Here’s the good news: they can be. And we can show you how to do them. Not only that, but we can show you how to do them in less than 24 hours! We exist to get you science projects that make that horrid, time-consuming task fun and short!
Why not build a model for “earth science” science fair projects?
Kids will be doing an “earth science” science fair project frequently throughout their school live. One early fun project for kids is to make a model of a metamorphic rock. People tend to forget that one of the five types of science fair projects includes making a model. Often when you are older the model will be included with the final presentation of an investigation project.
This project will show the effects of compression on metamorphic rocks. Heat and compression are what is needed over millions of years, to form these rocks, this earth science experiment shows the compression piece.
All you really need is modeling clay of different colors and and wax paper. And something really heavy. Five or six different colors of clay would make it easier to see when you are finished…
- It will be a simple process. Take the wax paper and spread out some clay on top of it, let them experiment with how thick it is Then layer the different colors of clay on top of each other, again they can make each layer a different thickness or make them all the same. You could make two sets of modes,l one with them all the same thickness and another with a mixture of thin and thick.
- Once you build you layers, put another layer of wax paper on top of the pile. Now you will be ready to make it metamorphic. Place a really heavy object on top of this pile. Three or four heavy dictionaries, or encyclopedias would work. Kids will have fun looking around the house for something really really heavy, to use.
- Let it sit awhile and when you pull it off you will see the effect of compression and how the different colors were pressed into each other, and one of your “earth science” science fair projects is complete.
This is just an example of an easy science fair project for kids to do, where visual “look” of the model becomes the best teacher. That is the whole point, isn’t it? You want the kids to learn something about science! This is just one of the many benefits of using simple, easy science fair projects for your kids next science fair.
I’m not a very big fan of science and it wasn’t my favorite subject at school; however, if there’s one thing about science that I remember fondly and would still be interested in today, it’s the practical projects we did in middle school. It was a time when I enjoyed science class, simply because most lessons were hands-on in that we were taught how and encouraged to make working models of theories we had listened to the previous class. And so we made working volcanoes that spouted realistic ash in chemistry class; we designed siphons that allowed us to see how water and other liquids could flow in the upwards direction, defying gravity, in physics class; and we grew our own plants and learned about photosynthesis by observing it firsthand in botany.
While some teachers would argue that projects are a waste of time, the majority know that they’re the best way to not just learn about science, but also remember what you’ve learnt throughout your life. Besides this, projects offer the following benefits too:
- They make science more interesting: There’s no doubt that a class that involves hands-on work is much more interesting and preferable to one that comprises only boring theoretical lectures. Projects generate interest in science by inducing curiosity in students and encouraging them to delve deeper into the many layers of the subject. They pose a challenge that students are driven to achieve, and because of this, they look forward to science classes instead of dreading them.
• They bring out the engineer in you: The link between science and engineering comes out strong and clear when you get down to creating working models for your project. You combine out your mathematical and engineering knowledge to come with the perfect scale models that not only look authentic but which also work without a hitch. You go back to the drawing board when there are errors or when your results are not accurate and you research other sources so that your project is better than those of your classmates.
• They tap your creativity: The theory may be the same, but there may be many practical ways to implement it. So even if your whole class is given the same project, your team strives to be the most creative. You don’t have a whole lot of room to maneuver and the competition is tough; this is a situation that gets your juices flowing and encourages you to come out with a stunning design and implementation of the theory.
• They help you understand science better: It’s easy to see that science becomes simpler to understand and learn when working models demonstrate the theoretical equations and principles you read from your textbook. You look at the subject as a means of explaining our world and how things work rather than as just text that must be memorized in order to secure a passing grade in your exams.
• They encourage teamwork: And finally, projects foster teamwork and encourage bonding with the others in your team. This helps you prepare for real-life situations in work environments where you will most likely be part of a team and must know how to interact with the others smoothly and in good cheer.
Science projects must be encouraged not just by teachers, but by school administrations as well in order to boost interest in the subject and encourage more students to base a career on it.
This guest post is contributed by Beatrice Owen, she writes on the topic of bachelors of science. She welcomes your comments at her email id: owen1.beatrice(@)gmail(.)com.
The internet is an amazing resource when trying to find the perfect science project for your 6th grader. It’s important to find a project that is challenging, education, but also grade level appropriate and interesting for your student, and internet searches allow for the type of specificity that will help you find a science project that balances all of these crucial elements.
Once you have decided what type of project your child would like to attempt, you can search for projects along with more specific search criteria like their grade level, or the subject matter. For example, “6th grade science project ideas, butterflies.” This should hopefully yield plenty of results. It’s important to narrow your results with criteria like your child’s grade level, age, or a subject matter so that you can be sure you are getting results that will be useful to you.
If your student isn’t exactly sure what subject matter they want to do a project on, it might be wise to browse an online database of 6th grade science projects, like those found at http://www.akronlibrary.org/DBS/SFDB/Default.aspx or http://www.youth.net/nsrc/sci/sci.index.html, which you can look through by grade level or subject area. Databases like these are full of ideas and instructions, and are easier to use than just a simple general search that might bring you to an unreliable site. Another great resource for one-stop 6th grade science project ideas are the free guides found at http://www.middle-school-science-projects.com/guide.pdf.
Get your science experiment for your kid today at
I try very hard to be one of those down-to-earth folks. I don’t like to wear my degree on my sleeve; I can discuss diaper rash or the latest TV show with the best of ‘em. I hate when people drop ten dollar words to show off their pedigree. However, occasionally I do slip up and assume that someone knows exactly what I’m talking about. For example, last week I was showing a friend how to use a sewing machine. After my five minute discourse on how to make a bobbin, she sheepishly asked, “What’s a bobbin?” Oops…teacher FAIL!
In my last post, aimed at my peer group (parents), I mentioned teaching your children to love science for a lifetime. I casually used the example of demonstrating a meniscus to your kids. A dear friend, whom herself is well-versed in science, admitted she didn’t know what a meniscus was and had to look it up. Oops again. My mistake. I’ve used the concept for so long (since I was a sophomore in high school, which was…ahem, cough cough…a couple years back) that it is as second nature as riding a bike. So, here goes:
Meniscus [mi’ nisk?s]: the curved surface (produced by the surface tension) of a liquid standing in a tube; concave if the sides are wet, convex if not.
Ok, so in everyday-speak, what does that mean? Well, I think of it a lot like my bra…where there is support (ie the glass sides of a graduated cylinder or measuring cup), the liquid holds “up” (surface tension). Where there is no support (in the middle), you have sag. Hee hee. When measuring liquid, the fluid will stick to the sides of the container and “sag” in the middle. (This is very subtle, but does happen) If you look at the liquid height at eye level, you should read the amount as the bottom of the meniscus. In even simpler words, the top of the liquid is observed from the side, it will look like a bowl. The correct measurement is the bottom of the “bowl,” not the sides.
Hope that helps.
PS: Ok, so now that you know the nitty-gritty on liquid measurements and that’s enlightening, what about that science fair project that’s due next week? Go to 24 Hour Science Projects to help you on your way!!
It’s mid-January, and like most Moms I’m breathing a sigh of relief that kids are back in school. After spending two wonderful weeks at home with all the children under one roof 24/7, it’s nice to have some breathing room. During those days and weeks jam-packed with family activities, I was amazed yet again at how often science entered our family time, even with my preschoolers. Granted, I do tend to lean towards the geeky side, but I’m still stunned everytime I hear a middle or high school student exclaim, “I HATE science/math!!” So, here are some ideas to introduce a lifetime of loving science to your children. “Love?” you exclaim doubtfully. Ok, well at least a tolerance, ha ha!!
1. Check your attitude: Ouch. Now, before you roll your eyes and say, “Easy for you,” let me explain. I hate (and yes, I mean HATE) garden peas and peaches, but my children eat them. When I was in school, P.E. was the bane of my existence! Yet, my oldest child thinks it’s the greatest thing on earth. Am I super Mom? Heck no. I just did my best to let them form their own opinions. Sure, I still have a slight facial tic when my oldest mentions something fabulous he did in P.E., but I simply encourage his enthusiasm even though I don’t share it. If science was your idea of you-know-where on earth as a student, try not to tell your child about it, at least not until they’re in college. Do your best to offer opportunities and neutrality (if you can’t muster enthusiasm) and see what happens!
2. Find science opportunites in everyday life: Now, this one is far easier than number 1! Obviously, cooking is a great time to introduce measuring and temperature concepts. Keep the hand sanitizer nearby and let Johnny and Suzie measure out ingredients, scoop out dough, stir and blend, and, of course, quality control (taste sampling). Explain concepts as you go—What’s a meniscus? How does water change the consistency? Why do we add salt to water before it boils? One of my favorite principles in Chemistry is limiting reagents. I use that ALL the time in cooking, and I assure you my kids will understand it before they ever enter a Chemistry class. (if you don’t know, a limiting reagent is the item that “limits” how far a reaction will go…if your recipe calls for 1 cup sugar and 1 cup flour and you have 100 cups of sugar and 2 cups of flour, the flour is your limiting reagent. You can make only 2 batches of your recipe before you are limited by the flour.) Other household chores present science opportunites. My goal is that one day my kids will “enjoy” the experimentation involved with yardwork and laundry without realizing they are doing chores!!
3. Surround your kids with science books and TV/movie opportunites: I was surprised when my oldest child started reading how many science books are available, even for early readers. I get most of mine at yard sales and thrift stores, but your local library should have a great selection as well. It’s just as easy for them to learn about reading with books on weather and nature as it is to read about My Little Pony’s Adventure to Candy Castle. While I’m not a huge advocate for TV watching, I am a realist. Especially when you have kids of different ages. Sometimes, you and the kidlets need some downtime. After a twelve year hiatus, we recently got TV again in our home. I’m pleasantly surprised at the shows offered on PBS. One of my preschoolers now knows more about dinosaurs than I ever did and he’s learning great things on scientific procedure from Sid the Science Kid. And once your kids are older, the sci-fi genre of movies offers an endless supply of science adventures and intrigue. My point is this: if your kids are going to watch TV/movies anyway, let it be a chance to learn some decent science and math principles!
Enjoy! Have fun creating a lifetime of loving science in your home…or at least tolerate it while you watch your children grow and learn:-)
PS: So this is great, but you have a middle-schooler with a science project due next week?!?! Go to 24 Hour Science Projects to get you started on your scientific journey!!
What makes a good science project? Well, there are many answers to that question: From a philosophical standpoint, one that encourages your student to enjoy science (instead of fearing/dreading it). From an academic viewpoint, one that gets a high grade. From a parenting standpoint, one that requires minimal supervision, assistance, and hair-pulling/nagging. For this discussion, however, I am going to look at what makes a “good” science project from a SCIENTIFIC viewpoint. In other words, I am going to discuss good scientific priniciples to consider when you are approaching a scientific investigation, whether it is on the elementary, middle school, or high school level.
2. Be a control freak. Yes, you read that correctly. When setting up your project, you want to eliminate unnecessary variables that may skew your results. Basically, you want to keep things as uniform/standard EXCEPT for the variables you are testing. For example, if you are investigating the effect of soil on plant growth, you want to ensure that the plants are getting the same amount of sunlight, equal pot size, same room temperature (if you are growing indoors), and of course equal amounts of plant food/water. In other words, you want SOIL to be the only thing that differs in your experiments. You want to be as “scientific” as possible….when measuring, use a graduated cylinder or measuring cup (and yes, use the same measuring utensil unless you are using laboratory grade glassware; household measures can vary greatly from one to another). While most students won’t be doing their science projects in a laboratory, try to mimic the standards of laboratory protocol as much as you can. Take copious notes and include this as part of your presentation!
3. Be honest. Part of science is trial and error. Some of the best science projects that I’ve seen had unexpected results. If your results are completely opposite of your hypothesis, still report your results honestly and accurately. If you have a disaster (my dog literally ate my science project), don’t be afraid to report it with candor and do the best you can with the results you have. Fudging, white lies, and made-up results are all the same thing: lying. And completely unscientific.
Hope this gets your young scientist off to a GREAT start on your “good” science project, at least from the view of this scientist!
PS: Need some help getting your ideas flowing for that good science project? Try 24 Hour Science Projects to get you started on your scientific journey!!
Science Projects about human behavior study the interesting ways that human beings act. Human Behavior projects are often chosen by kids, but there’s a catch, because gathering enough test subjects can be tricky. Still, these projects can be a great way for students to learn about testing, meet interesting people, and have fun. There are so many fascinating things about the way humans behave, the hardest part may be choosing a topic. Here’s a list of projects that you might consider.
1. See if more learners are visual or auditory. Have individuals memorize a telephone number that they only see, then a different one that they only hear.
2. Discover if glasses help or hurt a salesperson’s selling ability. Let a salesperson wear glasses for a series of days, then go to work without wearing the glasses. Compare the total sales amounts.
3. Test to see if yawning is catching. Watch a group of young students before and after the teacher yawns.
4. Measure the time it takes for children to learn lyrics with music or without.
5. Find out if two ears or one are better at localizing a sound by hiding an object, and timing how long individuals take to find it. (Get a complete project guide for this project at Online Science Projects.)
Need more ideas?! Get your FREE parents guide to science projects at http://www.24hourscienceprojects.com. We also have a list of many types of science experiments and projects.
Earth science projects are a cool way for kids to find out about the earth around them and learn more about science. There are a lot of “earth sciences” , so your kid has lots to choose from! Here are two of our favorites:
Does salt affect the boiling point of water? Measure the temperature at which distilled water boils. Add different amounts of salt, and measure the differences. This is an easy earth science experiment that can be done in under 24 hours. Find out how to get step by step instructions on this earth science project below.
5. Which bathroom tissue is best for the environment? Get samples of different brands of tissue and weigh them. Then soak them in water so they break down. After 24 hours, flush the samples through a funnel, then weigh the rest. We called this project at “A Straight Flush“.
Your free science project guide has information on how to get detailed instructions for both of these earth science projects . Get your free parent’s guide to science projects – are at http://www.24hourscienceprojects.com.