There are two things that come to mind when I think about science experiments for middle school. It really ends up being what makes a middle school science project different than elementary ones. Most people would think that it is because the topics are harder, or the assignment is more detailed, and that is probably true, but when it comes to science the actual topics dont change, you will still study plants, and rocks and electricity, but this time around you will be asked to start looking into the how and why of it.
You move from Look What Happens to Why This Happens
If you are checking out plants growing in different windows with different sun, in elementary school you will focus more on the sun makes a difference, where in middle school you will be asked to research and explain photosynthesis, or how plants turn water and sun into energy or what nitrogen does to the soil.
For many kids this is a real eye opener and if you dont handle it right, it is the beginning of a turn off to science. One of the steps in the scientific method is research your topic, and in elementary school that is either done in class as part of a unit, or they give you the background you need. In what makes a middle school science fair project different is that you are expected to learn how to go and find this information on your own.
You Cant See it, But it is There…
Abstract thinking means you wrap your head around a concept that you can’t always see. Educators tell you that this kind of thinking does not fully develop until you are around 12 (give or take), and so you will start to see more of this kind of thing as you hit middle school. That is why elementary science is more hands on, measuring growth, timing how long something takes to do, collecting samples are common.
With your science experiments for middle school, you start to explore the concepts you can’t see, the abstract, like static electricity, atoms, or chemical reactions and understand what is going on, even know you do not see it.
Unfortunately, this makes science seem more like school and less fun, but it does not have to be that way. You can gradually build up the skills needed, and finding experiments to do that are fun and uses every day things and can be applied to their every day lives will help.
Here is the bottom line for science experiments for middle school and how they are different:
- In middle school you might find some of the experiments might be just like what you saw in elementary school, but the research you are expected to do will increase. You will be expected to use the report writing skills they teach you in Language Arts when writing your background write-ups and the experiments summary. Doing experiments is one of the best way to teach an abstract concept, even watching an experiment that the teacher does, or demonstrations classmates do helps yousee the idea they are trying to teach They make middle school science projects different from elementary ones, but they can be fun to do, and you really start to learn why things work the way they do.