4 Springtime Science Experiments Perfect for Elementary Students
Science is all around us; we want to help you make sense of the world by understanding how science works. We offer hundreds of free experiments and projects across a wide range of scientific disciplines so that you can learn about the physical world in new ways. From botany to physics, biology to chemistry—we have something for everyone.
1: The Magic of Oobleck
Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid made from cornstarch and water. When stirred or shaken, it acts like a liquid; it becomes solid when left still. This experiment is great for teaching kids about viscosity and how different materials can behave under other conditions.
- Combine one cup of cornstarch with half a cup of water in a bowl.
- Mix until the mixture has reached the consistency of thick gravy or pancake batter.
- You can add more water if necessary, but be sure to keep adding cornstarch so that your oobleck remains dense enough for this experiment.
- Repeat these steps several times to see what happens when you leave it still for different amounts of time: Will there be any left? How long will it take before all liquid has dripped out from under the cup?
2: The Art of Chromatography
Chromatography is a technique scientists use to separate mixtures into their components. You will need coffee filters, markers, water, and tape or glue.
- Color on one side only with your marker (or use two colors if desired).
- Cut strips about four inches long and one inch wide down the middle lengthwise, so they fit within your glass jar at least halfway up its height.
- Tape or glue the coffee filters around the outside of your glass jar, making sure that the colored side is facing out.
- Fill a bowl with water and place it on your work surface.
- Place the glass jar in the bowl so that the water rises to about halfway on the coffee filter strips.
- Allow everything to sit for 30 minutes so that the colors have time to separate.
- When you’re ready to see what happened, take off one end of each coffee filter strip and peer inside. You should now see beautiful rainbow patterns with one color before.
3: Measuring the Volume of Water
To teach children about measuring, the volume of water in a container, you will need a container that can hold water (a cup, a jar, a bowl), water, and a measuring device (a tablespoon, a teaspoon, a dropper).
- Fill your container with water.
- Use your measuring device to measure how much water is in the container.
- Write down your measurement.
- Pour out the water and repeat the process using a different measuring device.
- Compare the two measurements and see if they are the same. If not, why do you think there might be a difference?
4: The Magic of Milk and Food Coloring
This experiment is a way to teach kids about surface tension. You will need milk, dish soap, and food coloring.
- Pour some milk into your container until it’s half full.
- Add food coloring if you wish (you can use any color).
- Add one drop of dish soap where there has been no pouring or stirring yet so that the top layer remains uninterrupted by bubbles or splashes.
- Watch what happens when you add more drops of dish soap; the colors will spread out and create beautiful patterns.