Fourth graders can grasp scientific concepts and conduct experiments to test what they have learned. With assistance from teachers or parents, fourth graders can hypothesize and carry out the following experiments, forming conclusions based upon their own hard work.
Does Magnetism Work Through Material
At the fourth grade level, students may be interested in testing the force of magnets. Place a paper clip into a plastic bag that zips sealed. Use a small magnet, like a disc or bar magnet, to try to move the paper clip around the bag, testing a magnet’s force through plastic.
Tie a string to the paperclip and tape the string down to a table to allow the paper clip to dangle off the side of the table. Hold a piece of paper over the magnet and move both toward the paperclip in an effort to move the paperclip without touching it. This tests a magnet’s force through paper.
Drop a paperclip into a cup of water. Move the magnet closer to and eventually into the water to observe a magnet’s strength through water.
Do Worms React to Different Colors of Light
One of the only times a child’s parent cannot scold him or her for playing with worms, this experiment involves testing the effects of different colors of light on earthworms. Purchase a worm habitat kit, which comes with a form to send away for live worms, soil and starter food. First, test no light on your worms by inserting the light shield on the habitat for one day. Record results, such as the level of activity of the worms, if you can spot them at all or if they are burrowed beneath the soil. Replace colored transparencies over the habitat for one day each, recording the results before switching the color.
How Well Do Plants Grow in Other Liquids
To test the growth effects of liquids on plant life, pot four plants. Feed one pot with water, another with milk, the third with orange juice and the fourth with vinegar. Record the growth daily using both a ruler and a digital camera to store photographic evidence of your results. Expand this experiment by testing other liquids, such as flavored water or soda.
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