School science fairs are filled with volcanoes and paper mâché. If you’re looking for something else this year, Scholastic has a list of 40 different science experiments that’ll earn first place!
Help your students choose topics that will bring out their best work. The hardest part about doing a science project is picking the right experiment. Sure, you can look at websites that list ideas that have already been done. But the best projects come from children’s everyday questions and observations about the world around them.
An experiment can be as simple as “Why do I feel hotter when I wear the red side of my jersey instead of the white when I play soccer?” or “Do I really need to go to bed at 8:15 every night?” When kids look around and ask questions about their lives, they can make the most rewarding projects.
To start, ask them when was the last time they wondered why something happened or how something worked? Suggest they think about their favorite hobbies (skateboarding, cooking, video games) and ask “why does…” questions about the hobby.
Look at television commercials and question their claims.
Ask open-ended questions such as, “What is the effect of x on y?” “How does x move?” or “How does y react when you blow on it?”
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.