Science BeakerCredit:

Fourth grade is one of the first years where students start serious work, such as research papers, and entering into science competitions and fairs. Students must come up with suitable experiment topics that satisfy class and fair requirements. Hundreds of experiments are available for students to choose from. Pick an easy and short topic if this is the child’s first science experiment. If the child has experimented before, then a longer or more involved project is appropriate.

Roof Temperature Test

Put together five different board boxes. Cover the top of each box with a different roofing material, such as aluminum, asphalt, cement, clay roofing tiles or foam. Leave one box free of any roofing materialHang a thermometer inside each box. Place all boxes in the same part of the yard or another sunny area. Test the temperature inside each box every hour from dawn to dusk. Test the boxes on a cloudy day as well. Average the data to find the most insulating roofing material.

Snail Race

Gather several different snail varieties from a garden or pet store. One at a time, place the snails in the center of a marked area. Time the snails to determine how long it takes each one to reach the edge of the marked area. Record which snail was the fastest and which was the slowest. Time the snails three times apiece and find the average speed of each snail to determine which variety of snail is the fastest.

Water Evaporation

This project tests whether the addition of a substance to water will make it evaporate slower or faster. Add 1/4 cup of salt to one glass of water, 1/4 cup of sugar to another and 1/4 cup of flour to a third glass of water. Leave the fourth glass containing pure water. Place the glasses outdoors in the sunshine. Measure the level of the water each day. Record the changes in evaporation based on the additives in the water, and note which substance made the water evaporate the fastest.

Teeth Cleaning

Brush your teeth for one minute twice a day for one week. At the end of each night, swab your mouth and swipe the saliva onto an auger where bacteria can grow. Use a different auger for each day during the week. Measure the amount of bacteria that grew onto the augers at the end of a week. The next week, brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. Swab your mouth after brushing and place the saliva onto seven individual augers just like you did the previous week. At the end of the second week, compare the bacteria in the containers from the first week to the containers from the second week. Does brushing your teeth longer eliminate additional bacteria?