We all know that teachers, whether in the classroom or at home, have to contend with serious budget restraints. One area where this seems to really thwart efforts for a hands-on education is in the subject of science. Sure, most of us would love to have an arsenal of inexpensive science projects at our disposal, but it seems like so many of them require special equipment that isn’t easily accessible or affordable.
The result is that we do a lot of “book learning” when it comes to science, but the hands-on aspect of rolling up our sleeves and doing experiments takes a back seat. After all, if you’ve seen one baking-soda-and-vinegar volcano, you’ve pretty much seen them all.
After doing some research, I’ve found that there actually are some pretty cool resources out there for inexpensive science project idea. They’re not all on the slickest, most professional looking web sites, but that doesn’t discount their educational value. So, I’ve put together a list of a few cool science experiments you can do with simple household items (or things that are very inexpensive and accessible) in hopes that it will act as a good starting point for teachers who want to get their students more actively engaged.
Remember, building the project is part of the lesson, as you can talk about how it works, not to mention learn practical applications for math (measuring), reading comprehension (following written instructions), and more.
Learn about space travel, not to mention the physics behind getting a rocket off the ground with this homemade air rocket project from Science Toy Maker. (This site has tons of great ideas!)
What is black light, and how does it relate to the light spectrum? You can learn all about this while also making some fun “glow in the dark” pictures with this black light experiment from Science is Fun.
This experiment from Science Fair Adventure comparing household cleaners not only gives insight into how different chemicals work, but it also provides an opportunity for students to practice their observation and note taking skills.
Discover more about solutions and eat your results with this rock candy science experiment from Science Bob.
Learn about the rings of Jupiter, as well as the viscosity of liquid with this inexpensive science project from Wonder How To.
Ever wondered how many stars are in the sky? This Star Census project found on Super-Science-Fair-Projects.com doesn’t just give you a number, but it also offers practice with estimation, multiplication, and special recognition.
Get to know more about air pressure and what it does by creating your own barometer with this simple science experiment from Reeko’s Mad Scientist Lab.
Make it rain right in a jar using only things found right in your own kitchen. Weather Wiz Kids has tons of weather science experiments that teachers can use in the classroom or at home.