Science Fair Projects Perfect for Spring

Photo by: Vicky Somma
Photo by: Vicky Somma

Spring is here, and so are fresh flowers, green leaves, and sweet fruits! Get some of them from your backyard garden and use them for cool science fair projects that you can do at home!

Science Fair Project #1 – Colored flowers
Flowers and spring are almost synonymous. This will be a great science fair project for the upcoming spring and it is one of the few science fair projects that you’ll love repeating!
You will need –
• White carnation flowers
• Food colors
• 4 transparent drinking glasses
• Water
• Scissors
Directions –
• First make the flowers ready. Trim the stems so that they are not excessively long. Then, make a slanted cut at the base of the stem which will be later soaked in water. The base is cut at an angle so that it doesn’t sit still at the bottom. It is advised to cut the stem under water so that the formation of tiny air bubbles can be avoided which will help the stem be a great prop in this science fair project.
• Next, keep the 4 transparent glasses ready. Add about 20-30 drops of food coloring to each glass. Fill them up till half with warm water. It will be absorbed more readily than cold water.
• Now, soak the damp stem of the flower in the each of the glasses with the colored water. Wait overnight to see the change of colors in the flowers. The petals should take the food color when you wake up the next day!
• You can move the flowers to clear water if you already like their new colors. If you want them to soak even more colors and turn darker, then leave them in the colored water for some more time.
• In no time, you will have colorful carnations in your favorite colors instead of the vanilla white ones!
How it works –
The process through which the petals absorb the colored water and change their colors is called transpiration. Water is pulled through the tiny tubes called xylem that are present in any stem. Although according to gravity the water should move towards the ground, the xylem makes the water stick to itself and the stem. This capillary action is similar to the mechanism of a straw where the liquid is suspended when you suck through it, except that in this case it is the evaporation and biochemical reactions that provide the initial upward pull.

Science Fair Project #2 – Changing color of leaves

Leaves are green in spring, and brown in fall. Can you explain why? Carry out this fun science experiment to find out! This experiment would make for a great science fair project as well.
You will need –
• Leaves
• Small jar
• Plastic wrap
• Rubbing alcohol
• Paper coffee filter
• Shallow pan
• Hot tap water
• Plastic knife or spoon
Directions –
• Chop or tear the leaves into tiny pieces and put them in a jar.
• Add enough rubbing alcohol to the jar so that the leaves are covered. Use a plastic spoon to carefully chop the leaves further in the alcohol.
• Cover the jar loosely with plastic wrap and place it on a hot tray containing hot water.
• Twirl the jar gently every five minutes. Keep it soaked in the water till the alcohol has changed its color. Keep replacing the hot water if it cools off.
• Cut a long thin strip of coffee filter paper. Uncover the jar and place the strip of filter paper into it so that one end is in the alcohol and the other end over the top of the jar. Bend the strip at the top and secure it with the jar with tape.
• Soon, you will notice the alcohol travelling up and lending its color to the filter paper. You can see a variety of colors such as green, yellow, orange, or red depending on the leaf.
How it works –
Chlorophyll lends leaves the green color that we see. However it successfully hides other color pigments in them from naked eyes. You separated the colors by adding rubbing alcohol and followed a process called ‘chromatography’. The colors you could see on the filter paper are the different color pigments present in the leaves. The burst of colors makes it one of the coolest science fair projects you’ll ever do!
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brionnasimpson

Author:brionnasimpson
I am an assistant teacher and my aim is to curate unique learning tips and techniques customized towards kids.

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