Three Fun Project Ideas for the High School Science Fair

Going to the Fair

Each year the school science fair rolls around and dozens of students begin preparing projects for the event. For the science buff, this time is filled with excitement and anticipation. For those not-so-science minded, anxiety and stress over shadow the event. For those in the second category, fun and easy science fair projects are in order. While all projects take time and research, there are qualifiers which can be done in a day or less.

Salt and Water

A fun and easy science fair project which requires very little in the equipment department is the properties of salt and water. A common cooking theory is to add salt to water to raise the boiling temperature. Recipes for preparations of pastas and other dried items call for a “pinch of salt”. For the project, the question becomes “does the pinch of salt actually raise the temperature?”

Do you research to come up with a scientific conclusion on the cooking method. The experiment itself involves bringing 2-cups of water to a boil in a pan and measuring the temperature of the boiling water. Make note of the temperature. Add a measured teaspoon of salt to the pot and allow the water to return to a full boil. Measure the temperature a second time. Repeat this process, adding another teaspoon of salt. Continue with this process until the temperature of the water actually rises. Add up all the salt you have added for your results. Leave your salt and water in the pan to take to the science fair. Create your display using your research and a recipe calling for the pinch of water. The pile of salt in the pan will act as your proof of experiment.

Centripetal vs. Centrifugal

Create a fun and easy science fair project with an experiment which seems to defy gravity. Centripetal and centrifugal forces are essentially what keep you from falling out of a roller-coaster as you speed upside down through loops. While the restraints assist on slower areas, the sheer forces at work keep you pressed to your seat. Research the causes and complexities of the two forces for a report and display board.

For the experiment itself, select a plain water bucket. Fill about 1/4-full with water. Using one arm, swing the water in a full arm motion past your body and over your head quickly many times. The water will stay in the bucket instead of pouring out when it is turned upside down. This is centripetal and centrifugal forces working together. Take your bucket and water to repeat the experiment in front of the judges. The whimsical experiment draws the curiosity of all who watch.

Air Pressure

Everyone has spilled a glass of water in their life. The cup of container tips over and out flows the water. But this doesn’t always have to happen. Create a fun and easy science fair project using only a glass of water and a piece of heavy cardboard.

Research the properties of air pressure for your report and display board. For the actual experiment, fill a glass of water completely to the top. The container needs to be glass as to not give or flex during the experiment. Place a piece of heavy cardboard on top. Hold the cardboard in place and turn the glass over. Let go of the cardboard. The water stays in the glass due to the air pressure outside being greater than inside. Repeat the experiment in front of the judges at the fair for extra points.