Science Buddies' third grade science projects are the perfect way for third grade students to have fun exploring science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Our third grade projects are written and tested by scientists and are specifically created for use by students in the third grade. Students can choose to follow the science experiment as written or put their own spin on the project.

For a personalized list of science projects, third graders can use the Science Buddies Topic Selection Wizard. The wizard asks students to respond to a series of simple statements and then uses their answers to recommend age-appropriate projects that fit their interests.

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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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This lesson will introduce your students to the scientific method using a fun, hands-on activity. A middle school version of this lesson plan is also available. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5—Science Practices.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. They will design and build the tallest possible tower using nothing but paper and tape, but there's an additional twist on this classic activity. The tower must support a heavy weight at the top without collapsing! Optionally, they can enter their designs in the 2021 Fluor Engineering Challenge for a chance to win a cash prize for your school! Teachers, note that middle school and high school versions of… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
Help the budding meteorologists in your classroom learn how to measure wind speed by building their own anemometers (wind speed meters) with paper cups and straws. Then do a simple experiment in which students change the "wind" speed using a fan and measure how fast their anemometer spins. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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Are paper airplanes a nuisance in your classroom? They don't have to be! Those distractions can be a constructive learning opportunity: use them to teach your students about the engineering design process. In this fun lesson, you will be the "customer" ordering a paper airplane, and your student teams will be engineering companies that will manufacture planes. Before they start making planes, they need to define the criteria and constraints of this engineering problem. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
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Forces, which we might instinctively describe as pushes and pulls, are acting on us at all times, but we cannot always see them. This hands-on lesson offers a fun opportunity to explore "invisible" forces like gravity and air resistance. Students will build parachutes and investigate how they allow skydivers to safely land. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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Can your students lift a book off the floor with just one finger? Find out and learn about simple machines in this fun lesson plan about levers. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 2nd-5th
There are thousands of species of insects in our world, and each are adapted to survive in their habitat. In this activity, students will learn what an insect is and what some of their adaptations are. Then they will put their knowledge into play by "creating" an insect that is adapted to live in their assigned environment. Read more
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
Vibrobots are tiny robots powered by a vibrating motor, like the type found in cell phones. In this lesson plan, your students will learn about engineering design as they build their own vibrobots from craft materials. No previous experience with robots is required! Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
Rainstorms can be powerful! Can you guess how much water poured down during the last rainstorm you experienced? Do you know if a brief downpour yields more or less water compared to a daylong drizzle? In this hands-on weather lesson, students design, build and use their own rain gauge to get answers to all of these questions. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
  • 3-ESS2-2. Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-8th
Coming up with new ideas is hard! How do engineers design new things or improve existing ones? Engineers and inventors use different brainstorming techniques to help them think outside the box and come up with new ideas. In this lesson plan, your students will practice brainstorming with a method called SCAMPER. Read more
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