it because it is such a novelty.

When we get hot, we like to cool this off with ice science. One of our favorite ice science experiments is the frost in a can science experiment!

How to create a science fair project

How to Make Frost in a Can Fast!

You just need a few ingredients for the frost in a can science experiment!

Making frost in a can is a wonderful first science project because all it takes is a can, some salt, and some ice! Almost everyone has these supplies around any time of year, regardless of how “sciency” they are. You can find more winter science experiments here!

How to Turn Frost in a Can into a Science Fair Project

Every science fair project starts with a simple science explanation and a question.

In elementary school, science fair projects don’t have to to be elaborate.

Here are some questions to ask that will inspire variables to test when making frost in a can.

  • Does the size of the can change how quickly frost forms?
  • What is the ideal amount of salt to make frost the fastest?
  • Can you make frost in a can without any salt?
  • Do different types of metal make frost faster or slower?
  • Can you make frost in other materials besides metal?

Testing variables, recording data, and concluding results will make this science experiment a fun and easy science fair project.

Frost in a Can Science

The kids had no idea why salt would make it more likely for frost to form. They had always thought that since we use salt to melt ice on walkways when it freezes, that ice would prevent frost and ice from forming.

But, it turns out that salt lowers the melting point of ice (good for icy walkways). When this happens, the water vapor around the can falls below freezing as well. Frost forms on the outside of the can when the water vapor is freezing.

The can without the salt has a higher melting point that is above freezing. That is why the water vapor only makes condensation and not frost in that can.

You have to try one of our favorite classic science fair projects!

Supplies for the Frost in a Can Experiment

  • Aluminum cans (we used bean cans)
  • Salt (salt science is our favorite because it is so cheap!)
  • Crushed ice
  • Play tray (we love this one)

If you’re in a rush, these are our favorite weather science kits.

What You Need for a Science Fair

You’ll want to have these supplies on hand before doing your science fair project. Shop the included Amazon storefronts to make things easier and don’t forget to download the free science fair planning checklist before getting started!

Science Fair Project Planning

When you’re planning your project, you want to keep everything organized. Click the image below to get my free science fair project checklist so you can start organizing your project from the start.

You may also want to check out this list of science fair project research supplies.

Supplies for a Science Fair Project

There are so many supplies for science fair projects that are individual to each project, but if you want a general list of possible supplies and inspiration for your project, check out my selection of science fair experiment supplies on Amazon.

Supplies for a Science Fair Presentation

Your science fair presentation is important! It should look presentable and eye-catching. Check out this list of my favorite science fair presentation supplies.

Frost in a Can Science Experiment

Although we can’t do snow science and rarely get to do ice science, we can still learn about winter and frost in our own frost-making science experiment for kids! You don’t need freezing weather outside to make frost in a can. With just a few tweaks, this simple science demonstration can become one of the most perfect elementary school science fair projects!

How to create a science fair project

First, I challenged the kids to see if they could come up with how to make frost on their own using ice and our cans. We put just ice in one can, and ice and salt in the other.

The kids thought that the can with salt would actually be less likely to produce frost, but as it turned out, that wasn’t the case.

We filled our cans with crushed ice.

How to create a science fair project

One can was sprinkled liberally with salt. We found the more salt we used, the faster the frost formed.

We gave our cans a shake to see if the frost would form faster. It did!

How to create a science fair project

After five minutes, frost was fully formed on the salted can.

How to create a science fair project

The other can, however, barely even had condensation on the outside.

How to create a science fair project

My kids were impressed at how salt could encourage the ice to transform into frost. Monkey thought it would be safe to stick her tongue on the frost, but it stuck! The can really was below freezing!

We had to pour extra water on it to get her tongue loose.

More Ice Science Experiments

Save this idea for later so you don’t forget to use it!

So, you’re entering a science fair. Now what? These six simple science fair tips will take you from picking your project to nailing your presentation. And who knows — you may even have some fun along the way!

Science Fair Tips

Science Fair Tip #1

Pick a topic that interests you. Trust us, it’s much more fun that way! You’ll enjoy working on your project, gathering information, and learning if you’re studying something that matters to you. Spare yourself, your parents, teachers, and the judges from a project that bores you. If you don’t care about your project, it shows. And if you’re project intrigues and inspire you, that shows too! Not sure where to start? Look at these neat Science Fair Project Ideas for some inspiration.How to create a science fair project

Science Fair Tip #2

Don’t reinvent the wheel with your science fair topic . A good topic can have revolutionary ideas, but more importantly, judges will want to know what you learned (and if you used the scientific method) . Hint: It’s OK to take an existing science project and use it as your own! Just modify the variables you test to make your project unique.

Topics that relate to current issues and concerns in society tend to score high points in science fairs. However, you still need to thoroughly think it through and research well to score high. Such topics usually relate to how we can improve or maintain our health, welfare, and/or way of life. We suggest avoiding politically charged topics, if necessary. It is hard to stay neutral, and it is usually hard, if not impossible, to scientifically test your theory.

Science Fair Tip #3

Do your own work . Judges will evaluate what you know about your project and what you learned during the process of your project — from start to finish. If your parent, brother or sister, friend, or classmate does all your work, you won’t learn anything. Where’s the fun in that?

Science Fair Tip #4

Make sure your project is a science project . To be considered a science fair project, your project must use the scientific method and answer a question. So, you must collect and analyze data in order to conclude whether or not your hypothesis was correct. Demonstrating how something works is not a science project. For example, demonstrating a collection of magic eye tricks does not constitute a science project because no data was collected.

However, if you compare how long it takes specific groups of people (such as children and adults, boys and girls) to see the magic eye tricks, then you have a science project. Why? Because you are collecting data and you can use that data to draw conclusions. (Although elementary science fairs have permitted observation/demonstration projects in the past, more and more science fairs also want elementary students to use the scientific method and collect data. Therefore, it’s best to cover your bases and avoid doing a simple observation/demonstration project.)

Science Fair Tip #5

Keep your project simple . Try to test only one variable or one hypothesis in your project. The more experiments in the project, the harder it is to keep track of all the factors that influence your science project. After all, there is always next year to expand on this year’s project. Consult our Science Fair Guide for more information on c om pleting a science fair project.

How to create a science fair project

Science Fair Tip #6

Relax during the interview when presenting your project . The judges aren’t there to torment you or pick apart your project. Instead, they want to see that you did your own work (based on how well you understand your project), that your project addresses all parts of the scientific method, that you did the steps correctly, and that you identified any factors that may have caused inaccurate results. Many judges want to know how you can improve your science project, or what you would change to correct inaccuracies. The best advice we can offer you for the interview is this: know your project inside and out.

Armed with these science fair tips, the scientific method, and our science fair guide, you might be bummed that science fair only comes once a year!

By Jordan Matthews | Submitted On October 07, 2007

How to create a science fair project

Science fair projects are very helpful to motivate the students towards scientific study. It also provides the possibility of observing the real world and related problems in a closer way. It aims to develop curiosity about science and technology. It brings about improvement in the manipulative skills, knowledge, and self-confidence.

Solar system began forming 10 to 12 billion years ago as a swirling gas and dust formed a dense core. To visualize the Solar system, understand the orbital motion of the planets and to locate the actual position of the planets the solar system science fair projects are helpful.

Some simple solar system science fair projects ideas include answering questions such as:

– Can we collect micrometeorites from the outdoor sources?

– Could the other planets support any life?

– What causes the phases of moon and what affects the phases of moon?

– How terrestrial planets are formed?

– Are there many other solar systems in the universe? Do they support life?

To study about the other galaxies and solar system present in this universe this project will be useful. A comparative study of why life is possible on earth and why not life is possible on other planets can be done in detail. Younger children can also build a model of the solar system and show the relationships between the planets.

Also consider looking at natural forces which occur in the solar system, such as exploring a question like, how are the magnetic fields affected by solar storms? Can we build a homemade magnetometer to measure that? The magnetic fields are affected by solar storms and cause small changes in its direction at the surface, which are called “magnetic storms.” A magnetometer operates like a sensitive compass and senses these slight changes in the magnetic field. A homemade magnetometer can be constructed.

Can we identify black holes? If the answer is yes, how can it be done? By this project, the mysteries and curiosity about the black holes will take a shape and a clear knowledge about black holes can be gained. A thorough understanding of the nature of black holes is neceessary, and a lot of background information will be necessary for such a project.

You can make your own comet to know the details about the comets. A large comet is a spectacular sight and is a star like celestial body, which has a tail and still people have lots of doubts about it. To know better, this project will help out.

How to locate the position of a celestial body by a sidereal pointer? A sidereal pointer is an instrument that helps you to locate each celestial body in the night sky. How to construct a sidereal pointer easily can be discussed in this project in detail.

Solar system science projects are fairly demanding projects that represent a challenge. Each of the projects related with solar system science projects develops cognitive skills and help the students to leap forward.

How to create a science fair project

Who doesn’t like slime? You’ll love making it and playing with it! Create a creative and fun Science Fair project out of your fascination with slime. Along the way, learn what it’s like to be a scientist!

What is slime?

There are a lot of different ways to describe different slimes – some alive, some sticky, some gooey, some slippery, and some just plain gross! Slime often results from either a chemical reaction or biological activity. Yep, there is a lot of science behind slime!

Can you believe that “slime” is actually a term that scientists use? For example, biologists have classified hundreds of different species of slime molds and many different species of slime bacteria. Individual slime mold and slime bacterium are so small that you usually can’t see one. But together they can form a big mass or mound (blob) of slime working together as a community for a specific purpose. Smart, huh?

Explore: What slime have you seen? What can you learn about the difference in slime types? What is some of the science behind slime? Want to learn more? Search the internet for:
  • Spongebob Squarepants slime mold
  • Pink slime
  • Scrambled Eggs slime mold
  • Dog vomit slime mold
  • Hagfish Slime
  • Glowworm glue
  • Ponyfish
  • Biofilm
  • Mucus

Common homemade slime ingredients

  • White school glue – makes slime hold together
  • Corn starch – makes slime less sticky
  • Contact lens solution or saline solution – make slime more runny
  • Borax/sodium borate (soap)* – makes slime feel “wet”
  • Shaving cream* – makes slime fluffy
  • Fun ingredients (colors, florescence, scents, glitters, etc.) – makes more fun

*Can cause skin irritation, especially if it comes in contact with an open wound.

Explore: Chemically or physically, how do each of the common ingredients affect the slime properties? What other ingredients do you think you’d like to experiment with?

Simple homemade slime recipe

Supplies:
  • White school glue
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Water
  • Borax +
  • 2 Cups or jars
  • Disposable stirrer (spoon or stick)
  • Zip bag
Directions:
  1. Mix 1/2 Cup water, 1/4 Cup white school glue, and “fun ingredients” in a cup or bowl.
  2. In a separate cup, add 3-5 Tablespoons of Borax to 1/4 cup water and stir or shake until fully dissolved.
  3. Mix small amounts (Tablespoons) of the Borax mixture to the glue/water mixture until you are happy with the consistency.
  4. Have fun! When done, store in zip bag

+ You can find Borax at most large grocery stores next to the laundry detergent.

Explore: What did you learn or observe while you were making your slime? What “how” or “why” questions did you have while you were making your slime? Want to explore other slime recipes? Check out https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Slime.

Now, think like a scientist

Scientists make observations, ask a lot of questions, then try to find ways to answer those questions. Here are a few questions for you to try to ponder before starting your project:

  • What did you observe while you were playing (pulling, touching, pouring, rolling, dropping etc.) with the slime?
  • If there was one ingredient you’d like to experiment with changing, then what would it be?
  • If there was one thing about the environment around your slime (temperature, surrounding liquid, exposure to air for certain periods of time, etc.), what would it be?
  • How do you think changing one of the ingredients or the environment would cause a change to your observations about the slime?

Learn the science behind slime

Okay, you’ve gotten your hands dirty and have had a chance to make slime, play with it, and ask questions! Awesome! Slime is more than just a fun thing to play with and make. Just like everything around you, slime has A LOT of science behind it!

The science behind a topic is called its scientific principles or concepts. Now, it’s time to learn a little more about the science of slime by doing some background research. To do your background research, you can ask an expert, look in books or search the internet. Below are some scientific principles and concepts of slime that would be helpful for you to understand in order to plan your project. When searching the internet, include “kids” in your search to get age-appropriate information. For example, “kids molecule video”.

  • Liquids, solids & gasses (Early Elementary School)
  • Molecules (Late Elementary School)
  • Molecular chain (Middle School)
  • Polymers (examples of polymers are white glue, rubber, plastic and DNA) (Middle School)
  • Viscosity (Middle School)
  • Non-Newtonian Fluids (High School)

Now, be a scientist!

Inquiry Science Fair Project

If your science fair allows inquiry projects (or demonstrations), then try to answer “why” or “how” questions as part of your project. In your own words, describe the scientific concepts that you learned about and some of the things you observed or discovered. The purpose of an inquiry is to demonstrate what you learned, observed and discovered. Demonstrations are not the same as experiments. But hey, not every scientist is an experimentalist!

Experimental Science Fair Project

When you do an experiment, you choose one thing to change and try to understand the results of that change. This is called Cause and Effect. If your science fair only allows experimental projects that follow “The” Scientific Method, then follow these steps:

  1. After learning the science behind slime, decide on just one thing that you will change during your experiment and what you will measure. For example, maybe you change the amount or type of ingredient, the environment, timing and you measure the change in texture.
  2. Write a detailed experimental question that makes it clear what you will change.
  3. State your prediction as a result of a change that you make.
  4. Plan how you will set up your experiment, including necessary supplies.
  5. Determine the potential health and safety risks of doing your experiment.
  6. Write down a detailed procedure that you can use when doing your experiment.
  7. Collect and record your data and observations.
  8. Display your data in a table and graph.
  9. Look for trends in your data graph.
  10. Try to explain why your data or observations turned out the way they did.
  11. Share what you learned with others.
  12. Create a project board display – refer to Project Display Tips

If you’d like help during each step of your project, then check out Make Science Fair Fun® workbooks. Each of the 22 worksheets will help your child successfully develop their science & engineering skills!

By Morton Barish | Submitted On September 05, 2009

The letters EFGH will guide you to a smashing display. E for Enthusiasm. F for Fun, G for Go for it, H for Honesty.

Your presentation should clearly show what you did and what you learned. The science project display tells the whole story of your science project. But most important of all, make it appealing. Use lots of photos. Be graphic. Use short terse headlines that really pop out. Don’t be boring. Make your display interesting.

Your super display board shows your ideas and experiments

Make certain that you know all of rules regarding size and other details. The display board will often be a three sided unit that is mounted on the top of a table. You can either buy one at some office supply or art store or make it yourself. They are usually 3 feet tall and four feet wide made of a light but sturdy board.

The center panel can be the most important part of the display.

The title of your school science project should be displayed on the top of the center panel in lettering sufficiently large to be seen from about 15 feet away. It should contain a list of the materials, apparatus, and procedures you pursued in your project to test the hypothesis. You should make certain that you give the viewer a blow by blow description of how you performed the tests. Photos are often interesting and do not be afraid to use them. All of your graphic materials should be displayed in a professional manner including all tables, graphs and charts. Do not overcrowd. Leave space between display materials. Leave appropriate room for signs.

Your hypothesis should be on the left panel. Here you also want to include information about the research materials you used such as internet sites, books, articles and similar material.

Results and conclusions usually go on the right panel. If you ever thought of doing the project over, here is a good place to state just what you would do.

The table area in front of the display is where you want to place your journal, any abstract materials, your project report, and any three dimensional models you might have. Make certain that you carefully explain how you used the scientific method to arrive at your hypothesis.

Make certain that you follow any rules your teacher or the science fair gives you.
The information above is just a guide. Do not be afraid to do something original.

Do not dress for science fair like you would to paint the house. Be neat, clean, wear a shirt and tie, and a jacket would be nice too. Girls should dress nicely, not too fancy. Do not wear jeans or t-shirts. Review your presentation at home for practice. Review write ups of what the judges are looking for so that you can anticipate some of their questions.

Some basic display tips include making certain that everything is properly squared and not haphazard.
Your lettering should be similarly straight and neat. Larger type should be used for headlines and smaller type for descriptive information. And be sure to bring stuff for last minute touch up such as erasers, tape, colored pencils and the like

Remember the four letters of the alphabet: E F G H
When presenting at science fair, these four letters will help guide you through.

E – stands for ENTHUSIASM. Be enthusiastic. Be up, not down. Make everyone around believe that you are really pleased to be showing at science fair

F – have FUN. If you are not happy being at science fair, presenting your display, no one else will be. Keep a smile on your face. Have a sense of humor. Don’t get up tight.

G – G stands for Go for it! You have been working for weeks, perhaps months to get where you are today. Let it all hang out. Be proud of what you have done.

H – H is for Honesty. Don’t hem and haw about any answers to the judges. Be forthright and upstanding. Tell the truth. If they ask a question and you do not know the answer, say “Sorry sir, or ma’am, I don’t know.”

To find over 300 award winning science fair projects visit www.terimore.com. They are all available on line so that you can get them in just a minute or two.

How to Make a Science Fair Project Display That Really Rocks

MANDI ROGIER

CLASS

The problem statement is the most important part of a science fair project. This single phrase defines and directs all of the work you will be doing. Before you can begin to develop and execute your experiment, you must have a clearly defined problem that will be addressed by your project. In the final presentation, the problem statement will be the item that gives judges and viewers a clear idea of what your project is all about.

Explore this article

  • Select a topic
  • Explore your topic of interest
  • Form

1 Select a topic

Select a topic that interests you and which you would like to learn more about. Working with a subject that you find personally fascinating will make it much easier to hone in on an experiment that you will enjoy conducting.

2 Explore your topic of interest

Explore your topic of interest by doing research, talking to professionals in that field or brainstorming until you narrow it down to a more specific area. For example, if you are interested in aquariums and fish, you may narrow your topic down to questions regarding the five senses of fish.

3 Form

Form a specific question to be answered. You may need to begin with a broad question and narrow it down a few times until you have a workable project idea. If you begin with “How do fish see their world?” you may need to get more specific by asking “Do fish see different colors?”

Phrase the problem statement as a question. Make it as concise and clear as possible. The question, “Do fish see in color?” would be an accurate problem statement for a science fair project.

We are using a lot of lift system in our daily life. There are many types of lift system. Well friends today we are making manual lift or manual elevator at home. This pulley lift science project is easy to build and can be good ideas for science fair .

This manual lift science project uses pulley system. And we know that pulley is a simple machine. So it helps us to learn about simple machine mainly pulley. It’s uses and applications.

We can make many science projects form pulley. Some of science fair ideas with pulley are Pulley School Project , Wheel And Axle Project ,Electric Generator Science Project, etc.

Manual elevator system is cool middle school science project that is best for students form grade 6 to 8. It is also one of the good example of simple machine science projects.

What is Pulley Lift System ?

Lift is basically a machine that helps us to move upward. On the basis of mechanism for making lift we can categories lift into many types. If a lift is made with hydraulic system the it is hydraulic lift.

Well here we are using pulley for lifting load. Here it is elevator using pulley system.

Pulley lift science project helps us to answers many questions like :

  • How to make a pulley lift system ?
  • Application of pulley.
  • elevator working model .
  • science fair ideas with pulley.

Materials needed for Manual pulley system :

There are a lot of items we need for making Working model of pulley lift. We have listed some of the essential items.

  • Cardboard’s.
  • 4 bobbins.
  • Bamboo stick.
  • String.
  • DIY Knife.
  • Cardboard.
  • Scissor.
  • Cutting mat.

Pulley Lift Science Project :

After all materials are collected now its time to do this science experiment

  • First of all take a take a cardboard and cut into number of pieces as in video.
  • For better design and distinct view we can cut middle part of side cardboard’s.
  • Now its time to make lift itself.
  • For this take some small cardboard’s and make a cubical shape using hot melting glue. If you do not have hot melting glue i suggest you to get one. Since it make our work easier and nite. If not then there are other options such as glue.
  • Glue all the side walls and make a building shape.
  • Make four holes at each side walls. And pass bamboo through it. Fix four bobbins over each bamboo stick.
  • Attach a pulley handle at one end of bamboo stick.
  • Glue one end of string at top of lift body and pass through all baboons. Next end of string is glued at bottom of lift.
  • Finally as we rotate pulley handle our lift moves upward and downward.

How to make an elevator ?

For better demo of preparation of this project, we have embedded our working process below in video format.

Here is full process of making this science project in video form. This is our YouTube channel DIY Projects. We also have crated many other school science projects in our channel. We also provide many science fair ideas for school students.

Pulley lift System Explanation :

We can get a lots of information from this manual lift science experiment.

Case 1 : (When we rotate pulley clockwise)

This is a lift based on mechanical effort. As we rotate pulley handle clockwise it rotates whole system. As a result our pulley lift science project moves upward.

Here, with rotation of pulley all bobbins also starts to rotate. Which eventually moves lift in upward direction.

Case 1 : (When we rotate pulley anticlockwise)

As we rotate pulley handle anticlockwise it rotates all bobbins in anti clock wise direction. This eventually moves lift in down direction.

Pulley :

Pulley is a type of simple machine that contains wheel that rotates on an axle with the help of rope. One end of rope contains load and effort is applied at another end.

How does a pulley make work easier ?

It is a basic thing as we use simple machine it defiantly makes our work easy and increase speed. Here are few reasons:

1. Change in direction :

It is always easy to apply force in our desirable direction. Rather then in upward direction. With the help of pulley we can apply force at any direction for lifting load.

2. mechanical advantage of pulley :

Mechanical advantage of pulley is calculated as the number of pulley used. If a pulley system includes two pulleys then it ma is 2.

There are three types of pulley fixed pulley, moveable pulley and compound pulley.

Advantages of pulley lift Science project :

There are many advantages of Pulley Lift science project. Some of them are listed below.

  • Pulley helps to lift heavy load with small effort.
  • It gives mechanical advantage while doing work.
  • It helps to understand the liftworking model .
  • This science project pulley lift helps students to learn about lift, pulley, force, simple machine, etc.

Safety tips while making Pulley :

Our first priority before doing any science project must always be safety. We always suggest you to perform any science project protecting yourself.

  • Always ware a safety glass that protects your eyes.
  • Be careful while cutting plastic bottle.
  • Properly dispose the plastic waste. Since it damages our environment.
  • We suggest to do this science project with your parents, teachers or any elders.

Alternative process for making Pulley Elevator System :

There are a lot of science projects you can do in place of this pulley lift. Some of science projects ideas using pulley are :

Plastic bottle Pulley : It is a simple pulley science project where it is used to take water form a well. It is a fun science project for elementary school kids. This kids science project helps us to recycle plastic bottle.

Wheel And Axle Science Project is also another science project for learning about simple machine wheel and axle. Here we are making a traditional well where wheel and axle is used to take water form this well.

Electric Generator Science Project is another cool science project for elementary school. Here we use a mechanical energy to rotate shaft of dc motor. Which in return produces electricity. This electricity is can be used for many purpose. Here we are glowing a LED.

Also read Science fair projects for students :

  • Robotic Arm
  • Wheel And Axle Science Experiment
  • Earth Layers Science project
  • Rising Water Experiment
  • Seed Germination Experiment

If you are searching any Simple machine science projects. I hope this experiment can be of great help. This documentation can be best for your working model of Pulley lift .

If you like this science project or has any queries about this project. You can simply comment us at our comment section.

JENNIFER TOLBERT

27 JUN 2018

CLASS

The baking soda and vinegar volcano is a favorite science experiment among elementary students. It is important to make your presentation stand out from the other students at the science fair with an exceptional presentation. Also be sure to follow the teacher’s guidelines or science fair guidelines to ensure that your score is as high as possible.

Write an introduction. The introduction is your first impression. Be sure it is concise and accurately introduces exactly what you studied in the experiment. This is also an excellent place to include fun facts, background information or general volcano information. The reaction is due to the properties of bases and acids and would be important to include in your experiment. Identify the variable that you are testing, such as the ratio to vinegar and baking soda. Or maybe you would like to see what other base-acid combinations would produce similar eruptions.

Write a hypothesis. Remember a hypothesis is an educated guess or prediction. Explain what you believe will happen during the experiment based upon your previous knowledge or research. The hypothesis should be written in a declarative sentence.

List your materials. Provide a detailed list of all of the materials you used when you conducted the experiment. Be sure to also include how much of each material was used. Explain whether you made your own volcano or bought a kit.

Write your procedure. The procedure should be written step-by-step, in detail. If someone else could easily reproduce your experiment, you have probably written a fairly clear procedure. Be detailed, accurate and logical in your explanation. Procedures are usually written in a numerical list format.

Explain your results. Be sure your results reflect exactly what you were testing. You can provide observations or measurements. If applicable, you can create a chart or graph to describe any numerical data you may have taken. You may want to describe what the eruptions looked like, how long they lasted or how explosive the reactions were.

Write a conclusion. Basically, sum up what you learned during the experiment. Say whether or not your hypothesis was correct. Point out patterns in your data and explain if they were consistent with your previous knowledge of the subject. Also, do not forget to relate how that information can be used in the real world. This would also be a good spot to place recommendations if there are changes you would make to the experiment.

Creating crystals of table- or Epsom salt or sugar can be an excellent idea for your next science fair project. The process is simple and needs minimum adult supervision.

How to create a science fair project

Salt Crystals in a Jar

Salt (sodium chloride) consists of tiny cubic crystalline structures where the molecules are arranged in an orderly, geometric and repeating pattern, and you can grow your own salt crystals pretty easily.

How to create a science fair project

Salt Crystal Experiment

Here are the instructions on making salt crystals. The method is similar for Epsom and sugar as well.

Materials Required

  1. ½ cup water
  2. 3 cups salt
  3. Pan
  4. Jar
  5. Pencil
  6. String
  7. Scissors
  8. Tape
  9. Food Color

Growing Homemade Salt Crystals

  1. Heat about 120 mL of water in a pan. Heating should continue until the water begins to bubble.
  2. Stop heating the pan.
  3. Take about 60 -120 mL by volume of salt and stir the water until it is clear. If you do not find any undissolved particle even after stirring, then add more salt and stir. Keep doing this until you find the grains do not dissolve anymore and pop out of the solution. Under this condition, the solution is said to be supersaturated as it contains more salt than the water can accommodate.
  4. Pour the contents of the pan in a jar being careful not to pour out any undissolved residue.
  5. Add a few drops of food color to the solution.
  6. Take a pencil long enough to lie across the mouth of the jar and tie a string at its center. You can also use a popsicle stick or any small stick for serving the purpose.
  7. Cut the part of the string hanging from the pencil to an appropriate size. The free end of the string should not touch the bottom of the jar lest the crystals formed are small and lumpy.
  8. Place the pencil on the jar with the string immersed in the solution. If the pencil wobbles, tape it to the jar. The string should not lean against the walls of the container since this can inhibit the augmentation of the structures.

How to create a science fair project

Salt Crystals Experiment

  1. Keep the arrangement in a safe place free of any disturbance.
  2. If you want to grow crystals fast, place the jar in the sun or near a fan. The lump so created will, however, consist of small crystals as they stop increasing size after a certain period. If you want a large single crystal instead, keep it in a cool, shady place devoid of movement and vibration.

How to create a science fair project

Salt Crystals on a String

  1. Those of you experimenting with Epsom can refrigerate the jar for a quicker growth of the needle crystals. Alum crystals become visible very quickly, sometimes taking shape within a few hours. But the full process might take a couple of days. Table salt crystals start forming in a couple of days; maybe a week and take around two weeks to finish off.

How to create a science fair project

Epsom Salt Crystals

  1. Check back every day to track the crystallization. The rate of growth increases with cooling of the water and evaporation.

You can try to make crystals with different substances and compare their rate of growth, color, taste, size, duration of formation, etc. Also test crystallization using tap water and distilled water. In this case, your hypothesis could be crystals of salt grow faster in tap water. After the experiment, note down your observations and tally them with your hypothesis.

Published on August 21st 2015 by Papiya Dutta under Science Fair Projects. Article was last reviewed on 16th July 2020.

You need to get the Physics of air and water pressure right if you want this experiment to be a success. More explanation on that, later. First, let us get the facts right. A water bottle rocket is a type of model rocket that uses water as the reaction mass. The water is forced out by compressed or pressurized air. They can be used in science Olympiads. The construction is quite easy and children can do this in the lab.

How to create a science fair project

Water Bottle Rocket

How to Build a Water Bottle Rocket

Objective/Purpose

Making your own water bottle rocket.

Hypothesis

The water powered bottle rocket flies on pumping in air.

Materials

  • Empty plastic bottle (a 2 liter soda pop bottle would be fine)
  • Piece of cardboard made into a cone and 4 fins
  • Pump with a needle adaptor
  • Water
  • Cork

Step By Step Instructions

  1. Pass the needle adaptor through the cork in such a way that it goes all the way through. You might have to trim the cork for this.
  2. Attach the cone to the base of the bottle and the fins to the sides.
  3. Make the bottle a quarter full with water and insert the cork in tightly to close it.
  4. For launching, take the bottle outdoors and connect the pump to the needle adaptor.
  5. The bottle should be made to stand inverted on its fins.
  6. Pump air into the bottle and watch the rocket take off with force.

Don’t stand too close to the rocket as water would be squirted out in all possible directions. The conclusion or result would be that the water bottle rocket could fly. Prepare a neat data sheet with the measurements, calculations, if any and present the lab report if you do the simple activity in school as a lab assignment. You can note the trajectory of the system for a vertical launch and launch at an angle in the report. A proper introduction, theory, design method, math and sketch are indispensable for the technical report.

Video

Water Bottle Rocket Designs

The various parts of a rocket, especially the nose cone, nozzle and fins, need careful designing for aerodynamical grace. You will get more ideas from the below diagrams.

How to create a science fair project

Water Bottle Rocket Design Idea

How to create a science fair project

Water Bottle Rocket Design

How to create a science fair project

Water Rocket 2 Liter Bottle Design

How to create a science fair project

Water Bottle Rocket Blueprint

Water Bottle Rocket Fins

The fins should be firm and not floppy. Cardboard and Styrofoam board are good materials. Duct tape can secure them firmly to the rocket body. The best designs of rockets that fly long distances and have greater hang times (the time they hang in the air) are those which have long and narrow fins. They give direction and guidance to your craft. For stability and security, the minimum number should be 3. Here are some fin design plans.

How to create a science fair project

Water Bottle Rocket Fins

How to create a science fair project

Water Bottle Rocket Fin Template

Nose Cone Designs

How to create a science fair project

Water Bottle Rocket Nose Cone Design

How to create a science fair project

Water Bottle Rocket Nose Cone

How to create a science fair project

Water Bottle Rocket Nose Cone Template

  1. It is important to maintain an optimum weight. Larger rockets or those with a large volume should be built lighter whereas smaller lighter ones should be given some extra weight in order to fly higher.
  2. To increase stability, you can add more mass near the nose cone of the rocket so that the center of mass is shifted towards the nose cone end.
  3. The center of pressure must be located below the center of gravity for stability.
  4. To calculate the height attained by your homemade rocket, attach a long length of sewing thread to the tail of the rocket. The thread should be laid flat on the ground so that the rocket takes it along as it gains altitude. Mark the thread just before it starts descending and measure the height.
  5. Have a good recovery system in place. It would be best to have large wings or fins that are close to the center of gravity. It allows the rocket to glide to the earth avoiding severe damage to its parts.

How Does It Work?

The experiment is based on Newton’s 3 rd law that states every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When air is pumped inside the bottle air pressure builds up and that increases the water pressure forcing it to come out downwards. If this force is termed as action, then the water should exert an equal and opposite reaction in the upward direction. It is this reaction that forces the water bottle rocket up. Note that the weight of the rocket constantly changes during flight. It falls back to the earth due to gravity. The law of conservation of the momentum holds as the upward momentum of the rocket is equal but opposite of the momentum of the escaping water.

Equation for Water Bottle Rocket

Below is an equation that connects all the variables and constants of the system.

m du/dt = Fthrust – Fdrag – mg

m is the instantaneous mass of the rocket (kg)

u is the upward velocity (m/s)

Fthrust is the thrust due to the expelled water (N)

Fdrag is the drag force of the surrounding air (N)

g is the acceleration due to gravity (9.81 m/s 2 )

t is the time (s)

The rockets provide pure education and entertainment at a small cost. They have been in vogue for many years to teach the principles of aeronautics. Kids interested in pursuing engineering would love building this project. You are free to investigate further, do research and gather background information on the DIY mechanism.

Published on December 14th 2017 by Papiya Dutta under Science Fair Projects. Article was last reviewed on 14th December 2017.

Wondering how you might be able to better use or recycle all those cardboard boxes ? Use the sun’s energy to heat up a tasty treat with this simple solar oven ! Have you ever heard the expression that it’s so hot out you could fry an egg on the sidewalk? Have you ever wondered if it’s true? Find out with this easy, fun, and delicious solar oven science project that uses only household items and a pizza box – aka your very own DIY solar cooker . Plus, learn about absorption, insulation, and the sun’s energy .

Want even more solar energy science? Check out these solar energy science projects . And for another edible science project that teaches about insulation, make Baked Alaska .

What You Need to Build a Solar Oven:

  • Cardboard pizza box (the kind delivered pizza comes in)
  • Box knife or scissors
  • Aluminum foil
  • Clear tape
  • Plastic wrap (a heavy-duty or freezer zip lock bag will also work)
  • Black construction paper
  • Newspapers
  • Ruler or wooden spoon
  • Thermometer
  • An adult to help with cutting

Recipe Ideas

DIY Solar Oven

  1. Use a box knife or sharp scissors to cut a flap in the lid of the pizza box. Cut along three sides, leaving about an inch between the sides of the flap and the edges of the lid. Fold this flap out so that it stands up when the box lid is closed.
  2. Cover the inner side of the flap with aluminum foil so that it will reflect rays from the sun. To do this, tightly wrap foil around the flap, then tape it to the back, or outer side of the flap.
  3. Use clear plastic wrap to create an airtight window for sunlight to enter the box. Do this by opening the box and taping a double layer of plastic wrap over the opening you made when you cut the flap in the lid. Leave about an inch of plastic overlap around the sides and tape each side down securely, sealing out air. If you use a plastic bag , cut out a square big enough to cover the opening and tape one layer over the opening.
  4. Line the bottom of the box with black construction paper —black absorbs heat. The black surface is where your food will be set to cook. How much you need will depend on the size of the pizza box you’re using to make your solar oven.

  • To insulate your oven so it holds in more heat, roll up sheets of newspaper and place them on the bottom of the box . Tape them down so that they form a border around the cooking area. It may be helpful to also tape the rolls closed first. The newspaper rolls should make it so that the lid can still close, but there is a seal inside of the box, so air cannot escape.
  • The best hours to set up your solar oven are when the sun is high overhead—from 11 am to 3 pm. Take it outside to a sunny spot and adjust the flap until the most sunlight possible is reflecting off the aluminum foil and onto the plastic-covered window. Use a ruler to prop the flap at the right angle. You may want to angle the entire box by using a rolled-up towel.
  • You can make toast by buttering a slice of bread then letting the sun do the rest. Cooking a hot dog or making nachos with chips and cheese are also fun treats to make in your solar oven! It would also work great to heat up leftovers. So the paper at the bottom doesn’t get dirty, put what you would like to cook on a clear plastic or glass plate. A pie plate would work well. Place the thermometer inside your oven before you close it, so you can check the temperature.
  • To take food out of the oven, open up the lid of the pizza box, and using oven mitts or potholders, lift the glass dish out of the oven.

    What Happened:

    The heat from the sun is trapped inside of your pizza box solar oven , and it starts getting very hot. Ovens like this one are called collector boxes because they collect the sunlight inside. As it sits out in the sun, your oven eventually heats up enough to melt cheese, or cook food !

    How does it happen? Rays of light are coming to the earth at an angle. The foil reflects the ray and bounces it directly into the opening of the box. Once it has gone through the plastic wrap , it heats up the air that is trapped inside. The black paper absorbs the heat at the bottom of the oven , and the newspaper makes sure that the heat stays where it is, instead of escaping out the sides of the oven.

    Your solar oven can reach about 200° F on a sunny day and will take longer to heat things than a conventional oven . Although this method will take longer, it is very easy to use, and it is safe to leave alone while the energy from the sun cooks your food.

    We made a cheese roll-up by melting cheese on a corn tortilla. It took about 45 minutes for our cheese to melt and the tortilla to become soft. The internal temperature of our pizza box solar oven was 125° F.

    If you do not want to wait long to have a solar-cooked dish, try heating up something that has already been cooked, like leftovers, or a can of soup. Putting solid food in a glass dish and liquids in a heavy plastic zip lock bag works well. You can also pre-heat your oven by setting it in direct sun for up to an hour.

    Other recipes you may want to try are making baked potatoes, rice with vegetables, chocolate fondue, s’mores , and roasted apples with cinnamon and sugar.

    Even on partly cloudy days , there may be enough heat and light from the sun to slow cook a special dish. Here are a few tips for having success with your solar oven:

    • Stir liquids (if you’re cooking something like fondue, rice, or soup) every 10 minutes. You can rotate solid food every 10-15 minutes as well, so it cooks evenly.
    • Reposition your solar oven when needed, so that it faces direct sunlight . You should be checking periodically on your oven, to make sure it is in the sun.
    • Make sure that the foil-covered flap is reflecting light into the pizza box, through the plastic-covered window.

    To experiment further with solar cooking , make your own solar purifier with this science project !

    For more ready-to-go science projects, see Solar & Alternative Energy Kits .

    See for yourself how the forces of electricity and magnetism can work together by building a simple DC electric motor using simple materials you can find in any hardware store!

    Electricity and magnetism are both forces caused by the movement of tiny charged particles that make up atoms, the building blocks of all matter. When a wire is hooked up to a battery, current flows through the wire because negatively charged electrons flow from the negative terminal of the battery toward the positive terminal of the battery because opposite charges attract each other, while similar charges repel each other. This flow of electrons through the wire is an electric current, and it produces a magnetic field.

    In a magnet, atoms are lined up so that the negatively charged electrons are all spinning in the same direction. Like an electric current, the movement of the electrons creates a magnetic force. The area around the magnet where the force is active is called a magnetic field. Metal objects and other magnets that enter this field will be pulled toward the magnet.

    The way the atoms are lined up creates two different poles in the magnet, a north pole and a south pole. As with electrical charges, opposite poles attract each other, while like poles repel each other.

    Learn about electromagnetism and its many uses here.

    Now let’s watch it work as we build a motor.
    (Note: This science project requires adult supervision.)

    What You Need to Make a DIY Motor with Magnets

    • Insulated copper wire or magnet wire
    • Black permanent marker (such as a Sharpie)
    • Scissors
    • Small neodymium disc magnets
    • D-cell battery
    • Battery holder (sticky tack or modeling clay can be used instead)
    • Large rubber band (not needed if using a battery holder)
    • 2 large paperclips
    • Pen or pencil

    How to Build a Simple Electric Motor

    1. To make a bundle, wrap the ends of the wire several times around the loops to hold them in place. Position the ends so they are directly across from each other and extending out in a straight line on either side of the bundle, to form an axle. What you just made is called the armature.
    2. Hold the wire bundle you have made so that it would be flat against a wall, rather than a table, and color the top side of each wire end using the marker. Leave the bottom side of each wire bare.
    3. Carefully bend each paperclip, forming a small loop by wrapping one end around a small object such as a pencil or pen. Thick wire and pliers may be used instead of a paper clip if you want. Be sure to use caution when using the pliers.
    4. If you are using a battery holder, attach a paper clip to either side and insert the battery. If you don’t have a battery holder, wrap the rubber band tightly around the length of the battery. Insert the paper clips so each one is touching one of the terminals, and they are securely held by the rubber band. Attach the curved side of the battery firmly to a table or other flat surface using clay or sticky tack.
    5. Set one neodymium magnet on top of the battery, in the center. Position the armature in the paper clip loops, with the shiny, uncolored side touching the paper clips. Make sure it doesn’t touch the magnet.
    6. If your motor doesn’t start immediately, try giving it a start by spinning the wire bundle. Since the motor will only spin in one direction, try spinning it both ways.
    7. If your motor still is not working, make sure that the paper clips are securely attached to the battery terminals. You may also need to adjust the insulated wire so both ends are straight, and the bundle you have made is neat, with the wire ends directly opposite of each other.
    8. With the motor spinning, hold up the other magnet, above the armature. As you move it closer, what happens? Turn the magnet over and try again to see what happens.

    What Happened:

    The armature is a temporary magnet, getting its force from the electrical current in the battery. The neodymium magnet is permanent, meaning that it will always have two poles, and cannot lose its force.

    These two forces – electricity and magnetism – work together to spin the motor. The poles of the permanent magnet repel the poles of the temporary magnet, causing the armature to rotate one-half turn. After a half-turn, the insulated side of the wire (the part you colored with a permanent marker) contacts the paper clips, stopping the electric current. The force of gravity finishes the turn of the armature until the bare side is touching again and the process starts over.

    The motor you created uses direct current, or DC, to rotate the armature. The magnetic force is only able to flow in one direction, so the motor spins in only one direction. AC, or alternating current, uses the same principle of electron flow, but the pole is rotating rather than in one place. AC motors are often more complex than DC motors, like the simple one you were able to make. Unlike a fixed DC motor, AC motors can switch the direction of rotation.

    (The DC motor you made is only able to spin in one direction because its direction is determined by the poles of the permanent magnet. If you turn the magnet over, so the other pole is facing up, it will change the direction the motor spins.)

    When you held the second magnet over the top of the armature, it either stopped or made the motor rotate more rapidly. If it stopped, it’s because the pole was in the opposite direction of the first magnet, in a sense canceling out the rotation of the armature. If it moves faster, the same poles of the first and second magnets, which repel each other, work to spin the armature more quickly than with only one magnet.

    Building Bigger, Faster Motors

    Experiment with batteries of higher voltage, as well as more powerful magnets. You can also try using ceramic magnets. One design we found worked well was to set the armature over 4 ceramic ring magnets and connect the supporting paperclips to a 6V battery.

    You can also try increasing the size of the armature, and how many coils there are, to make a stronger electromagnet. When using batteries of higher voltage, and bare wires, be very careful. The circuit can emit enough heat to cause a burn if the wire is held too long.

    More Electricity Science Projects:

    These experiments are perfect for science fair projects or to continue learning about electricity and magnetism at home.

    Motors, Motors, Everywhere!

    Without motors, your house would be without electricity! AC motors are essential for power plant generators that supply us with electricity.

    Many small motors can be found in cars for power windows, heating, cooling fans, and windshield wipers. Motors can also be found all around the house, especially for slow-moving, high-torque functions.

    Kitchen appliances like blenders and mixers turn electricity into mechanical energy by using electric motors. Most washer and dryer machines use an AC motor to be able to spin in either direction. Small DC motors can be found in DVD or CD players, and the disk drive of a computer. The vibrator in your cell phone also works because of a tiny DC motor.