We all know the fun of the science fair. It’s a staple of the US school system! It’s a great way to get kids to explore actions and reactions through creative and imaginative projects. However, it can sometimes be tricky to find the right idea. What are the most popular science fair project ideas, and how can they be brought to life? In this short guide, we’ll take a look at some exhibits that are always going to go down well with the judges.
The Soda Fountain
Yes – the old Mentos and Coke solution. It’s hardly breaking new ground, but it sure is popular. It’s one of the easiest and most fun ways to explore chemical reactions. This popular science fair project involves a bottle of soda, a roll of Mentos mints or candy, and plenty of space. Add the candy to the soda, shake, and stand well back. As bubbles of carbon dioxide cling to the sweets and start to multiply, the soda will explode upwards in a flurry of frothy mayhem! Maybe don’t try this one indoors!
The Powered Potato
You don’t have to use a potato for this one – any vegetable will do. In fact, traditionally, a lemon has always been used. In this experiment, you’re going to plug in a light bulb and galvanized metal into a vegetable, and you’re going to create light. How is this possible? All vegetables carry electrolytes, which, believe it or not, will help to conduct electricity. You can build sophisticated circuits with a whole bag of spuds if you really want to!
The Magnetized Spinning Pen
This one’s a fun little illusion that is very popular, and always amazing to see in practice. Using ring magnets, a pen, some cardboard, a coin and minimal preparation, you can make an inanimate object rotate on its own without any physical help. This is done by positioning and installing magnets on and around a pen, for example, so that they all repel. Your poor pen won’t know where to turn, as its base magnet is repelled from every angle. It’s a great little experiment that you can leave standing to speak for itself.
The Color Separator
It’s amazing to see how many different colors combine to make various shades and blends. In this experiment, you’re going to need strips of chromatography paper, a small bowl of water, and plenty of colored pens. You’re also going to need clips or pins to hold everything in place.
The aim of this experiment is to show colors splitting away from certain blends. Simply mark the lower end of a strip and place it in water. Pretty soon, colors from the pen mark will travel up the strip and out of the wet!
Science is amazing
Science is wonderful. Fairs are great opportunities for kids to explore the world around us one experiment at a time – and it’s great to see some genuine classics still doing the rounds!