Friday, September 26, 2014

4 Fun Science Fair Projects

I'd like to welcome Catherine here to Creative Family Fun. She's got some great (and simple) science fair ideas for your kids. Thanks for stopping by Catherine!


So, you’re looking for some great ideas for your child’s upcoming science fair project. I’ve compiled a list of some really interesting ones he can do with materials found around the house. These projects are suitable for elementary grades and work well if your child isn’t exactly Einstein. Here’s how you can give him the chance to shine at the science fair.

Make a Simple Microscope
Use plain water to make a simple microscope or magnifying glass that lets you see things in greater detail than if you were to see them with an unaided eye.

You will need
·         Fuse wire
·         Water
·         Books or newspapers with fine print

What to do
·         Make a 2 mm wide loop at the end of the wire.
·         Dip it into water so that there is a droplet on the loop when you take it out.
·         Hold it as close as possible to one eye and examine the book or newspaper closely. Can you see better with this “microscope” than you could before?
·         You may have to experiment a bit in order to achieve the right distance.

What’s happening?
The water droplet is shaped like a convex lens – it refracts light and converges it so you can see an image more clearly if you look through it. This phenomenon was used by scientists to develop early microscopes and spectacle lenses. Modern microscopes have a variety of lenses that let you see objects that are practically invisible to the unaided eye.

Make a Potato Battery
Now there’s one more reason to love those mashed, baked or roasted goodies – they can be used to make the most delicious battery nature ever made!

You will need
·         Two potatoes
·         Two galvanized nails
·         Two small pieces of heavy copper wire
·         Three alligator clips wired to each other
·         Low voltage LED clock that uses a ½ volt button battery

What to do
·         Note which way the negative and positive points of the LED clock’s battery goes inside the clock.
·         Remove this battery.
·         Number the potatoes and insert a nail in each.
·         Insert a piece of the copper wire in each potato, placing it as far away from the nail as possible.
·         Use the alligator clip to connect the copper wire in potato number one to the positive point in the clock’s battery chamber.
·         Use the second alligator clip to connect the nail in potato number two to the negative point in the clock’s battery chamber.
·         Use the third alligator clip to connect the nail in potato number one to the copper wire in potato number two and set the clock.
·         Your potatoes are ready to power up the clock!

What’s happening?
A potato is a potential electrochemical cell in which a spontaneous electron transfer can transform chemical energy into electrical energy. The zinc present in the nail reacts with the copper wire, while the potato acts as shock absorber between the copper ions and the zinc ions. The potato holds them apart, so the transfer of electrons takes place through the copper wires which channel this energy into the clock and power it up.

Make a Stethoscope

You might not be a real doctor but you can certainly make some medical equipment and use it to examine yourself and others. Check your heartbeat with this DIY stethoscope.

You will need
·         A balloon
·         2 small funnels
·         A piece of tubing
·         Timer
·         Scissors
·         Rubber band

What to do
·         Fit one funnel to each end of the tubing.
·         Blow up the balloon so that it stretches and then deflate it.
·         Cut off one third of the balloon from the top.
·         Stretch the chopped off piece tightly over the open end of one funnel and hold it in place with the rubber band.
·         Your stethoscope is ready to measure your heartbeat!

What’s happening?
When you listen for your heartbeat, you must listen for two sounds – a short, high-pitched one (made by two heart valves when blood flows into the heart) and a long, low-pitched one (made by two other valves when blood flows out of the heart.) These sounds make the stretched balloon of your stethoscope vibrate and these sounds are carried into your ear by the tube.

Make a Telephone
Use some old-fashioned technology to make a rudimentary telephone.

You will need
·         2 paper cups
·         Sewing needle
·         Kite string or fishing line
·         A friend

What to do
·         Cut out a 20 meter long piece of string.
·         Poke a tiny hole in the bottom of the cups.
·         Thread the string through the cups and tie the knots at the ends.
·         Take one cup and hand the other to your friend.
·         Holding the cups, slowly move away from each other so that the string stretches completely without snapping.
·         When you have put the maximum possible distance between you, try to converse, using the cups as telephone receivers.
·         Can you hear each other?

What’s happening?
When you speak into the cups, you create sound waves that are transformed into vibrations. These vibrations travel from the bottom of the cups, pass through the string and are transformed back into sound waves at the other end. This is why you can hear what your friends talk even from a distance of 20 meters.

If your child enjoyed doing these simple science fair projects, maybe it’s time to move on to more complex ones before too long! Any ideas?

Author Bio:
Catherine Ross is a full-time stay-at-home-mum who believes learning should be enjoyable for young minds. An erstwhile elementary school teacher, Catherine loves coming up with creative ways through which kids can grasp the seemingly difficult concepts of learning easily. She believes that a ‘fun factor’ can go a long way in enhancing kids’ understanding and blogs at

Thank you Catherine!

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