Physical science science fair projects for 5th graders on electricity

Updated April 17, 2017

They are many ways to teach the scientific method, promote student participation and provide a hands-on approach to science. Many physical science projects concerning electricity and have been designed for specific grade levels. Fifth grade electricity projects include using fruit, testing solar cells and creating heat, light and magnetism.

Electric Fruit

This project involves taking a fruit, such as a lemon, inserting a piece of zinc and a piece of copper, and wiring both to a voltmeter. The citric acid in the lemon produces a current flow the meter will read. Varying the distance between the electrodes varies the current produced.

Solar Cell and Light Angles

This project is used to determine the optimal angle for light hitting a solar cell to produce maximum wattage. The student connects a solar cell to a meter and places the cell on a platform that can be rotated. A white light source is shone on the cell at different angles and power levels are recorded. The experiment shows that 90 degrees is the optimal angle.

Heat and Light

The simplest way to conduct this project is to connect a light bulb in a simple circuit. When the circuit is closed, current flows through the bulb's element producing light and heat.


One fifth grade science project uses two pieces of wire, a battery and some iron filings. A couple of inches of the wires' insulation are removed and the other ends connected to a battery. When the bare ends of the wire are connected, the iron shavings are attracted to the wire. Disconnect the wires and the shavings fall away.

Another project is to turn a bolt or nail into an electromagnet. An insulated wire is wound tightly around the bolt or nail, known as turns, and connected to a battery. The resulting magnet can pick up small metal objects, such as paper clips and drawing pins. Experiments with magnet strength can be done by increasing or decreasing the number of turns or by using more than one battery. More turns or a second battery increases current flow and therefore increases the magnetic strength.

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About the Author

Greg Epperly retired in 2002 from the United States Army after 20 years in calibration electronics. He has been writing professionally since 1985. He has written various calibration and electronics training materials, and numerous operational and quality-control procedures. Epperly has a Bachelor of Science in management studies from the University of Maryland.