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54 Fifth Grade Science Projects That Will Blow Your Students’ Minds
Dry ice bubbles, invisible ink, and the coolest floating marker man.
There’s something so fascinating about hands-on science experiments and projects. They make learning so meaningful and so much fun! These fifth grade science activities help kids explore biology, physics, chemistry, and a whole lot more. Try one at the science fair, or use a few to liven up your lesson plans.
1. Race down a LEGO zip-line
Every kid loves LEGO bricks, so incorporate them into your fifth grade science activities! Challenge kids to design and build their own zip-line. You can set the parameters, like distance and slope, then let students get to work.
Learn more: 123 Homeschool 4 Me/Zipline
2. Slow your roll
Ball run challenges are always fun, but this one has a twist. Your goal is to build a run that gets the ball to the bottom in the slowest possible way!
Learn more: Science Buddies/Ball Run
3. Erupt a salt dough volcano
Need a science fair project? Go with a classic: the volcano ! This one’s made from salt dough, which is easy to work with and inexpensive to make.
Learn more: Teach Beside Me/Salt Dough Volcano
4. Peel an orange to understand plate tectonics
If students are learning earth science, use an orange to make plate tectonics easier to understand. Peel it, then reassemble it and look at the pieces as plates floating on the earth’s mantle.
Learn more: Science Sparks/Orange Tectonics
5. Discover the strength of eggshells
We think of eggshells as very fragile, but their shape makes them surprisingly strong. Try this experiment to learn why arches are such a useful shape in architecture.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Eggshell Arches
6. Fly clothespin airplanes
Put your fifth grade science students’ engineering skills to the test. Provide them with clothespins and wood craft sticks , and challenge them to build a realistic airplane. Bonus points if it can actually fly!
Learn more: STEAMsational/Clothespin Airplane
7. Demonstrate the “magic” leakproof bag
So simple and so amazing! All you need is a zip-top plastic bag, sharp pencils, and some water to blow your students’ minds. Once they’re suitably impressed, teach them how the “trick” works by explaining the chemistry of polymers.
Learn more: Paging Fun Mums
8. Explore the science of glow sticks
Glow sticks are always a big hit with kids, so they’ll have a terrific time learning about the chemical reactions that make them work.
Learn more: A Dab of Glue Will Do
9. Stop soil erosion with plants
Soil erosion is a serious problem, leading to natural disasters like landslides as well as causing problems for farmers, who lose valuable topsoil. Try this experiment to learn how plants help keep soil in place naturally.
Learn more: Life Is a Garden
10. Fill a bubble with dry ice vapor
Discover the science of sublimation by turning dry ice from a solid directly into a gas. Then play around with surface tension as the resulting vapor fills a giant bubble. This one is so cool to see in action!
Learn more: Wonder How To
11. Grow crystal snowflakes
Kids love crystal projects, and this one results in winter decorations for your classroom. Your students will learn about supersaturated solutions and crystallization. ( See more winter science activities here. )
Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands
12. Spin a candle carousel
Prove that hot air rises by using candles to spin a homemade pinwheel “carousel.” Then experiment to see how the number of candles affects the spinning speed.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Candle Carousel
13. Escape from quicksand
Dive deep into the science of quicksand and learn about saturation and friction along the way. You’ll create a small “quicksand” pool from cornstarch and water, then experiment to find out the best ways to escape.
Learn more: Education.com/Quicksand
14. Write in invisible ink
Kids will love swapping secret messages with their friends in this acid-base science project. Mix the water and baking soda and use a paintbrush to write a message. Then use grape juice to expose the message or hold it up to a heat source.
Learn more: ThoughtCo
15. Set off a chain reaction
Learn about potential and kinetic energy when you try this cool fifth grade science experiment. All you need are wood craft sticks and a bit of patience.
Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Craft Stick Chain Reaction
16. Play catch with a catapult
This take on a classic fifth grade science project challenges young engineers to build a catapult from basic materials. The twist? They also must create a “receiver” to catch the soaring object on the other end.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Catapult Catch
17. Find out if water conducts electricity
We always tell kids to get out of the water as a storm approaches. This fifth grade science project helps explain why.
Learn more: Rookie Parenting
18. Bounce on a trampoline
Kids love bouncing on trampolines, but can they build one themselves? Find out with this totally fun STEM challenge. Plus, check out more fifth grade STEM challenges here.
Learn more: Student Savvy
19. Float a marker man
Kids’ eyes will pop out of their heads when you “levitate” a stick figure right off the table! This experiment works due to the insolubility of dry-erase marker ink in water, combined with the lighter density of the ink.
Learn more: Gizmodo
20. Build a solar oven
Learn about the value of solar energy by building an oven that cooks food without electricity. Enjoy your tasty treats while discussing ways we can harness the energy of the sun and why alternative energy sources are important. ( Love edible science projects? Get more ideas here. )
Learn more: Desert Chica
21. Launch your own bottle rocket
Blast off with a few supplies and a little help from the laws of motion. Encourage kids to design and decorate their rockets first and see which one can fly the highest!
Learn more: Science Sparks/Bottle Rocket
22. Build a snack machine
Incorporate everything students learn about simple machines into one project when you challenge them to build a snack machine! Using basic supplies, they’ll need to design and construct a machine that delivers snacks from one location to another. ( Get more candy experiments here. )
Learn more: Left Brain Craft Brain
23. Explode a soda geyser
Kids never seem to tire of this messy project involving diet soda and Mentos candy. You’ll need a big open area to conduct this experiment, which teaches kids about gas molecules and surface tension.
Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Mentos and Coke
24. Watch the heart beat with marshmallows
If you can get your fifth grade science class to quiet down enough for this one, they might be able to see a marshmallow jump with each beat of their hearts!
Learn more: Growing Grade by Grade
25. Discover the delights of decomposition
This is a good chance to apply the scientific method and practice your observation skills, using only basic kitchen supplies. Ask the question, “Which food will rot (decompose) the fastest?” Have students hypothesize, observe, and then report their findings. Get a printable observation sheet at the link below.
Learn more: No Time for Flash Cards
26. Mix up some magic sand
What if you could make sand that was “afraid” of water? This fifth grade science experiment uses waterproofing spray to create you-gotta-see-it-to-believe-it hydrophobic sand.
Learn more: Teaching Mama
27. Make your own bouncy balls
Here’s another use for that borax you bought for making slime: homemade bouncy balls! Students learn about polymers as they mix borax with cornstarch, glue, and water in this playful experiment.
Learn more: Babble Dabble Do
28. Make a foil bug walk on water
Surface tension allows water striders to dance across the surface of the water. Re-create this scientific phenomenon with little “bugs” made of aluminum foil.
Learn more: The Homeschool Scientist
29. Assemble Archimedes’ screw
It’s amazing how often science looks like magic—until you understand the principles behind it. Such is the case with the simple pump known as Archimedes’ screw. Learn how it works and how to build one with your class at the link below.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Archimedes’ Screw
30. Find out how bile breaks down fat
Learning about the digestive system? This fifth grade science demo explores the purpose of the bile produced by the liver, which breaks down fat.
Learn more: Simple Southern
31. Blow up a balloon—without blowing
This is the classic science experiment that helps you teach the reactions between acids and bases. Fill a bottle with vinegar and a balloon with baking soda. Fit the balloon over the top, shake the baking soda down into the vinegar, and watch the balloon inflate.
Learn more: All for the Boys
32. Use rubber bands to sound out acoustics
Explore the ways that sound waves are affected by what’s around them using a simple rubber band “guitar.” (Your students will absolutely love playing with these!)
Learn more: Science Sparks/Rubber Band Guitar
33. Study water filtration
See the process of water purification firsthand. Layer coffee filters, sand, and gravel in the bottom of an empty cup punched with holes. Place the cup in an empty jar, pour in dirty water, and watch what happens.
Learn more: Teach Beside Me/Water Purification
34. Discover density with hot and cold water
There are a lot of cool science experiments you can do with density. This one is extremely simple, involving only hot and cold water and food coloring.
Learn more: STEAMsational/Hot and Cold Water Density
35. Learn to layer liquids
This density demo is a little more complicated, but the effects are spectacular. Slowly layer liquids like honey, dish soap, water, and rubbing alcohol in a glass. Your fifth grade science students will be amazed when the liquids float one on top of the other like magic (except it is really science).
36. Light(ning) it up indoors
On a cool, low-humidity day, use a foil-covered fork and a balloon to create a “lightning storm” in your classroom. Turn down the lights to give students a better view of the static electricity you’re creating.
Learn more: Education.com/Indoor Lightning
37. Find out if a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s
Settle an age-old debate with this fifth grade science project. Collect saliva (from both humans and canines) with cotton swabs and place each sample in labeled petri dishes. Check the bacterial colonies in each and compare the results.
Learn more: Sciencing
38. Recycle newspaper into an engineering challenge
It’s amazing how a stack of newspapers can spark such creative engineering. Challenge students to build a tower, support a book, or even build a chair using only newspaper and tape!
Learn more: STEM Activities for Kids
39. Preserve apple slices
Investigate oxidation and enzymes by determining which food preservation methods work best on apple slices. This observational project is a simple way to apply the scientific method in the classroom.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Apple Oxidation
40. Explore basic genetics
Send your students on a quest to find out more about their genes and inherited traits. The link below includes a printable chart they can use to learn about recessive and dominant genes.
Learn more: Education.com/Inherited Traits
41. Design a biosphere
This project really brings out kids’ creativity and helps them understand that everything in a biosphere is really part of one big whole. You’ll be overwhelmed by what they come up with!
Learn more: Laney Lee
42. Create convection currents
This easy experiment uses hot and cold liquids and some food coloring to explore the thermal and kinetic energy that creates convection currents. Take things a step further and research how convection currents work in large bodies of water, like oceans.
Learn more: Education.com/Heat Convection
43. Sink or swim with soda cans
Here’s another easy density experiment. Place unopened cans of regular and diet soda into a bin of water to see which float and which sink. The differences are due to the use of sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Learn more: Cool Science Experiments HQ/Sink or Swim
44. Construct a homemade lava lamp
This 1970s trend is back—as a fifth grade science project! Learn about acids and bases while putting together a totally groovy lava lamp.
Learn more: Education.com/Lava Lamp
45. Whip up a tornado in a bottle
There are plenty of versions of this classic science experiment out there, but we love this one because it sparkles! Students learn about the vortex and what it takes to create one.
Learn more: Cool Science Experiments HQ/Tornado in a Bottle
46. Construct a sturdy bridge
To design a safe bridge that meets the needs of the community, engineers must understand the capabilities and limitations of the bridge. This project is great for budding fifth grade engineers as they simulate constructing a bridge that serves its purpose and keeps community members safe.
Learn more: Education.com
47. Measure heat capacity of different liquids
Your students will venture into the world of chemistry with this experiment that tests the heat capacity of different liquids, such as salt water, olive oil, and liquid soap, using a hot plate . They’ll incorporate math into their experiment when they plot their results!
48. Investigate osmosis with gummy bears
Gummy bears are not only tasty, but they can also help teach your fifth graders about the concepts of osmosis and equilibrium as well as solvents and solute.
Learn more: Homeschool.com
49. Chill with the fresh taste of mint
(Photo by Erika P. Rodriguez ©2013)
Here’s a cool experiment … literally! We use mint in our toothpaste for “fresh” breath and use mints during tests to boost our concentration, but does mint actually lower the temperature?
50. Replicate a sunset
With just water, milk powder, a flashlight, and a glass dish, your fifth graders will investigate why the sky appears to change colors as the sun sets.
51. Defy gravity with floating water
This one might cause a bit of a mess, but it’s only water, and it’s all in the name of your students discovering air pressure. All you’ll need is a cup, index card, water, and crossed fingers that your classroom doesn’t become a puddle!
52. Employ a rescue mission with LEGO
Still got your LEGO bricks from the zip-line your students constructed? Great! Your students can explore wind power through a rescue mission.
Learn more: Steam Powered Family
53. Model constellations
Space delights students of all ages. The mystery and mystique is intriguing, and creating a constellation out of pipe cleaners is a fun STEM activity to explore the night sky.
54. Munch on statistical M&Ms
This sweet experiment would make Forrest Gump proud. Students will explore statistics and make predictions by counting the number of different colors of chocolate M&Ms in a bag. It will be tricky to not eat the data beforehand, but we think an M&M snack after data is documented is a good idea!
Learn more: Science Buddies
Continue the STEM learning with these Fifth Grade Math Games for Teaching Fractions, Decimals, and More .
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5th Grade Science Worksheets and Study Guides
The big ideas in Fifth Grade Science include learning about the life, earth, and physical sciences by exploring them within the framework of the following topics: “Ecosystems: Terrestrial and Aquatic” (characteristics and interactions); “Landforms and Oceans” (natural processes and the ocean floor); “Properties of Matter” (mixtures and solutions); and “Forces and Motion” (position, direction, and speed).
Science Worksheets and Study Guides Fifth Grade
Atmosphere & weather, earth's freshwater and atmosphere, weather, weather patterns and climate, earth & space, earth's oceans, landforms, rocks and soil, minerals of earth's crust, the solar system, forces, motion & energy, energy resources, newton's laws of motion, sound and light energy, the nature of science, matter & its interactions, elements, mixtures and compounds, properties of matter and energy, science worksheets: acids and bases, science worksheets: chemical and physical changes of matter, science worksheets: solids, liquids and gases., plants, animals & ecosystems, animal diversity and adaptations, cells, tissues and organs, cycles of life and biomes, energy and ecosystems, flowers and seeds, interactions among living things, plant responses and adaptations, plants with and without seeds, roots, stems and leaves, the 6-kingdoms of life, newpath learning resources are fully aligned to us education standards. select a standard below to view aligned activities for your selected subject and grade:.
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Science worksheets for Grade 5 teachers: Discover a vast collection of free printable resources to help students explore, learn, and master scientific concepts. Dive into the world of knowledge with Quizizz!
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Science Lesson Plans for 4th and 5th Grade
Here you'll find a curated collection of science lesson plans for 4th and 5th grade. Many of our activities list connections to Next Generation Science Standards.
Anoushka Takla's fourth graders seek to answer the question: "What happens to our trash over time?"
"Giant Kelp Forest" © 2010 Tom Thai
Could you describe the kelp forest food web as a system?
© Stephen Horvath
In this role-playing skit your students will describe the various processes of the water cycle in the Amazon.
© Christian Hold
What kinds of everyday objects contain carbon? This introductory activity will help you get it straight!
© Kaz Canning
How does the finite amount of carbon on this planet move around in the environment, from one place to another?
Can you create a model of how carbon flows between the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere?
"Close-up of Coral Polyps" © 2009 Mark Yokohama
By building an edible polyp, you'll learn about coral anatomy and discover if it's a plant or an animal.
"Global Biomes" © 2012 NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center
Where are our rainforests? Why are they there?
Photo by Tim McCabe, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Where is all of our planet's water stored?
"Grasshopper" by Ryan Wood
Learn about adaptation by creating an insect that can survive in a specific habitat!
"Oiled Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle" © 2013 NOAA
In this inquiry-based activity, students test different materials to see which is best to clean up an oil spill.
"Solar System" © 2005 NASA-JPL
How much of outer space is just space?
"Play-Doh" © 2006 Dennis Brekke
Do you know the relative sizes of the planets in our solar system? Put yourself to the test with some Play-doh.
© Berkeley Unified School District
Featuring over 40 activities, this guide will get your students outside throughout the year!
"Earthworms!" © 2009 Yun Huang Yong
Learn about what macroinvertebrates live in your school yard!
© Axel Foley
Show off your Manor, and make it more appealing to a diversity of macroinvertebrates!
"Diagram of the Earth's seasons as seen from the south" © 2006 Tauʻolunga
The Earth's tilt is the reason for the season!
"Star" © 2014 Tom Hall
You may know your zodiac sign, but do you know your birthday stars?
"Blue Marble" © 2002 NASA Earth Observatory
Students will practice being Earth to learn about how our orbit affects what we see.
"Earth's Orbit" © 2015 NASA/JPL-CalTech
This interactive lesson will demonstrate the difference between "rotation" and "orbit."
"The Plane of the Ecliptic" © 2017 NASA
This interactive activity will demonstrate why some planets look like they are traveling backwards.
"Full Moon 2010" © Gregory H. Revera
Learn about the phases of the moon with this tactile activity!
© Sally Crossthwaite
What types of natural resources are used to make the objects we use in everyday life? Play bingo to find out!
© Ed Bierman
Through scientific sketching, you can identify patterns in traits shared by a species and get to know variation.
By conducting a survey of an outdoor environment, students will design solutions for preventing marine debris.
"Compost" © 2014 Philip Cohen
Why does some trash change, while other garbage stays the same?
© U.S. Geological Survey
Want to play a board game to learn about rock formation? Explore geologic processes, fast and slow.
Let's compare the different objects in outer space!
"Backlit Leaf" © 2011 Threthny
Discover the part of the leaf that allows for gas exchange!
Learn what it takes to develop, grow and consume some of the foods and water we need.
"Boats" © 2016 Dennis Jarvis
Using a model, students will construct explanations for one of the reasons why fish populations are declining.
© 2009 California Academy of Sciences
Students will explore tectonic plate boundaries and different types of seismic waves generated by earthquakes.
Track the sun's position to learn the cardinal directions.
© Filip Lachowski
How does the digestive system of a zebra differ from that of a buffalo?
© Pamela Graham
How much freshwater was used to produce your meal today?
"Nuclear Power Plant Cattenom" © 2005 Stefan Kühn
What are the problems associated with burning fossil fuels?
What are the consequences of mining for fossil fuels?
"Behold thy Landfill" © 2010 Justin Ritchie
By sorting our waste into different bins, we can make a huge impact.
© Clinton Bauder
Explore seaweed and learn about this important producer in this hands-on, culinary activity!
"European honey bee extracts nectar" by John Severns
Investigate why flowers have different shapes and colors.
Learn how you and your students can help protect primates.
Students will learn about real-world issues involved in making conservation plans to save endangered species.
Erica Katz's fifth graders seek to answer the question: "Why does the moon look different on different days?"
Students receive their science notebooks and take the time to make them their own.
Students peruse sample pages from the notebooks of many different scientists.
Expand your vocabulary in this creative brainstorming activity.
Students draw their idea of "a scientist doing science."
What are some strategies for allowing your students to share the content in their science notebooks?
Students insert a Table of Contents, number the pages, and complete their first reflective entry.
What makes a good scientific sketch? You can teach this lesson even if you think you can't draw!
Use "windowpanes" to take stock of materials at the beginning of an investigative unit.
Lay the foundation for sketching by explicitly teaching the following techniques.
© Shane Adams
Chew, Bite, Chop into a yummy lesson!
"Eye in You" © 2015 Mike Cofrancesco
Why do humans have two eyes?
Looking for ideas to spice up your science teaching? Our activity database features full-period lessons to integrate into your normal curriculum.
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Science: 5th Grade
Help your scientist with fun activities that encourage scientific thinking outside of school and reinforce topics covered in 5th grade..
Similar to other subjects in 5th grade, science lessons emphasize to students the importance of analyzing what they learn in order to deepen their thinking, expand their knowledge, and develop their own ideas and conclusions. For example, as fifth graders conduct experiments and investigate topics, they are encouraged to use these experiences to come up with ideas, draw conclusions, and ask further questions for future experiments and investigations. Furthermore, they are asked to support these ideas and questions with specific proofs and reasons.
As in other grades, the specific topics studied in science vary according to state. However, common topics studied in 5th grade include: earth and space; plants; the cycle of life; animals; the human body; electricity and magnetism; motion; and sound. Students also often learn about these topics in relation to their location and where they live. Consult your child’s teacher or research your state’s science standards for more details.
In order to build science skills, your 5th grader :
- Conducts experiments using the scientific method (there are many different ways people present "the scientific method," but here's a basic example) :
- Questions, observes, and researches
- Develops a hypothesis (based on observations and research)
- Makes predictions
- Develops a conclusion
- Develops further questions to research and experiment with based on previously done experiments and previously realized conclusions.
- Develops and explains ideas based on investigations and experiments; uses specific reasoning and evidence to explain her assertions.
- Presents the findings and conclusion of an experiment, both in writing and orally.
- Researches and takes notes on information about a variety of topics using both text and digital resources.
- Collects and uses data to support experiments and what he learns.
- Experiments with different types of materials and matter — such as solid, liquid, and gas — to observe different types of physical and chemical changes.
- Works independently, in partnerships, in small groups, and as a class to conduct experiments and create projects.
- Studies and creates models of systems and objects to further explore and show an understanding of the scientific concepts learned.
Science Activities: 5th Grade
- Prove It! : When your child asks a question about a scientific concept or when someone says something about a scientific concept, see if you and your child can prove it. Conduct an experiment using the scientific method and see if the result of your experiment answers your question or supports the fact stated.
- Make Matter Matter : When you encounter matter that changes in everyday life, point it out and talk to your child about it. For example, when you are cooking, ask your child why bubbling water boils and talk about the reason together. Try boiling other things to see what happens to them and compare the differences and similarities.
- Make a Model : First, ask your child's teacher what topic your child is currently learning about. Then, make a model of a related object. For example, if your child is learning about human cells, use crafts objects, clay, or even different foods to make a model of a cell and its parts. You can also make a model of a system, such as machine or the digestive system.
- Look for Real-Life Science : These days, so much progress is happening in science. Read articles with your child about scientific topics and progress made in the world, then talk about the articles — as well as the effects this progress may have. If possible, your child can do further research on a topic she finds particularly interesting.
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By the 5th grade, kids are ready to tackle more challenging scientific concepts. Turtle Diary's offering of fifth grade science games explore topics such as matter, energy, and the earth on a much deeper level. Our interactive 5th grade science games give students the opportunity to quench their thirst for knowledge through the use of engaging activities. The knowledge gained from these science games are sure to excite and inspire your fifth grade scientist.
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Can salt water be a conductor? In this science worksheet, your child learns about how well different materials act as electrical conductors.
Does grass decompose? In this science worksheet, your child learns about microbes, decomposing, and natural recycling.
Dissolves in water
Water is an excellent solvent. In this science worksheet, your child learns about soluble and insoluble matter and determines which fertilizer would be best for plants based on its solubility.
Distinguishing between flowers
How should you sort flowers? In this science worksheet, your child practices identifying questions that will separate flowers by clear differences, forming the basis for a branching key, or dichotomous key.
Opaque objects do not let light through. By blocking the light, these objects can create shadows. In this science worksheet, your child will draw shadows for the appropriate objects.
Drugs and safety precautions
All drugs come with safety warnings. In this science worksheet, your child learns about safety warnings on medications and harmful drugs.
Exercise and the human heart
Exercising makes your heart beat faster! In this science worksheet, your child learns about the connection between exercise and the pulse, reads a graph, and answers questions about exercise and the heart.
Floating on salt water
It's easier to float on salt water. In this science worksheet, your child identifies which image shows salt water and which shows fresh water, based on buoyancy and boiling point.
Food chains at sea
Using the data table in this science worksheet, your child will identify three food chains at sea, identifying each role and whether the animal is an herbivore or a carnivore.
Food chains in a woodland
Can you spot the food chain? In this science worksheet, your child identifies two food chains and their parts in a picture of a woodland.
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