The Best 4th Grade Science Experiments

Elephant toothpaste, DIY flashlights, and plastic made from milk are just the beginning.

4th Grade Science Experiments

Want to grab your class’s attention and get them excited about STEM? Then you need some great hands-on experiments in your tool kit! Electricity, biology, physics, chemistry… it’s all here in this list of best 4th grade science experiments that any teacher can pull off. So pick up some supplies and get ready to blind your students with science! (Well, not really… be sure to wear safety goggles, OK?)

1. Learn about capillary action.

4th Grade Science Experiments Capillary 123Homeschool4Me

Kids will be amazed as they watch the colored water move from glass to glass, and you’ll love the easy and inexpensive set-up. All you need are water, paper towels, and some food coloring to teach the scientific magic of capillary action.

Learn More: 123 Homeschool 4 Me

2. Make a wigglebot.

4th Grade Science Experiments Wigglebot Research Parent

Explore the science behind batteries and motors by creating a simple “wigglebot.” Experiment with weights to throw the motor off balance and create fun designs.

Learn More: Research Parent

3. Turn a penny green.

4th Grade Science Experiments Pennies Buggy and Buddy

Experiment with simple chemical reactions as you turn pennies green using vinegar. Blow kids minds by telling them the Statue of Liberty is green for this very reason!

Learn More: Buggy and Buddy

4. Grow crystal names.

4th Grade Science Experiments Crystals Playdough to Plato

No list of 4th grade science experiments would be complete with crystals! The classic crystal experiment gets a new twist when you have kids shape pipe cleaners into their own names first. Kids of all ages love growing crystals, making this an ideal way to learn about supersaturated solutions.

Learn More: Playdough to Plato 

5. Explore blood components.

4th Grade Science Experiments Blood Almost Supermom

Use simple kitchen supplies to create a jar full of “blood” that includes plasma, platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells. (You can even snack on the blood cells along the way!)

Learn More: Almost Supermom

6. Create a new plant or animal.

4th Grade Science Plant Animal I Love 2 Teach

Kids will really get into this project, indulging their creativity as they invent a plant or animal that’s never  been seen before. They’ll need to be able to explain the biology behind it all, though, making this an in-depth project you can tailor to any class.

Learn More: I Love 2 Teach

7. Become human sundials.

4th Grade Science Experiments Sundials Scholastic

Choose a sunny day and grab some sidewalk chalk—your students are about to become sundials! They’ll practice measuring skills and learn about the movement of the sun across the sky.

Learn More: Scholastic

8. Layer an edible soil model.

4th Grade Science Experiments Soil Super Teacher Blog

Digging in the dirt is fun, but it’s even more fun when you can eat the dirt when you’re done! Create edible soil layer models, complete with gummy worms, for a simple earth science project. (Find more edible science projects here.)

Learn More: Super Teacher Blog

9. Engineer a pulley system.

4th Grade Science Experiments Pulleys 123 Homeschool 4 Me

The science of machines never fails to fascinate kids. In this experiment, they’ll design their own pulley system to make the work of lifting an object easier.

Learn More: 123 Homeschool 4 Me

10. Discover a density rainbow.

4th Grade Science Experiments Density Steve Spangler Science

Colorful, simple, and impressive: it’s the trifecta of 4th grade science experiments! Wow your students by layering colored sugar water as you learn about density, adhesion, and cohesion.

Learn More: Steve Spangler Science

11. Construct a working flashlight.

4th Grade Science Experiments Flashlights MysteryScience

You’ll only need a few supplies to guide your students in building their own LED flashlights. They’ll learn how electricity travels and the way circuits work. The slideshow at MysteryScience makes this lesson a breeze for teachers, too.

Learn More: MysteryScience

12. Build a hovercraft.

4th Grade Science Experiments Hovercraft Educationcom

It’s not exactly the same model the military uses, but this simple hovercraft is a lot easier to build. An old CD and a balloon help demonstrate air pressure and friction in this fun fourth grade science experiment.

Learn More: Education.com

13. Transform milk into plastic.

4th Grade Science Experiments Milk Plastic Science Buddies

Plastic seems incredibly modern, but people have been making casein plastic from milk for centuries. In this science project, students experiment to create the formula for the best milk plastic. They’ll be amazed at the results!

Learn More: Science Buddies

14. Grow bacteria in petri dishes.

4th Grade Science Experiments Petri Steve Spangler

Your students will truly feel like scientists when they perform this classic experiment. They’ll prep the dishes with agar, then swab different surfaces and see what bacteria they grow. It’s gross science, but also easy and impressive.

Learn More: Steve Spangler Science

15. Assemble an edible DNA model.

4th Grade Science Experiments DNA wikiHow

Use licorice sticks, four different colored candies or fruits, and toothpicks to build an edible strand of DNA. Learn about the chemical bonds and helix shape, then eat your creation!

Learn More: wikiHow

16. Put together a smartphone projector.

4th Grade Science Experiments Projector STEM Laboratory

No projector in your classroom yet? No problem! Have your students help you construct one for your smartphone using just a cardboard box and large magnifying glass. They’ll learn about convex lenses and how the brain processes images too.

Learn More: The STEM Laboratory

17. Form ocean currents.

4th Grade Science Experiments Currents Life Over Cs

Learning about oceanography? Demonstrate how ocean currents form using warm and cold water (and a few plastic sea creatures for extra fun!). 

Learn More: Life Over C’s

18. Brew some elephant toothpaste.

4th Grade Science Experiments Elephant Toothpaste Science Bob

OK, this isn’t really what elephants use to brush their teeth, but this big foamy exothermic reaction needs a big name! Wow your class using simple materials like dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and a packet of yeast.

Learn More: Science Bob

19. Explode a Mentos geyser.

4th Grade Science Experiments Mentos Steve Spangler

Here’s another classic for the 4th grade science experiments list: diet soda and Mentos! Everything you’ve heard about this experiment is true, so choose an outdoor location and get ready to make an enormous mess as you explore nucleation.

Learn More: Steve Spangler Science

20. Investigate decomposition.

4th Grade Science Experiments Mold MysteryScience

Yup, it’s gross… so your kids will love it! Seal food items in a plastic bag and experiment to see what factors affect their decomposition, helped along by a heaping helping of mold.

Learn More: Mystery Science

21. Conduct an egg drop.

4th Grade Science Experiments Egg Drop Buggy and Buddy

Here’s one more classic to round out this list of 4th grade science experiments: the egg drop! The great thing about this project is that kids can do it at any age, with different materials and heights to mix it up. Hit the link below to get an egg drop project designed just for 4th graders.

Learn More: Buggy and Buddy

What are your favorite 4th grade science experiments? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out our favorite 5th grade and 6th grade science experiments.

The Best 4th Grade Science Experiments

Posted by Jill Staake

Jill Staake is a writer living in Tampa, Florida. She's spent most of her life teaching in traditional classrooms and beyond, from 8th grade English to butterfly encounters, and believes learning is a life-long process.

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