25 5th Grade Science Projects That Will Blow Your Students’ Minds

Make a leakproof bag, invisible ink, and more!

5th Grade Science

We love doing science at the upper elementary level because 10- and 11-year-olds are so naturally curious and ready to learn about the world. These 5th grade science projects are great for whole-class experimentation or as a science fair project. Go ahead and give them a try!

1. Make your own bouncy balls.

5th Grade Science Bouncy Balls Babble Dabble Do

Here’s another use for that borax you bought for making slime: homemade bouncy balls! Kids learn about polymers as you mix borax with cornstarch, glue, and water in this playful experiment. 

Learn more: Babble Dabble Do

2. Demonstrate the “magic” leakproof bag.

5th Grade Science Pencil Bag Steve Spangler

So simple and so amazing! All you need is a zip-top plastic bag, sharp pencils, and some water to blow your kiddos’ minds. Once they’re suitably impressed, teach them how the “trick” works by explaining the chemistry of polymers.

Learn more: Steve Spangler Science

3. Whip up a tornado in a bottle.

5th Grade Science Tornado Cool Science HQ

There are plenty of versions of this classic science experiment out there, but we love this one because it sparkles! Students learn about vortexes and what it takes to create them.

Learn more: Cool Science Experiments HQ

4. Assemble Archimedes’ screw.

5th Grade Science Archimedes Screw Science Buddies

It’s amazing how often science looks like magic, until you understand the principles behind it. Such is the case with the simple pump known as Archimedes’ screw. Learn how it works and how to build one with your class at the link below.

Learn more: Science Buddies

5. Explore basic genetics.

5th Grade Science Genetics Educationcom

Send your students on a quest to find out more about their genes and inherited traits. The link below includes a printable chart they can use to learn about recessive and dominant genes.

Learn more: Education.com

6. Blow up a balloon.

5th Grade Science Balloon Bottle All for the Boys

This is the classic science experiment that helps you teach the reactions between acids and bases. Fill a bottle with vinegar and a balloon with baking soda. Fit the balloon over the top, shake the baking soda down into the vinegar, and watch the balloon inflate.

Learn more: All for the Boys

7. Fill a bubble with dry ice vapor.

5th Grade Science Dry Ice Wonder How To

Discover the science of sublimation by turning dry ice from a solid directly into a gas. Then play around with surface tension as the resulting vapor fills a giant bubble. Get the DIY at the link below.

Learn more: Wonder How To

8. Find out if a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s.

5th Grade Science Dog Mouth Pixabay

Settle an age-old debate with this 5th grade science project. Collect saliva (from both humans and canines) with cotton swabs and place each sample in labeled petri dishes. Check the bacterial colonies in each and compare the results.

Learn more: Sciencing

9. Build a solar oven.

5th Grade Science Solar Oven Desert Chica

Learn about the value of solar energy by building an oven that cooks food without electricity. Enjoy your tasty treats while discussing ways we can harness the energy of the sun and why alternative energy sources are important. (Love edible science projects? Get more ideas here.)

Learn more: Desert Chica

10. Study water filtration.

5th Grade Science Water Filtration Teach Beside Me

See the process of water purification firsthand. Layer coffee filters, sand, and gravel in the bottom of an empty cup punched with holes. Place the cup in an empty jar, pour in dirty water, and watch what happens.

Learn more: Teach Beside Me

11. Grow crystal snowflakes.

5th Grade Science Crystal Snowflakes Little Bins for Little Hands

Kids love crystal projects, and this one will also give you pretty winter decorations for your classroom. Your students will learn about supersaturated solutions and crystallization. (See more winter science activities here.)

Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands 

12. Float a marker man.

Kids’ eyes will pop out of their heads when you “levitate” a stick figure right off the table! This experiment works due to the insolubility of dry-erase-marker ink in water, combined with the lighter density of the ink.

Learn more: Gizmodo

13. Learn to layer liquids.

5th Grade Science Layered Liquids Steve Spangler

This 5th grade science experiment is a visual treat. Teach your class about density as you slowly layer liquids like honey, dish soap, water, and rubbing alcohol. Kids will be amazed when the liquids float one on top of the other like magic (except it’s really science).

Learn more: Steve Spangler Science

14. Sink or swim with soda cans.

5th Grade Sinking Soda Cool Science Experiments HQ

Dig into density with this easy 5th grade science experiment. Place unopened cans of regular and diet soda into a bin of water to see which float and which sink. The differences are due to the use of sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Learn more: Cool Science Experiments HQ 

15. Escape from quicksand.

5th Grade Science Quicksand Educationcom

Dive deep into the science of quicksand and learn about saturation and friction along the way. You’ll create a small “quicksand” pool from cornstarch and water then experiment to find out the best ways to escape.

Learn more: Education.com

16. Write in invisible ink.

5th Grade Science Invisible Ink ThoughtCo

Kids will love trying to swap secret messages with their friends in this acid-base science project. Mix the water and baking soda and use a paintbrush to write a message. Then use grape juice to expose the message or hold it up it to a heat source.

Learn more: ThoughtCo

17. Light(ning) it up indoors.

5th Grade Science Balloon Lightning Educationcom

On a cool, low-humidity day, use a foil-covered fork and a balloon to create a “lightning storm” in your classroom. Turn down the lights to give students a better view of the static electricity you’re creating.

Learn more: Education.com

18. Play catch with a catapult.

5th Grade Science Catapult Science Buddies

This take on a classic 5th grade science project challenges young engineers to build a catapult from basic materials. The twist? They also must create a “receiver” to catch the soaring object on the other end.

Learn more: Science Buddies 

19. Launch your own bottle rocket.

5th grade Science Rocket Science Sparks

Blast off with a few supplies and a little help from the laws of motion. Encourage kids to design and decorate their rockets first and see whose can fly the highest! Get the full how-to at the link below.

Learn more: Science Sparks

20. Design and build a snack machine.

5th Grade Science Snack Machine Left Brain Craft Brain

Incorporate everything students learn about simple machines into one project when you challenge them to build a snack machine! Using basic supplies, they’ll need to design and construct a machine that delivers snacks from one location to another. (Get more candy experiments here.)

Learn more: Left Brain Craft Brain

21. Explode a soda geyser.

5th Grade Science Mentos Steve Spangler

Kids never seem to tire of this messy project involving diet soda and Mentos candy. You’ll need a big open area to conduct this experiment, which teaches kids about gas molecules and surface tension.

Learn more: Steve Spangler Science

22. Discover the delights of decomposition.

5th Grade Science Decomp No Time for Flashcards

This is a good chance to apply the scientific method and practice your observation skills, using only basic kitchen supplies. Ask the question, “Which food will rot (decompose) the fastest?” Have kids hypothesize, observe, and then report their findings. Get a printable observation sheet at the link below.

Learn more: No Time for Flash Cards

23. Preserve apple slices.

5th Grade Science Apple Spoilage

Investigate oxidation and enzymes by determining which food preservation methods work best on apple slices. This observational project is a simple way to apply the scientific method in the classroom.

Learn more: Science Buddies

24. Create convection currents.

5th Grade Science Convection Educationcom

This easy experiment uses hot and cold liquids and some food coloring to explore the thermal and kinetic energy that creates convection currents. Take things a step further and research how convection currents work in large bodies of water, like oceans.

Learn more: Education.com

25. Construct a homemade lava lamp.

5th Grade Science Lava Lamp Educationcom

This 70s trend is back … as a 5th grade science project! Learn about acids and bases while putting together a totally groovy lava lamp. Find out how at the link below.

Learn more: Education.com

What are your favorite 5th grade science projects? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, our favorite science projects for 3rd grade, 4th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade. 

25 5th Grade Science Projects That Will Blow Your Students' Minds

Posted by Crystal Rennicke

Crystal Rennicke is a writer, Sunday School teacher and mom of two. Since most of her family members are teachers, she has an appreciation and admiration for all teachers in her life.

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