28 answers

3Rd Grade Science Project

Help! My 3rd grade son is required to submit a science project this year - I have no idea where to start as science was never quite my favorite subject in school. I need some resources, ideas. Anything you Mom's can suggest will be very much appreciated!

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http://www.sciencebuddies.org/

Awesome site for science projects

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Although they are cool, unfortunately, growing crystals, making a replica of a volcano, etc. is not what schools are looking for in science projects these days. I just judged the science fair at my kids school. The best projects involved doing an actual experiment. You can find experiment ideas online, but here is one example I can give you that was really good: Have your son research different types of bridges to get an idea of what is already known about the strength of them (be sure to note this in the report). Then have your son make a hypothesis about what type bridge he thinks will be the strongest and why. Then have him do an experiment where he builds 2 different types of bridges out of craft sticks and glue. Then add weight to each bridge in increments (always use metric measurements in the report) to see which one can withstand the most weight before collapsing. Be sure your son states whether his original hypothesis was valid (true) or invalid (untrue). Your son's school should provide detailed, written instructions of what they expect for the project. Be sure to read them and follow them carefully. Leave plenty of time to do any project. Good luck.

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Sciencebuddies.com; discoverykids.com; sciencefairprojects.com are all good site and there are also books in the library on science fair projects that may be helpful. Good luck!!!

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1. Solar system model (the basics can be purchased in a kit, then write a report to go with).

2. Volcano model (good old baking soda and vinegar in a plastic glass in paper mache volcano with poly urethane sealer + a report)

3. "How Clean are Your Hands" My daughter won 3rd place in district in 4th grade with this one - it's a little involved, send me a message if you want the details.

4. Something edible - how yeast makes bread (how changing the amount of yeast changes the texture / flavor of the bread), or making ice cream in a can of ice or a ziploc bag - with a report.

5. Depending on the amount of time he has, a tropism project is cool too - but you need at least four weeks for the plants to grow.

Good luck - have fun.

S.

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Here you go... try this link. This is what I used for my 3rd grader! Good luck!

http://www.onlinescienceprojects.com/dems/demointro.html

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Go to your local library. Chances are they will have lots of books with ideas and instructions (if they still use the Dewy decimal system it will be in the early 500's). Just page though the books till you find one that peaks his intrest.

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Janice VanCleave (sp??) is an author that has a TON of books devoted to little experiments that could be easily turned into science fair project format...
I would for sure check it out and find something that YOUR SON IS INTERESTED in...it is much more palatable to do something you have interest in rather than just getting the project done!
Good Luck

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I can't remember how to do it, but I remember it was rather simple to grow crystals in a mason jar. And it's usually pretty fascinating to kiddos (and to me too actually!).

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When my son was in the 5th grade, we did a science project that was fast, cheap and easy! I can't remember all of the details, but it involved crushing ice cubes and adding salt, which melts the crushed ice. Then we put a baggie with fresh water inside of the saltwater and put it in the freezer. The salt water does not freeze, but the freshwater inside the salt water does freeze. Then we made a posterboard with the details. We included a question asking if you've ever wondered why oceans don't freeze in the winter but lakes do. I found the experiment on the internet, but cannot remember where. Maybe you can Google saltwater/freshwater experiment or something similar and find the experiment. My son enjoyed the project and it was a hit with his teachers. Good luck!

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My 8th grade daughter has done required science projects since 3rd grade. It is not my favorite thing either...

I'm curious though.....In PlanoISD all the science fair projects, judging, etc is over. It was all done in Jan.

Google Science Fair projects and you will get a lot of good ideas.

Our schools have always provided detail as to what exactly is required, etc. In Middle school this project starts by late September and has certain aspects due at time intervals to make sure no one procrastinates!

There are a ton of easy and hard things on the internet. We've done thermoplastics, sodas, humidity, to name a few. Just make sure you keep the project at his level and take pictures to prove he is working on the project.

Good luck and with many more projects to come!! I thought we'd be done with science projects by 5th grade but if your child is in honors classes.....it is a requirement, just an FYI there....

TF

lots of really cheap and easy ideas - use household items - Vinegar & baking soda create a fizz that's non toxic - you can have him show a chemical reaction. This mix also helps to out odors in laundry - but don't use too much or you'll go around smelling pickled. :) We did a model of a cell - took a round cake pan and used clear jello and floated junk in it to make up the mitochondria, ribosomes, and stuff - then gave an explanation of functions that the little pieces in the model performed inside the cell. sometimes your local library will have books you can borrow for science project ideas or you can search the web just type in the search section science fair project ideas elementary
here's a link i got when I did that:
sciencefairsanity.com/home/sci/smartlist_12/free_project_ideas.html looks promising. Good luck!

I think my son was in the 3rd grade when he won "Grand Champion" of the science fair at his school with a project on whether hot or cold water is heavier. It involved putting water of different temperatures in a clear bucket, adding food color and taking digital pictures. The dispersion of the food coloring indicates which water is "heavier." We printed out the pictures in 8x 11 format and he mounted them on his three-part poster board and lettered an explanation. The lettering was rather messy, but the judges didn't mind -- I guess that just convinced them he did it himself, which he did.

Science Fairs are a great opportunity for children to figure out the world they live in. You son is interested in sports and music, he could do an experiment on how sound travels under different environments as in air/water/solid. Or, how the bounce of a ball is affected by temperature by having him choose a ball, sit it in the sun to heat it up, measure the temperature of the ball, bounce it against a wall and measure. Then put the same ball in a freezer (or if cold temperatures cooperate..outside in the freezing weather overnight) then repeat the bounce measurement and see if there is a difference. Find something that is interesting to him and you both might experience a WOW moment of discovery.
I wouldn't recommend a coke/mentos project, those have been officially banned at my dgtr's school.
Good luck!

Before I was a mom I was a High School Chem teacher. I would really try to focus on something that he's interested in. If he likes bugs, count the number of bugs at some location for a period of time and graph or if he likes sports, do some tests on a soccer ball or foot ball. You can do "science" on everything. Have some brainstorming sessions with him. He'll get excited as he has some say in the matter.

If it were my son, I'd start with some things that are neat to me. I'd ask, do you want to work with light bulbs, dry ice, bugs, balls, test for acids around the house (pH paper at hobby lobby), etc. See what raises his eyebrow...

Best wishes.

Have him grow some seeds. It will teach him about planting, sunshine for growing and flowering or producing a vegetable. They love to see the progress everday. C.

I would google 3rd grade science project ideas! You'll get more info than you'll need. When I was in third grade my mother was going thru nursing school, and she brought me home petri dishes where I collected samples from different locations at school. Such as the top of a desk...the lockerroom, cafeteria, and watched the different bacteria grow. Then I wrote a paper about each strain or something like that...Sheesh that was 25 yrs ago!

Dear N.:

They want to know if your son understands and can do the scientific method where he asks a question and then conducts some kind of experiment to test the question, gets results and analyzes them. We made a great platform that floats on air, but it did not meet the requirements of simpler projects. Does your son wonder if fluoride is really important in a toothpaste, which grip of a baseball gives the greatest velocity, or some other question? That is where your child is supposed to start.

The most important thing should be for him to pick something he's interested in. Start with a question he has about how something works, for example. You may have him choose a couple of things. Next go online or go to the library with him and look for project ideas. Once you find some project ideas, he can narrow down his list to one topic that works with the project ideas you find. Also, look up the steps to the scientific process. These will help guide you and your son at creating an experiment. Once the experiment has been designed, photograph each step to help document the process.

You can do this Momma, even if you weren't an expert at science! If you'd like more in depth help, this is one of the "extras" I do to help kids with my business, Accelerate Academic Services. Check out my website www.acceleratekids.com

As a former third grade teacher, I always gave a list of suggestions that I pulled from a Science Project book I found at Barnes and Noble. I'm sure the local library would have something similar. I remember one student who showed the growth of a root system by putting a couple of lima bean in a clear sandwich bag and added a wet paper towel at the bottom of the bag. He then showed the results of light vs no light on the plants.

Hope this helps.

Hi, I am a 4th grade Science teacher and suggest you google Science Fair project ideas. The main goal is for your son to follow the Scientific Method, which you can also google. I'd also try to get something he enjoys. There are lots of projects related to different sports, music, whatever he enjoys. Have fun with it!

I worked at Hobby Lobby for 5 years and at that time they had some young kids there that were very knowledgeable so I would start there. Depends on what it is. Solar System or what. I never understood it either and so far my granddaughter has done ok by herself. Good luck, also Michaels craft store. They are open on Sundays as Hobby Lobby is not. God Bless G. W

I agree that you should look on-line for ideas. We did an experiment where we boiled water (hot and cold)and determined how quickly adding salt affected the boiling rate. I took photos of my son measuring, etc. to post on the posterboard.
I never liked doing science projects either. Good Luck!

I remember doing a growth experiment when I was in school. My mom helped me pick this experiment because it was something I could do all by myself and not turn into a parent's project. I put the same amount of soil and seeds in 3 tin pie pans.
One was placed under the kitchen sink in complete darkness. Another was placed by an uncovered window for complete daylight. And the third was placed in the fridge for constant cold temperature. I equally watered them all and took pictures each week to show the differences. I then attached the pictures on a big cardboard along with short write-ups of what I expected and what actually happened.

hi N.,

First find out the goal of the project and the format in which it is supposed to be presented--is this a lesson to test the Scientific Method (ie--make a hypothesis, test the hypothesis, etc) or what. Is it supposed to be presented on a science backboard (trifold cardboard-sold at michael's/staples type stores or in written form. Are you supposed to do an experiment or create an invention.

For display purposes, we used to take pictures of the set up of an experiment and each stage, just in case the final "project" was not in great shape at show time. Example: the growing stages of a plant exposed to different light conditions. Then you can show the pictures of the process also.

One project that was easy, colorful and fun was on probability--how many different kinds (colors) of skittles in a package.

I agree that it should be something the child has an interest in so that they benefit from the assignment.

N.,
There are some fabulous websites out there. We used sciencebuddies.com. It has a great questionnaire to find out areas of interest, then gives 10 ideas for a science fair project based on the answers your child gives. My third and first grader both enjoyed doing their projects this year. Good luck!

I went to the website pbskids.org and clicked on the show "Zoom". They have a lot of cool and easy experiments he can do. My kids projects always come out pretty good.

My daughter is 10 5th grade but she just did her fist science project.. There are web sites you can go to just type in science projects she did hers own batteries.But it was hard.. she made a 98 i was shocked she did everything herself. goodluck! you can get the broad for it at office depot. his grade will be better if they see he did it by himself.

Get three styro foam cups
place miracle growing soil in each cup
drizzle a bit of water in each cup
gently push two tomato seeds in each cup
place all three in an undisturbed place
place one in a window sill where it will get direct sunlight
another in a closet
and the third outside in a shady/partial sunny area
drizzle with water and measure the growth every few days

maintain a journal for however many weeks this project is to take place.

good luck.

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