Education & Training

Cool Science Projects For Elementary Students

by Dr. Shanthi Thomas

Science projects are a great tool for developing students’ interest in science and to nurture the scientific temperament in them. It is especially important to introduce science projects to elementary students because the interest in science and the curiosity to know about the world around them should begin from a very young age. Here are a few science projects on some of the basic concepts of science.

1. Do plants need sunlight?

Materials needed

  1. Two potted plants
  2. A brown paper bag
  3. Watering can

Method

  1. Water each plant with the same amount of water.
  2. Cover one of the plants with the brown paper bag so that all of the leaves are covered.
  3. Place both plants near a window.
  4. Observe and water the plants every two days for a total of nine days. Record your observations about the covered plant and the uncovered plant.

Your discovery

What do you see at the end of nine days? What do you infer from your observation?

2. What is the function of the root system of a plant?

Materials needed

  1. Two 500 ml beakers
  2. An uprooted weed
  3. Aluminium foil
  4. Marker

Method

  1. Fill each beaker half full of water.
  2. Place the uprooted weed into one beaker. Label the beaker as ‘A’. Label the other beaker as ‘B’.
  3. Cover the tops of both beakers with foil.
  4. Place the beakers near a window.
  5. Observe the water level in each beaker for the next five days. Record your results.

Your discovery

What happened to the water in the beakers? What can you infer about the function of the roots from your observation?

3. The function of the shoot system of a plant

Materials needed

  1. Two 500 ml beakers
  2. Celery stalk
  3. White carnation flower
  4. Red food coloring

Method

  1. Fill each beaker half full of water.
  2. Add three drops of red food coloring to each beaker.
  3. Place the beakers near a window and leave them for two days.
  4. Remove the celery from the water and cut through the stalk. Observe the celery section and white carnation. Record your observations.

Your discovery

What do you infer about the function of the shoot system of plants from your observation?

4. Is metal or plastic a better conductor of heat?

Materials needed

  1. Metal spoon
  2. Plastic spoon
  3. Mug

Method

  1. Fill a mug with warm water.
  2. Place the metal spoon and the plastic spoon in the mug.
  3. Observe the temperature of the spoons by touching one spoon with your left hand and the other spoon with your right hand.

Your discovery

From your observations, which material is a better conductor of heat – metal or plastic?

5. Transparency of materials

Materials needed

  1. A torch
  2. Plastic film
  3. A4 paper
  4. Cardboard
  5. Tissue paper
  6. Plastic shopping bag
  7. Aluminium foil

Method

  1. Have a friend hold up a sheet of A4 size paper.
  2. Turn off the lights and shine a torch at the paper.
  3. Record the amount of light reaching the paper and record your observation.
  4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 using the other materials
  5. Record your results after observing which materials allow most light to pass through, which materials allow only some light to pass through, and which material does not allow any light to pass through

Your discovery

From your observation, which material is opaque? Which is transparent? Which one is translucent?

6. Magnetic materials

Materials needed

  1. Magnet
  2. Nails
  3. Coin
  4. Paper
  5. Thumb tacks
  6. Balloons
  7. Staples
  8. Plastic buttons
  9. Paper clip

Method

  1. Lay the objects out on a table.
  2. Move a bar magnet over each of the objects. Observe what happens.
  3. Record which objects are sticking to the magnet and which are not.

Your discovery

Which material is magnetic? Which material is not magnetic?

7. Colors of light

Materials needed

  1. Torch
  2. Beaker or glass container
  3. Mirror
  4. A4 size paper

Method

  1. Pour the water into the beaker. The water level should be about 2 cm from the top.
  2. Carefully put the mirror into the beaker. Tilt the mirror slightly upward.
  3. Turn off the classroom lights and shine the torch into the water so that it shines on the mirror.
  4. Hold a piece of paper slightly above the beaker so that the light from the torch is reflected onto the paper. You may need to adjust the position of the torch and the paper.
  5. Record your observations.

Your discovery

What do you see? From your observations, what can you say about light?

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