Science is best with hands-on experience. That’s why we’re such fans of these second grade science projects, demos, and experiments. Students gain a deeper understanding of the properties of matter, earth science, and a whole lot more, and every idea is simple enough for any teacher to handle!
1. Pollinate like a bee
Use pipe cleaner bees to discover how these pollinators pick up and move cheese powder “pollen” from one juice box flower to the next. Simple, fun, and adorable!
2. Build a body from Play-Doh
Play-Doh activities are always fun to do! Visit the link below for free printable mats to use as you have your second grade science students sculpt the bones, organs, and muscles of the body.
Learn more: 123Homeschool4Me
3. Grow a sprout house
This two-part science project first challenges kids to use their engineering skills to construct a miniature house made of sponges. Then, they plant chia, alfalfa, or other quick-sprouting seeds and keep the sponges moist until they start to grow.
Learn more: The STEM Laboratory
4. Re-create the water cycle in a bag
This simple but effective experiment explores the water cycle. Fill a plastic bag partway with water and set it on a sunny windowsill to see how the water evaporates up and eventually “rains” down.
Learn more: Grade School Giggles
5. Turn pom poms into crystal balls
Every kid loves making crystals! They’ll learn about supersaturated solutions along the way, and have a lot of fun doing it.
Learn more: A Dab of Glue Will Do
6. Conduct a cookie dunk experiment
Introduce or review the scientific method with a fun and easy experiment to determine which cookies float or sink when dunked in milk. Then you can eat the results! (Find more great edible science experiments here.)
7. Test sunscreen for effectiveness
Kids might wonder why they need to wear sunscreen when they’re at the park or playing soccer. This experiment shows them the power of the sun’s rays and the protection sunscreen provides.
Learn more: JDaniel4’s Mom
8. Create an earth model from Play-Doh
Play-Doh has so many uses in the classroom! Use it to teach second grade science students about the layers of the earth by building a fun and colorful model.
Learn more: The Crafty Classroom
9. Design and build an index card tower
Challenge your second grade science students to a little early engineering! Given only index cards, how tall and/or strong of a structure can they build?
Learn more: Education to the Core
10. Use bread to learn about hand-washing
There’s never been a better time for an experiment involving the importance of washing your hands! All you need for this one is bread, plastic bags, and some dirty hands.
Learn more: Parenting Isn’t Easy
11. Explore erosion with sugar cubes
Simulate the effects of erosion by shaking sugar cubes in a cup with some pebbles to see what happens. Get more ideas for second grade science activities about erosion and weathering at the link.
Learn more: The First Grade Roundup
12. Find out which liquid is best for growing seeds
As you learn about the life cycle of plants, explore how water supports their growth. Plant seeds and water them with a variety of liquids to see which sprout first and grow best.
Learn more: Lessons 4 Little Ones
13. Repel glitter with dish soap
Every teacher knows that glitter is just like germs … it gets everywhere and is so hard to get rid of! Use that to your advantage, and show students how soap fights glitter and germs.
Learn more: Living Life & Learning
14. Build a folded mountain
Tthis clever demonstration helps kids understand how some types of mountains are formed. Use layers of towels to represent rock layers and boxes for continents. Then pu-u-u-sh and see what happens!
Learn more: The Chaos and the Clutter/Folded Mountain
15. Drink root beer floats to learn about states of matter
What’s easy to make, delicious to eat, and demonstrates all three states of matter at once? Root beer floats! This will easily be your students’ favorite science lesson of the year.
Learn more: Learning Lab Resources
16. Learn about osmosis with gummy bears
This is one of those classic experiments your second grade science students will love to see in action. Soak the gummies in water to watch them grow through the power of osmosis!
Learn more: Nurture Store UK
17. Build magnet-and-paper clip trees
Experiment with magnet properties like polarity and strength by building cute little trees! This is also an excellent way for kids to find out which items are magnetic and which are not.
Learn more: Preschool Powol Packets
18. Bend objects to test flexibility
Explore one of the properties of matter with this easy experiment. Kids plan how to test flexibility, then try it out with a variety of basic objects.
19. Freeze and observe liquid expansion
As you explore the states of matter, experiment to see if some types of liquid expand more than others when frozen.
Learn more: Education.com
20. Discover density with saltwater solutions
This simple experiment covers a lot of second grade science concepts. Learn about solutions, density, and even ocean science as you compare and contrast how objects float in different water mixtures.
Learn more: Science Kiddo
21. Explode a balloon seed pod
After you learn about pollination, take the next step, and explore how plants disperse their seeds far and wide. One way is with exploding seed pods. Use a balloon to see how it works.
Learn more: Around the Kampfire/Seed Dispersal Activity
22. Watch a leaf “breathe”
Plants “breathe” through transpiration, and you can see the process in action simply by submerging a leaf in water!
Learn more: Edventures With Kids
23. Grow a self-sustaining ecosystem
Plant seeds inside a sealed plastic bottle and observe both the water cycle and the plant life cycle in one simple second grade science experiment.
Learn more: Carly and Adam
24. Compare and contrast animal habitats
Build a variety of habitats (woodland, arctic, savannah, etc.). Then have kids compare to see how they are similar (all have water) and how they are different (trees, temperatures, etc.).
Learn more: Edventures With Kids
25. Use crackers to learn about properties of matter
Practice sorting, comparing, and classifying using properties of matter in this tasty experiment. All you need is a variety of snack crackers and inquiring minds!
26. Discover plate tectonics with graham crackers
Use graham crackers as the earth’s crust floating on a bed of whipped topping “mantle” to learn about how tectonic plates interact.
27. Collect and classify rocks
Take a nature walk to pick up rocks of all kinds. Bring them back and have kids examine them closely and sort them into groups by properties (color, size, shape, texture, and so on). This is a fantastic lead-in to learning about the types of rocks.
Learn more: Rhythms of Play
Looking for more? Try these 25 Second Grade STEM Challenges To Help Kids Think Creatively.