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Science Fair Secrets!

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Creative science experiments you think of yourself!

Get that imagination going! You can do it!

 

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by Lani Yamafuji in freebie, fun ideas, homeschool
How to Think of a Science Experiment

Want to do some creative science experiments this weekend? Learn how to think up some interesting questions – using your imagination. That’s what scientists do.

What is a science experiment?

Before you make your own science experiment, you have to know what a science experiment is, and what it isn’t. It isn’t mixing baking soda and vinegar, making slime, or growing a crystal geode (I found this out when my son grew a crystal geode for his science fair!) These are all fun science activities or projects or demonstrations, not experiments. Read What is a Science Experiment? if you want to find out more.

Why think of your own science experiment ideas?

Why would I want to make experiments up myself when I can find one on the internet? Because it makes you more creative, and lets you explore what you want to explore. Nobody is telling you what to do, you control everything. And frankly, it’s very difficult to find a true science experiment on the web. Click the printable below to get some good example questions.

Plus, if you want to do a science fair experiment, judges don’t look favorably at copied stuff.

Science experiments start with a testable question. Make sure that you don’t already know the answer. Then you do a test, which is the experiment part. Your results from the test answer your question.

How to make a testable question

This part is tricky. Lots of questions cannot be answered by an experiment. Most questions that start with “Why” are really too hard to figure out with one experiment. Don’t ask questions such as:

Why does the Earth spin?

Why are cats flexible?

Why did the chicken cross the road?

We just aren’t going to be able to answer these with our simple experiments.

Good questions lead us to the answer. These questions start with:

Which one of these …?

How tall …?

How many …?

Excellent experiments

Here are a few examples of simple, but excellent, science experiments in action. They are great because the questions they ask come from a true curiosity to know the answer. And, the experiments they designed let them find out the answer. I listed them in order from super simple to a little more complex.

What food will ants enjoy the most? from Science Kiddo

How much water is in snow? from KC Edventures

How does pollution affect algae? from Layers of Learning

The power of 3

For an easy way to set up your science experiment, you can put the answer right into the question. Try to test at least 3 things from the same category. For example:

Which will make my hamster more active: ________, ________, or ________?

Here is the fun and creative part. And extra points definitely go to creativity! To fill in those blanks, you have to think of 3 things that are alike. You could fill in the blanks with foods such as apples, broccoli, or bananas. Or you could pick some music like jazz, rock, or classical. What 3 things can you think of?

Test it out if you’ve got a hamster hanging around.

Here are a couple more for you.

Which has the most seeds: _________, _________, or __________? Fill in the blanks, then count to find out.

Which ingredient tastes best added to pancake batter: _________, _________, or _________? Try 3 things you’ve never had before. (Yep, I added this one for my daughter who is addicted to pancakes!)

For an even better experiment, make your hypothesis, or educated guess before you do the testing.

Why make creative science experiments?

One common science experiment that I see is

Which burns the longest: _________, _________, or _________?

Unfortunately, almost everyone chooses to burn 3 different types of wood. Not creative at all, and therefore pretty boring. I’m sure there are many other things that young boys, or girls (but mostly boys), would want to light on fire.

What about pinecones, or potholders, or string, or nuts?

In my 6th grade science lab, I actually did let the students light foods on fire! (I covered the fire alarms with tin foil first). Do you know that foods burn according to how much energy (or calories) is in the food? It’s really interesting to see what kind of flames can come out of a potato chip.

If you want, you can snack while watching your science experiment.

PS. My science lab is still standing.

Make measurements

Good experiments measure something, so that you can figure out results to your question. Some of the things you can measure are length, amount, volume, stickiness, age, texture, color, and smell. Yeah, some things can’t technically be measured with a scientific tool, but they can still be measured subjectively if you make your own chart. Some examples:

Do flowers have an even or odd number of petals? Count the amount on at least 3 different flowers.

Which Bat Ears Hear the Best? Measure the distance to a sound to find out.

Will Boys or Girls Run More? Count which group runs farthest.

Make your own science experiment – Free Printable

Click the picture below. I can’t wait to hear about your experiments!

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GET YOUR FREE SCIENCE FAIR CHEAT SHEET!

Learn the 3 Secrets to Winning from a science fair judge, teacher, and mom. It could be life changing. Make this science fair the best ever!

it's 100% free!
Only for K-8th Grade Winners!