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Science Experiments You Can Do at Home

Science Experiments You Can Do at Home | Gryphon House

STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math—is a hot topic in education right now. Fostering an early interest in math and science opens up a world of possibilities for children to pursue in their free time as well as in the classroom, and STEM projects for kids are great ways to engage children’s natural curiosity. Of course, the oldest and most classic STEM activity for kids is the science project!

Science projects are great for killing time on a weekend or teaching a lesson in the classroom, and there is a project out there for any age group, interest, and environment. Below are some fun projects from Beth R. Davis’s book Hands-On Science and Math that are perfect for igniting and nurturing scientific curiosity.

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Hands-On Science and  Math | Gryphon House

Fluffed-Up Soap

Materials:

  • 1 bar of Ivory soap
  • Container of water
  • A microwave-safe bowl
  • A microwave

Activity:

  1. Take the bar of soap and examine its physical properties (color, texture, shape, etc.)
  2. Dip the soap in the water and then place it in the microwavable bowl
  3. Hypothesize what will happen to the soap after it is put in the microwave
  4. Place bowl in the microwave for 2 ½ minutes
  5. Let the bowl sit in the microwave and cool for about thirty seconds
  6. Remove in the bowl from the microwave and examine the soap
  7. To further the transformation, take pieces off of the fluffed soap and rub it between your hands. It should disintegrate into powder

Take it Further:

As a further experiment, repeat the process with different types of soap. Does the same thing happen? How are the properties different? Compare your results.

 

Animal Adaptations: Marine Mammals and Blubber

Materials:

  • A yardstick or ruler
  • A bowl or bucket
  • Ice
  • Water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Whiteboard or chart paper
  • A marker

Activity:

  1. Fill a bucket with water and ice
  2. Put on one of the rubber gloves
  3. With the other hand, smear shortening onto the gloved fingers to simulate blubber
  4. Place both hands into the ice water for fifteen seconds. Remove the glove once hands are out of the water
  5. Discuss which fingers felt colder and which felt warmer

Take it Further:

Think of some other things that might keep fingers warm and repeat the experiment. Does cloth keep your fingers warmer in the ice water? What about bubble wrap? How do these measure up when compared to the “blubber”?

 

Creative Printing with Sunlight

Materials:

  • Sun-sensitive paper (Sunprint is a good example)
  • Various small objects to place on the paper to make a picture (i.e. seashells, buttons, keys)
  • Trays or bowls
  • Water
  • A plastic tub
  • Paper towels or cardboard

Activity:

  1. Get sun-sensitive paper from a school or craft store
  2. Take the small objects and arrange them on the paper
  3. Carefully move the paper and placed objects to a sunny area
  4. Wait 5 to 8 minutes and then check to see if a change as occurred by lifting one of the objects. If no change has happened, wait an additional 5 minutes
  5. Once the change is clear, remove all the items and look at the image
  6. Quickly take the print inside and keep it away from the sun
  7. Submerge the paper in water for 1 to 5 minutes to preserve the image. Let them dry on the cardboard or paper towels

Take it Further:

Make designs on multiple pieces of paper and place them in spots with different levels of sunlight (on the driveway, inside by a window, a shady spot outside, etc.) How much does the paper change in each location? How long does it take for the change to happen? Which place changes the paper the most?

 

Dealing with Density

Materials:

  • A small jar
  • Three cups
  • Water
  • Blue food coloring
  • Red food coloring
  • A two liter bottle
  • A tray
  • Paper towels
  • Two ounces of vegetable oil
  • Two ounces of corn syrup

Activity:

  1. Color the water blue with the food dye and the corn syrup red
  2. Place each liquid—the water, corn syrup, and oil—into three separate cups
  3. Pour the blue water into the jar and then pour in the oil. The yellow oil should stay on top of the blue water because it is less dense
  4. Add the red corn syrup, which should sink to the bottom because it is the most dense

Take it further:

Redo the experiment by pouring the liquids in different a different order. Do they all end up in the same positions? What happens if you add more of one liquid than the others?




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