Balloon rockets, naked eggs, and apple wrecking balls … so many hands-on ways to learn!
Hands-on science is the best way to learn at any age. When you see concepts in action, you really understand them. These sixth grade science activities include experiments to try in the classroom as well as projects perfect for the next science fair. Bring on the science!
1. Code a room using LEGO bricks
Robotic vacuums navigate a maze to clean a room without hitting obstacles. This requires coding, and kids can learn more about it using LEGO bricks in this intro-to-coding project.
Learn more: ProLab/LEGO Coding
2. Build a Ferris wheel
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
3. Make motorized tiny dancers
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
4. Amplify your smartphone with basic supplies
No Bluetooth speaker? No problem! Build your own from paper cups and a toilet paper tube. This is a project that’s sure to amaze kids.
Learn more: The Mad House
5. See the effects of an oil spill
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
6. Send water traveling down a string
Explore the properties of cohesion and adhesion with this simple experiment using only water and cotton string. Expand the learning by trying the same experiment with different materials and liquids.
Learn more: Rookie Parenting
7. Grow your own geodes in eggshells
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: The Scott Cottage
8. Engineer a cell phone stand
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
9. Do the Archimedes squeeze
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
10. Levitate a Ping-Pong ball
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: Buggy and Buddy
11. Use a fidget spinner to understand 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
12. Fire catapults to learn about trajectory
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
13. Build a heart pump model
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
14. Study sound waves with a spoon
With just yarn and a metal spoon, learn how vibrations create sound, and explore the role of conductors.
Learn more: Edventures With Kids
15. Extract DNA from a strawberry
It’s surprisingly easy to pull a strand of DNA from this sweet fruit. Teach your kids about genetics and DNA with this sixth grade science project that uses only basic household supplies.
Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands
16. Learn why leaves change color in the fall
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
17. Drop parachutes to test air resistance
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: Education.com/Parachutes
18. Turn an apple into a wrecking ball
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
19. 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. Students learn about asexual reproduction in this easy sixth grade science project.
Learn more: Education.com/Cabbage Clones
20. Clean up some old coins
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
21. Build optical excitement with a camera obscura
A camera obscura is a fun and interesting optical trick that your students can easily create using empty coffee cans. It is sure to impress both you and your students.
Learn more: Babble Dabble Do
22. Try out triboluminescence
Bioluminescence might be a familiar term to your students, but have they heard of triboluminescence? Wint-o-Green Life Savers and a dark room will have your students thinking they’re making magic just by chewing on a tasty treat!
Learn more: ThoughtCo.
23. Perform a popping candy test
Popping candy is a fun and exciting treat, but do your sixth graders know why it pops when they put it in their mouths? Try out different substances to test why popping candy “pops” in this tasty experiment.
Learn more: Science Sparks
Sixth Grade Science Experiments and Activities That Will Wow Your Students