Fifth Grade Science Projects That Will Blow Your Students’ Minds

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February 27, 2023 by
Fifth Grade Science Projects That Will Blow Your Students’ Minds
School Aids, Inc, Elaine Swart

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

There’s something so fascinating about hands-on science experiments and projects. They make learning so meaningful and so much fun! These fifth grade science activities help kids explore biology, physics, chemistry, and a whole lot more. Try one at the science fair, or use a few to liven up your lesson plans.

1. Race down a LEGO zip-line

Every kid loves LEGO bricks, so incorporate them into your fifth grade science activities! Challenge kids to design and build their own zip-line. You can set the parameters, like distance and slope, then let students get to work.

 Learn more: 123 Homeschool 4 Me/Zipline

2. Discover the strength of eggshells

We think of eggshells as very fragile, but their shape makes them surprisingly strong. Try this experiment to learn why arches are such a useful shape in architecture.

Learn more: Science Buddies/Eggshell Arches

3. Fly clothespin airplanes

Put your fifth grade science students’ engineering skills to the test. Provide them with clothespins and wood craft sticks, and challenge them to build a realistic airplane. Bonus points if it can actually fly!

Learn more: STEAMsational/Clothespin Airplane

4. Demonstrate the “magic” leakproof bag

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: Paging Fun Mums

5. Explore the science of glow sticks

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

6. Fill a bubble with dry ice vapor

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

7. Spin a candle carousel

Prove that hot air rises by using candles to spin a homemade pinwheel “carousel.” Then experiment to see how the number of candles affects the spinning speed.

Learn more: Science Buddies/Candle Carousel

8. Escape from quicksand

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:

9. Set off a chain reaction

Learn about potential and kinetic energy when you try this cool fifth grade science experiment. All you need are wood craft sticks and a bit of patience.

Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Craft Stick Chain Reaction

10. Play catch with a catapult

This take on a classic fifth 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/Catapult Catch

11. Find out if water conducts electricity

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

Learn more: Rookie Parenting

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. Build a solar oven

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.

Learn more: Desert Chica

14. Launch your own bottle rocket

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/Bottle Rocket

15. Watch the heart beat with marshmallows

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

Learn more: Growing Grade by Grade

16. Make your own bouncy balls

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

17. Make a foil bug walk on water

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

18. Assemble Archimedes’ screw

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/Archimedes’ Screw

19. Discover density with hot and cold water

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/Hot and Cold Water Density

20. 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: Lightning

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

Settle an age-old debate with this fifth 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

22. 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

23. 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

24. Create convection currents

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: Convection

25. 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/Sink or Swim

26. Investigate osmosis with gummy bears

Gummy bears are not only tasty, but they can also help teach your fifth graders about the concepts of osmosis and equilibrium as well as solvents and solute.

Learn more:

27. Chill with the fresh taste of mint

(Photo by Erika P. Rodriguez ©2013)

Here’s a cool experiment … literally! We use mint in our toothpaste for “fresh” breath and use mints during tests to boost our concentration, but does mint actually lower the temperature?

Learn more:

28. Replicate a sunset

With just water, milk powder, a flashlight, and a glass dish, your fifth graders will investigate why the sky appears to change colors as the sun sets.

Learn more: Rookie Parenting

29. Defy gravity with floating water

This one might cause a bit of a mess, but it’s only water, and it’s all in the name of your students discovering air pressure. All you’ll need is a cup, index card, water, and crossed fingers that your classroom doesn’t become a puddle!

Learn more: Rookie Parenting

30. Employ a rescue mission with LEGO

Still got your LEGO bricks from the zip-line your students constructed? Great! Your students can explore wind power through a rescue mission.

Learn more: Steam Powered Family

31. Model constellations

Space delights students of all ages. The mystery and mystique is intriguing, and creating a constellation out of pipe cleaners is a fun STEM activity to explore the night sky.

Learn more: Steam Powered Family

Fifth Grade Science Projects That Will Blow Your Students’ Minds
School Aids, Inc, Elaine Swart February 27, 2023
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