Primary school is where most children get their first exposure to science and learn either what a fascinating thing it is to find out how things work, or became completely bored and hate science the rest of their education. Because of this, science in the first several grades should get across basic principles, but should be exciting and fun. Third Grade is a good time to start science projects as the children are just old enough to do experiment, as long as they aren’t dangerous experiments. Mixing vinegar and baking soda makes a mess, but is fun and safe. Gun powder is messy as well, but not as safe.
With Third Grade science projects it is okay to be a bit messy, as long as the children are learning science. Have them go under the bushes and collect soil, then look at it closely under a magnifying glass or microscope. Draw sketches of what they see and then try to identify it. This was how many of the early naturalists learned the basics of biology. They will get dirty climbing under the shrubbery, but will learn about their environment and how to make accurate observations, important to the study of science.
Mix up different foods and let the students taste them. As long as you check for health problem such as diabetes or allergies, it should be safe. You can talk about how taste buds work, different chemical combinations and have a good snack! Teach the class how starch breaks down into sugar by baking coconut. Make breads different ways, using yeast, sourdough, and baking soda. Tasting and watching is a great way to teach chemistry to a third grader, and they will learn it.
Gears can be combined to make some great Third Grade science projects. You can show how motion can change, both direction and speed, just with a minor change in size. This also effect the power required or generated, apply it to their bicycles and parent’s car, practical science is best for young learners.
That is the key to science projects for all young students, keep it exciting and fun, demonstrating basic principle, but make it applicable. Build paper airplanes to demonstrate air resistance, and how the wings can change the antic of the planes. Sound to complex? Not if they want to learn it, look how quickly they learn new computer games!
Like the computer games, keep the science projects for the Third Grade exciting and fun, and they will learn!