Science fairs are a rite of passage and something many kids either dread or adore. Whatever the case, there’s no doubt these projects give students a chance to develop all sorts of skills: critical thinking, presentation and public speaking, research and writing, and so much more. Make this year’s fair the best one ever with this huge list of science fair project ideas for every kind of student.
Tips for Choosing a Science Fair Project
With thousands of possible projects, it can be difficult to narrow down something that’s a good fit for every student. Try these tips to help them find the right science fair project ideas.
Match Your Project to Your Interests
This seems obvious, but it’s really helpful for kids who feel overwhelmed by all the choices. It’s also a good way to get reluctant learners more excited about science fair projects. Encourage students to think about what they love to do in their spare time. How can they turn that into a project?
For instance, kids who love sports might explore the most effective stretches for warming up, or methods for throwing a football farther and more accurately. Music lovers can learn how sound waves work, or discover the link between music and emotions. It’s all about starting with something you love.
Challenge Yourself, But Keep It Realistic
Science fair projects need to be something kids can complete by themselves or with adults in support roles only. If a student picks something that’s way beyond their skill level, chances are the parents will wind up doing most of it. That being said, the point of the project is to learn and grow. Aim to learn something new, whether it’s knowledge or skills, by setting measurable goals.
If You Want To Win, Be Innovative
For science fair contests with prizes, the more creative you can be, the better. Projects that address real-world problems with new and interesting solutions often catch the judges’ eye. Be sure to be thorough in your research, and be ready to answer questions about your methods and results. Scientists love asking questions!
Science Fair Project Ideas by Grade
Finding an age-appropriate project is an excellent way to help kids succeed. These lists cover every age, pre-K to grade 12. Remember that many simple experiments and demos can become true projects by changing up the methodology to achieve better or different results.
- Preschool Science Experiments and Activities
- Kindergarten Science Projects, Activities, and Experiments
- 1st Grade Science Projects and Activities
- 2nd Grade Science Experiments and Projects
- 3rd Grade Science Projects and Activities
- 4th Grade Science Experiments, Activities, and Projects
- 5th Grade Science Projects and Experiments
- 6th Grade Science Experiments, Projects, and Activities
- 7th Grade Science Fair Projects and Classroom Experiments
- 8th Grade Science Fair Projects and Classroom Experiments
- High School Science Experiments for Labs and Science Fairs
Science Fair Project Ideas by Interest
Since most projects can be tweaked to be suitable for any age, it’s best to urge kids to pick projects that really interest them. These roundups offer ideas for various interests in disciplines ranging from bio and chemistry to physics and environmental science.
- Anatomy Science Projects and Activities
- Animal Habitat Activities and Projects
- Balloon Science Experiments and Projects
- Climate Change Activities and Project Ideas
- Electricity Experiments and Science Projects
- Ocean Experiments, Projects, and Activities
- Plant Life Cycle Projects and Experiments
- Science Projects for Learning About Germs
- Space Science Experiments and Activities
- Volcano Science Experiments and Project Kits
- Weather Activities and Science Projects
STEM Challenge Science Fair Projects
For students especially interested in physics or engineering, STEM challenges can lead to amazing science fair project ideas. Check out these lists for engaging challenges, and watch the learning grow.
- Kindergarten STEM Challenges for Little Learners
- 1st Grade STEM Challenges Kids Will Love
- 2nd Grade STEM Challenges To Encourage Creative Thinking
- 3rd Grade STEM Challenges for Scientific Learning
- 4th Grade STEM Challenges That Make Learning Fun
- 5th Grade STEM Challenges for Hands-On Exploration
- STEM Challenges That Use Ordinary Office Supplies
Engaging Reluctant Science Fair Participants
Let’s face it: Not every kid gets excited about the idea of a science fair. But with the right science fair project ideas, you can draw in even the most reluctant learners. Try some of these options.
- Edible Science Projects You’ll Actually Want to Eat: There’s something about getting to eat your project that excites nearly every kid.
- Wet and Wild Outdoor Science Activities and Experiments: Get kids out of the classroom and let them make a mess outdoors. Perfect for kinesthetic learners!
- 60 Easy Science Experiments Using Materials You Already Have On Hand: While you always want kids to challenge themselves as they learn, that doesn’t mean their science fair project needs to be incredibly complicated. These simple activities with household materials help students learn too.
- 50 Stem Activities To Help Kids Think Outside the Box: These fun, quick, hands-on projects are perfect for creative thinkers.
More Science Fair Resources
Choosing a project is just the first part of the process. Find more useful tips and project help here.
- Free Printable: Scientific Method Graphic Organizer
- An Easy Way To Create Science Fair Project Boards
- Free Bulletin Board Kit That Teaches Students to “Think Like an Inventor”
Want to talk to other science teachers about running a school science fair? Join the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook to exchange ideas and ask for advice!