Be sure to check out the other posts in the How To Homeschool For Free series too!
The following post is brought to you by Jody Scott from Red Mixer Bakery!
Home school science projects are always happening at my house. Some are voluntary, but many are accidental, like the cheese that was pushed to the back of the refrigerator for a really long time. Our home school group is having a Science Night for our monthly meeting in February, so I thought you might like me to share with you what I found for resources. There are so many places to find ideas that I honestly am not sure what we are going to do. It was so fun to look through all of these websites and see what kind of free resources are out there. Of course, materials are not all free, but some are very easy on the budget. Before you decide on one, look at the supply list and see what fits your budget.
Keep in mind that a science experiment is different from a science fair project in that a project asks a question or proposes a hypothesis where an experiment is what helps the project question get answered. Read more about that here.
Choosing a Project is a great way to get started. Science Buddies has a Topic Selection Wizard to help you find a topic that is likely to be suited to your preferences. After you take a quiz of 26 questions that ask what kinds of thing you like to do, you will be directed to a page of suggested projects. Each project has a difficulty level so you get an idea what kind of commitment is involved. The project pages look easy to follow.
Fun Sci main page says, “Fun, simple, low cost science experiments for amateur scientists!” Not only does this site have experiments, it also has instructions for building a simple microscope. The text is available in 3 languages, English, Italian, and French (just in case you needed some extra foreign language practice) and the experiments are fully illustrated and explained.
Science Bob has an easy-to-understand page for how to put together a science fair project. He explains about the differences between experiments & demonstrations, and why one is better than the other for a science fair. Bob also has a list of ideas for a fair, and a page of links to experiments.
All Science Fair Projects has over 500 free project ideas. Some of them link to 3rd party websites, but most of them seem to be linked on this website. Some of them contain video or photo examples and they all have 5 steps of organizing your method of experimentation. There is also a link to a Coach page that explains more about science experiment procedure and processes.
Discovery Education has Science Fair Central where you can find an idea, organize the time line for completing it on time, and practice a variety of experiments in a virtual lab. This website also has tips for creating a winning display and delivering a good oral presentation.
Science Kids is an easy-to-navigate website that has a decent list of projects and ideas for younger students as well as older students. There are online games, free activities, ideas, lesson plans, photos, quizzes, videos & science fair projects. You can custom search for a topic or you can browse around and see what catches your eye. It’s a fun site!
Science Fair Sanity has some very simple projects and demonstrations that won’t take up too much time or money. These lessons are a part of SchoolDoodle.com, but they are still free. There is also a place for letting the world know about your own science fair, which also allows you to search for potential judges. It helps students and science fair coordinators as well.
Science Fair Adventure has a comprehensive list of science fair projects across several distinct categories, including chemistry, physics, biology, and many more. Each project is listed in an easy to follow manner with step-by-step instructions on how to carry out the project. There are forums for sharing, discussing, or finding advice on various projects.
Hunkin’s Experiments has fun cartoons that will have you experimenting with food, light, sound, clothes, and a whole lot more!! You will find so many cartoon experiments that you won’t have time to look at all of them. But, if you do find the time, you might find the “trick experiment.” All the experiments can be made to work, except for one trick experiment.
Steve Spangler is someone you might have heard of already. He’s been on TV with his science projects, making them look easy and fun. They are! His website has quite a few free projects available for your free viewing, along with videos of each experiment and suggestions for related projects. This website is a commercial site with science kits and books for sale, but the project list is free for you to access and share with your kids.
MadSci Network began in 1995 as an Ask-a-scientist website. Since that time, they have received over 200,000 questions. On the Experiment page, you will find a list of ideas to try, some of which are edible! Some are not, so pay close attention! You wouldn’t want to eat soap or something worse!