Ideas for the Science Fair

Don’t let the new year’s science fear stress your child out! We know science fairs can feel daunting and rushed. The private schools in Orlando have ideas that will help your child accomplish this major assignment at school. She can have a fun time with a creative, unique project.

Magnetic Field
Did you know you can make a magnetic field sensory bottle in just a few minutes? Your whole family will love playing with this project! In just a clear bottle, magnetic ink will float in water, allowing you to see the magnetic field. This STREAM project is perfect for older elementary school children. Note: The ink in this experiment stains, so be sure to cover surfaces.

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Add ink to the plastic bottle. Squeeze at least two to three drops, or a teaspoon. 
  2. Fill the bottle all the way with water and seal tightly.
  3. Shake the bottle well, and notice the ink particles sticking together, looking clumpy. 
  4. Make a small slit at the end if your straw. You’ll want to make it long enough to fit the stack of four magnets at the end.
  5. Wrap the straw in tape, covering the end.
  6. Now for the fun: Place the wand on the straw and drag it across the bottle to watch the ink shards move around!

Coffee Can Camera Obscura
For the more artistic child, this fascinating optical trick will wow her! 

Don’t know what a camera obscura is? Camera obscura, also referred to as pinhole image, is the natural optical phenomenon that occurs when an image of a scene at the other side of a screen is projected through a small hole in that screen as a reversed and inverted image on a surface opposite to the opening.  (Wikipedia)

Materials:

  • 2 coffee tins
  • 2 sheets black construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife
  • Electrical or duct tape
  • Small nail
  • Hammer
  • Black canvas, towel, or jacket

Instructions:

  1. Trim both sheets of black construction paper to fit inside each coffee can.
  2. Place lid on each can. The lid is the “screen” and will be at the bottom.
  3. Use nail to make a hole on the metal end of the can. Set aside can. (This step should be completed by the adults!)
  4. Trim off the metal bottom of the second hand with an exacto knife. (This step should be completed by the adults!)
  5. Align the cut end of the top can with the lid side of the bottom can. The lid “screen” will be in the center of the camera obscura. To secure cans together, use heavy duty tape to prevent light from entering at the seam.
  6. Cut a piece of the black fabric and tape it to the center seam. The open end of the canvas should face the open end of the camera. Secure canvas with a rubber band to the top of the can.

For more than 50 years, private schools in Orlando have been helping children grow to their fullest potential and become leaders within their communities. We offer unique and dynamic learning environments that engage students and encourage them to become confident and responsible adults. To learn more about what makes us different, contact us today.