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.

Why Oil and Water Don’t Mix

Oil and water don’t mix – they are described as ‘immiscible’. Crude oil floats on the sea after a spill from a tanker. Motor oil shows up as a sheen on puddles in the road. Olive oil separates out in salad dressing. But why don’t they mix? What is Oil? …

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Breaking Down Colours: What’s in Your Pen

Chemistry uses chromatography to separate mixtures of chemicals. The word chromatography comes from the Greek words for ‘colour’ and ‘to write’. Paper chromatography is a simple form of chromatography, and can separate out the mixtures of different pigments and dyes in black and coloured inks and in food colourings. Separating …

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Growing Crystals

To grow crystals, you need to start with a saturated solution – water that has as much, sugar, salt or whatever crystal ingredient dissolved in it as it possibly can. Gently and carefully warming the solution in a saucepan, in a bath of hot water or on a radiator and …

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Green Coins or Shiny Ones? Oxidation of Copper

New pennies and two pence pieces are bright copper, but after a while, they turn dull. This is because the copper reacts with oxygen in the air to form copper oxide, which is black and makes coins less shiny. In a similar way, iron and steel form iron oxide on …

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Acids and Alkalis: Making Gases

When an acid is mixed with a carbonate, a type of alkaline chemical, the two chemicals react and form the gas carbon dioxide. This can be quite dramatic! Making Gas Pour a small amount of vinegar into a glass, add bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate) and stir. The acid and …

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Make a Rubber Band from a Dandelion

Rubber is a natural product made from latex. Many plants, including dandelions, produce latex but most of the world’s latex, the key ingredient of rubber, comes from the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. Rubber is a very versatile product, and has many uses, including tyres, balloons, balls, shoes, erasers, playground surfaces, …

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Finding Flowers and Trees

Many people feel that they have to travel to the countryside to see flowers and trees, but according to a study in Germany in 2008, there are more different species of plants found in towns and cities than in the countryside. One thing to remember, in both the town and …

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Finding and Watching Mites

Mites are small invertebrates from the group Arachnida, the same group as spiders. Many people are not aware of the mites around them, as most mites are microscopic. Mites as Pests Mites live all around the world, and many are pests, such as red spider mites, which attack plants, and …

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Watching Minibeasts

Minibeasts are small invertebrates and include arthropods such as spiders, insects, woodlice, centipedes and millipedes, as well as slugs and snails and worms. Invertebrates are animals without backbones, which means that they are either soft bodied, like slugs, snails and worms, or have a hard outer skeleton like insects and …

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Grow Apples or Tomatoes in Bottles

‘Impossible bottles’ are bottles containing things that appear too big to have been put in through the neck of the bottle, such as ships, decks of cards, or whole fruit (some liqueurs come in bottles with whole fruit in them). Things like ships are actually put into the bottle in …

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