Types of Science Fair Projects for 3rd Grade:

Here is a brief description about each of the types of science fair projects that are listed on the 3rd grade science fair form.

(PLEASE don’t limit your ideas to only the examples given!)

Collection: Do you have a collection of objects or interesting artifacts (rocks, fossils, preserved leaves, pressed flowers, seashells, etc..) that you can relate to science?  Over the years, I’ve seen lots of great science fair projects where students have done an amazing job of organizing and researching some fascinating information about their collection to share with their project visitors.

Model: In this type of project, students build a scaled model to demonstrate a scientific process, principle or to demonstrate a particular innovative aspect of modern technology or design.  Most often, when people think of science fair projects that involve models, the first thing that comes to mind is making a model of our solar system. When you really think about it, there are lots of other science fair project possibilities that involve creating a model.  Here are some to get you thinking:  creating a model that demonstrates what causes a lunar or solar eclipse, or what causes the phases of the moon, or a model to demonstrate the water cycle, or a model to demonstrate how different landforms are created, or a model to demonstrate the marvels of modern architecture….. The list goes on and on!

Scientific Instrument: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) has become a huge push in science education. As we all know, the advancement of science and technology go hand in hand.  In this type of science fair project, students either explore how a particular piece of technology works or how a particular piece of scientific equipment continues to help scientists learn about the world around us.  Examples include: how a radio works, how a telegraph or telephone works, how a computer works, how a barometer works, how a thermometer works,  how a microscope works, how a car engine works, how we are using technology to reduce our impact on the planet…. Again, the list goes on and on!

Demonstration: In this type of project, students demonstrate how a particular scientific principle works.  In the past, science demonstrations have been the most popular type of science fair project as these projects oftentimes lend themselves towards greater interactivity with science fair visitors.  Popular avenues to explore (BUT PLEASE DON’T limit yourself to just these!!)  include, color & light, electricity & magnetism, properties of matter, energy & forces, animal adaptation…  just to name a few.

Experiment: Every good experiment starts with a good question!  In this type of project, students begin with a question, form a hypothesis, and then test their hypothesis by designing an experiment.  Once students have conducted their experiment and have collected their data, students then draw conclusions based on their findings.  Experiments are by far, the most sophisticated type of science fair project.  Over the years, students have found that this type of project also lends itself towards greater interactivity with science fair visitors.  For ideas on experiments, please be sure to check out my “Science Fair Help Page.”  The links that are there will take you to LOTS of good Internet sites that contain plenty of great experimental questions for you to explore.


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