Elementary School Science Experiments – Ideas for Teachers
Some of the most memorable events in the academic life of a child can be the Elementary School Science Experiment. The wonderful thing about these events is that, whether they achieve the “desired” results or not (sometimes especially when they do not!) they provide some of the most teachable moments in the life of a child. Herein are a few ideas for Elementary School Science Experiments that can be taught in the early years of a child’s scholastic career.
· Solar System Mode: One of the most famous Elementary School Science Experiments is the Solar System Model, or the orrery. The wonderful thing about this experiment is that it can be as simple (the moon and 8 or, if you are old enough, 9! J planets) or as complex as one would like. It can be built roughly to scale (a Sun that is 1” in diameter, to scale, would put Pluto some 354 feet away!) or, as is usually done, scaled planets with truncated distances. It may or may not include Lunar Satellites, it may or may not be motorized, colored, textured etc. The possibilities are almost endless.
· Lunar Orbits and Tides: An interesting and fascinating corollary to the orrery (say that three times fast!) is a model about how the lunar cycle affects tides. This affords opportunities to teach some fundamental facts about earth sciences, gravity and even space travel.
· Light and Shadow: These experiments can start from a very early age. A simple no-heat LCD light source, a solid object and a white background can provide practically endless hours of teaching opportunity for small children as they discover fundamental truths about physics. This can also lead to other experiments involving optics, photography, videography and all sorts of other things about light and its properties.
· Flotation: What is more inherent to childhood than playing in water? Experiments in flotation for very young children can be tremendously enjoyable opportunities to learn fundamental physics. Of course, they just think they are learning to build blue paper boats that will not sink (the blue is an important indicative factor in these experiments) but, in reality, they are learning some fundamental truths that have fascinated man for time immemorial.
· Water and waste management: Experiments with water and waste management for children in grades 4 – 6 are wonderful ways to begin to learn some fundamental truths about environmentalism, civic responsibility and the importance of realizing our responsibility to each other and to the planet. Building a model city and prognosticating about how much waste a citizen or a community produces and how to handle that waste can be a vital part of a child is training.
Science books and the internet are full of fascinating and valuable Elementary School Science Experiments that are tremendously useful for children. Well thought out, planned, executed and documented Science Experiments are significant contributors to a child’s academic experience. Whether the experiment is “successful” or not, Science Experiments can also be some of a child’s most memorable experiences in their scholastic career.