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!
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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!
Learn more: Lemon Lime Adventures
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.
Learn more: 123Homeschool4Me/Build a Lightbulb
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!
Learn more: Mombrite
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.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Electrolytes
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.
Learn more: Layers of Learning
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.)
Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Egg Drop Inertia Trick
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.
Learn more: Babble Dabble Do
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. )
Learn more: Edventures With Kids
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!
Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Magic Traveling Flame
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.
Learn more: Blog She Wrote/Measuring Lung Capacity
11. Conduct fingerprint analysis
Budding forensic scientists will love this idea. Learn to dust for prints and try a technique called “fuming” for trickier surfaces. See if you can compare prints and make accurate matches in the classroom. You can buy a fingerprinting kit just for kids or use supplies from around the house.
Learn more: Home Science Tools/Fingerprinting
12. Engineer a roller coaster loop
Kids may have created marble roller coasters before, but have they ever built one with a loop-de-loop? They’ll have to experiment to find out which initial height gives a marble the speed it needs to complete the journey.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Roller Coaster
13. Extract your own DNA
DNA is the blueprint of life, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to extract your own with a few simple supplies. Preserve it in alcohol in the freezer when you’re done.
Learn more: Home Science Tools/Extract DNA
14. Separate water into hydrogen and oxygen
Use electrolysis to prove that water really is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. It’s a simple concept, but one that never fails to amaze.
Learn more: Navigating by Joy
15. Build a circuit to detect ripe produce
Here’s a science fair project that’s sure to impress. Build a circuit that can differentiate between two different colors, then use it to tell which tomatoes are ripe and which aren’t. You can find all the supplies you need at Amazon, including a multimeter, jumper wire kit, and battery holder.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Fruit Circuits
16. Discover the strength of interleaved paper
Paper seems smooth and slides apart easily, right? This experiment challenges that notion by interleaving multiple pieces of paper and testing their strength. It’s an easy project with fascinating results.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Interleaved Paper
17. Guide a growing plant through a maze
Prove that plants really do seek out the light by setting up a simple or complex maze. This is a simple eighth grade science project with really cool results.
Learn more: KiwiCo/Plant Maze
18. Find out if peppermint improves reaction time
Round up some friends and family who are willing to be guinea pigs, then find out if peppermint candy really does improve concentration and reaction time—and test scores.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Peppermint Reactions
19. Turn juice into spheres
You’ll need a few special supplies for this experiment, but the results are so cool. Spherification is a chemical process that’s become popular with food scientists, and your 8th grade science students will get a kick out of seeing it in action.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Spherification
20. Raise a hydraulic elevator
This hydraulics project was originally written for younger kids, but it works for older ones just as well. They can tinker around with the design and see just how much weight their elevator can hold.
Learn more: Teach Beside Me
21. Grow a carbon sugar snake
Remember those little black pellets that fire up into long snakes on the Fourth of July? This is the same concept, but much bigger! The simple chemical reaction of sugar and baking soda makes it happen.
Learn more: KiwiCo/Carbon Snake
22. Generate a Lichtenberg figure
Lichtenberg figures capture the branching path of electricity as it travels through an object. You can make your own in a variety of ways, including burning it into wood or acrylic.
Learn more: Science Notes
23. Teach a computer to play tic-tac-toe
Learn more: Science Buddies/Tic-Tac-Toe
24. Cast animal tracks
Explore wildlife biology by becoming an expert tracker! Learn to identify tracks and take casts, even if you can’t go for a hike in the woods.
Learn more: Blog She Wrote/Cast Animal Tracks
25. Construct a Rube Goldberg machine
Create a machine to complete a simple task in the most complicated fashion! This is a neat 8th grade science project because it allows you to use a variety of physics concepts in a fun way. See an example in this YouTube Video, and learn more about Rube Goldberg machines here.
26. Block the sun’s UV rays
Use color-changing UV beads to test the protective power of medicine bottles, hats, clothing, and more. This is an 8th grade science experiment with nearly endless possibilities.
Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Blocking UV Rays
27. Build an infinity mirror
Experiment with optical illusions by creating a tunnel of lights that seems to stretch away into infinity. 8th grade students will learn about engineering and the physics of optics along the way.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Infinity Mirror
28. Brew up some root beer
Who says science can’t be delicious? Plus, any experiment where you get to use dry ice is always fun (take proper safety precautions, please). This yummy project teaches chemical reactions and, of course, requires a taste test.
Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Root Beer Science
29. Construct a cup holder
Can your 8th grade science students build a device to stabilize and carry two cups of water, using only a few simple supplies? Oh, and can they manage it in just 5 minutes? This timed challenge pushes their creative engineering limits!
Learn more: Homeschool Creations
30. Test water quality
A water testing kit opens up limitless options for 8th grade science experiments. Test the water quality of local streams, swimming pools, or even their taps at home.
Learn more: The Homeschool Scientist
31. 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.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Build a Scale
32. 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.
Learn more: Popular Science
33. 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.
Learn more: Science Buddies/Solar Desalination
34. 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.
Learn more: Biology Notes for IGCSE
35. 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.
Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Homemade Hand Warmer
36. Explore symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria
Many plants depend on nitrogen for growth, but how important is it? This science project compares the growth of pea plants with and without nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Learn more: Education.com/Nitrogen and Plants
37. Crash cars for science
This is a great class project for teachers, but it’s also excellent for an 8th grade science fair experiment. Build cars and crash-test them to learn the best methods of keeping passengers safe.
Learn more: The Ardent Teacher
38. Discover the center of gravity
Once you find and maintain its center of gravity, almost any object will balance, even in surprising circumstances. This is such a fun concept to play around with!
Learn more: Rookie Parenting
39. Power up homemade batteries
Building batteries is a classic science experiment for any age. Make it into a project by trying different variables and exploring the amount of power you can produce.
Learn more: 123 Homeschool 4 Me
40. Examine the connection between personality and memory
Do introverts have better memories than extroverts? This science project aims to find out. Round up some willing volunteers and administer the Meyers-Briggs personality test, then challenge your subjects with a memory test. The results may or may not surprise you!
Learn more: Education.com/Memory and Personality
41. Concoct and test your own shampoo
Ever wonder what makes shampoo effective? In this experiment, you’ll cook up your own recipes and try them out to see which ingredients work best.
Learn more: Science Buddies/DIY Shampoo
42. Fuel a film canister rocket
Fire a film canister into the air using the chemical reactions of Alka-Seltzer. Once you’ve mastered the basic process, experiment with different strengths of solutions and sizes of container to see how high your rocket can go.
Learn more: Steve Spangler Science/Film Canister Explosion
43. Stand on a pile of paper cups
Combine physics and engineering and challenge 8th grade science students to create a paper cup structure that can support their weight. This is a cool project for aspiring architects.
Learn more: Science Sparks
44. Create a rainbow of flames
You can change the color of fire by adding chemicals found at your local grocery store—what a sight! This experiment is easy to set up, but of course, requires safety precautions.
Learn more: ThoughtCo
45. Get your laundry really clean
Find out if all those laundry detergent commercials are really telling the truth with this 8th grade science fair experiment. Test their cleaning power on a variety of stains and fabrics, and analyze your results.