Free Middle School Science Fair Projects

Free Science Fair Project Ideas for Middle School Students

Start with an interesting question.
Start with an interesting question. Hero Images/Digital Vision/Getty Images

It's hard enough to come up with a middle school science fair project, but it's even more challenging to find one that won't cost you any money. Here's a selection of ideas for middle school science fair projects that use materials you likely already have on hand or else allows you to collect data from free sources.

For a middle school project, try to propose a hypothesis and design an experiment to test it.

Choose a project you can do fairly quickly so that you will have time to work on the report or poster.

  • Do you have a pet? Devise an experiment to determine whether it can see in color or is right/left pawed, etc. If you have multiple pets, see if their "handedness' is related to gender (male or female). 
  • Do any household chemicals repel (or attract) insects?
  • What ratio of vinegar to baking soda produces the best chemical volcano eruption?
  • What type of plastic wrap prevents evaporation the best? Is plastic wrap more effective than aluminum foil?
  • What plastic wrap prevents oxidation the best?
  • What percentage of an orange is water?
  • Are night insects attracted to lamps because of heat or light?
  • Do white candles burn at a different rate than colored candles?
  • Does the presence of detergent in water affect plant growth?
  • Can a saturated solution of sodium chloride still dissolve Epsom salts? Can it still dissolve sugar?
  • Does magnetism affect the growth of plants?
  • How does the shape of an ice cube affect how quickly it melts? What effect does size have?
  • Do different brands of popcorn leave different amounts of unpopped kernels?
  • Can you determine how long it takes people to fall asleep? What factors affect how quickly they fall asleep?
  • How do differences in surfaces affect the adhesion of tape?
  • If you shake up different kinds or brands of soft drinks (e.g., carbonated), will they all spew the same amount?
  • Are all potato chips equally greasy? How about chips made from other vegetables (e.g., beets, sweet potatoes)?
  • Do the same types of mold grow on all types of bread? Does the same mold grow on bread as on tortillas?
  • Does light effect the rate at which foods spoil?
  • Can you use a household water filter to remove flavor or color from other liquids?
  • Does the power of a microwave affect how well it makes popcorn?
  • Compare labels on foods. Is the nutritional content of different brands of a vegetable the same?
  • How permanent are permanent markers? What solvents (e.g., water, alcohol, vinegar, detergent solution) will remove the ink? Do different brands/types of markers produce the same results?
  • Is laundry detergent as effective if you use less than the recommended amount? More?
  • Do all hairsprays hold equally well? Equally long? Does type of hair affect the results?
  • What effect do additives have on the crystals? You could add food coloring, flavorings, etc.
  • What steps can you take to maximize crystal size? You can affect vibration, humidity, temperature, rate of evaporation, purity of your growth medium, and time allowed for crystal growth.
  • How do different factors affect seed germination?
  • Is a seed affected by its size? Do different size seeds have different germination rates or percentages? Does seed size affect the growth rate or final size of a plant?
  • How does cold storage affect the germination of seeds?
  • What conditions affect the ripening of fruit?
  • How are different soils affected by erosion? You can make your own wind or water and evaluate the effects on soil. If you have access to a very cold freezer, you can look at the effects of freeze and thaw cycles.
  • How does the pH of soil relate to the pH of the water around the soil?
  • How effective are natural pest deterrents?
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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Free Middle School Science Fair Projects." ThoughtCo, Oct. 4, 2017, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, October 4). Free Middle School Science Fair Projects. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Free Middle School Science Fair Projects." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 25, 2018).