5th Grade is a fantastic age to do science. The kids are old enough to start doing some projects independently and they have an insatiable curiosity and passion for learning. Especially when it is hands on experiments with great wow factor! These science experiments for 5th graders will inspire curiosity, sparke a passion for learning, and excite young scientists. If you are working on lesson plans for your grade 5 students (or 5th year), here are some of our top picks!
The Best Science Experiments for 5th Graders
Although the topics covered in 5th grade vary based on where you are in the world, there are some consistent themes that are commonly covered at this age. We’ve looked into syllabuses from all over and came up with this list of topics that appear most often. These themes include lesson plans around:
- Earth and Space
- Lifecycles (plants and animals)
- The human body
- Chemistry (such as crystallization)
- States of Matter
- Scientific Method
Phew! That’s a lot! But trust me, it can also be fun! Plus this is based on reviewing school curriculums all around the world. You don’t need to tackle all of these subjects. Or maybe you do if you have a passionate young scientist!
Based on this list of topics I have gathered up some of our favourite science experiments (and STEM projects) that are perfect for adding to your 5th grade science lessons.
5th Grade Science Project Ideas
Oobleck States of Matter Exploration
Oobleck is always a hit with kids! We have done a lot of different Oobleck experiments over the years. One of our favourites was a science fair style investigation which also worked on the sense of touch (learning about the body), as we explored different recipes and evaluated how the texture varied with each recipe. But that is just one of many awesome Oobleck ideas we have done. Check them out!
Growing Crystals (Chemistry)
Growing crystals is a great way to introduce students to lab work and chemistry. Usually before this age they have already played around with the basic baking soda and vinegar type reactions, but if they haven’t definitely add those into the mix too. For crystals growing there are lots of different ways to grow crystals. Some use borax which is not available in some countries, but we also have crystal growing options using other solutions such as alum, salt or sugar! With sugar crystals (candy science), you can also explore taste, which ties into the human body studies too.
Building a Heart Model
Learning about the human body is fascinating and important. We want kids to understand their bodies, how they work, and how to properly care for their bodies. One of our favourite body learning activities was building a heart model that we made beat and move “blood” around. It was a great project for 5th years!
Windmill (STEM Project)
I love when I can combine a great science project with a fantastic book. If you decide to try a windmill engineering challenge (a brilliant STEM Project for 5th grade) there is a fantastic book called The Book Who Harnessed the Wind. This unit study is fantastic because it brings together literacy/reading, history (it’s a true story) plus engineering and physics lessons. The book is a great read with multiple levels of difficulty available.
Elephant Toothpaste is a great science experiment for grade 5 that explores chemistry, biology, and states of matter. Plus it is a lot of fun for students!
Space is a fantastic topic to tackle with 5th graders! They love learning about the stars, planets and and our place in the universe. We have been obsessed with our space studies for many years and have compiled a great resource with tons of space related science experiments, all perfect for 5th grade! My personal favourite is the pipe cleaner constellations and the space inspired bath bombs!
Coding is the second language of today and the future and something all kids should explore and learn. It can be intimidating to teach coding if it is not something you are familiar with, but thankfully there are a lot of programs and options out there to help kids learn coding. We have a number of screen free options, plus there are programs, toys and more all designed to make learning coding fun and easy!
Light it up! Kids in grade 5 are the perfect age to build circuits and learn how electricity works. From salt circuits, to circuits built with food, to circuit bugs, there are so many cool options for you to explore.
Magnets are fascinating for kids and a great tool for doing some simple science experiments. One of our favourite science experiments we did in grade 5 tied into the Harry Potter books, Wingardium Leviosar Magnetism Experiment. Making this another fun cross subject activity!
Water is an incredible tool for doing science experiments in 5th grade. You can use it to study states of matter, physics, chemistry, and more. It is readily accessible, safe for kids and the experiments are a ton of fun! We have done lots of experimenting with water science over the years. Check out our comprehensive resource on Water Science Projects for the perfect experiment for your studies.
Make It Move
Make it Move is a fantastic classroom challenge, where kids need to innovate and come up with ways to make their car race across a track or table without pushing it! Give them a variety of supplies and a matchbox car, then watch those imaginations go wild.
A wonderful activity for introducing physics concepts to kids in 5th year is balloon races. It gets them up and moving and having a blast exploring these fundamental concepts around Newton’s Laws of Motion. Budget friendly, fun and perfect for home or the classroom, this is one activity you must do!
Layers of the Earth Soap
Learning about the layers of the Earth with this soap making project is a great way to explore our gorgeous planet. Plus, every time the kids wash their hands they will remember the lessons on the planet layers, helping to reinforce those concepts.
Climate Change and the Greenhouse Effect
Students will gain a greater understanding of climate change and the way greenhouse gases capture and hold heat in this experiment in a jar. Fantastic as an experiment or a classroom demonstration.
Learning about lifecycles is a very popular topic for our 5th grade students. We have a fun Lifecycle Decoding Activity that is perfect for some screen free learning. Plus it combines coding skills with learning about lifecycles.
Looking for a gorgeous, simple, and fairly quick experiment? Try this Rainbow Rain Clouds experiment and learn how clouds work when it rains. It’s easy, fast and kids can do this experiment independently.
One of the key concepts kids should be learning not just in grade 5 but throughout their schooling is the Scientific Method. Using the method should become natural and easy with practice and encourages critical thinking and analysis which is important for all students to master.
The Science Fair
Grade 5 is a very popular grade for science fair projects! We LOVE doing science fair projects and have so many ideas. Check out our comprehensive resource on Science Fair Projects which includes tips on how to prepare, what to expect, and topic ideas.
Grade 5 is a wonderful year for science experiments and hands on learning. Enjoy these top picks for Science Experiments for 5th Graders.