4th Grade Science Fair Project Ideas
Experiments on this page are suitable for the 4th grade science fair projects. they are based on some well known scientific laws or simple observations and do not require any kind of theoretical research. Some of them may require additional work with references. All 4th grade science fair projects on this page can be complete within relatively short time. There are projects that can be done within one day and others that may require few days or couple of weeks. Non of them requires any kind of special equipment.
At this age the science project requires some work on organizing results of the observations in a tables and making some kind of conclusion based on the results.
In this 4th grade science project you'll work with the snails. Do you know how fast do snails move? Which factors affect their speed?
The goal:find how surface roughness affects the snail's average speed.
Hypothesis: Snails will move slower on the dry and rough surface and faster on the smooth or wet surface. Even if the surfaces has the same roughness snail will travel faster on the wet surface.
Constants: temperature of the surface, all environmental variables. Variables: Roughness of the test surface, wetness of the test surface.
- A few garden snails.
- Objects with different kind of surfaces:a large plant leaf, a piece of wood, sandpaper
For each kind of a surface, put the snail in the center of the surface sample. As soon as the snail starts to move, run the timer until the snail reaches the edge of the sample. Stop the timer. If the snail movement wasn't straight mark the snail's path. Measure the distance that snail traveled and find the snail's speed. (Speed=Distance/Time). Repeat the procedure several times for each surface (and for different snails). Calculate average snail speed for each surface. Do the same trials for the wet surfaces. Is there any difference in the snail speed?
Variant of the project: you can setup similar experiment answering following questions:
- Does a snail have sense of smell?
- Will the snail travel toward the light?
- What amount of salt can it taste (and does it like it)?
- Will temperature of the surface affect snail's speed?
How the Amount of Light Affects Germination and Growth.
The goal of the project is to find out how different lighting conditions affect seeds germination and growth.
Light is extremely important for plants. Seeds will germinate faster and grow better in the presence of light.
- 3 transparent plastic containers with transparent lids.
- Paper towels
- 2 cardboard boxes slightly bigger then plastic containers. Boxes should be black inside and should close tight so that no light would leak in.
- Make 3-5 small holes in the walls of one cardboard box. Seal the holes with a thin white paper (this will ensure that seeds will receive no direct light). Second box should stay completely lightproof.
- Put layer of the paper towels on the bottom of both containers and add water until towels are reasonably wet (make sure that amount of water is the same for all containers).
- Put the same amount of seeds in each container (50-100 is a good number). Put the lids of the containers on.
- Put one container in the shaded box and another in the lightproof box.
- Put all containers in the same well lit place (but make sure no direct sunlight hit the containers).
- Do not open the boxes until experiment is done.
- Observe the changes that happen to the seeds in the transparent container. You can check containers in the black boxes only at night using very dim light.
- Wait until all live seeds developed root and well defined green leaves.
- Open shaded and black boxes. Count germinated seeds for each container. Do they look different? Is there a difference in the length of roots and stems?
- Measure the length of roots and stems of the plants in each container.
- Calculate average length of root and stem for each container.
Does salt or sugar affect water evaporation?
The Goal:to find out how different concentrations of salt and/or sugar solutions will affect water evaporation rate.
Hypothesis:Solvable minerals and other chemical compounds have effect on the water evaporation.
- Pure water.
- Salt and sugar solutions of different concentrations.
- Measuring cup.
- Few glasses of the same size and shape.
- Pour 100ml of water in the glass.
- Pour 100ml of each salt and sugar solutions in the individual glasses. Mark each glass with a number and write down which number refer to which solution.
- Put the glasses in a well ventilated place.
- Mark liquid level on each glass witha permanent marker (or weight the glasses).
- Check liquid levels each day. Depending on the temperature and humidity liquids will evaporate faster or slower. Mark liquid level or weight the glasses every day or every other day. Keep records of your results.
- Experiment is complete when there is no more liquid in one of the glasses.
If you were making regular observations and records you should be able to make a table and graphs for evaporation rate for each liquid. Can you tell the difference between pure water evaporation rate and salt solution evaporation rate? What about sugar?
Reference materials:Evaporation rate explanation + calculator.
Does a magnetic field affect the germination process?
There are many claims that magnetic field can positively affect processes in living organisms. In this experiment we'll test these claims.
- Strong magnet.
- 2 plastic boxes.
- Paper towels
- 200 linen seeds or other small seeds that give sprouts fast.
- Needle and thread
If a strong magnetic field is good for living organisms, seeds probably should germinate faster in its presence. They may also grow faster. The effect of the field should be easy to measure by measurement of the root and sprout length.
Constants: temperature, humidity, amount of water, plant species.
Variable: presence of magnet, strength of magnetic field.
- First we need to measure effective distance from our magnet. We do that hanging needle on the thread just above the table and very slowly moving magnet toward the needle until the needle will slightly incline toward the magnet. Let's decide that at this point the magnet field is strong enough to affect the seeds. Stronger magnet obviously will work better and have bigger effective distance. Measure this distance and write it down.
- Put the layer of the paper towels on the bottom of both containers and add water until towels are reasonably wet (make sure that amount of water is the same for both containers).
- Put 100 seeds in first (control) container (make sure that they are evenly spaced).
- Put the magnet in second container. Put 100 seeds evenly spaced around the magnet (mark the effective radius of the magnet and count how many seeds lay within this radius).
- Put containers in the same conditions but reasonably separated (1 meter distance between containers should be enough).
- Wait a few days, until the seeds will germinate and start growing. Examine the plants. Observe what's going on with the seeds, write down your observations. Mark time on your records. Calculate number of successfully germinated plants in each container.
- When sprouts achieve length of 1.5-3 cm measure length of the root and stems for each sprout in control container. Measure length of the roots and sprouts in magnet container. Compare the results.
Results:Is there a difference in the number of germinated plants in control and experimental container? Was there difference in germination time?
Calculate average length of the roots and average length of the stem for control and experimental container. (To calculate average length add length for each plant and divide result by number of measured plants)
Can you see any difference in the plants that were growing in the control container and in the magnetic container?
Make sure that temperature and lighting conditions are exactly the same for both containers.
You can try this experiment with other model animals and plants you can also use "magnetized water" instead of a magnetic field.
Potato battery science project.
Using the most ordinary things, such as a nail, copper wire and potato you can get an electricity. If you combine three of these batteries, you can get enough current to power the LED light bulb, or tiny digital clock.read how to make potato battery hereTo the top of the page.
Water and conductivity.
The goal:Compare water conductivity to conductivity of different concentration salt solutions.
Hypothesis: water can conduct electricity better if it have salt dissolved in it.
- 2 Copper wires.
- Someone who show you how to use ohmmeter.
- Prepare salt solutions of different concentrations (for example 1 gram/liter, 5 grams/liter, 10g/l, etc until you make saturated solution)
- Put one end of each copper wire into the glass of water (make sure the wires are not touching each other in the water).
- Make sure the ohmmeter works properly (touch both probes together).
- Connect other ends to the ohmmeter probes.
- Swap clean water with salt solution of low concentration. Is there any difference?
- Increase salt concentration and measure resistance. What can you see?
- Record your results and make a graph.
Pure water turns into ice at temperature 0C (32F). What happens if you dissolve different chemical compounds in the water? Will salt or sugar prevent water from freezing or slow down the process? You'll find it out in this 4th grade project. It's simple and can be done in 24 hours.
Hypothesis: Salt, sugar or soda will slow down or prevent water freezing.
Constants: Volume of test chambers, temperature in the freezer, time slots.
Variables: Concentrations of salt, sugar.
- Refrigerator with enough space in the freezer camera.
- Plastic cups of the same volume.
- Measure cup.
- Salt, sugar.
- Thermometer (optional).
- First of all answer the question: how much time time does it take to freeze 50 mill of water? It depends on the temperature in your freezer. Let's find it out.
- Pour 50 mils of water in the plastic cup and put it in the fridge. Check every 15 minutes until the ice is completely solid. Write down the result time. Let's say it took 45 minutes. If you have a thermometer which can measure temperatures below water freezing point, measure temperature in your fridge.
- Prepare 3 different salt solutions: Take 3 cups and pour 100 mils of water into each cup. Dissolve 10g of salt in first cup, 20g in second and 30g in third.
- Prepare 3 different sugar solutions in 3 more cups. Use the same concentrations as with salt.
- Take 7 plastic cups and mark them: one cup will be for control, mark it as "water", mark rest as "salt10", "salt20", etc... Measure 50 milliliters of each solution and pour it into proper cups. Pour 50 mils of water in the control cup. Put samples in the fridge.
- Now you can wait almost the same time it took to freeze our first trial of water. In our case our first test cup froze in 45 minutes, so we can wait 40 minutes, then check what's happening. After that check freezer each 10-15 minutes.
- Do the records - how much time passed, what's happening with the samples.
Arrange your results in the table. Do they support original hypothesis?
The goal of this simple 4th grade experiment is to build electromagnet and experiment with it.
- Big nail
- Wire cutter
- DC switch - direct current switch (optional)
- Different kinds of batteries: AA, AAA, 9V batteries. (DO NOT USE ANY OTHER POWER SOURCES!)
- Paper clips or small size nails to test the magnet.
- Take the wire and strip the ends bare.
- Wrap it tightly around the big nail. You should wrap it at least 25-50 times.
- Connect one end of the wire to the battery
- Connect another end to the DC switch (or touch the other battery pole if you decide to go without the switch)
- Make another short piece of wire and connect it to the other pole of the battery and to the DC switch.
- Turn the switch on and check if your magnet's working. Does it hold paper clips? Small nails?
What to research:
- Try to use different batteries and see if that affects the magnet power.
- How amount of wire, wrapped around the nail, affects the power? What happens if you wrap the wire around the nail 100 times? 200 times?
- Check what happens when you turn the power off. Does the nail still act as a weak magnet?
- Check how the electromagnet reacts to a usual magnet. What happens if you swap battery poles (make electricity flow in reverse direction)