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Favorite science projects/crafts for mid- to upper-elementary?

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Because poor ds doesn't get out to science centers and field trips as much as dds did, I want to spend a year doing some (unheard of for our homeschool) projects and crafts for science this year. We are going to spend 15 weeks on physical science, 10 on earth/space, and 15 on biology.


So far, I can think of:


model of the solar system

model of sun/moon

poster/book of (plant &) animal classification

keep track of weather with a weather station

model of earth layers

leaf collection


What else have you done that has worked out well?


I'm not really looking for experiments at this age, and I want the projects to teach concepts not just be crafty (mosaic of a mars with red paper, etc.) he has done a lot of work with the microscope and dissection with dds, so that is covered already.


I'm especially looking for physical science ideas!

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Solar ovens are fun and practical (and yummy)


Snap circuits for electricity

There is some really cool science kits my kits loved, like bottle rockets, water purification, windmills, little robotic things, etc


We will also be utiliziing some good field guides this winter and doing a study of plant and tree winter identification, no supplies really needed for that study.

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I feel like the things that you do at science centers are fun because there's often a lot of discovery and play involved.


One of the things we did that was fun was constructing a game called "Find the Monster" which came from one of the Boston Children's Museum Science Activity Books. Using masking tape, I turned a large area on a table into a grid then made little cardboard blockers and set up a series of small standing mirrors. The kids would move the cardboard around to make different mazes - they had to keep the little stands on the grid. I'd turn off the lights and set a flashlight at the front of the monster's maze cave. The flashlight, the monster and the cardboard "walls" don't move. But the mirrors do. So you try to make the mirrors get the light to shine on the monster (it destroys him). We played this a bunch of times and it was totally worth the set up involved.


Another thing I've done is where you have a tank and your goal is to combine things to make something that doesn't sink or float, but rather hovers in the middle - you have lots of different materials - some that sink and some that float and you have to combine them in one thing to make your creation sit in the middle.


Another thing that was fun for us was making crazy circuits. Where I put the battery at one end and the little bulb at the other and try to get the kids to run around the house and find things that will conduct electricity and make the circuit complete.

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