Spring Break Science: A Hands-on Project Survival Guide
Carefully-selected projects and science activities can be fun and engrossing, and we have plenty of ideas for cool science explorations that take minimal preparation, use easy-to-find materials, and are engaging for a range of ages. (See our initial "Finding the Science in Spring Break" post on Spring Break science.)
Top Picks for Spring Break Science
We are adding to this list all week long, so stay tuned! The full list is shown below:
- Skipping Science: An Experiment in Jump Rope Lengths: When it comes to jump ropes, one size may not fit all! If you want to score high jump numbers, what is the perfect jump rope length for you? Get hands-on and find out!
- Motion Mania: Applying Physics to Hula-Hooping: Hula-hooping is fun but not necessarily as easy as it might look! The size and weight of your hula hoop may have a lot to do with your success as a hula hooper. In this hands-on, backyard science project, kids can build their own hula hoops from tubing and investigate to find out how the size and weight matter. Don't forget the duct tape for personalizing your hoop!
- Make Monkeys Fly in the Blink of an Eye: With a screaming monkey (or another toy that can be launched from a rubber band) on hand, kids can explore the relationship between the stretch of the rubber band and the distance the monkey flies. What's going on? It's all about energy! Take some pictures. We want to see your monkeys fly!
- Rocketology: Baking Soda + Vinegar = Lift Off: You may have to dig to find a few old film canisters, but when you mix in a few kitchen ingredients, a plastic film canister can lead to explosive fun with chemical reactions. Kick up the classic volcano experiment as you launch mini rockets and figure out the best ratio of ingredients to get the highest flight. Remember: safety goggles, adult supervision, and a clear outdoor place where the mess won't matter!
- Turn Milk into Plastic!: Milk! Good for the body and, with the right chemical reaction, good for a hands-on creative activity. Experiment with the recipe for making milk-based plastic, and then use the plastic you make to create beads or small sculptures. This is a fun chemistry activity for kitchen scientists. What will you make with your milk plastic?
- Bottled-up Buoyancy: What makes a submarine sink or rise? In this hands-on hydrodynamics exploration, students build a model submarine from empty plastic bottles and then experiment with buoyancy by changing the amount of water "in" the submarine and seeing what happens. With a rubber-band propelled launch mechanism and a working propeller, this #science activity is lots of fun!
- Shaking Up Some Energy: create your own "shake it up" alternative energy, a la a "shake to light" flashlight, by making a simple generator and investigating the relationship between magnetism and the induction of electrical current. Wrapping 1,000-2,000 turns of wire around a plastic film canister will keep your tinkerer busy in this hands-on electronics project. But in the end, she will have a working example of battery-free power!
How did you fill spring break days? We would love to hear what science activities you did with your family. Snap and share your photos to put your family's science in the spotlight! (Email us at email@example.com.)