Science is an integral part of a school child’s curriculum. With environmental influences and factors becoming more prominent, it’s important that our students are educated about these effects, whilst also learning the fundamentals of biology, chemistry, and physics. Finding creative ways to teach science isn’t always easy, but we hope that our list of 30 exciting ideas will inspire you and your students both in and out of the classroom!
1. Finding the Speed of Light
This interesting physics experiment is a great homework activity or if you have access to microwaves in the classroom, it’s easy to conduct in class too. This requires students to measure the melting differences between a plate of marshmallows in the microwave to calculate the speed of light!
Learn More: Physics
2. What is in our food?
These two simple experiments are a great start to introducing sugars and starches and the solutions we can use to test certain foods. This straightforward guide with printable worksheets will have you create an interesting and hands-on lesson for your students in no time.
Learn More: KBCC
3. Tooth Decay Eggs
Using easy-to-find and affordable products, this is a fabulous teaching point for discussing dental health and oral hygiene. By submerging eggs in varying liquids, students can see the effect they have on the eggshells; mimicking the effect of substances on our teeth. Also a great idea for teaching about porous materials!
Learn More: Sciencing
4. Petroleum Jelly Pollution
Climate change and the effects of pollution are a huge part of our day-to-day lives. With this simple activity, you can ‘catch’ pollution particles in petroleum jelly which can then lead to other lessons about air pollution and particulate matter.
Learn More: STEM Ambassadors
5. Balloon Blow Up
This one is a good idea for transitioning high school students and will no doubt have a great effect. Students will be asking questions after demonstrating how to blow up a balloon without using air! Lesson plans and videos are all provided below.
6. Soda Explosion
Another great activity for younger scientists! Use soda and mints to create a chemical reaction. Make sure you have an outdoor space or plenty of room for cleanup!
Learn More: Scholastic
7. Oil Spill Challenge
This STEM-inspired challenge is fantastic when teaching students about the effects of climate change. Whilst it’s a messy activity, they will have so many questions and ‘wow’ moments to discuss. This activity is fully resourced and can be differentiated dependent on the needs of your children.
Learn More: STEM Activities for Kids
8. Veggie Batteries
Yes, you read that right! Making batteries from potatoes will blow your learner’s minds! This step-by-step guide will show you the easiest way to conduct this and have your students ask the right questions to spark curiosity using electrical components.
Learn More: Science Sparks
9. Grow Germs
A bit of a gross one but students will love finding out just how much bacteria is harbored in certain areas of the school. This is a great teaching point for health and hygiene, and also links to discussions surrounding the recent Covid-19 pandemic along with other diseases around the world.
Learn More: Teach Beside Me
10. Luminous Lava Lamps
Making lava lamps seems like a little bit of a blast from the past, but this experiment introduces density and reactions between different materials. You will need: some containers, water, oil, food coloring, and alka-seltzer tablets to conduct this experiment.
Learn More: Play Osmo
11. Collaborative Periodic Table
This great idea for a huge corridor display involves everyone. Have your students pick out an element from the periodic table and create a fact sheet about it to turn into a lifesize table! This activity requires very little prep and all you need is colored paper and markers.
Learn More: Pinterest
12. Making Cells
Provide your students with lots of junk modeling materials and a rubric (provided via the link) and get your students to construct their own cells and present them back to the class; therefore teaching each other the important concepts of this topic!
Learn More: Science and Math with Mrs. Lau
13. Building Atoms
These visually striking models will help students easily understand atomic numbers, particles, and the relationships between protons, neutrons, and electrons. There are several examples of elements to make in the handy step-by-step guide below.
Learn More: Sciencing
14. Mitosis and Meiosis
This takes a little time to set up but provides a lovely whole-class demonstration. You’ll need some pieces of rope and elastic bands to create the visual elements. This blog post explains exactly how to conduct this task in the simplest way to explain mitosis and meiosis
Learn More: Engaging Science Labs
15. Strawberry DNA
DNA is a must-teach point for all high school students and this activity will give them the opportunity to extract it themselves from a strawberry! The reason for this is that strawberries contain a lot of DNA and there is a higher chance of a successful experiment!
Learn More: Steam Powered Family
16. DNA/RNA Comparison
It’s sometimes a little difficult for students to visualize what we talk about on a cellular level. Being able to build models is a great way to allow them to interact and envisage what they should look like. This simple lesson uses sweets and toothpicks as well as a handy printable to develop their understanding in no time.
Learn More: iTeachly
17. Use Epsom Salts for Warmth
Epsom salts, when dissolved, create a wonderful endothermic reaction so not only with students see the reaction, but they will also be able to ‘feel’ it too! This can then lead to a good opportunity to teach about different types of reactions and energy changes.
Learn More: The Homeschool Scientist
18. Making Lungs
Smoking and tobacco abuse are major issues in many countries around the world. Highlight this in biology lessons by creating lungs from balloons-healthy and unhealthy- and students can see the effects in front of them.
Learn More: Surviving a Teacher’s Salary
19. Virtual Dissection Labs
We all have at least one student who is a little bit squeamish when it comes to specific experiments. With these clever ideas for virtual interactives, they can still learn the same concepts without having to dissect a real organism!
Learn More: 3 Boys and a Dog
20. Magic Milk
This is a great idea for a Christmas-themed activity. In another reaction-based project, the proteins in the milk react with the detergent, and the food coloring then moves!
Learn More: ThoughtCo.
21. Christmas Lights
Students create circuits to squash the myth that those pesky Christmas lights can never be fixed! You may need a few supplies but this is a great activity for teaching parallel and series circuits, as well as the different constraints they may come across for the lights not to work!
Learn More: Nitty Gritty Science
22. Easy Enzymes
This experiment uses potatoes to display the effect that hot, cold, and normal temperatures have on the catalase enzyme inside them. Students can understand the reactions and develop their knowledge of enzyme function.
Learn More: Practical Biology
23. The Carbon Cycle
Students will love being able to watch the carbon cycle in action in this activity. They can observe photosynthesis and respiration closeup and understand how carbon is transported through the system. You will require some aquatic plants and basic scientific equipment.
Learn More: Science Lessons That Rock
24. Beating Hearts
For higher-level chemistry, this quirky activity has gallium beating like a heart. The reactions between the anodes and cathodes cause the material to ‘move’. Can students work out what is going on?
Learn More: Science Notes
25. Funky Fireworks
In this activity, students use a series of flame tests to find out exactly what is in a firework and what gives it color. This is a full explanation of how to run the experiment with alternatives dependent on your class.
Learn More: RSC Education
26. Which drink should I drink?
This experiment measures the electrolytes in various sports drinks to work out which one is the best. You could extend this into a full project and have students deliver presentations on their findings.
Learn More: Rock Your Homeschool
27. Build a Weather Station
Teach your students about atmospheric pressure and weather patterns with this fun activity. Using basic materials that can be found in school, build a mini weather station and take measurements of humidity each day.
Learn More: Earth Science Week
28. Red Sky at Night
In this experiment, learners observe light and how it moves through liquids- specifically when looking at sunrises and sunsets and how we get different colors in the sky according to the time of day.
Learn More: UCAR
29. Bending Light
Linking to the previous experiment, this activity allows students to ‘bend’ light using a series of different objects with varying densities. This is relatively easy to set up and students can independently measure their results.
Learn More: UCAR
30. How to Make an Air Cooler
This activity could be set as an independent project or discussed in class to understand how the components work. Students create an air cooler using simple everyday objects and no electricity! Can they figure out how it works?
Learn More: Creative Biswajit