Science Experiments for Middle School Students

Kids in middle school are at the age where they can take on more complex experiments and below is a list of experiments for middle school kids.

Atomic/Electric

Static Electricity: Identify what objects conduct static electricity.

Materials Needed: Shoes and various objects.

Step 1: Walk across a rug and touch various objects.

Step 2: Make a chart of columns for the object you touched, the material, and a third column for the results. Record the objects which produced static electricity.

Step 3: Change shoes and repeat – make sure to record the results.

Step 4: Now walk across the rug again. This time, touch an object that didn’t spark and then touch one that did. Did that prevent the object that sparked the first time from sparking again? Record the results.

Inertia/Momentum

Inertia with Pendulums: Observe an object’s movement and what affects it.

Materials needed: 2 large tin cans, sand, and string.

Step 1: Fill one can with sand. Then, hang both cans from the ceiling or another flat surface by string.

Step 2: Give them both a push. Compare how much force was needed to move them.

Step 3: Let them swing.

Step 4: Try and stop them and compare how much force was needed for each.

Chemistry

Tasty Solution: Determine how quickly something dissolves.

Materials needed: 3 small pieces of candy.

Step 1: Place the candy in your mouth without moving your tongue or chewing.

Step 2: Record the time it takes for the candy to dissolve.

Step 3: Repeat except this time, don’t bite but move your tongue.

Step 4: Record the time it takes for the candy to dissolve.

Step 5: Place the candy in your mouth and chew it.

Step 6: Record the time it takes for the candy to dissolve.

Step 7: Compare the results and determine the fastest way to dissolve candy.

Light

Light And Prisms: Observe how light interacts with a prism to produce colors.

Materials needed: Prism, cardboard box, colored pencils, white paper, and flashlight.

Step 1: Make sure the room is dark. Cut a rectangular opening in the side of the box near the bottom with a 5mm width.

Step 2: In the box, put the prism on a piece of dark paper. Shine the light and use the pencils to trace the bands of light coming from the prism. Observe the colors.

Step 3: Cut a second hole in the box and arrange another prism so that the lights cross paths. Observe what happens to the lights.

Chemical Reactions

Heat and Chemical Reactions: Determine if heat affects chemical reactions (hydrogen peroxide, water, and KI are mixed and shaken in different temperature water).

Materials needed: 3% hydrogen peroxide, 0.1 molar KI (Potassium Iodine), 2 beakers, ice, burner, 60 mL syringe body, clamp, stand, water, trough, burette, 2 tubes, 125mL flask, thermometer, and timer.

Step 1: Set up tubes and flasks on a desk.

Step 2: Fill with water until burette is near the 0 mark. (Equalize pressure by moving the syringe body up and down).

Step 3: Fill trough with water of the desired temperature.

Step 4: Combine 10mL of 0.1 M KI and 15 mL deionized water in the flask.

Step 5: Add 5 mL 3% hydrogen peroxide to the flask and start the timer.

Step 6: Place flask in trough and shake.

Step 7: Record the time at every 1 mL produced up until 14 mL.

Step 8: Repeat steps 3-7 with different temperature water and observe the results.

Motion/Energy

Come-Back Can: Experiment to explain the concept of stored internal energy.

Materials needed: Cylindrical can with removable lid, rubber band, and weight with hole at its center.

Step 1: With the weight at its center, string the rubber hand between the centers of the can’s ends so as the bind winds up the can rolls.

Step 2: Roll the can.

Step 3: Watch where it stops and then watch as it returns.

Cohesion

Discovering C.A.S.T. (Cohesion, Adhesion and Surface Tension): Determine and compare the properties of cohesion, adhesion, and surface tension

Materials needed: 1 fluted wine glass, string, hard plastic cut to fit the glass’ opening, water.

Step 1: Fill the glass halfway with water and float the cork on its surface.

Step 2: Add more water until it’s full to the brim and observe the cork.

Step 3: Try to push the cork towards the edge – observe if it stays.

Pressure

The Power of Air Pressure: Observe how the pressure of air expands when heated and retracts when cooled

Materials needed: 3 trays of ice cubes, large pot, funnel, stove, pot holder, 2 qt sauce pan, water, and empty milk jug with lid.

Step 1: Put the ice trays into the pot. Open the milk jug and place it on the counter. Place the funnel into the milk jug.

Step 2: Put one cup of water into the sauce pan, put it on the stove and bring to boil.

Step 3: Pour the boiling water into the milk jug and let stand for 10 seconds before capping tightly

Step 4: Place the jug into the ice as far as possible.

Step 5: Observe the milk jugs.

Floatation

Floating and Sinking

Materials needed: Plastic box lid and small tub or water, 15 pennies, eye dropper, 5mL syringe, and armchair balance.

Step 1: Center the box on the load cylinder of the balance and use the dropper to add water to the countermass until level.

Step 2: Find the volume of the lid of the box using the equation: V (cm3) = Lx W x H.

Step 3: Find the density of the box using: D (gm/cm3) = gm/cm3.

Step 4: Place the lid in the tub of water and see if it sinks or floats.

Sound

Sound Experiment: Determine which materials carry sound best

Materials needed: 8oz plastic cups, rubber bands, microphone, oscilloscope, speakers, signal generator, copper wire, and string.

Step 1: Put a hole in the bottom of 2 cups.

Step 2: Take a 2-meter long string and put the ends through the hole and tie them.

Step 3: Do the same with copper wire and the rubber bands.

Step 4: Connect a microphone to the oscilloscope and then connect the speaker to the signal generator which should be set to 1000 hertz.

Step 5: Hold one cup to the speaker and one to the microphone.

Step 6: Observe the oscilloscope and record the wave amplitude shown on it.

Step 7: Repeat the results for each type of material.

Geometry

Lattice Polygons: To prove Pick’s Theorem.

Materials needed: Geoboard with a 5x5 grid of nails.

Step 1: Introduce students to Pick’s Theorem.

Step 2: Count the boundary (outer) pegs and record them.

Step 3: Count the inside (interior) pegs.

Step 4: Apply the formula I+X+B/2+S/2-(F-1), where I is the number of interior pegs, X is the number of points on the interior edge and S is the sum of the number of interior faces. This proves the theory.