First-Grade Science Projects

Fun Ideas From Insect Behavior to Rubbery Chicken Bones

Children observing a grasshopper in the garden
Kinzie+Riehm / Getty Images

First grade is a great time to introduce students to the scientific method, which involves looking at the world around you, coming up with an explanation for what you observe, testing your hypothesis to see if it could be valid, and then either accepting or rejecting it. Even at such an early grade level, students can begin to learn concepts related to this method.

Harness Their Curiosity

Young children are innately curious about the world around them. Introducing them to the scientific method helps kids begin to explore what they see, hear, taste, and feel in a systematic way.

First-grade projects should be interesting to the student and mostly exploratory in nature. At this age, a teacher or parent needs to help plan the project and offer guidance on a report or poster. Some students may want to make models or perform demonstrations that illustrate scientific concepts.

Project Ideas

First-grade science offers a wonderful opportunity to explore how things work. Start your first-graders on the road to exploring science fair project ideas with some simple questions that might spark their interest, such as:

  • What type of food attracts the most insects? (You can choose either flies or ants.) What do these foods have in common?
  • In this experiment, students use vinegar to remove the calcium in chicken bones to make them rubbery. Questions for students: What happens to a chicken bone or an egg if you put in vinegar for a day? What would happen after a week? Why do you think it happens?
  • Do all students in the class have the same size hands and feet? Trace outlines of hands and feet and compare them. Do taller students have larger hands and feet or does height not seem to matter?
  • You can also create a fun science project to determine whether mascaras are really waterproof. Simply put mascara on a sheet of paper and rinse it with water. Ask students to explain what happens.
  • Do eight-hour lipsticks really keep their color that long? You may need to review the concept of time with students if they have forgotten or are unfamiliar with hours, minutes, and seconds.

Other Project Ideas

Spark further interest by suggesting—or assigning—other science fair projects. Asking questions related to each project is the best way to elicit a response from young students. Project-related questions you can ask include:

  • Do clothes take the same length of time to dry if you add a dryer sheet or fabric softener to the load?
  • Do all types of bread grow the same types of mold?
  • Do frozen candles burn at the same rate as candles that were stored at room temperature?

All of these questions give you the opportunity to review—or teach—concepts that are important for first-graders. For example, explain to students that room temperature is a range of temperatures that denotes comfortable habitation for people.

Talk About Temperature

An easy way to demonstrate this idea is to turn up or down the temperature-control gage in the classroom. Ask students what happens when you turn the temperature control up or down.

Some other fun projects include letting students figure out if raw eggs and hard-boiled eggs spin the same length of time/number of times if light affects how fast foods spoil, and if you can tell from today's clouds what tomorrow's weather will be. This is a great opportunity to take students outdoors, and as they peer at the sky, discuss the difference in outside temperature compared to inside.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "First-Grade Science Projects." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2021, February 16). First-Grade Science Projects. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "First-Grade Science Projects." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 20, 2023).