5 Summer Science Experiments
The best way to learn STEM concepts is by seeing it in action! Help your students stay engaged with these 5 easy science experiments that are perfect for summer:
1. Bubble Snakes
Bubble snakes are awesome to create because all you need are some common household items. Watch how these colorful bubbles form a snake-like shape right before your students’ eyes!
- Empty plastic bottle
- A stray sock
- Duct tape or a rubber band
- Dish soap
- A small bowl
- Food coloring
- Cut off the bottom of the plastic bottle. Slide the sock over the bottle from the bottom and secure it with either duct tape or a rubber band.
- Pour dish soap into a small bowl and mix with a little bit of water.
- Dip the sock covered end of the bottle into the soap mixture.
- Pour a few drops of food coloring of your choice onto the sock covered end.
- Blow through the mouth of the bottle and watch colorful bubble snakes form!
NOTE: Be sure to only blow through the bottle and do NOT inhale.
2. Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag
Nothing says summer like ice cream! Students can learn about the states of water including solid, liquid, and gas by making ice cream from scratch.
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup heavy cream or whipping cream
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ to ¾ cup of table salt or rock salt
- 2 cups ice
- 1-quart Ziploc bag
- 1-gallon Ziploc bag
- Gloves or oven mitts
- Serving dishes or cones
- Add ¼ sugar, ½ cup milk, ½ cup cream, ¼ tsp vanilla extract into the quart-sized Ziploc bag. Be sure to zip the bag closed completely to prevent leaking!
- Put the 2 cups of ice into the gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
- Add ½ to ¾ cup of salt to the bag of ice.
- Place the quart-sized bag of ice cream mixture into the bag of ice and securely seal it.
- Shake the bag back and forth for 10-15 minutes until the ice cream mixture solidifies. You can wear gloves or oven mitts during this process as the bag can get very cold!
- Once the ice cream mixture is solidified, scoop it into your serving dishes or cones and enjoy!
3. Quick Version of the Exploding Volcano
Many students have heard of the exploding volcano experiment made with a paper mache volcano. Well this is a quicker and more accessible method!
- Mounds of dirt
- A small container such as an empty pill bottle or an empty jar of baby food
- Red and yellow food coloring
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- Dish soap
- Go outside!
- Form a volcano shape out of mounds of dirt.
- Put the empty container into the top of the volcano.
- Add 2 tsp of baking soda and a spoonful of dish soap into the container. Add about 5 drops each of the red and yellow food coloring.
- Add 2 tbsp of vinegar into the container.
- Watch as the chemical reaction causes the volcano to erupt!
4. Solar Oven Smores
Smores make for a tasty summer treat. How can it get any better? By incorporating science! Make smores with your students using the sun’s energy right in your backyard!
- Cardboard box with a lid attached. Box should be at least 3 inches deep.
- Aluminum foil
- Clear plastic wrap
- Glue stick
- Stick that is about 1 foot long to prop lid open (can be a ruler, a skewer, or anything you have on hand)
- Box cutter (with adult help!)
- Smores ingredients: graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. Feel free to add any other ingredients you like!
- Using a ruler as a guide, have an adult carve out a three-sided flap from the top of the box, leaving at least a 1-inch border around the 3 sides.
- Cover the bottom of the flap and the insides of the box with aluminum foil, using a glue stick to hold it all in place. Make sure the foil is as smooth as possible.
- Tape plastic wrap across the opening of the box. This will help keep the heat inside the box.
- Prop the flap open by taping a stick between the bottom of the flap and the top of the box.
- Set the oven you have just created outside under direct sunlight on a day that is at least 85 degrees fahrenheit. Let the oven preheat for 30 minutes.
- Assemble your smores and place them inside the oven.
- Wait until the chocolate and marshmallows are melted and enjoy!
5. Ocean Currents Simulation
There’s nothing like a beach day during the blazing summer. Have your students ever wondered about how ocean currents work? Let them discover how currents change in this ocean currents simulation!
- Cold water
- Boiling water
- Red and blue food coloring
- Large clear baking dish
- Fill the baking dish ⅓ of the way with cold water and add a few drops of blue food coloring. Don’t make the blue too dark or you won’t see the currents!
- Add 1-2 cups of ice, stir, and let it sit until ice has melted. We want the water to be very cold.
- While ice is melting, boil 4 cups of water. Add red food coloring to the boiled water. You want this to be pretty dark.
- Pour some of the boiling water into a corner of the dish filled with iced water and watch the current form!
- When the hot water pushes through the cold water, it moves faster and as the water gets colder, it moves slower.
- Currents on the surface of the water are affected by wind. You can have your students blow on the water and see what the effects are!