Eighth grade science is often all about the science fair, so we’ve rounded up lots of terrific project ideas for students to try. Science teachers will find ideas here, too, with hands-on activities and experiments kids can do in the classroom. These interactive ideas will teach kids so much about science and the world around them!
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
1. Water plants with various liquids
In this experiment, kids water plants with different liquids, like rainwater, tap water, saltwater, and even soda. They might be surprised at the results!
2. Build a better lightbulb
First, use the steps at the link to build a simple lightbulb with a jar, some wire, and a 6-volt battery. Then, turn it into an eighth grade science fair experiment by tinkering with the various materials to make a lightbulb that lasts longer, burns brighter, or is powered by an alternative source.
3. Design a robotic hand
This is a project that can be tweaked in a variety of ways. Challenge your students to make the model as shown at the link. Or encourage them to think of ways they can improve upon the design. Can they build a hand that can pick up a ball? How about one that can pluck up a piece of string? So many possibilities!
4. Compare electrolytes in sports drinks
Sports-loving kids will enjoy the chance to learn just how many valuable electrolytes their favorite sports drinks contain. Compare them with water or orange juice for a cool science fair project. You’ll need a few special supplies, like a multimeter and an Ohm resistor, but they’re inexpensive and easy to find.
5. Measure algae growth
Fertilizer runoff has become a serious cause of water pollution. In this experiment, students will see its effects first hand and brainstorm ways to keep it in check.
6. Drop an egg to prove the first law of motion
This experiment looks like a magic trick, but it’s firmly grounded in Newton’s First Law of Motion. When you knock the pie tin out of the way, the egg falls straight into the glass, thanks to inertia. (Worried about making a mess? Use plastic eggs instead.)
7. Assemble a Newton’s cradle
Newton’s cradle is a fascinating way of demonstrating momentum and energy transfer. Follow the directions at the link to build one, or challenge eighth grade science students to experiment with their own construction methods.
8. Blow out a candle with a balloon
Blowing up a balloon with baking soda and vinegar is the classic acids and bases experiment. Take it a step further by experimenting with the carbon dioxide it produces. (Don’t be afraid of fire in the science classroom! Here’s why you should try it. )
9. Relight a candle without touching it
While you’ve got the candles out, try this demonstration. Tell students you’re going to relight a candle without touching the flame to the wick. The results will boggle their minds!
10. Measure and compare lung capacity
This experiment combines math and biology to measure lung capacity using a balloon. There are a lot of interesting hypotheses students can form, document, and explore while taking these measurements.
11. Assemble a spring scale
Apply Hooke’s Law to find out if the stretching of a spring can be used to accurately measure the weight of objects. The materials are simple, but you’ll need patience and physics to calibrate a spring and use it to test weights.
12. Extract bismuth from Pepto-Bismol
This is the kind of project that really makes you feel like a scientist. Grinding tablets with a mortar and pestle, filtering in beakers, heating over a Bunsen burner… kids will need supervision and some special materials, but their inner chemist will love it all.
13. Make a solar desalinator
Clean freshwater is a valuable commodity. Construct solar-powered desalination devices with readily available materials, and find the most effective desalination methods.
14. Perform a starch test with iodine
This simple chemistry experiment uses iodine to determine the starch content of food items. In a world that’s become more aware of the effects of starch on our diet, this seems like a timely activity.
15. Keep your hands warm
If you live in a chilly part of the world, chances are you’ve seen chemical hand-warmers for sale. In this 8th grade science experiment, you’ll make your own hand-warmer by harnessing the power of oxidation. You’ll need water crystals, iron oxide filings, and calcium chloride.