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What Makes A Good Science Project? Learn From Our Top 10 Ideas! 

6 east steps to make the best science project!

Whether it’s for yourself or for school, science projects can be seriously fun and educational! Kids get to play teacher and student while exploring exciting topics they’re passionate about!

With this guide, we’ll lead you through the steps of building a successful science project and 10 exciting projects for you to try!

What is a Science Project?

Before we dive into how to make the best science project, we have to be familiar with what a science project is.

A science project is a project that follows the scientific method to answer a specific question. This means that there will be hypotheses, research and experiments that make sure the solution to the initial problem is found in a logical and scientific way.

Since it involves a lot of critical thinking and problem-solving, kids would especially benefit from doing science projects. Whether it’s for school or in their free time, science projects help them practise logical thinking by exploring the cause and effects of scientific phenomena!

Reference: Sciencing

Related: How Do Children Learn Science? 4 Must-read Ways & 4 Useful Tips

How to build a good science project? 

As mentioned above, the best science project strictly follows the scientific method. Before anything, you should conduct your science project on topics that you’re interested in — all science topics are worth exploring, there’s no such thing as a useless topic. Plus, it’s better that you are interested in the topic so you don’t give up half-way through!

1. Ask Your Question

Firstly, let’s decide on the question you want to answer. What do you want to learn about, what problems do you want to solve? A tip here is to stick to the 5W’s (who, what, when, where, how). For example: what scents or flavours do ants like most, how do plants grow with different amounts of sunlight etc.

As a rule of thumb, make sure that the questions are 

  • Not too broad, and
  • is focused on one topic.

Furthermore, think whether the answers and solutions 

  • Have a clear cause and effect, and
  • can be measured by you.

At the end of the day, no one wants an inconclusive science project!

2. Do the Research

Research is a big part of your science project. The internet has made researching questions extremely easy, but don’t be afraid to reach out to books and experts to seek answers, too!

Once you’ve collected information from a handful of sources, you can review if they’re actually useful for your project. Check if they are:

  • Relevant to your topic
  • Is up to date (Expert researchers don’t use sources older than 10 years!)
  • Is from a trustworthy source (e.g. universities, research organisations)

If the source passes the test, then congratulations, you should use it in your project! 

Read your sources carefully, they can be really helpful in pointing you to the right direction!

3. Make Your Hypothesis

Your hypothesis is an educated guess about the answer to your question. In other words, it’s a prediction of how your experiment will end up.

Hypotheses deal with the cause and effect between two things. An easy way to think of a hypothesis is with an if-then statement.  

If [something happens], then [something else changes].

For example:

“If my wheels were [round instead of a square], my car will [run faster]”

“If I [soak a sponge with water], it will [become heavier]”

Again, it is important to make sure that the hypothesis is realistic, measurable and relevant to the original question.

4. Conduct Your Experiment

Your experiment proves if your hypothesis is right or wrong. While doing your experiment, make sure you record and write down everything

There’s no such thing as a wrong hypothesis — do not be afraid to prove your hypothesis wrong with your experiment. More importantly, make sure you conduct a fair experiment, not one that will always prove your hypothesis as true.

Repeat the experiment two or three times to make sure the results are similar. If they are not, you may have a faulty experiment.

5. Draw a Conclusion

After the experiment, look at the data you have collected and analyse! Write down your findings from your experiment and see if it matches your hypothesis.

Again, there’s no such thing as a wrong hypothesis — as little scientists, we should not make up fake data and uphold the scientific spirit. 

If your findings match your hypothesis, congratulations! If your findings do not match your hypothesis, congratulations to you, too! Negative results often inspire new questions, which leads to even greater findings!

6. Communicate Your Results

At this point, you’ll be almost finished with your science project! All you’ll have to do now is to share what you found with other people, just like real scientists do! 

You could present your finds as a

  • Powerpoint presentation
  • Written paper
  • Board presentation
  • Infographics
  • Model

Make sure to show your work in detail, demonstrate how you came up with the question, how you researched, how you experimented and more!

This is one of the most important parts of your science project, so feel free to get creative with how you present your hard work! 

Reference: Sciencing

Top 10 Science Projects Ideas

Now that you know the steps to making your own science project, here are 10 ideas you can try out!

1. Balloon-Powered Car 

Subject area: Physics, Engineering

Difficulty level: Intermediate, age 9+

Balloon-Powered Car 
Image source

Materials needed: 

  • 4 CDs
  • Balloons
  • 2 jumbo straws
  • 2 pencils
  • Paper sheets
  • Tape
  • Paper clips

This project challenges you to build a car that’s powered by air! The car is propelled forward by the potential energy (air pressure) stored in the balloon, which is converted into kinetic energy (motion) when it’s released.

Unleash your creativity and try using different materials as wheels or make the body of the car more aerodynamic. Compare the speeds of different builds and use the scientific method to test your findings!

Details in reference: Science Buddies

2. Fruit Battery

Subject area: Chemistry

Difficulty: Intermediate, age 10+

Fruit Battery
Image source

Materials needed:

  • Different fruits (such as lemon, grapefruit, orange, tomato, and kiwi)
  • Multi-meter
  • LED light
  • Alligator clip leads
  • Copper and zinc electrodes 

A wet cell battery is powered by battery acid that causes an electric current to flow. Similar to this, some fruits can also generate electric currents when reacting with copper and zinc.

Start by researching fruits and wet batteries and ask questions such as “How does a wet cell work?” and “How does fruit generate electricity”. Then with the help of a multimeter or simply an LED light, experiment and compare how much energy each fruit generates and record your findings!

Details in reference: Education.com

3. Solar Car

Subject area: Engineering

Difficulty: Intermediate, age 10+

Image source

Materials needed:

  • Solar cells
  • Alligator clip wires
  • Rubber bands
  • Small electric motor
  • Cardboard (for the car body)
  • Plastic bottle caps (for the wheels)
  • Wooden skewers
  • Straw

The core concept of this project is transmission, which is the process in which the motor spins the axel, which then spins the wheels and moves the car. 

With this project, you can carefully design your solar car using different transmission principles. You can also create different designs and use different materials and compete with your peers whose car travels the fastest!

Details in reference: Home Science Tools, Science Buddies

Looking for materials can be a pain! Check out these ready-to-experiment science kits that make life so much easier.

4. Saltwater Circuit

Subject area: Chemistry

Difficulty: Intermediate, age 8+

Saltwater circuit
Image source

Materials needed:

  • Cup
  • Masking tape
  • Water
  • Copper wire
  • Salt
  • 9-volt battery
  • Aluminium foil
  • LED light
  • Popsicle sticks

Seawater acts as a great electricity conductor — this is because the salt molecules are made up of sodium and chlorine ions, which act as a bridge for electricity to flow through.

After researching more on the chemistry behind salt water, you can conduct your experiment by building a saltwater circuit that connects power to an LED light. Hypothesise the effects of adding different amounts of salt, and put it to the test!

Details in reference: Home Science Tools

5. Floating Maglev Train

Subject area: Physics, engineering

Difficulty: Beginner, age 7+

Floating maglev train
Image source

Materials needed: 

  • Magnetic tape
  • Wooden block
  • Double-sided tape
  • Tape
  • Cardboard
  • Rulers

We’ve all heard of Maglev trains, how cool would it be to build one at home? Learn more about the principles behind magnetism and research the structures of Maglev trains with this project!

After you’ve built your train, try adding weight to the train and observe its effects on its travel speed and distance! Make a hypothesis on the relationship between the two variables, and record your findings!

Details in reference: Science Buddies

6. Infinity Mirror

Subject area: Physics, engineering

Difficulty: Intermediate, age 10+

Infinity mirror
Image source

Materials needed:

  • Mirror
  • Transparent acrylic sheet
  • Mirrored window film
  • Cardboard box or other containers
  • LED light strip
  • Tape or glue
  • Cutting tool

Light behaves in mysterious ways. This infinity mirror is an optical illusion created by LED lights that are sandwiched between a normal mirror and a one-way mirror. 

Research and learn about the special properties of one-way mirrors and hypothesis why it creates the illusion of the infinity mirror. Then, look online and use your creativity to build your own infinity mirror while proving your hypothesis!

Details in reference: Science Buddies

7. Gardening Without Soil

Subject area: Environmental science

Difficulty: Beginner, age 6+

Hydroponic farming
Image source

Materials needed:

  • Plastic bottles
  • Cotton strips
  • Seeds
  • Soil plugs

Test out how NASA astronauts farm in space with this project! Hydroponic farming is a way to grow plants without soil and works by adding important nutrients into the water the plants grow in.

Start by researching the nutrients plants can’t live without. Then, experiment by growing plants in a nutrient-rich water farm and compare their growth with plants in a nutrient-poor farm. Hypothesise beforehand and record your results!

Details in reference: Science Buddies

Related: 13 Easy STEM Experiments Using Household Materials

8. Make Your Own Soap

Subject area: Chemistry

Difficulty: Advanced, 11+

Materials needed:

  • Coconut oil
  • Sodium hydroxide solution
  • pH paper
  • Sodium chloride
  • Cheesecloth
  • Soap mould
  • Essential oils

There’s actually a lot more chemistry behind soap-making than you think! Most soaps are made by mixing basic (alkaline) chemicals with oils and work by allowing water and oil to mix, letting us clean away dirt, oil and grease.

Create hypotheses about the soap making process, such as “I can make a stronger soap by boiling the solution for longer!” and test with an experiment that measures how well it can clean!

The process of soap making involves the use of irritating chemicals, so make sure an adult is supervising the entire process!

Details in reference: Science Buddies

9. Build a Drone

Subject area: Engineering

Difficulty: Intermediate, age 9+

DIY drone
Image source

Materials needed:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Small DC motors
  • Wires
  • Electrical tape
  • AA battery and battery holder
  • Straw

This project challenges you to make your own drone with household materials! Start by researching the science behind drones and how they are built.

The core theme of this project is “how does weight affect a drone’s speed?”. Try making these drones with different materials or add weights onto the drone (payload) to answer this question.

Last but not least, don’t forget to get creative with the drone’s design!

Details in reference: Science Buddies

10. Making Perfume

Subject area: Chemistry

Difficulty: Intermediate, age 10+

Make your own perfume petals on vegetable shortening
Image source

Materials needed:

  • Flower petals (rose, lavender)
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Aluminium foil
  • Cardboard

Perfume is made by combining naturally extracted oils with chemicals like alcohol and tar. Perfumes start to smell different the longer you wear them because the different volatilities of the ingredients cause some of them to fade quicker than others.

Experiment with the perfume-making process. Ask questions like “Does the perfume smell different if I let it process for longer?”. Then explore follow-up questions, such as “How can I make perfume scent last longer?”. Make sure to record your findings!

There’s no limit to what scents you can use, so you can create any perfume you’d like!

Details in reference: Science Buddies

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Written By

Maison Li

Maison is a content writer at Big Bang Academy. Inspired by innovations, Maison showcases the latest Science Education solutions to the world.