Fun and Easy Science Experiments for Students

Dec 31, 2018 by

Science for young students is about exploration, experimentation, and discovery. Watching student’s work through problems, make predictions, and hypothesis before discovering the truth of how things work is both rewarding and mystifying. Here are just a few science experiments and lessons to try with your elementary school students that will open up new worlds to them and teach basic concepts that build the foundation for their future education.

Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is one of the most basic scientific studies and processes there is. Students are fascinated not only by the fact that plants create breathable air for humans and animals, but also that they convert the sun’s light into energy. You can also explain photosynthesis and how it relates to the food chain. Oxygen is an essential component for all living things. The Inogen Connect app helps people maintain healthy levels of O2. But as basic as this process is, you still need to teach it in a way that students can understand.

One of the easiest ways to help a young learner visualize photosynthesis is by drawing a diagram together. Start with a piece of paper and let the child draw a plant. Have them add the sun in the sky as the source of energy for the plants. Explain that plants must drink water (just like other living things) and that this water comes from the ground, raindrops, and other sources. Have the child draw the plant’s water source. Plants use carbon dioxide the same way humans use oxygen to survive. On one side of the plan with arrows going toward the plant, help the student draw or write “carbon dioxide”. On the opposite side, draw arrows leaving the plant and label this “oxygen”. Students should also label the glucose produced by plants, which is their form of food for growth and strength. While drawing a diagram is a very simple way of teaching photosynthesis, it’s the easiest way to introduce the concept to young learners. Next, you can bring a real plant into the classroom to show students the importance of sunlight and water for growth.

Butterfly Life Cycle

Teaching students the butterfly life cycle is all about showing them and one of the more fun scientific phenomenons to teach. That’s because butterfly kits are readily available online. You can easily display this in the classroom where students can watch the process first hand. The best part is, this is fascinating for students of all ages. There are four stages of the butterfly life cycle and students will see these unfold before them. The eggs will hatch into caterpillars, which is also known as the larva stage. After this, the caterpillars will create cocoons or a chrysalis, which is called the pupa stage. The caterpillar will stay in its chrysalis for anywhere from 10 to 14 days, after which the beautiful butterfly will emerge. While butterflies only live between one and two weeks, the entire process helps students understand and appreciate the beauty of nature and the life cycle.

Volcanoes and Tornadoes

Students love messy projects and while creating a volcano in the classroom may require some major clean-up, the excitement of the class is well worth it. If you’re looking for a contained project, try creating a tornado using soda bottles. There are several ways to make a volcano and show students how it looks when it erupts and the “lava” flows from its vent. The most basic way to show this natural phenomenon is using baking soda and vinegar. You’ll also need water, dish soap, and food coloring for effect. The volcano itself can be made from cardboard, paper mache or even the top of a 2 liter soda bottle. These types of soda bottles are also perfect for creating a tornado. Tape the necks of two bottles together, filling one bottle ⅔ full with water, a few drops of dish soap, and glitter for visual effect. Turn the bottle upside down, swirling the bottles in a small circle and watch it create a whirlpool or tornado. While you’ll need to pair these two experiments with plenty of explanation about how they actually occur, the visual representation is extremely effective for young learners.

Science experiments are a time for fun, exploration, and discovery. They’re also the perfect excuse for teachers to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty, and experiment alongside students. Help your class get excited about science by using some of these hands-on activities to support your lessons.

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