Supplies for Other Projects – and Homework, Too!

It’s not just science projects. In general, school, homework and learning can be a real struggle for many children – I know this firsthand from watching my boys. Early on, I decided that my guys should never have to look far for the proper tools. Like a busy executive, they needed to concentrate on the task before them, and should have anything they need close at hand. There is a closet in our house that looks like the school supply section at Wal-Mart. The boys have tools to stay organized. They have plenty of socks, underwear, and soccer clothes. We have calculators, computers, dictionaries, encyclopedia, rulers, compasses, and yes, we keep spare science boards. (We even keep completed projects, as you may have read in the post about doing science projects with more than one kid.

To prepare for this article, I walked through my house and made a list of the supplies we keep on hand. This list can be a springboard for getting supplies ready for your children. Let this list help you as you help your children to help themselves.

Lots of pencils
Markers – wide tip & fine point
Permanent markers
Highlighters in several colors
Zip lock bags – all sizes
Glue and glue sticks
Spray adhesive
Scotch tape – wide and thin
Duct tape and packing tape
Sticky tack
Thumb tacks
Paper clips
Paper fasteners
Index cards
LOTS of Notebook paper, wide and college rule
Notebooks – 1 & 3 subject in both rules-
with the THICK cardboard covers
Graph paper
Graph paper NOTEBOOKS (invaluable for math)
Card stock in white and colors
Colored computer paper
Construction paper
Science boards

White drawing paper
Folders – pocket and prong
Manilla file folders
Envelopes – including large yellow ones
Full sheets of sticker paper
Newsprint, bought for $1 at the newspaper office
Pencil cases
Bookbags (one of the boys broke his yesterday
and I was grateful we had a spare)
Notebook dividers
Looseleaf binders in several sizes
Sheet protectors
Baby food jars
Old magazines – including National Geographic, Science Journal
given away free by our local library
Tempera paint
Wall Map
Old set of encyclopedias and science journals
Electronic Dictionary – for the short definitions
and the easy look up
Calculators, some cheap, some not
Extra Ink Cartridges
Memory sticks/thumb drives

I’m quite aware that this is a LOT of stuff. But you’re going to buy it anyway. Cut down on the stress and buy it in advance. Science project time will be here before you know it!

And while you’re getting supplies, add our free science project guide at

Human Behavior Science Projects – For Humans Who Sometimes Behave

Are two ears better than one?

Are two ears better than one?

Human Behavior Science Projects explore the fascinating ways that human beings behave. Behavioral projects are a popular choice for kids headed to the science fair. While gathering enough test subjects can be tricky, these projects can be a great way for students to learn about testing, meet interesting people, and have fun. There are so many things to discover, that the hardest part may be simply choosing a topic. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started.

1. Determine the soothing effect of music by taking the pulse before and after a five minute session of classical piano.

2. See if more people are visual learners or auditory learners by having humans memorize a telephone number that they only see, then a different one that they only hear.

3. Discover if wearing glasses helps or hurts a salesperson’s profit. Have a salesperson wear glasses for a series of days, then go to work without the glasses. Compare their total sales for the two periods.

4. Find out if yawning is contagious behavior by watching a group of children before and after the group leader yawns. Note that because it is such a primitive reflex, yawning is a very popular human behavior science project subject.

5. Are younger children more inclined to like their teachers than older students? Rate the popularity of teachers that teach different ages of kids.

6. Measure the time it takes for children to learn a poem set to music or not set to music.

7. Find out if the scent of lemon helps attention by calculating test scores of people who have or have not sniffed a lemon. This is a great science project that might help ADHD students!

8. Find out if two ears or one are better at localizing a sound by hiding an object, and timing how long individuals take to find it. (Get a complete project guide for this project at Online Science Projects.)

Of course, you don’t need a study of human behavior to know that students like to come up with new and unique ideas. So put on your thinking cap and come up with your own human behavior science project!

Need more ideas?! Get your FREE parents guide to science projects at We also have a list of many types of science experiments and projects.

What is the Scientific Method?

So, just what is the Scientific Method? Believe it or not, it depends on which scientist is talking. There are either six, five, or four steps to the scientific method. Doesn’t sound very scientific, does it?! It’s all basically the same general idea, so we’ve taken the average, and are giving you five steps:

1. Observation – Looking at something in the world. Watching things closely makes you curious about why or when or how something happens. That leads to the next step…

2. Question – Wondering about what you see in the world. The questions that come up during your observations are the second step of the scientific method.

3. Hypothesis – A guess at the answer to the question. An hypothesis is an “educated guess”. You take what you already know about the subject and use it to guess the answer to your question. You could be right. You could be wrong. It doesn’t matter, because you’re going to find out in the next step…

4. Experimentation – Testing your hypothesis. You come up with an experiment to find out the answer to your question. This is the trickiest part of the scientific method, because an experiment has to be designed with controls and variables in place. (Keep reading – we’re getting to the definitions!)

5. Results – The answer to the question. When the experiment is complete, your question will be answered, and you’ll have your results!

The scienctific method may look complicated, but it is really a simple process that we use every day to understand and solve problems in the world around us. Use this example with your child: Suppose you observe that your DS isn’t working. You’ll ask yourself the question “What’s wrong with my DS!?” Then you’ll come up with a couple of ideas, or hypotheses: “The battery could be dead, the game could be dirty, or maybe the baby dropped it into the toilet.” So you’ll check the battery, take out the game and blow out the dust, then check for signs of dried Cheerios and wet spots. These experiments will hopefully lead you to the result, and you’ll know why your DS wasn’t working. You’re brilliant! You’ve just followed the scientific method!

The big trick, of course, is to find an experiment that follows the scientific method. For five (or ten!) projects that do, check out 24 Hour Science Projects. And yes, all the projects follow the scientific method!

Great Fifth Grade Science Projects

A Fifth Grade Science Project. Since we have four boys, our family has done a total of four fifth grade science projects. The projects we have done can be found in our 24 Hour Science Projects guides . The experiments are easy to do, yet they meet the requirements of most science fairs and most fifth grade teachers. Check out the ideas, and find out how to get step by step instructions at the end of this article.

These are investigative science projects, which involve a science experiment:

Does the shape of ice affect melting time? Use the same amount of water, place into different shaped containers and freeze. Then see how much time each piece of ice takes to melt.

Which toilet tissue is most biodegradable? Take samples of different types of toilet tissue, and soak them until they fall apart. Run the samples through a strainer, and see which sample leaves the most paper undissolved.

Which citrus fruit has the most Vitamin C? Make an indicator solution with iodine and starch (it’s EASY to do!), and test samples of citrus fruit or juice to see which one has the most vitamin C.

Which brand cereal stays crunchy longest? Weigh different brands of the same cereal, soak in water, and then weigh again to see which one absorbed more water.

These are demonstration science projects – when your teacher wants you to demonstrate a scientific principle to the class.

Demonstrate that yeast gives of gas. Place a yeast and sugar solution into a bottle, put a balloon on top, and watch the yeast give off gas so that the balloon blows up!

Demonstrate how static electricity works. Make a ball of aluminum foil dance between your finger and a pie plate. Watch this one on

Demonstrate how chemical reactions can be sped up. Put alka seltzer into a cup, and watch it fiz. Then do it again with crushed alka seltzer, another time with warm water, and yet another time with TWO alka seltzers.

We’ve done all of these science projects with our four boys, and they are fast, affordable, and easy to design on your own. We also provide illustrated, step by step instructions on these projects at our website! Whatever you do, remember, fifth grade science projects really can be fun and a learning experience at the same time. So grab your slide rule and your test tubes, and get started on your project now!

These projects are all part of Online Science Project Guides, science projects that are fun, easy, affordable, and teacher pleasing! Have fun this year with your fifth grade science project!