Kids of every age love hands-on science! Teachers do, too, because the learning is a lot more meaningful when students see concepts in action. This roundup of sixth grade science experiments and activities has a little something for everyone–from biology and ecology to physics and chemistry. Bring on the science!

1. Build a Ferris Wheel

Miniature Ferris Wheel built out of colorful wood craft sticks

Most of your students have probably ridden on a Ferris Wheel, but can they build one themselves? Stock up on wood craft sticks and find out! Let them play around with different designs to see which one works best.

Learn more: Teachers Are Terrific and eHow

2. Make motorized tiny dancers

AA batteries with tiny wire figures twisted around them, with tutus added to look like ballet dancers (Sixth Grade Science)

Build a homopolar motor to make little spinning wire dancers. It takes a little practice to get it right, but the instructions at the link below walk you through the process.

Learn more: Babble Dabble Do

3. See the effects of an oil spill

Sixth grade science student using a spoon to try to catch a puddle of oil floating on water

Learn why an oil spill is so devastating for wildlife and the ecosystem with this hands-on activity. Kids experiment to find the best way to clean up oil floating on water and rescue the animals affected by the spill.

Learn more: Kitchen Counter Chronicles

4. Make naked eggs

Sixth grade science student holding a raw egg without a shell

Students dissolve the calcium carbonate eggshell in vinegar and discover the membranes beneath that hold the egg together. It’s a unique and intriguing way to learn about acid-base reactions.

Learn more: Making Memories With Your Kids

5. Experiment with naked eggs

Raw egg without a shell that has been dehydrated sitting next to a regular egg

Now, submerge those naked eggs in corn syrup and water to learn about osmosis. The eggs shrink or grow, depending on the liquid they’re placed in—so cool!

Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Growing and Shrinking Egg

6. Send water traveling down a string

String running down into a glass partially filled with blue water

Explore the properties of cohesion and adhesion with this simple experiment using only water and cotton string. Expand your learning by trying the same experiment with different materials and liquids.

Learn more: Rookie Parenting

7. Grow your own geodes in eggshells

Half eggshells covered in colorful crystals (Sixth Grade Science)

The magic of crystals never fails to amaze! Crystal experiments are a favorite way to teach about supersaturated solutions. In this one, they’ll wind up with an amazing eggshell geode to take home.

Learn more: Sweet Paul

8. Make tissue paper stronger

Student pushing a wooden dowel into a toilet paper tube covered in tissue paper at one end

Tissue paper is so thin your students will have no trouble pushing a wooden dowel through it when it’s stretched over the end of a toilet paper tube. But add salt to the tube, and everything changes, thanks to the increased surface area.

Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Strong Tissue Paper

9. Launch a two-stage rocket

Two long balloons attached with plastic straws and rubber bands to form a rocket

The rockets used for space flight generally have more than one stage to give them the extra boost they need. This experiment uses balloons to model a two-stage rocket launch, teaching kids about the laws of motion.

Learn more: Science Buddies/Two Stage Balloon Rocket

10. Grow a carbon sugar snake

Large carbon ash snake growing out of a pan of sand

You’ll probably want to take this giant carbon sugar snake experiment outside, but it’s surprisingly easy to do! Kids will be amazed, and they’ll learn about chemical and thermal reactions.

Learn more: KiwiCo

11. Assemble a steady-hand game

Colorful acrylic boxes with wire shapes attached to the tops and electrical wiring

This is such a fun way to learn about circuits! It also brings in a bit of creativity, adding the “A” to STEAM.

Learn more: Left Brain Craft Brain

12. Change the color of a liquid in an instant

Lab beaker filled with clear liquid next to a beaker of dark liquid, with a blue arrow leading from one to the next (Sixth Grade Science)

Want to see your kids gasp in amazement? Perform the iodine clock reaction. You only need a few drugstore chemicals to change the solution from clear to dark blue faster than students can blink.

Learn more: Science Bob

13. Turn milk into plastic

Bottle of vinegar, measuring cup of milk, and a hand using a spoon to scoop plastic bits from a coffee mug

Use simple kitchen supplies to create plastic polymers from plain old milk. Kids will have fun sculpting the casein polymers into shapes while learning about the polymerization of plastics.

Learn more: Science Buddies/Milk into Plastic

14. Engineer a cell phone stand

Basic cell phone stand made from wood craft sticks, paper clips, and rubber bands (Sixth Grade Science)

Your sixth grade science students will be thrilled when you let them use their phones in class! Challenge them to use their engineering skills and a small selection of items to design and build a cell phone stand.

Learn more: Science Buddies/Engineer Cell Phone Stand

15. Do the Archimedes squeeze

Sixth grade science student dropping a ball of aluminum foil into a plastic container of water

It sounds like a wild dance move, but this sixth grade science experiment helps kids understand Archimedes’ principle. All you really need is aluminum foil and a container of water.

Learn more: Science Buddies/Archimedes Squeeze

16. Levitate a ping-pong ball

Sixth grade student holding the cut off top of a plastic bottle with a straw attached. A ping pong ball is floating over the bottle top.

Kids will get a kick out of this experiment, which is really all about Bernoulli’s principle. You only need plastic bottles, bendy straws, and ping-pong balls to make the science magic happen.

Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Floating Ping Pong Ball

17. Use a fidget spinner to understand inertia

Series of photos of a child holding a fidget spinner in action. Text reads 3 lights = highest inertia, decreasing inertia, 0 lights = lowest inertia

Learning about the Laws of Motion? This experiment uses a fidget spinner with three lights to show how mass and torque affect inertia.

Learn more: From Engineer to Stay at Home Mom

18. Look for iron in your breakfast cereal

Plastic zipper bag with crushed breakfast cereal in water. A magnet is pulling iron filings out of the cereal mixture.

The human body needs iron to be healthy, and many breakfast cereals boast they contain it. Find out if that’s really true with this sixth grade science experiment that’s bound to surprise with its results.

Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Eating Nails for Breakfast

19. Fire catapults to learn about trajectory

Sixth grade science student stomping on a basic catapult made from a wood block and piece of lumber, sending stuffed animals flying

Sending stuffed animals flying in the name of science? Sixth grade students will be all over it! This simple catapult activity focuses on the trajectory of objects based on force and other factors.

Learn more: Education Possible

20. Build a heart pump model

Simple heart pump model made from plastic bottles, drinking straws, and modeling clay

Students gain a deeper understanding of the cardiovascular system when they construct a working model of a heart ventricle.

Learn more: Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus

21. Construct a pair of model lungs

Sixth grade student holding model lungs and diaphragm made from a plastic bottle, duct tape, and balloons

Kids get a better understanding of the respiratory system when they build model lungs using a plastic water bottle and some balloons. You can modify the experiment to demonstrate the effects of smoking too.

Learn more: Surviving a Teacher’s Salary

22. Dissect an owl pellet

Sixth grade science student wear gloves, holding an owl pellet over a red tray

Dig into an owl’s undigested meals (it’s not as gross as it sounds!) to discover what their diet consists of. Owl pellets are readily available online, and kids will be intrigued by what they find.

Learn more: Gift of Curiosity

23. Turn a potato into a battery

Two potatoes with electrical wires running from them to a small digital clock

This project is an oldie but a goodie! This experiment uses the potassium in the potato to conduct energy and can also be done with lemons or other high-potassium fruits and veggies.

Learn more: Kidzworld

24. Study sound waves with a spoon

Sixth grade science student holding yarn strings to her ears and looking surprised

With just yarn and a metal spoon, learn how vibrations create sound and explore the role of conductors.

Learn more: Edventures with Kids

25. Engineer a craft stick bridge

Collage of bridges made from wood craft sticks, glue, and yarn

Challenge groups to build a bridge with Popsicle sticks and push pins and find out which design can bear the most weight.

Learn more: Scholastic

26. Make sparks with steel wool

Steel wool sitting in an aluminum tray. The steel wool appears to be on fire.

All you need is steel wool and a 9-volt battery to perform this science demo that’s bound to make their eyes light up! Kids learn about chain reactions, chemical changes, and more.

Learn more: The Homeschool Scientist

27. Extinguish flames with carbon dioxide

Series of lighted tea light candles, with a beaker held over top

You’ll have to heavily supervise this one, but there’s so much to be learned that it’s worth it. Create an acid-base reaction and “pour” the carbon dioxide onto lit candles to extinguish the flames. Students will learn about the elements needed to make fire, how gasses can act like liquids, and more.

Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/CO2 Extinguisher

28. Shake it up with earthquake science

Two foam plates with structures built from wood craft sticks and putty on top

Build simple model structures, then experiment to see how the actions of earthquakes affect them. Different simulations show how engineering can create buildings that withstand serious shocks—or not.

Learn more: Love To Know

29. Create a colorful cell model

Cell model made from a spiky pink hand sanitizer holder, labeled Our Bacterium Prokaryotic Cell

There are lots of cell model projects out there, but this might be one of the cutest ones we’ve seen! And it’s easier to assemble than you might think.

Learn more: Angelicscalliwags

30. Extract DNA from a strawberry

Blue tweezers pulling a ball of pink goo from a beaker of red liquid (Sixth Grade Science)

It’s surprisingly easy to pull a strand of DNA from this sweet fruit. Teach your kids about genetics and DNA with this 6th grade science project that uses only basic household supplies.

Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Strawberry DNA

31. Learn why leaves change colors in the fall

Small jar with leaves and water covered in plastic wrap

As chlorophyll breaks down, other leaf colors appear. This experiment helps explain the process. It’s a really neat hands-on tool for teaching about photosynthesis.

Learn more: How Wee Learn

32. Drop parachutes to test air resistance

Card with text Which is the best parachute? Plastic, paper, cloth. Surrounded by pieces of fabric, plastic, and string.

Use the scientific method to test different types of material and see which makes the most effective parachute. Your students also learn more about the physics behind air resistance.

Learn more:

33. Design a biodome

Model biodome made from plastic bottles and containers filled soil with and plants

There’s so much to learn in this sixth grade science project. Kids build a scale-model biodome to learn more about different environments and ecosystems, decomposition, the food web, and more.

Learn more: Teach Engineering

34. Create compost in a cup

Two plastic cups filled with compost and covered in plastic wrap (Sixth Grade Science)

Discover how nature recycles organic material by making and observing mini compost piles. Students will learn about ecology and decomposition with this useful sixth grade science project.

Learn more: The Happy Housewife

35. Dissect a flower

Hand holding a magnifying glass over a lily flower

Take a flower apart bit by bit to learn more about botany. Grocery store lilies are inexpensive and large enough for kids to see and identify the various parts.

Learn more: The Oakland Toy Lab/Instructables

36. Turn an apple into a wrecking ball

Wrecking ball made from an apple suspended from a rod between two upright paper towel tubes, aimed at an arrangement of markers

This engineering project explores concepts like potential and kinetic energy and Newton’s third law of motion. Kids will have fun building an apple wrecking ball to knock down marker pins, testing their devices for force and accuracy.

Learn more: Feel-Good Teaching

37. Clone some cabbage

Two leaves and the stem of green cabbage with labels and a knife

Cloning isn’t just for horror movies or hi-tech labs. A leaf of cabbage can easily grow a clone of itself. Students learn about asexual reproduction in this easy sixth grade science project.

Learn more:

38. Find out if tea and cola stain teeth

Three eggs next to containers of coffee, tea, and cola, with a permanent marker (Sixth Grade Science)

Use eggshells to explore how various beverages can stain teeth. This chemistry experiment also teaches important lessons about dental hygiene.

Learn more:

39. Clean up some old coins

Pennies in small cups of liquid labeled coca cola, vinegar + salt, apple juice, water, catsup, and vinegar. Text reads Cleaning Coins Science Experiment. Step by step procedure and explanation.

Use common household items to make old oxidized coins clean and shiny again in this simple chemistry experiment. Ask students to predict (hypothesize) which will work best and then do some research to explain the results.

Learn more: Gallykids

40. Pull an egg into a bottle

Glass bottle with bowl holding three eggs, small glass with matches sitting on a box of matches, and a yellow plastic straw, against a blue background

This is another classic science experiment that never fails to delight. Use the power of air pressure to suck a hard-boiled egg into a jar; no hands required.

Learn more: Left Brain Craft Brain

Need supplies for your sixth grade science experiments? Check out these 16 Science Kits for Middle and High School That Make Hands-on Lessons Easy.

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40 Sixth Grade Science Experiments And Activities That Will Wow Your Students