In our last post, we talked about choosing a science fair project and the importance of finding a science fair project that sparks curiosity in your learner. Here are 10 science fair project ideas that start with “I wonder”. To get even more, check out our science fair projects with slime, and our choosing a science fair project post.
Spark Their curiosity! ideas to get your child saying "I wonder" for their next science fair project.
I wonder what would happen if the Earth stopped spinning?
Sample question: Would life survive if Earth stopped spinning?
Sample hypothesis: Yes, because life has encountered mass extinction events and survived, or No, because there would be no more Earth.
Sample project: Research the effects of Earth’s spin, make a rheoscopic jar to discover what happens to Earth’s core if the mantle stops spinning, do projects with centripetal motion. Then compile your observations and findings to make an argument. Note: This is a theoretical science fair project. It might seem odd to do more thinking and tinkering than in other projects, but theorists are scientists too!
I wonder, what do invisible forces look like?
Our world is filled with invisible forces that we can’t see with the naked eye. Check out how you can use slime to see magnetic field lines! We also have a variety of science fair projects with slime you should check out.
Sample question: What does the magnetic field look like for different magnets?
Sample hypothesis: The magnetic field will be straight for all magnets, or, the magnetic field will look like a curve, or the magnetic field will move around…
Sample project: Create magnetic slime and look at a variety of different magnets, both in strength and shape. Record your results and come to a conclusion about what magnetic field lines look like.
I wonder, why is DNA important?
This can be a cool project on ancestry, disease, cancer, genetics…there are a lot of directions you can take this in. Plus, as part of the experiment, you can extract DNA at home, and even from yourself!
Sample question: Do all living things have DNA?
Sample hypothesis: Yes, DNA is the book that tells you what you are, or No, because DNA is for humans, other living things have their own genetic storybooks.
Sample project: Attempt to extract DNA from a variety of items. Foods, humans, plants etc. What do you find? Can you extract DNA from other things like plastic or dirt?
I wonder, can plants hear?
Research suggests that plants can indeed hear, but what does that mean? Kids could turn this into a research-based project by growing seedlings with and without music – or maybe plants have a favorite genre of music? I wonder…
Sample question: Do plants like music?
Sample hypothesis: Yes, because it helps them grow, or No, because they can’t hear music.
Sample project: Grow seedlings in a sound buffered environment and grow some seedlings with music playing around the clock. Does one seedling grow faster? Make measurements every few days and record your results. Bonus: Does music genre matter? Do plants like classical or rock, or…?
I wonder, why are some berries poisonous?
This can be a great science fair project regarding discovering the chemical molecules that some plants have to make us sick, learn about foraging, or find out about adaptation.
Sample question: Are all red berries poisonous?
Sample hypothesis: Yes, because the color red means to stop eating, or No, because I can think of red berries that are not poisonous.
Sample project: Research a variety of red berries and make a chart of those that are poisonous and those that are not. Can you find anything common between items in your chart? Are they poisonous in a specific way? Are they poisonous to prevent their seeds from being ground? Research and report on your findings.
I wonder, why do rockets have fins?
You can pair research with engineering while you track the heights, time of flight, or distance various water bottle rockets travel.
Sample question: Are rocket fins important?
Sample hypothesis: Yes, because all rockets have them, so they must be important, or No, because we can propel all different shapes of items.
Sample project: Make a variety of water rockets, some with large fins, some with small fins, some with no fins and test how they fly. Research the history and use of rocket fins to include in your report.
I wonder, what does a ____ look like on the inside?
Anatomy is a great topic to study for science fair projects. If you choose something easy, like clams, you can dissect them and learn about all the inner workings of their bodies, and some of ours while you’re at it. Check out our clam dissection post to get you started.
Sample question: Is a clam similar to a human?
Sample hypothesis: Yes, because clams are living and so are humans, or, No, because clams live in water and humans live on land.
Sample project: Dissect a clam and compare the anatomy of a clam to the anatomy of a human. What organ types do we share? What organ types do only clams or only humans have? How do these parts help us adapt to our surroundings?
I wonder, how do we get energy from the sun?
Discover a hands-on project you can use to demonstrate the photoelectric effect, build your own solar oven, or look at the efficiency of solar cells in various climates.
Sample question: What makes solar cells work?
Sample hypothesis: The electricity is from plugging the sun into our house, or, the sun creates a current in wires, or, the sun hits a material to create a current or…
Sample project: Research how photovoltaic cells work and then attempt to make your own from common ingredients. Report on what you learned.
I wonder, how heavy are mummies?
This project takes a bit to make but is a fun way to learn about osmosis. Kids can mummify a chicken and track the water loss over time. Then apply that knowledge to make a guess about how much a human mummy would weigh.
Sample question: Can I lift a mummy?
Sample hypothesis: Yes, because mummies are fairly light, or, No, because I can’t lift an adult like my dad.
Sample project: Make a mummy and track the weight loss due to water over time. Then do a math problem to figure out how much your dad/mom/favorite adult would weight if they were only x% of their current weight. Then go and try to lift that weight. Record your results and findings.