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Easy and Fun Science Projects!!

Updated on October 8, 2014

The last minute science project.

Have you ever had your 11 year old daughter come to you on a Saturday afternoon and say, "I have a science project due Monday." What?!? The thoughts that run through your mind: Did she tell me and I forgot? Did she wait til the last minute because she didn't want to work on it? What are we going to do in such a short amount of time? Then you scream a little (or a lot), on the inside of course and start brainstorming! There are plenty of fast and easy projects that are fun too. Here's a really quick and fun one to try!

Question: What liquid will clean a dirty penny the best?

Procedure:

1. Gather your supplies:

5-7 of the dirtiest pennies you can find (the dirtier the better, kids absolutely love pulling pennies out at the end to find how shiny and clean some are).

5-7 different liquids (things you most likely have lying around the house). Just make sure some are acidic and some basic, you need both ends of the spectrum to make a good comparison. Some good options to choose from are: vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice, coke, water, oil, soap, peroxide....use your imagination.

5-7 small glass or plastic containers (as long as they are all the same size and material).

Paper towels.

Measuring spoon or cup.

2. Decide on how much of each liquid will be used and measure that amount into each container: 2 ounces, 2 tablespoons, a quarter cup. It's your choice, as long as the penny can be submerged. Make sure containers are labeled.

3. Drop 1 penny into each container and wait. Let them soak for 30 to 60 minutes.

4. Remove pennies from liquid 1 at a time and wipe them off gently with a paper towel. Make sure you use a new paper towel for each penny, so your not mixing your liquids.

5. Record your results.

**If this is a project that will be displayed in a classroom or at a fair, try displaying the pennies on a note-card or piece of cardboard. On the back of the note-card, write what solution was used for that particular penny. That way, people can have fun guessing which liquid was used for each.

**To take this project from elementary school to middle or high school, display the scientific method and explain what you did for each step of the method. You can also do some research about oxidation of copper pennies and what is actually on the penny to begin with, is it really just dirt? You can explain the chemical reactions that take place and explain why the acidic or basic liquids work the best.

**List the pH of each liquid and explain what that means and what it does to each chemical reaction.

** Oh, whether it's 3rd grade or 10th, it's always fun to take before pictures of the pennies.....if time permits.

Have a little more time for your science project?

Sometimes our kids may actually be on the ball, and tell you they have a science project weeks in advance. I know it sounds amazing, but there truly are kids (and parents) out there who are more organized than me and mine. Here's a project that takes more time, but is equally fun and rewarding.

Question: What liquid helps bean plants grow the best?

Procedure:

1. Plant 5-7 beans in individual planters. Make sure they have plenty of sun and try to keep all variables the same, amount and type of soil, how often they are "watered", temperature in which they are stored.

2. Use water to hydrate your beans until they start to sprout which could take a week or 2 to sprout and break through the soil.

3. While you're waiting for your beans to sprout, decide on a different liquid for each plant to use for hydration. Water of course should be 1, this is needed for your control. Other options could be: milk, coffee, pop, tea, juice....be creative.

4. Once your sprouts break through the soil, start using your alternative liquids to hydrate them. Make sure each plant is labeled so you don't get your plants mixed up and hydrate with the wrong liquid.

5.Measure your plants once a week and describe how they look. They could be full and green or sparse and wilting.

6.Record your data and determine if water is the best way to hydrate your bean plants or if maybe something else worked better.

**Allot yourself at least a couple months to complete this project.

** You could also start using your different liquids from the very start, as soon as you plant your beans. Just keep in mind, if you use this route, it will be quicker, but some of your beans may not sprout at all.

**Make a guess, what do you think will work the best? The results just may surprise you!


Hope this was helpful!!

Good luck on your project and let me know how they turn out! I'd love to hear what worked best for you or what you may have done differently. Have fun!!!

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    • msginger profile image

      Mirmana 2 years ago from AMSTERDAM

      These projects sound interesting. I will come back to this when my daughter is a little older. Thank you for sharing!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 2 years ago from USA

      These are some good ideas for the classroom for young children.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 2 years ago from USA

      These are some good ideas for the classroom for young children.

    • profile image

      zeek rutledge 2 years ago

      Great idea and thanks for sharing!

    • Ann Poplar profile image
      Author

      Ann Poplar 2 years ago from Small Town, USA

      Great Cindy, let me know how it goes!

    • profile image

      Cindy 2 years ago

      Thanks, the penny one looks pretty easy. I think we'll try it!