Science Fair Project Ideas: Third Grade and Elementary School

Science Fair Project Ideas: Third Grade and Elementary School
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Use Items From Around the House

There are plenty of items lying around your home that can make super science projects. This is a time when children are learning a great deal but their ability to create and understand is still small. However, there are plenty of very simple projects that a child can create with the help of an adult that will teach them some basics of science and still be entertaining for the youngster.

Rusting Nails

The basis behind this experiment is to discover what will make a nail rust quicker. With some simple steel nails, jars and a pair of tongs your child can determine which material will cause a nail to rust the quickest. For the purpose of the experiment use five different jars and five different liquids. In the jars place a an assortment of liquids. Choose a good variety like, water, salt water, orange juice, cola and vegetable oil. Set the jars off to the side and have the child check the nails every day at the same time. Have the child write the amount of rust that is affecting each nail. After a week the nails should display large certain amounts of deterioration.

Sun Heated Water

Another fun experiment for children is to show them how the sun actually warms water. For this you will need to aluminum pie pans, black paint, a thermometer and water. Paint the inside of one of the pans black and allow it to dry. Fill the pans with an equal amount of water. Place the pans in the sun and check the temperature. Write the temperature down on a tablet or piece of paper. Every fifteen minutes check the temperature again. Do this for two hours and note the difference in the heat of the two pans. There are two things that the child learns while doing this. The first is that the sun will heat the water and the second is that darker colors will attract light and heat the pan quicker.

Spinning an Egg

This is a simple experiment that teaches children about the effect of a liquid interior on a rotating object versus that of a solid core object. Use two eggs for this experiment. Boil one egg to make a hard-boiled egg. Allow the egg to cool. Spin the two eggs and time them with a stopwatch. have the child determine which egg has spun the longest. have the child explain why she thought the one egg spun longer than the other.

Candles and Burning Length

Have a child select two identical candles. It is best to use ordinary white table candles for this experiment. if you are concerned about size 12 inch candles will work fine. Place one of the candles into the freezer over night and allow the other to sit at room temperature. Place both candles in holders and light them. use a stopwatch to see which candle burnt the quickest. have the child explain why the one candle burned quicker than the other.

Leaf Diagram

Students are always examining leaves. It also makes a useful and inexpensive project. Have the child select a leaf from outside. it is best to use a green leaf since it will need to be soft so that it will be flexible. Use a blank piece of paper and tape the leaf to it. Have the student label all of the parts of the leaf and what they do for the leaf.

Effect of Different Materials on Motion

This is a super cool experiment for a child with small cars and about 15 feet of track. All you will need are some substances to put on a section of the track, something to clean the track with and a stopwatch. Start by letting one car go down the track and timing it. Remember to use the same car throughout the experiment. Using items such as sand, oils, water and ground grains you can teach a child about friction. Do certain substances slow the car down and do certain substances increase the speed. Have the child determine which substances increase the speed of the car and which ones decrease the speed.

Invisible Ink

Any child can have a good time with this one. By using lemon juice and a paintbrush or toothpick a child can create and invisible message that only another person who knows the secret can examine. Take the paintbrush and draw or write a message on a piece of paper. Allow the juice to dry. After the juice is completely dry you will have to bring the message back. This can be done by holding the paper close to a heat source such as a light bulb. If you want the message to be delivered quicker, have an adult hold it over a gas burner. The message will come out in a brownish tint.


This post is part of the series: Grade school science projects

Simple items found around the house can turn into science projects for your grade school children. The best part is that they are inexpensive and fun while still being educational.

  1. Super Science Fair Projects for Third Grade Students
  2. Growing Crystals Science Project