Great Science Project Ideas for All the Family

ScienceProjectIdeas is the ideal place for parents, teachers and carers wanting to explore science with children. It is a regularly reviewed and updated collection of articles full of ideas for science projects in biology, chemistry, physics, maths, and environment & meteorology.

The Science of Making Butter

Bread and butter go together naturally (especially freshly made bread still warm from the oven). There are records of butter making from around 4000 years ago. Butter usually comes from cow’s milk, but it can also be made from milk from buffalo, camels, goats, sheep or horses. The Commercial Butter …

Read more

What is Sand?

Sand is a mixture of small grains of rock, ranging in size from 0.0625 mm to 2 mm. Sand is made by erosion and weathering of rocks – seas or rivers carry pebbles that chip small pieces off rocks, and freezing and thawing during the winter breaks rocks up. Sand …

Read more

Growing Stalactites and Stalagmites

Stalactites and stalagmites are formations of rock in underground caves. They are formed when calcium carbonate and other minerals dissolve in water running through the soil and rocks. As the water runs down into the cave and drips from the roof, it leaves some of the minerals on the roof, …

Read more

Making a Sundial

Before watches and clocks were invented, people used the position of the sun in the sky to guess the time of day, but this couldn’t be very accurate. The next step was the invention of the sundial, when someone noticed the way that shadows moved across the ground over the …

Read more

Seeing Ultraviolet Light: Tonic Water in Sunlight

Ultraviolet (UV) light is an invisible part of light. It has a shorter wavelength than violet light (see ‘Making a Rainbow: Breaking Light Into Colour’), and its name means ‘beyond violet’. Ultraviolet light is divided into three types – UVA, UVB and UVC. Sunlight includes all three types of ultraviolet …

Read more

Encouraging Kids Who Don’t Like Science

Some children take to science likes ducks to water, but others seem to just decide that they ‘don’t like science’, which might be because they are scared off by the idea, don’t understand the concepts, or just because they can’t see why science is relevant. Make It Fun Even when …

Read more

The Science of Making Cheese

Cheese is made from milk. This is most often cows’ milk, but it can be made from milk from sheep, buffaloes and goats – even yaks. It can be soft or hard, and high or low in fat. Cheese making may have started around 6000 or 7000 years ago, or …

Read more

A Bending Bone

Unless it is something that has a soft and wobbly structure, like a jellyfish, all animals, including humans, have a stiff skeleton to support their muscles and other body tissues, help them move, and protect their internal organs from becoming damaged. Animals with a skeleton inside (known as an ‘endoskeleton’) …

Read more

Make a Vacuum Cleaner

Originally, carpets and rugs were cleaned by lifting them, taking them outside, hanging them over a line and beating them with a carpet beater (a very dusty job), or by using a stiff brush and dustpan. Vacuum cleaners have made cleaning carpets so much quicker and easier by sucking the …

Read more

Making Hot Ice

Water solidifies or turns to ice at zero degrees centigrade. This experiment makes something that looks just like ice but forms at room temperature and gives off heat. The experiment involves heating solutions on the cooker hob – be very careful, and ask an adult to help if necessary. Making …

Read more