35 5th Grade Science Projects That Will Blow Your Students’ Minds

Dry ice bubbles, invisible ink, and the coolest floating marker man.

5th Grade Science

Hands-on science is the best way to engage kids of any age in learning. These 5th grade science experiments and demos are perfect for the classroom or science fair, and are guaranteed to captivate and educate at the same time!

1. 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

2. Explore the science of glow sticks.

5th Grade Science

Glow sticks are always a big hit with kids, so they’ll have a terrific time learning about the chemical reactions that make them work.

Learn more: A Dab of Glue Will Do

3. 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

4. Mix up some magic sand.

5th Grade Science

What if you could make sand that was “afraid” of water? This 5th grade science experiment uses waterproofing spray to create you-gotta-see-it-to-believe-it hydrophobic sand.

Learn more: Teaching Mama

5. 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! Students learn about polymers as they mix borax with cornstarch, glue, and water in this playful experiment. 

Learn more: Babble Dabble Do

6. 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 students’ minds. Once they’re suitably impressed, teach them how the “trick” works by explaining the chemistry of polymers.

Learn more: Steve Spangler Science

7. Make a foil bug walk on water.

5th Grade Science

Surface tension allows water striders to dance across the surface of the water. Re-create this scientific phenomenon with little “bugs” made of aluminum foil.

Learn more: The Homeschool Scientist

8. 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. This one is so cool to see in action!

Learn more: Wonder How To

9. 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

10. Find out how bile breaks down fat.

5th Grade Science

Learning about the digestive system? This 5th grade science demo explores the purpose of the bile produced by the liver, which breaks down fat. 

Learn more: Simple Southern

11. Blow up a balloon … without blowing.

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

12. Use rubber bands to sound out acoustics.

5th Grade Science

Explore the ways that sound waves are affected by what’s around them using a simple rubber band “guitar.” (Your students will absolutely love playing with these!)

Learn more: Science Sparks

13. 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

14. Grow crystal snowflakes.

Kids love crystal projects, and this one results in 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 

15. Discover density with hot and cold water.

5th Grade Science

There are a lot of cool science experiments you can do with density. This one is extremely simple, involving only hot and cold water and food coloring.

Learn more: STEAMsational

16. Learn to layer liquids.

This density demo is a little more complicated, but the effects are spectacular. Slowly layer liquids like honey, dish soap, water, and rubbing alcohol in a glass. Your 5th grade science students will be amazed when the liquids float one on top of the other like magic (except it is really science).

Learn more: Steve Spangler Science

17. 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

18. Write in invisible ink.

Kids will love swapping 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 to a heat source.

Learn more: ThoughtCo

19. Light(ning) it up indoors.

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

20. Play catch with a catapult.

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 

21. Find out if water conducts electricity.

5th Grade Science

We always tell kids to get out of the water as a storm approaches. This 5th grade science project helps explain why. 

Learn more: Rookie Parenting

22. 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 which one can fly the highest!

Learn more: Science Sparks

23. 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

24. 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

25. Watch the heart beat with marshmallows.

5th Grade Science

If you can get your 5th grade science class to quiet down enough for this one, they might be able to see a marshmallow jump with each beat of their heart!

Learn more: Growing Grade by grade

26. Discover the delights of decomposition.

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 students hypothesize, observe, and then report their findings. Get a printable observation sheet at the link below.

Learn more: No Time for Flash Cards

27. 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

28. Recycle newspaper into an engineering challenge.

It’s amazing how a stack of newspapers can spark such creative engineering. Challenge students to build a tower, support a book, or even build a chair using only newspaper and tape!

Learn more: STEM Activities for Kids

29. 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

30. 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

31. Design a biosphere.

This project really brings out kids’ creativity and helps them understand that everything in a biosphere is really part of one big whole. You’ll be overwhelmed by what they come up with!

Learn more: Laney Lee

32. 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

33. Sink or swim with soda cans.

Here’s another easy density 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 

34. 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.

Learn more: Education.com

35. Whip up a tornado in a bottle.

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

Learn more: Cool Science Experiments HQ

We’ve got all the best science projects for every grade level, K-8! Check them out here.

Plus, create an amazing science bulletin board to go along with your STEM learning with these 20 fantastic ideas

35 5th Grade Science Projects That Will Blow Your Students' Minds

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.

Leave a reply

25 FUN FAMILY NIGHT IDEAS! FREE PRINTABLE!Snag it >>
+