20 6th Grade Science Projects That Will Wow Your Students

Experiment with naked eggs, cloned cabbage, and more!

6th Grade Science Projects

Hands-on projects and experiments in the classroom bring science to life, sparking a desire to explore and learn. Whether you’re prepping for a science fair or looking to impress your class with a spectacular demonstration or two, these 6th grade science projects are sure to be winners.

1. Extract DNA from a strawberry.

It’s surprisingly easy to pull a strand of DNA from this sweet fruit.

Strawberry DNA 6th grade science Steve Spangler Science

What you need:

  • Strawberry
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Dishsoap
  • Salt
  • Ziploc bag
  • Strainer
  • Water
  • Small glass container
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Tweezers

What you do: Follow the instructions at the link below to extract a visible strand of DNA from your strawberry.

What students learn about: Genetics, DNA

Source: Steve Spangler Science

2. Grow your own geodes in eggshells.

The magic of crystals never fails to amaze!

Geode eggs 6th grade science sweet paul

What you need:

  • Alum powder
  • School or glitter glue
  • Egg dye
  • Blown-out white jumbo eggshell
  • Small scissors (optional)
  • Craft stick or plastic spoon
  • Paintbrush
  • Glass or plastic container (quart deli containers work well)
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Newspaper or drying rack

What you do: Coat the insides of the eggshells with glue and alum powder, and allow to dry. Prepare the egg dye mixed with more alum powder. Submerge eggs in dye and leave overnight. By the next day, your geode will be ready.

What students learn about: Supersaturation, crystals

Source: Sweet Paul

3. Look for iron in your breakfast cereal.

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 fun experiment.

Iron breakfast 6th grade science Steve Spangler

What you need:

  • Breakfast cereal containing iron
  • Strong magnet
  • Ziplock bag
  • Warm water

What you do: Place one cup of cereal in the ziplock bag, then half-fill the bag with warm water and seal, leaving an air pocket. Shake the bag well for at least one minute, then allow the bag to sit for 20 minutes or more. Then, place the magnet on the outside of the bag and gently shake. Slowly move the magnet up into the air bubble, and small black flakes of iron should appear.

What students learn about: Health, nutrition

Source: Steve Spangler Science

4. Turn milk into plastic.

Use simple household materials to create plastic polymers from plain old milk.

Milk plastic 6th grade science Science Buddies

What you need:

  • Measuring cup
  • Hot milk
  • White vinegar
  • Styrofoam cup
  • Spoon and paper towels

What you do: Add one cup hot milk to four teaspoons of white vinegar in the styrofoam cup and mix slowly. Scoop out the curds onto paper towels. Use more paper towels to press out any excess liquid, then knead the curds into a ball—this is the casein polymer. Have students create shapes and leave to dry for 48 hours.

What students learn about: Polymerization, plastics

Source: Science Buddies

5. Learn why leaves change colors in the fall.

As chlorophyll breaks down, other leaf colors appear. This experiment helps explain the process.

why-do-leaves 6th grade science How We Learn

What you need:

  • 3 leaves
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Jar
  • Plastic baggie
  • Paper coffee filter
  • Small bowl

What you do: Crush the leaves in alcohol, cover and let sit. Set a strip of coffee filter in the jar to wick up the liquid, and allow to dry. The colors of the leaf will appear as the filter dries.

What students learn about: Biology, photosynthesis

Source: How We Learn

6. Build a heart pump.

Gain a deeper understanding of the cardiovascular system when you construct a working model of a heart ventricle.

Heart Pump 6 Grade Science Tina's Homeschool

What you need:

  • 16 oz plastic bottle
  • 2 slightly smaller plastic bottles
  • 3 bendy straws
  • 3 balloons
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Water
  • Red food coloring
  • Tape
  • Small dish
  • Ear syringe

What you do: You’ll find all the instructions you need, complete with photos, at the link below.

What students learn about: Anatomy of the heart

Source: Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus

7. Make naked eggs.

Dissolve the calcium carbonate eggshell in vinegar and discover the membranes beneath that hold the egg together.

Naked egg 6th grade science Making Memories with your Kids

What you need:

  • Raw eggs
  • Vinegar
  • Glass jars

What you do: Place the eggs in a jar (make sure they’re not touching), cover them with vinegar, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, carefully drain off the vinegar, cover with fresh vinegar, and refrigerate for another night. The hard outer shell will be gone, leaving a soft membranous egg! Tip: Use these eggs for the experiment in #8.

What students learn about: Acid-base reactions

Source: Making Memories With Your Kids

8. Experiment with naked eggs.

Submerge the naked eggs from #7 in corn syrup and water to learn about osmosis.

Osmosis eggs 6th Grade Science Steve Spangler Science

What you need:

  • Naked eggs (See #7)
  • Jars
  • Corn syrup
  • Water

What to do: Fill one jar with water and carefully submerge a naked egg in it. Fill another jar with corn syrup and submerge another egg. Allow the eggs to soak for 24 hours. You’ll discover the egg in corn syrup has “shrunk” as the water inside moved through the membrane into the corn syrup. The egg in water will have grown as the water outside moved in through the membrane.

What students learn about: Osmosis

Source: Steve Spangler Science

9. Unlock the secret of carnival games.

Learn why carnival games like the classic milk bottle pyramid are so hard to win.

Carnival games 6th grade science science buddies

What you need:

  • Small sturdy table
  • Tape measure
  • Masking tape
  • Tennis ball or baseball
  • Plastic water bottles and water

What you do: Set up your table and stack the water bottles into a pyramid. Measure and mark a throw line, then start tossing the ball! Experiment with different styles of pyramids, and full and empty bottles. Keep track of your results so you can draw conclusions.

What students learn about: Center of mass, balance

Source: Science Buddies

10. Make motorized tiny dancers

Use a homopolar motor to make little spinning wire dancers.

6th grade science Homopolar-motors-BABBLE-DABBLE-DO

What you need:

  • Copper wire
  • Neodymium disc magnets
  • AA battery
  • Pliers and wire cutters
  • Crepe paper and hot glue (optional)

What you do: Stack three magnets and place them on the negative side of the battery. Wind the wire using the template found at the link below and attach it to the ends of the battery. Watch your dancer spin!

What students learn about: Electricity, motors

Source: Babble Dabble Do

11. Create compost in a cup.

Learn how nature recycles organic material with mini compost piles.

Compost_Cups_Science_Project 6th grade Happy Housewife

What you need:

  • Plastic cups
  • Organic material like leaves, kitchen scraps (no meat), bark, coffee grinds
  • Plastic wrap
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup dirt
  • Rubber band

What you do: Fill the cup with dirt, water, and organic material. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and secure with rubber band. Set in a warm location. Each day, add another tablespoon of water and shake the cup. Watch the materials decompose over time.

What students learn about: Decomposition, ecology

Source: The Happy Housewife

12. Dissect a flower.

Take a flower apart bit by bit to learn about the parts, from petal to stem.

flower dissection 6th grade science project Instructables

What you need:

  • One lily per student
  • Cutting implement
  • Magnifying glass
  • Tape

What you do: Beginning with the petals and leaves, carefully remove and examine each part of the flower. Research and discuss the purpose of each part and how it works.

What students learn about: Botany

Source: The Oakland Toy Lab/Instructables

13. Clone some cabbage.

Cloning isn’t just for horror movies or hi-tech labs. A leaf of cabbage can easily grow a clone of itself.

Cloning cabbage 6th grade science project Education dot com

What you need:

  • Two paper towels
  • Two plastic bags
  • Scissors
  • Napa cabbage
  • Cutting board
  • Kitchen knife
  • Permanent marker
  • Spray bottle
  • Water

What you do: Fold a paper towel three times, spray it with water until damp, and place it in a plastic bag. Repeat. Cut apart the cabbage stem from the leaf. Place the stem in one bag and the leaf in another, on the damp towels. Seal the bags with a bit of air inside. Leave the bags in a light place at room temperature. Over time, the stem will begin to grow roots and can be planted, making a clone of itself.

What students learn about: Cloning, asexual reproduction

Source: Education.com

14. Find out if tea and cola stain teeth.

Use eggshells to explore how various beverages can stain teeth.

Tea Stain Teeth 6th Grade Science Education dot com

What you need:

  • Eggs
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Cola
  • 3 plastic containers

What you do: Place eggs into separate containers filled with coffee, tea, and cola. Observe the results over several days to see the effects each beverage has on the porous eggshells, which are similar in composition to teeth.

What students learn about: Dental hygiene, chemistry

Source: Education.com

15. Construct model lungs and investigate the effects of smoking.

Use balloons to demonstrate how lungs function, and see how smoking affects them.

Lung experiment 6th Grade science Surviving Teachers Salary

What you need:

  • Duct tape
  • 2 straws
  • 1 liter clear plastic bottle
  • 4 balloons
  • Scissors
  • Clay

What you do: Follow the instructions at the link below to build the model lungs. One balloon represents a healthy lung. The other is modified to demonstrate the effects of tobacco smoke.

What students learn about: Respiratory system, health

Source: Surviving a Teacher’s Salary

16. Dissect an owl pellet.

Dig into an owl’s undigested meals (it’s not as gross as it sounds!) to discover what their diet consists of.

Owl pellet 6th grade science Gift of Curiosityjpg

What you need:

  • Owl pellet
  • Rubber gloves
  • Tray
  • Tweezers
  • Magnifying glass
  • Paintbrush

What you do: Wearing gloves, slowly and carefully pull apart the owl pellet. Remove any bones, claws, etc. you find and lay them out for cleaning, inspection, and identification.

What students learn about: Ornithology, digestive system

Source: Gift of Curiosity

17. Turn a potato into a battery.

This project is an oldie but a goodie! Use a potato to power a clock.

potato-battery-clock 6th Grade Science Kidzworld

What you need:

  • Two potatoes
  • Two short pieces of heavy copper wire
  • Two galvanized nails
  • Three alligator clip wire units
  • Small low-voltage clock

What you do: Click the link below for instructions on building the potato clock.

What students learn about: Chemical and electrical energy

Source: Kidzworld

18. Study sound waves.

With just a few simple materials, learn how vibrations create sound and explore the role of conductors.

Sound waves 6th grade science Edventures

What you need:

  • Two spoons of different sizes
  • 48” of yarn
  • Heavy ruler

What you do: Tie a loop in the middle of the yarn. Slide the top of the spoon handle into the loop and tighten. Hold the two ends of the yarn so the spoon hangs down to about waist level. Wrap the string ends around your pointer fingers and press them against your ears. Have a partner tap the spoon with the ruler. The sound will be surprisingly loud, as the sound waves are conveyed directly to your ears by the yarn.

What students learn about: Sound waves

Source: Edventures with Kids

19. Engineer a popsicle stick bridge.

Challenge groups to build a bridge with popsicle sticks and push pins and find out whose can bear the most weight.

Build a bridge 6th Grade Science Scholastic

What you need:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Glue
  • Push pins
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Weights
  • Paper and pencil

What you do: After discussing the different types of bridges and their basic structure, ask students to work in groups to design and build a bridge from popsicle sticks and other materials. Test the bridges using weights to find the strongest design.

What students learn about: Engineering, physics

Source: Scholastic

20. Clean up some old coins.

Use common household items to make old oxidized coins clean and shiny.

cleaning-coins 6th grade science gallykids

What you need:

  • Ketchup
  • Cola
  • Apple juice
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • 6 oxidized pennies
  • Tweezers
  • Paper towels

What you do: Submerge the discolored pennies each in a separate container filled with one of the liquids. Leave the coins in for 10 minutes, then remove and wipe dry with paper towels. Compare to determine which was most effective.

What students learn about: Chemistry

Source: Gallykids

What are your favorite 6th grade science projects? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook. 

Plus, our favorite 5th grade science projects.

20 6th Grade Science Projects That Will Wow Your Students

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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