Science fairs can give students the chance to apply what they have learnt while studying science in class. Fifth-graders can choose from a variety of subjects ideas for their projects, depending on what interests them the most. Science fair projects can introduce students to the scientific process through hands-on learning.
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Water can be the basis for a wide range of fifth-grade science fair projects. A water purification experiment allows students to learn various ways that water can be cleaned. Students can clean water through distillation and crystallisation, then compare the results. "Bottled-Up Buoyancy" is a project in which fifth-graders can learn how a submarine dives and comes back to the surface of water by changing its buoyancy. Students can conduct this experiment in their bathtub or in a swimming pool, using a two-liter soda bottle for their submarine. Buoyancy can be changed by adding different amounts of water and air each time.
Students can choose from various science projects that involve plants and how they grow. In the "How Does the Stem Grow?" project, students will learn how plant stems grow and if one part of the stem grows more than others. Progress can be tracked by marking the stem daily and keeping a chart showing your results. Another project that would be ideal for fifth graders is called "Plant Growth in Darkness." Children can plant bean seedlings and place them in various locations to learn how the presence of light can affect how a bean seedling grows.
Fifth-graders that are interested in meteorology may enjoy doing a science fair project on the subject. Students could build and use their own rain gauge, using a clear jar and clear waterproof tape. They can check and record the rainfall daily to see how much rain happens in the area. A wind vane can be made as another project to determine the direction of the wind. Meteorologists use this tool to identify where a storm is coming from and where it will travel. Students can make a vane using cardboard, an empty coffee or soup can and a few other supplies. Have the students cut out a cardboard circle to fit over the can and use a compass to mark North, South, East and West. Attach an arrow (also made from cardboard) to a pencil that is pushed through the centre of the cardboard circle that sits on top of the can. The pencil will go in eraser side first and be held to the bottom of the can with a ball of clay, surrounded by some gravel or sand to keep it stable.
Magnets and Electromagnets
Fifth-grade students can create a science fair project to learn all about magnets and electromagnets. A project called "Does a Magnetic Field Affect Plant Growth?" focuses on what effect magnetic fields have on plant growth. One group of students will place magnets on each side of cups that contain potting soil and plant seeds. The other group will have cups that contain the same type of potting soil and seeds but will not have magnets anywhere near them. In a similar project, students can investigate whether magnets can make radish seeds grow any faster than seeds without magnets. In this experiment, one group of students will place magnets directly on top of the potting soil, while the other group will grow seeds without magnets.
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- Science Project Lab: 5th Grade Science Fair Project Ideas
- Science Buddies: Bottled-Up Buoyancy
- Science Buddies: How Does the Stem Grow?
- Education.com: Plant Growth in Darkness
- Scholastic.com: Rain Gauge
- University of Southern California: California State Science Fair 2005 Project Summary
- The Effect of Magnets on the Growth of Radish Seedlings; Laura L; Sixth Grade SOAR 1998