Kid Dreaming up his Kids Invent! Kids Science fair Projects

Kids Science Fair Projects and Activities

CLA's are 90 minute hands on learning activities that give kids the tools and inspiration they need to create while learning key principles of science.

Kids design, build, and test ideas in a fun learning environment! Ideal for teachers, parents, and home schoolers who want to inspire kids.

Click here to view over 50 Kids Science Projects that can be downloaded now!

creating kids science fair projects

Kids Invent! Camps

Our popular camps provide for 35 hours of hands on learning that have kids thinking, solving problems, building, testing, and having fun!

Each camp is based around an integrated theme where kids utilize what they have learned at each stage of the project. Build robots, create a movie, sail across the sea, or launch the next hot toy!

Kids love the camp and will come back for more. Ideal for schools, museums, kids care centers, and universities.

Click here to learn more about the Kids Invent camp curricula.

Kids Science Fair Projects

Does your child need inspiration for that special science fair project? Kids Invent! offers an assortment of activities that will engage the child and produce a great project!

Many of the Creative Learning Activities (CLAs) make great science fair projects. Here are suggestions on how your child can build and present a project that will demonstrate their scientific acumen.

Building a Great Science Fair Project:

Getting Started:
To make a great science fair project, you need to understand the rules. Each contest emphasizes different criteria and each has their own forms and rules. Make sure that you know the rules before investing time and energy in your project. Also, once you know what you would like to do, talk about the project with the science coordinator. He or she will have some good suggestions.

The Scientific Method:
Conducting a scientific experiment includes making observations, measuring variables, collecting and analyzing data, researching literature, and producing an attractive and easy-to-understand report. Our CLAs help you get started by making a model that you can test.

A great way to think about a science project is to think of something fun that will end up giving you two variables you can measure and compare. A simple example would be to create a model car and test it on a ramp. You could measure the height above of the floor of the car's position (when you release it) and, measure how far it rolls across the floor. Repeating this simple experiment at ten different heights would give you a set of data (starting height vs. distance across the floor) that can be graphed. The graph tells a story about energy: the more energy you put in (the higher the car when it is released), the more energy you get out (distance traveled across the floor).

For most projects you will want to make each measurement several times. For example, if you are measuring how long a top spins or how far a car travels, repeat the experiment at least three times under the same condition. Use an average of the three tests for your graph data. Science fair judges will want to see the raw data and will want to know that you used averages for your report.

Presenting Great Kids Science Fair Projects:
Graphs visually tell the story of your project and show the relationship between two variables. Judges like to see that you collected measured data and analyzed and graphed it. Look at the graph and see what story it tells.

If the data lines up in a straight line, it suggests that the two variables are directly related to each other. If the data is scattered across the graph, it suggests that one variable does not affect the other. The shape of the line suggests the mathematical relations between the variables – ask a science teacher to help interpret it.

Of course you have to follow good science practices. Integrity in a science project is most important. Report what you did and what happened, not what you wanted to happen. Make one change to your experiment at a time and measure its impact before making another change.

Practice the Craft of Science:
Keep good notes. Your first job is to get a notebook in which you can record information about each experiment you conduct. Each entry you add should have a date so that you can keep track of when you did each experiment. List the materials you use, and keep notes on what you try and the results you observe. Add sketches of designs and circuits that you use. Add photos if you can. If you are not a natural note taker, work especially hard at recording everything. Write down your ideas when you think of them and before they vanish. Display your notebook at the science fair along with your project.

Be Inspired!
The most important aspect is to pick a project that is fun for you. If it's fun, you will spend longer working on it and will do a better job. Researchers play for a living. They pick interesting projects and they figure out ways to learn something new by experimenting. You should do the same. Start with your interests and build on them.

Start by asking questions. A good question is one that you can answer by running a test and collecting data (numbers). Distance and time are easy to measure, so focus on them.

If you are stuck for ideas, do what scientists do: play. Play with the object or material. Involve other people and see what questions arise. Once you start running experiments, you will come up with many different experiments to try. The more you play the more questions you will have.

Remember the first two rules of science. Rule number one is to stop doing what you are doing whenever you find something interesting. Explore the interesting thing and see where that leads you. That leads to rule number two: have fun. Science is a fun process of discovery and learning.

Pick a CLA:

CLA name

Suggested science fair project

Aluminum Canoe

Very simple activity that allows you to count the weights (nails or pennies) held by model boats you make. Show the weight held for each different model built. Or, show how the size of the boat affects the number of weights it can carry.

Balloon powered Boat
Balloon powered Car

The test is to determine how far the boat or car moves depending on either the type of balloon used or how full it is. Measure the balloon's girth before releasing. Or, use pieces of vinyl tubing (from a hardware store) inserted into the mouth of the balloon to see which diameter or which length gives the longest distances.

Electric Drive Car
Electric Boat
Electric Cars
Electric paddle boats
Propeller cars
Swamp Boat

These different models can each be tested for their speed (distance divided by time) powered by different batteries. It would help to have battery holders that held 1, 2, and 4 AA batteries and to also use a 9-volt battery. Even better would be to use a volt meter (as inexpensive as $4) to measure the voltage before each experiment to account for the batteries getting weaker.
You could also test the car's speed on different surfaces: a smooth floor vs. concrete vs. carpet. You could change the model and re-measure its speed.

Boomerangs

Boomerangs fly differently depending on their size, aerodynamics, and weight. Adding weight to a returning boomerang and then measuring the diameter of its flight would be an interesting experiment.

Catapults
Mini-catapult
Trebuchet

Test a model's range under different conditions. For the catapults, change the number or size of the rubber bands. For trebuchets, use different weights and see how far each can throw a payload. Or, test the consistency of launching. Without changing anything, see how close the payload lands to other attempts.

Gravity Cars

Build the model and test it on a ramp. See how far it travels given different starting points on the ramp. You could also test it with different angles of the launch ramp, different number of wheels, and different numbers of weights (nails)…

Gravity Boats

Build the model and see how far it travels either with different amounts of fuel (water) or with different configurations of straws. Keep adding straws (pointing in the same direction) and test each configuration.

Paper helicopters

How do design changes impact the speed of descent? Time how long it takes a model to fall a set height. Make one change to the model and try it again. Make the rotors very long and cut them on each succeeding trial. Or, start with no added weight and add one large paper clip each trial.

Plane and launcher

Compare launch distance for one of the following: angle of launch, number of rubber bands used, or the distance the rubber bands are stretched. Test different paper airplane models.

Pneumatic blast launched rockets

Compare launch distance for one of the following: weight (number of paper clips), angle or launch, or number of identical fins.

Rocket car

Once you have the model traveling in a straight line (you may want to use a string to guide the car), measure how far it travels with different pressure. Use a bike pump with a pressure gauge.

Rubber band car

Compare travel distance for one of the following: size of the rubber band(s) or the number of times you roll the rubber band around the shaft. Or, try one model with different weights.

Solar powered cars
Solar powered boats

Test the speed with different arrays of solar panels. Measure the voltage and current output of a solar cell and compare that to how fast the models travel.

Tops

Test how long a top spins. Add weight and re-test it.