Forms of Matter and Chemistry
This article has information on science projects relating to forms of matter and chemistry. Here are several adaptable matter and chemistry science projects ideas for student groups of 1st-4th grade, 5th-8th grade, and 9th-12th grade.
Science Projects: Forms of Matter and Chemistry
The topics for this group of science projects are forms of matter and chemistry. These adaptable science projects can both extend classroom and textbook learning as well as undergo modification to better suit your student or your curriculum. In addition, projects can be adapted from one grade range to another by making them easier or adding complexity.
1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Grade
Tips: Offering your student help as required to complete these science projects will reduce frustration and keep the focus on science. Assistance may be useful in keep records, learning how to use simple tools, or keeping track of data collection.
- Classify household materials as solids, liquids, and gasses.
- Carefully heat sugar and butter, cool olive oil in the refrigerator, and both boil and freeze water. Describe what happens explaining how the physical properties change.
- Create a poster identifying uses of water in each of its states.
- Find objects or items in your house made completely of one material and made of multiple materials. Make a chart showing different ways that materials are combined to make a single object.
- Make a list of different ways you can change the physical properties of an object or item.
- Use litmus paper to test the pH of different liquids, and categorize them as acid, base, or neutral.
5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade
Tips: Students in the middle range may be vying to demonstrate their independence, but for the more challenging projects, a watchful eye will allow you to provide support should it be needed. You can help them organize by suggesting they draw up a materials list and a plan before they begin.
- Collect as many items and foods as you can that have a real and a “faux” or “artificial” version. Analyze the differences using your senses. Are they distinguishable? What are the reasons that a “faux” or “artificial” version exists?
- Compare and contrast mixtures and solutions, giving examples.
- Design an experiment to determine if heating or cooling can change a mixture to a solution.
- Create a model that shows how to differentiate the three states of matter on a cellular level.
- Design an experiment to test the comparative absorbency using competing brands and forms of either a) sponges; b) diapers; or c) paper towels.
- Use models to show the difference between atoms and molecules.
- Give a step-by-step procedure for creating an equation to show a chemical change.
- Create a set of mnemonics to help people remember the naming of compounds, such as distinguishing nitrate (NO3) from nitrite (NO2).
- Explain the different methods that should be used for extinguishing different types of fires and the chemistry behind the choices.
- Choose three substances to help you explain why it’s important to distinguish physical properties from chemical properties.
- Predict whether various liquids are acid, base, or neutral, and test your predictions using litmus paper. If any of your predictions are wrong, explain what happened.
9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade
Tips: The science projects for students in senior high schools are adaptable to extend them into the range of AP (Advanced Placement curriculum). Also feel free to modify them to address slightly different content, should your curriculum guide you in that direction or should your child be interested. Periodic check-ins will help long-term projects stay on-track.
- Explore the physical properties of glass, considering this article http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/science/29glass.html Assess the arguments for glass as a liquid and as a solid.
- Research the finest violins, generally considered to be Stradivarius and Amati products. What kind of wood(s) were used? Compare with other string instruments, such as harps, guitars, mandolins, banjos, and ukeleles to determine any similarities and differences in wood choices. Offer an explanation for the choices made, based on the sound-making properties of the instrument.
- Assess the different versions of the periodic table and the value of and problems with each.
- Analyze a material failure, such as the collapse at Boston’s Big Dig in 2006.
- Assess the impact of the discoveries of one of these chemists: Dalton, Thomson, Rutherford, Bohr.
- Explain the role of alchemy in the development of the science of chemistry.