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55 Terrific 3rd Grade Science Projects Anyone Can Do

Engage students in the classroom, or prep for the science fair!

Collage of 3rd grade science projects, including gravity robot and simple circuit

Want to see your students’ eyes light up? Tell them they’re going to do an experiment! These 3rd grade science projects are easy enough for any classroom or kitchen, and they’re full of science concepts kids need to learn.

To make things even easier, we’ve rated every one of these 3rd grade science experiments based on difficulty and materials:


  • Easy: Low or no-prep experiments you can do pretty much any time
  • Medium: These take a little more setup or a longer time to complete
  • Advanced: Experiments like these take a fairly big commitment of time or effort
  • Basic: Simple items you probably already have around the house
  • Medium: Items that you might not already have but are easy to get your hands on
  • Advanced: These require specialized or more expensive supplies to complete

3rd Grade Science Fair Projects

3rd grade stem challenge projects, magnet and electricity science experiments for 3rd grade, more 3rd grade science projects and activities.

Use these ideas to build a 3rd grade science fair project. Form your own hypothesis, alter the variables, and see what happens!

Discover the chemistry of slime

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

Kids adore slime, and it’s actually a terrific way to teach them about polymers. Learn the basics of slime chemistry, then experiment with the formula to make your own unique concoctions.

Make sun prints to display

You’ll need special sun-print paper for this project, but it’s inexpensive and easy to find. Kids learn about chemical reactions as they use the power of the sun to create unique works of art.

Experiment with ice, salt, and water temperature

Two glasses of water, one with ice and a thermometer

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

This simple experiment requires only water, ice, salt, and a thermometer. Your 3rd grade science class can explore how ice and salt affect the temperature, a simple but effective lesson on heat transfer and freezing points.

Learn more: Ice, Salt, and Temperature at 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Experiment with colors

Tissue paper flowers dyed using chromatography. Text reads

Play around with colors, mix them together, and then use a little science magic to pull them apart again. This chromatography science project requires only simple supplies like coffee filters and markers.

Learn more: Chromatography at 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Understand the science behind bath bombs

Two pastel bath bombs and a glass of fizzing water

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Bath bombs certainly make bath time more fun, but what makes them work? Explore chemical reactions and get squeaky clean all at the same time!

Learn more: Bath Bomb Science at Learning Hypothesis

Investigate the effects of erosion

Science student pouring water onto two tin pans of soil, one with plants and one without

Compare the effects of “rain” on hills of bare soil vs. those covered with grass. Have your 3rd grade science students predict which they think will stand up to erosion better and then test their hypotheses.

Learn more: Erosion Experiment at Third Grade Thinkers

Give flowers a glow-up

Flowers with their vascular systems glowing blue and green under black light

This one will make kids’ eyes pop out of their heads! Use highlighters and a black-light flashlight to reveal the vascular system of flowers.

Learn more: Plant’s Vascular System at Tamara “Tamawi” Horne

Grow bacteria from common surfaces

Collection of petri dishes growing mold, labeled fridge, hand, fish tank, and more

There’s never been a better time to learn about the way germs spread! Take samples from a variety of surfaces, then watch bacteria grow in petri dishes just like grown-up scientists.

Learn more: Growing Germs at Happiness Is Here

Take friction for a ride

Your students will love pulling their way across the floor as they discover more about friction and its effects on motion. Build your own “sled” or use a premade box or tray.

Craft fossils from glue

Red clay with an impression of a twig. The impression is filled with white glue.

Create clay molds of natural objects, then fill them with school glue to make your own “fossil” casts. This is a great project to try before a trip to the natural history museum.

Learn more: Glue Fossils at Education.com

Go green with recycled paper

Science student making recycled paper using a wood frame covered in wire mesh

We talk a lot about recycling and sustainability these days, so show kids how it’s done! Recycle old worksheets or other papers using screen and picture frames.

Learn more: Recycled Paper at Undercover Classroom

Filter sediment from dirty water

Science student pouring dirty water through a plastic cup into a jar below

Explore sediments and water filtration with this easy 3rd grade science experiment. It’s a fun way to learn more about the water cycle.

Learn more: Water Filtration at Teach Beside Me

Put together a compost bottle

Compost bin built in a two liter soda bottle, with child pouring water into it

Learn about the decomposition of food and how composting can provide nutrients for growing more food with this easy earth science project.

Learn more: Soda Bottle Compost at Busy Mommy Media

Sprout new potatoes

Potatoes grow from tuberous roots, and under the right conditions, new shoots appear from those roots. This 3rd grade science experiment explores the biological science behind cloning.

Use flowers to learn about acid rain

Three yellow daisies in jars labeled water, slightly acidic, and acidic

Have you ever wondered what happens to plants when they are exposed to acid rain? Your students can find out by conducting a simple acid rain experiment using flowers and vinegar!

Learn more: Acid Rain Experiment at Little Bins for Little Hands

Keep apples from turning brown

Apple slides in small white bowls, labeled with a variety of liquids including vinegar and milk

What’s the best method to keep sliced apples from turning brown? Find out with this popular 3rd grade science project.

Learn more: Apple Browning at Teach Beside Me

Fizz it up with antacid

Fizzy fantastic fun! Learn about chemical reactions by mixing water and effervescent antacid tablets to see what happens, comparing the time it takes for whole tablets and small pieces.

Drop objects to learn about gravity

Do heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones? Try this hands-on gravity activity for 3rd graders to find out!

Use these STEM challenges as the basis for science fair project ideas, or try them as in-class science activities your 3rd graders will love!

Design a candy-delivery machine

Candy delivery machine built of drinking straws

Learn about inclined planes with this fun simple-machines project. Kids can get creative and develop any kind of delivery system they like!

Learn more: Candy Machine at 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Determine the most waterproof roof

Third grade science student spraying water on a LEGO house with a wood roof

Calling all future engineers! Build a house from LEGO, then experiment to see what type of roof prevents water from leaking inside.

Learn more: Waterproof Roof at Science Sparks

Run marble races with pool noodles

Pool noodles turned into a simple marble race track

Crack open a pool noodle or two and create your own marble racetracks. Experiment with angles, force, and surface materials to find the fastest way to get the marble to the bottom. ( Find more fun ways to use pool noodles in the classroom here. )

Learn more: Pool Noodle Marble Races at The Techy Teacher

Build a better umbrella

Science student pouring water over a cupcake wrapper propped on wood craft sticks

Challenge students to engineer the best possible umbrella from various household supplies. Encourage them to plan, draw blueprints, and test their creations, using the scientific method.

Learn more: Best Umbrella STEM Challenge at Raising Lifelong Learners

Construct a marshmallow catapult

Tissue box modified with pencils and rubber bands to create a toy catapult

Fling some sweet treats in the name of science! All you need is an old tissue box, pencils, rubber bands, and a few other supplies to learn about trajectory, air resistance, gravity, and more.

Learn more: Tissue Box Catapult at Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

Blow through a water whistle

Science student blowing through a crooked straw into a glass of water

Learn about the science of sound with this easy experiment. Kids will love building their own whistles from straws and a glass of water.

Learn more: Water Whistle at My Baba

Step through an index card

Science student holding an index card cut in a way that forms a large opening

With carefully placed scissor cuts on an index card, you can make a loop large enough to fit a (small) human body through! Kids will be wowed as they learn about surface area.

Learn more: Index Card Experiment at Mess for Less

Construct a Hero’s engine

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Basic

Sir Isaac Newton came up with rules about how things work in the world. One of these rules is called Newton’s third law. It says that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Do an experiment with your 3rd graders to learn more about this rule!

Model the effect of air drag

To learn about the role of drag in flight, students can fold paper planes in different styles and observe how these changes affect the distance and flight pattern of the planes. Turn this 3rd grade science project into a fun competition to see which plane flies the farthest or stays in the air the longest.

Put together an anemometer

This very simple weather instrument is easy enough for kids to build, allowing them to observe and think like a real meteorologist.

These shocking (OK, not literally!) electricity experiments will fit nicely into many 3rd grade science curriculum programs. Give them a try in the classroom, or encourage an interest in science at home.

Assemble a simple circuit

Simple circuit in the open position, light bulb lit

To test the conductivity of different materials, your students can use a simple electric circuit. Invest in a few of these inexpensive gadgets to allow for all kinds of 3rd grade science projects.

Learn more: Simple Circuits at Science Projects

Turn a safety pin into a circuit

Looking for an even easier simple circuits project? This one requires only a few supplies you can grab at the hardware store and an ordinary everyday safety pin.

Investigate how liquids affect magnets

Are magnets equally effective in water? What about oil or a thicker liquid like, say, a milkshake? This would make for an easy 3rd grade science fair project that’s fun too.

Ask a magnet to dance

This is so cool! Make a magnet dance without touching it in this activity that’s part STEM challenge, part magnet experiment, and 100% amazing.

Capture lightning in a bottle

Well, it’s not quite that dramatic, but this cool electricity experiment for 3rd grade will still wow your students.

Separate salt and pepper with static electricity

Spoon charged with static electricity separating pepper from salt

When you mix up salt and pepper, you’d think it would be almost impossible to separate them again. But using a little static electricity and a plastic spoon, it’s surprisingly simple.

Learn more: Separate Salt and Pepper at Science Kiddo

Explore static electricity with jumping goop

A mix of cornstarch and oil attracted to an orange balloon by static electricity

Your students have probably tried rubbing a balloon on their heads to create static electricity with their hair. This experiment is even cooler to see, as a mix of cornstarch and oil seems to leap off the spoon in front of their eyes!

Learn more: Static Electricity Goop at Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

Predict the distance of lightning

This weather science experiment never fails to impress. Use a stopwatch to measure the difference between the flash and the sound of lightning and thunder, then calculate the distance between you and the strike.

Find your way with a DIY compass

DIY compass made from a needle floating in water

Here’s an old classic that never fails to impress. Magnetize a needle and float it on the water’s surface—it will always point north.

Learn more: DIY Compass at STEAM Powered Family

Defy gravity with magnets and paper clips

Two stacks of colorful blocks supporting a stick with magnets attached, and paperclips hanging from the magnets

Magnets are always a hit in the classroom. Use this simple experiment to discover more about gravity and the effects of magnets on metal objects.

Learn more: Magnet Gravity at Buggy and Buddy

These science experiments for 3rd graders explore all sorts of concepts, from the laws of motion to earth and planetary science and beyond.

Flick pennies to learn about inertia

Third grade science student flicking an index card out from underneath a stack of pennies suspended over a cup of water

This is one of those science experiments that kind of looks like magic, but it’s really all about the laws of motion. It might take a little practice to get the index card flick just right, but the results are always cool!

Learn more: Penny Inertia at Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

See the temperature rise in a chemical reaction

Steel wool in vinegar in a beaker, with a thermometer (Third Grade Science)

When iron meets oxygen, rust forms. Use vinegar to remove the protective coat from steel wool  and watch the temperature rise from the chemical reaction.

Learn more: Thermal Reaction at 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Float an iceberg

Paper boat floating in a dish with a large chunk of ice

Use a balloon to make an iceberg, then float it in a dish of water to learn how much you can see above and below the waterline. Try experimenting with salt water to see how the density changes things.

Learn more: Icebergs at Science Sparks

Take a Play-Doh core sample

Layers of differently colored playdough with straw holes punched throughout all the layers

Learn about the layers of the Earth by building them out of Play-Doh. Then students can take a core sample with a straw. ( Love Play-Doh? Get more learning ideas here. )

Learn more: Core Sampling at Line Upon Line Learning

Spin a disappearing color wheel

Color a paper disk with the six primary and secondary colors. Then thread a string through the middle and make it spin. The colors will seem to disappear!

Crystallize some pretty fall leaves

Yellow, red, and green leaves crystalized in a boric acid solution

Every kid loves making crystals. In this 3rd grade science project, learn about supersaturated solutions by crystallizing some colorful fall leaves. Then use them as fall classroom decor!

Learn more: Salt Crystal Leaves at STEAMsational

Find a robot’s center of gravity

Child balancing a paper robot on their nose

Print out, cut, and color this free paper robot. Then glue some coins to the back and have your students try to find its center of gravity!

Learn more: Balancing Robot at Buggy and Buddy

Make your own bouncing bubbles

Have your 3rd grade science students put on gloves and watch the bubbles bounce! Then encourage them to experiment with their own bubble solution. Try different soaps, mixing up the ratios to make the strongest bubble possible.

Project the stars on your ceiling

Science student poking holes in the bottom of a paper cup in the shape of a constellation

Use the video lesson in the link below to teach 3rd grade science students why stars are only visible at night. Then create a DIY star projector to explore the concept hands-on.

Learn more: Star Projector at Mystery Science

Blow bubbles inside bubbles inside bubbles

If there’s a more fun 3rd grade science project about surface tension than bubbles, we haven’t found it yet! Create a soap solution by using dissolved sugar and discover more about elasticity and volume as you blow bubbles inside bubbles inside bubbles …

Use water balloons to explore buoyancy

Water balloons labeled with items like salt and sugar in a big red bin

Fill water balloons with different solutions (oil, salt water, plain water, etc.) and place the balloons in a large bucket of water to see if they sink or float. This is a cool project to do with your 3rd grade science class on the playground on a sunny day.

Learn more: Balloon Density at 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Learn how water temperature affects density

Colorful water in layers in double glass jars

Looking for a simple, quick, and colorful science experiment? This one just requires some mason jars , hot and cold water, and food coloring . Kids will be amazed at the results!

Learn more: Water Density Experiment at STEAMsational

Dissolve cups to learn about types of change

Styrofoam cups in a tin of liquid, one half dissolved

Teach your 3rd grade science class about the differences between physical and chemical changes with this quick and easy experiment involving Styrofoam cups.

Learn more: Dissolving Cups at The Owl Teacher

Turn crayons into rocks

Crayon shavings melted and pressed together to simulate types of rocks

Demonstrate the effects of heat and pressure on crayon shavings to explain the different types of rocks to students. It’s a colorful intro to geology!

Learn more: Crayon Rocks at The Owl Teacher

 Stab a straw through a potato

Man's hand stabbing a sweet potato with a drinking straw

Plastic straws may seem flimsy, but by using the power of air pressure, you can make one strong enough to stab all the way through a potato!

Learn more: Stab a Potato at KiwiCo

Shake up some ice cream

Bowl of ice cream with text reading Ice Cream in a Bag

Get kids up and moving when they shake their way to ice cream, made from scratch using ice and plastic zipper bags! Talk about heating and cooling as well as condensation while you enjoy your snack.

Learn more: Ice Cream in a Bag at Mom of 6

Examine pine cones opening and closing

3rd grade science experiment about how pinecones change their shape based on humidity.

Pine cones can sense changes in humidity and adjust their scales in response. Gather several pine cones, glass containers, tweezers, and both hot and cold water to conduct a fun experiment to discover what makes pine cones open and close.

Learn more: Pine Cone Experiment at Parenting Chaos

If you liked these 3rd grade science projects, keep up the STEM enthusiasm with these fun and engaging 3rd grade math games .

Plus, sign up for our newsletters to get all the latest teaching tips and tricks, straight to your inbox.

Need ideas for 3rd grade science fair projects, or looking for classroom science experiments and activities? Find them here!

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68 Fascinating 3rd-Grade Science Projects

October 5, 2023 //  by  Louise Pieterse

Science projects for 3rd graders can be colorful, fun, and educational. It’s the perfect time for students to get familiar with the scientific method and learn basic scientific concepts from various fields of science. Hands-on science activities allow them to gain valuable knowledge of the field and foster an early love for science that they can build on for the rest of their lives. Here are 68 epic science experiments for any 3rd-grade class.

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1. Make Slime

This sensory-rich activity is sure to mesmerize your kids as they create slime using a simple chemical reaction! Assist them in mixing Borax and warm water to create a slime activator. Then, have them pour a bottle of glue into a bowl before slowly adding in the slime activator to bring their squishy creation to life. 

Learn More: YouTube

2. Fossil Making


Take your learners on a journey to a land before time with this fossil-making activity! Simply start by inviting them to press small items like shells into modeling clay to create an imprint. Once their clay impressions have been formed, mix together some plaster of Paris and prompt them to pour the mixture into their molds before leaving to harden. After it has dried, encourage them to dive in as they excavate their very own fossils. 

Learn More: Rainy Day Mum

3. Break the Rules of Gravity

science project 3rd grade

Your kiddos will defy gravity as they learn about magnetic fields! Task them with tying string to paper clips before attaching them to a small wooden dowel. Next, have them stick small magnets to a ruler and then encourage them to place them on an elevated surface such as a pile of books or a stack of cubes. Encourage them to observe how the magnets move against gravity as they place them beneath the magnetized ruler. 

Learn More: Buggy and Buddy

4. Color Wheel Magic

science project 3rd grade

Instill some wonder into your science lessons with this magical color wheel activity! Simply print out the templates provided and invite your littles to cut out each circle before gluing it onto a cardboard circle cut out. Assist them in poking holes through the cardboard by following the dots provided, before encouraging them to decorate their wheel with vibrant markers. Finally, have them thread string through the holes and then prompt them to spin their wheels to create waves of color. 

Learn More: One Little Project

5. Core Samples


Teach your students about the different layers of the earth with this insightful activity! Engage them in placing layers of colorful playdough into a mold to represent each layer of the earth’s core. Then, challenge them to push a straw through all the layers before having them observe and label each layer accordingly. 

Learn More: Line Upon Line Learning

6. Making an Iceberg


Here’s an icy activity that we guarantee your little scientists will love! Task them with filling balloons with water, tying them off, and then placing into a freezer. Once frozen, they will then remove the balloon to reveal their icy sculptures. Place each frozen ball into water before encouraging them to measure how much of their iceberg is submerged and how much is not. 

Learn More: Science Sparks

7. Salt Crystals for Fall

science project 3rd grade

Salt crystals are a fun experiment that your kiddos can observe over a few days. Simply begin by creating a supersaturated solution while your learners thread pipe cleaners through leaves and suspend them over some jars. Then, assist them in pouring enough solution into their jars to cover each leaf. They will then eagerly watch as their leaves begin to crystalize before their eyes! 

Learn More: STEAM Sational

8. Waterproofing Test


Pique your little engineers’ interests with this interactive project! Invite them to build Lego houses before challenging them to protect each house with a roof made of various materials. Prompt them to then spray their constructions with water to test the waterproof properties of each material. 

9. Center of Gravity

science project 3rd grade

This adorable activity is perfect for lessons on gravity! Provide your learners with robot templates and task them with cutting out and decorating their robotic friend. Then, have them stick coins on each arm before challenging them to balance their robot on their fingers or nose to try and find its center of gravity. 

10. Marble Racetracks

science project 3rd grade

Treat your kids to an engaging marble race with this speedy activity! Guide them in cutting pool noodles in half before taping them together to form a DIY racetrack. You will then prompt them to use different materials on the racetrack to test how friction can affect the speed of their marbles. 

Learn More: Fun Family Crafts

11. Bounce Bubbles

science project 3rd grade

Bounce into the day with this fun and interactive bubble activity! Start by creating a bubble solution by mixing water, dish soap, and sugar. Invite your little ones to put on some clean microfiber gloves before allowing them to gently blow bubbles using a bubble wand. Encourage them to catch and bounce the bubbles as you lead them in a discussion on why they think the bubbles don’t pop as they normally would. 

Learn More: Kids Activities.com

12. Umbrella Building


Here’s a hands-on activity that’s sure to keep your kiddos intrigued for hours! Challenge them to use different supplies such as cupcake liners and sponges to create an umbrella for little toys. Once they’ve constructed their roofs, prompt them to pour water over the top to test whether their umbrella design is a success.

Learn More: Raising Lifelong Learners

13. Sun Print Artwork

science project 3rd grade

Invite your learners to create sun print art, perfect for a sunny lesson outside the classroom! Simply start by prompting them to collect various natural materials such as leaves and flowers. Then, task them with laying their materials on the paper before placing a plexiglass sheet over their designs and leaving them outside to soak up the sun. After a few minutes, have them run water over their artwork to reveal its magical patterns! 

Learn More: Art Bar

14. Star Projector

science project 3rd grade

Bring the Milky Way to your classroom with this fascinating activity! Print out constellation templates before tasking your little ones with poking holes through each star. Then, allow them to attach their constellation template onto an empty toilet paper roll and encourage them to use a flashlight to create dazzling galaxies around your class. 

Learn More: Playground Parkbench

15. Catapults


Have your kiddos create DIY catapults to do some target practice! Challenge them to put together their catapult using simple materials like a tissue box, pencils, rubber bands, and a bottle cap. Encourage them to shoot marshmallows, Skittles, and other candy to observe how the weight of items can change the distance they travel. 

Learn More: Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

16. Explore water temperatures

science project 3rd grade

Engage your students in this interactive project that’s all about freezing points! Task them with filling two glasses with water and ice before adding some salt to one glass. Allow them to place thermometers in each glass and observe how the temperature drops faster in the salty water. It’s the perfect segway into a lesson on freezing points and the transfer of heat.

Learn More: 123 Homeschool 4 Me

17. Water Balloon Buoyancy

science project 3rd grade

This interactive experiment is sure to ignite your learners’ love for all things science! Simply have them fill balloons with oil, water, and soap before tasking them to place the balloons into cups of water. Then, encourage them to observe the balloons and jot down their findings as they record what floats and what sinks.  

Learn More: A Dab of Glue Will Do

18. Erosion Exploration

science project 3rd grade

Transform your pupils into soil detectives with this erosion project! Invite them to fill one aluminum pan with soil and another with soil and plants. Then, prompt them to pour water through each pan as they watch how the water moves differently through each environment. It’s a delightful way to introduce them to a lesson on how nature can affect soil erosion.

Learn More: Third Grade Thinkers

19. Temperature and Density Correlation

Here’s another thermal experiment to get your young minds thinking. Simply task them with filling one cup with colored cold water and another cup with warm water. Prompt them to place a sheet of plastic over the warm cup before placing on top of the cold cup and removing the plastic strip. They will notice how the warm water does not mix with the cold water! 

20. Grow Bacteria

science project 3rd grade

Your little ones will learn about hidden worlds as they grow microcosms of bacteria! Simply start by setting agar into Petri dishes before handing them out to your class. Allow them to test how dirty surfaces are by having them rub classroom items onto the agar. They will then label each petri dish, seal it, and watch as the bacteria multiply before their eyes. 

Learn More: Happiness Is Here

21. Exploding art


Invite your class outdoors for some arty and explosive fun! Begin by mixing powder tempura paint with vinegar and then encourage your kiddos to fill plastic bags with the colorful mixture before sealing each bag. Have them lay the bag down on some canvas and prompt them to observe as their bag expands as a result of the sun’s heat. It should only take a few minutes before their bags explode, leaving a vibrant splash of color in its wake.

Learn More: Growing a Jeweled Rose

22. Make Paper from Paper


Teach your learners about the importance of upcycling with this easy science project! Task them with cutting up scrap paper into small pieces and then have them soak the paper in a bowl. They can then dry out their moist mixture by rubbing it over a mesh frame. Once it has completely dried they’ll have created their very own recycled paper!

Learn More: Undercover Classroom

23. Water Filtration


Your little ones will learn the art of filtration with this hands-on activity. Simply prompt them to poke some holes in a plastic cup before having them fill it with layers of coffee filters, sand, and gravel. Allow them to suspend their filtration system in a clear jar before pouring in some dirty water to filter out its impurities! 

Learn More: Teach Beside Me

24. Invisible Ink

science project 3rd grade

This magical activity is the perfect combination of art and science! Invite your students to dip cotton buds into lemon juice and then encourage them to write secret messages on white paper. Then, assist them in holding their paper over a heat source, like a lightbulb, to reveal their hidden words and doodles. 

Learn More: Mom Brite

25. Edible Scientific Method

science project 3rd grade

Here’s a sweet activity that your kiddos will love! Challenge them with dipping different types of cookies into milk to explore how long each cookie takes to break off in the liquid. Prompt them to predict how long they think their cookies will last to bring an edible twist to lessons on the scientific method.  

Learn More: Around the Kampfire

26. Composting


Engage those green fingers in your class with this composting project! Task your littles with collecting compostable material such as dead leaves, grass, or pine cones before having them place layers of their compostable material and soil into a plastic bottle. Next, allow them to dampen their compost by adding water and encourage them to observe how their compost breaks down over time. 

Learn More: Busy Mommy Media

27. Let Veggies Sprout


Grow your learners’ love for science and plant growth with this interactive project! Guide them in cutting sweet potatoes in half and then task them with sticking toothpicks in each potato before placing in a jar. Encourage them to fill each jar with water and have them measure the sprouts that will grow. 

Learn More: Science Buddies

28. Exploring Conduction

Turn up the heat in your classroom as your students learn about heat conductivity! Simply invite them to place metal, plastic, and wooden spoons into warm water before placing a blob of butter on each spoon. Challenge them to observe the butter as it melts and have them jot down their findings on what material makes the best conductor. 

29. Balloon-powered Car


Calling all future engineers! Challenge your kiddos with building balloon-powered cars out of plastic bottles, straws, bottle caps, and toothpicks. Once their DIY car has been constructed, encourage them to inflate the balloon and attach it to a straw. As the air escapes from the balloon, they will learn how thrust and velocity can be used to propel objects. 

Learn More: Scientific American

30. Can Eggs Float?

science project 3rd grade

Introduce your littles to the science of eggs with this hands-on activity! Begin by prompting them to add different amounts of salt to water. Then, allow them to drop an egg into each glass to test how salty the water needs to be to make their eggs float. It’s a great way to introduce them to the steps of the scientific method. 

Learn More: The Best Ideas for Kids

31. Paper Plane Contest

science project 3rd grade

Watch as your kids soar to new scientific heights with this fun-filled activity! Guide them in folding paper planes in different styles before prompting them to fly their planes. Lead them in a discussion on how drag can change the flight pattern of objects as they compete to see who can fly their planes the furthest.  

Learn More: Feels Like Home

32. Homemade Fly Traps


Have your learners catch some critters with this fly trap project! Task them with cutting old bottles in half and allow them to fill their bottles with different foods and liquids. They will then make predictions and observe which trap attracts the most flies. 

33. Build a Tower


Your little ones will create engineering marvels in this lofty activity! Challenge them to build towering skyscrapers by having them roll up scrap paper to create the building blocks of their towers. Then, invite them to use masking tape to stick their rolled-up paper together and encourage them to use shapes like triangles to reinforce their structures.

34. Static Experiment

science project 3rd grade

Electrify your lessons on science with this easy static activity! Simply prompt your kiddos to cut out small shapes from paper and then have them place their shapes on a plate. Proceed by allowing them to rub a ruler on different materials such as cotton, wool, or even their hair before hovering it over the shapes as they notice how the paper begins to gravitate towards the ruler. 

Learn More: Premeditated Leftovers

35. Mentos and Coke

science project 3rd grade

Your students are in for an explosive day of learning with this engaging activity! Encourage them to pour different types of Coke into cups as you have them drop mentos into each cup. Invite them to predict what Coke and Mentos combination will produce the biggest reaction.

Learn More: Life Over C’s

36. Potato and Straw Experiment

Introduce your kids to the concept of air pressure! Start by prompting your littles to try and stab a potato with a plastic straw, making sure they hold it in the middle. Then, task them with covering one end of the straw with their finger before trying to stab the potato again. They’ll notice how it’s easier to stab the potato when they’ve created some air pressure in the straw.

37. Crayon Geology

science project 3rd grade

Take your class on a rock cycle journey with a colorful twist! Engage them in grating crayons before having them squish the shavings into aluminum foil molds. Complete the process by melting the shavings as they observe how it transforms into a handmade metamorphic rock.  

Learn More: Little Bins for Little Hands

38. Surface Area Tricks

science project 3rd grade

Turn your learners into little magicians! Simply task them with folding an index card in half and then allow them to create some cuts along the paper. Afterward, they will unfold their index cards to create an expandable loop that’s big enough for them to wiggle through. 

39. Friction Races

science project 3rd grade

Challenge your littles to a friction race in this interactive learning experience! Invite them to cut circles out of different materials such as construction paper, felt, or craft foam. Proceed by prompting them to place their circles into a baking pan before allowing them to roll their marbles across each surface. Encourage them to observe how their marbles move slower on rougher surfaces. 

40. Melt a Cup

science project 3rd grade

This basic experiment is a fantastic way to introduce your learners to the reactivity of different substances. Assist them in pouring acetone over styrofoam cups and allow them to observe how the cup melts as it takes on a completely new form! 

Learn More: The Owl Teacher

41. Static Goo

science project 3rd grade

Who doesn’t love some gooey fun? In this activity, your kiddos will mix together cornstarch and water to create a goo. Then, allow them to rub a balloon on some cotton or their hair to create some static electricity, before using it to manipulate their goo.

Learn More: Frugal Fun 4 Boys

42. Bath bombs


Treat your little ones to this fragrant activity as they craft their very own bath bombs! Task them with mixing together some ingredients such as baking soda, essential oils, and citric acid to create a pasty mixture. Once their bath bombs have been molded and dried – prompt them to place them in water to observe how its chemicals react to create a colorful fizz.

Learn More: Learning Hypothesis

43. Make Colorful Flowers


Introduce your students to the wonders of chromatography with this arty activity! Simply engage them in scribbling some colorful patterns onto coffee filters by using markers. Then, invite them to fold their filters together and have them wedge it in a jar with water – making sure the tip touches the liquid. They will then watch as the filter absorbs the water causing the colors to blend and create a beautiful coffee filter flower. 

Learn More: Gift of Curiosity

44. Bubbles Inside More Bubbles

science project 3rd grade

Turn bubble-blowing into a fun-filled science experiment with this activity! Allow your kids to dip straws into bubble solution before blowing one big bubble onto a clean surface. Next, prompt them to gently spray water over the bubble and then have them carefully insert a straw inside to create another bubble. It’s a cool way to introduce them to a lesson on surface tension and elasticity.

Learn More: Hello Wonderful

45. Water Whistles

science project 3rd grade

Invite your learners to make their very own whistles with this fascinating exploration of sound! Challenge them with cutting and folding straws into an “L” shape before having them stick triangular-shaped construction paper in the fold. Allow them to then place their whistles into water to create a symphony of sound. 

Learn More: My Baba

46. How Do Plants Drink?

Ever wondered how plants drink? We’re sure your students have too! Simply invite them to mix up some colored water before having them place a leaf into the water. The leaf will start to “drink” the water and your littles will notice how the color seeps further into the leaf’s veins. Celery works best as you can even chop it up after to see the little tubes that take the water around the plant!

47. Experiment with Germination

science project 3rd grade

Take lessons on germination to the next level with this activity! Challenge your kiddos to hypothesize about different circumstances for germination. Then, allow them to test their ideas by having them use differing soil, seeds, water, and light to carry out their experiments.

48. Fungus Growth Experiment

science project 3rd grade

Get those little hands dirty for the sake of science! Start by allowing them to clean their hands to various degrees and then have them touch slices of bread. Then, encourage them to place their pieces of bread into sealable bags and invite them to watch over time as each slice grows varying amounts of fungus. 

Learn More: Mad about Science

49. DIY Lava Lamp

science project 3rd grade

This gloopy activity is perfect for learning about densities and will also make the most whimsical decoration! Task your kids with filling plastic bottles with vegetable oil, water, and food coloring. They will then shake and swirl their bottles and observe as the colorful globules whirl around their bottles. 

Learn More: No Guilt Mom

50. Sundial Creations

Get those little hands crafting with this interactive project! Task them with creating a sundial out of paper plates and straws. Simply have them glue a straw to the middle of the plate before labeling each hour of the day by observing the shadow that the straw will create. This activity is a fantastic way to teach them how the earth’s rotation impacts our concept of time.  

51. Dissolving Eggshells

science project 3rd grade

Here’s an egg-citing way to introduce your learners to the concept of semi-permeable membranes! Invite them to place eggs into liquids with varying acidity. Then, encourage them to observe the reaction that will take place as the shell dissolves – leaving a bouncy, translucent egg behind. 

Learn More: Teachers Mag

52. Gummy Bear Osmosis

science project 3rd grade

In this sweet activity, your kiddos will grow giant gummy bears! Begin by having them soak their bears in different liquids such as soda, vinegar, and milk. Encourage them to then jot down their findings as they watch their bears swell and shrink. 

Learn More: How to Homeschool

53. Shadow Length and Direction

science project 3rd grade

Who’s afraid of their own shadow? Certainly not your students! On a sunny day, task them with tracing their shadows at various times of the day. Encourage them to then record their findings to see how their shadows grow and shrink throughout the day. 

Learn More: First 8 Studios

54. Chocolate Rock Cycle

science project 3rd grade

The rock cycle has never been this delicious! Simply invite your learners to grate white and milk chocolate to simulate rock erosion. Then, allow them to squish together their chocolate shavings to create a large clump. To complete the metamorphosis, have them press the clump of chocolate into foil molds to form their new chocolate rock. 

Learn More: Left Brain Craft Brain

55. Rain Cloud in a Jar

science project 3rd grade

Introduce your kids to the water cycle with a DIY rain cloud in a jar. Begin by having them squirt shaving cream onto water before adding drops of blue food coloring. They can then watch as the color makes its way through the cloud for a visually captivating lesson on precipitation. 

Learn More: Messy Little Monster

56. Nature Walk Collection

science project 3rd grade

It’s time for a nature scavenger hunt with a scientific twist! Invite your little explorers outdoors as you task them with collecting leaves, rocks, sticks, or tree bark. Once back in the classroom, encourage them to use a magnifying glass to analyze the intricacies of their tiny treasures.

Learn More: Nifty Mom

57. Bird Feeder Observation

science project 3rd grade

Here’s an activity that’s as crafty as it is educational! Begin by having your kiddos craft bird feeders before prompting them to hang them around your schoolyard. They can then watch as their feathered friends come to visit while also documenting the different bird species that arrive. 

Learn More: Pre-K Pages

58. Magnetic Fields Art

science project 3rd grade

Turn physics into art with this vibrant activity! Allow your learners to cover small metal items such as nuts and bolts in paint. Then, have them use a magnet to move their pieces around a blank canvas to create a colorful masterpiece – perfect for visualizing magnetic fields. 

59. Growing Crystals

science project 3rd grade

Treat your little ones to a chemistry lesson that sparkles! Simply task your learners with creating small shapes out of pipe cleaners before attaching a string to each shape. While they piece together their shapes, dissolve borax and water before pouring the solution into a jar. Then, have your kids place their shapes into the liquid – making sure the end of the string lies outside of the jar. Invite them to observe the jar throughout the day as they watch their glistening crystals form. 

Learn More: Childhood101

60. Wind Vane Construction

Point your students in the right direction—literally! Challenge them with crafting their very own wind vanes by guiding them through each step they’ll need to take. As they construct their wind vane, they’ll get a feel for meteorology with this breezy yet informative introduction to the world of weather. 

61. Shaking for Butter

science project 3rd grade

Get your learners keen to shake, rattle, and roll their way into some culinary science! Allow them to fill sealable jars with whipping cream, before tasking them to shake their jars until the cream transforms into butter. Who knew science could be so tasty? 

62. Sprout House

science project 3rd grade

Instill a love for all things gardening in your students with this adorable sprout house! Invite them to piece together little houses using sponges and toothpicks to hold their structure together. Then, have them fill the spongy crevices with seeds before soaking their sponge house in water. This eco-friendly exercise is the perfect way to teach them about optimal conditions for plant growth.

Learn More: The Stem Laboratory

63. DIY Thermometer

science project 3rd grade

Turn up the heat on learning with this thermal experiment! Simply begin by mixing rubbing alcohol, water, and food coloring before pouring into jars. Involve your kiddos by having them place a straw through a small hole in the lid of their jars. They can then place their DIY thermometers in hot and cold environments and observe as the liquid rises and falls in the straw. 

Learn More: Play Osmo

64. Vinegar and Baking Soda Balloons

Treat your little ones to a bubbling good time as they blow up balloons using science! Assist them in pouring vinegar into a plastic bottle before adding baking soda. As the vinegar and baking soda start to react, prompt them to place a balloon over the bottle. It’s a lesson that’ll truly expand their understanding of chemical reactions. 

65. Tornado in a Bottle

This mesmerizing activity is sure to add a spin to your learners’ day. Invite them to fill a bottle with a dash of glitter before pouring in some water. Proceed by having them tightly close the bottle before prompting them to swirl it in a circular motion. After swirling their tornados into formation, allow them to observe as the glitter whirls and swirls around the bottle!  

66. Pepper and Soap Experiment

science project 3rd grade

Dive into the world of surface tension with this quick and easy experiment. Encourage your kiddos to pour colored water onto a plate before sprinkling on some pepper. Then, have them touch the surface of the water with a soap finger which will cause the pepper to scatter. They are sure to be delighted by this instant reaction! 

Learn More: Coffee Cups and Crayons

67. Heartbeat Monitor

science project 3rd grade

Calling all little doctors in the making! Task your learners with placing toothpicks in marshmallows to create a squishy heartbeat monitor. They can then place it on their arms and watch the toothpick move up and down as it mimics their heartbeat. It’s a pulse-pounding introduction to human biology and the mechanics of our bodies.

Learn More: We Are Teachers

68. Magic Milk

science project 3rd grade

Your little scientists will create a kaleidoscope of colors with this engaging activity! Simply start by pouring milk into a dish and then allow them to place colorful drops of food coloring in the milk. Next, invite them to use a cotton swab to disperse the food coloring and create a magical mixture of vibrant liquid. 

Learn More: Fun Learning for Kids

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25 Science Projects For 3rd Graders

What an exciting age to be a young scientist! 3rd grade science is a fantastic time to get engaged in all kinds of science projects that explore the living world and how things work! There are so many great skills that kiddos in this age group have already been working on and will continue to develop as they explore, investigate, and discover through hands-on science experiments and science fair projects!

science project 3rd grade

Science Topics For 3rd Graders

So what exactly does science for 3rd graders look like? And how can you encourage your kids to learn without a whole lot of effort, fancy equipment, or complex activities that cause confusion rather than curiosity?

Kids are naturally curious, and 3rd grade is an opportune time to introduce and practice the scientific method through fun, hands-on and easy science projects.

Good science projects for 3rd graders help them ask scientific questions and make predictions, and with guidance, plan and carry out investigations to answer those questions.

Topics that 3rd graders may cover in science include:

  • Changes in motion by forces such as gravity and friction
  • Solids, liquids, gases, and changes in states of matter
  • Plants and animals and the relationships between them

Below you will find over 25 of the best science project ideas, covering many of these science topics and more.

Our science activities have you, the parent or teacher, in mind!  Easy to set up, quick to do, most projects will take only 15 to 30 minutes (or longer if kids want to experiment further).  Plus, our supply lists usually contain only free or cheap materials you can source from home.

Make sure to check out the printable science projects pack at the end for tons of printable resources to set up science projects at home or in the classroom.

Using The Scientific Method

The scientific method is a process or method of research. A problem is identified, information about the problem is gathered, a hypothesis or question is formulated from the information, and the hypothesis is tested with an experiment to prove or disprove its validity.

Sounds heavy… What in the world does that mean?!? It means you don’t need to try and solve the world’s biggest science questions! The scientific method is all about studying and learning things right around you.

As children develop practices that involve creating, gathering data evaluating, analyzing, and communicating, they can apply these critical thinking skills to any situation.

LEARN MORE HERE: Using The Scientific Method with Kids

Note: The use of the best Science and Engineering Practices is also relevant to the topic of using the scientific method. Read more here and see if it fits your science planning needs.

Helpful Science Resources

Here are a few resources that will help you introduce science more effectively to your kiddos or students. Then you can feel confident yourself when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.

  • Best Science Practices (as it relates to the scientific method)
  • Science Vocabulary
  • 8 Science Books for Kids
  • All About Scientists
  • Science Supplies List
  • Science Tools for Kids
  • Join us in the Club

Turn It Into A 3rd Grade Science Fair Project

Science projects are an excellent tool for older kiddos to show what they know about science! Plus, they can be used in all sorts of environments including classrooms, homeschool, and groups.

Kids can take everything they have learned about using the scientific method , stating a hypothesis, choosing variables , making observations and analyzing and presenting data.

Want to turn one of these experiments into an awesome science fair project? Check out these helpful resources.

  • Science Project Tips From A Teacher
  • Science Fair Board Ideas
  • Easy Science Fair Projects

Free Printable Science Journal Worksheets

Create a science notebook with these easy-to-use science worksheets to accompany any experiment. Grab your free science process journal pack !

science project 3rd grade

Easy Science Projects For 3rd Graders

Click on the projects below for the full supply list and step-by-step instructions for each activity. Also, check out our helpful tips for putting together a 3rd grade science fair project !

Acid Rain Experiment

What happens to plants when rain is acidic? Set up an easy science project with flowers in vinegar. Get kids thinking about what causes acid rain and what can be done about it.

science project 3rd grade

Air Resistance

A quick and easy way to introduce kids to independent and dependent variables. Fold some paper and compare the air resistance they have when you drop the paper from a height.

science project 3rd grade

A pple Browning Experiment

How do you keep apples from turning brown? Do all apples turn brown at the same rate? Grab some apples and lemon juice and let’s find out.

science project 3rd grade

Use your engineering skills to come up with a cool pool noodle robot that can do art too!

science project 3rd grade

Bottle Rocket

Make a rocket from a water bottle with a cool chemical reaction that is sure to send it flying! Fun chemistry kids will want to do again and again!

science project 3rd grade

Coastal Erosion Model

Ever noticed what happens to the coastline when a big storm rolls through?  Set up this beach erosion activity to investigate what happens.

science project 3rd grade

Color Wheel Spinner

Can you make white light from all the different colors? Find out by making your own spinning color wheel.

science project 3rd grade

Crayon Rock Cycle

Explore all the stages of the rock cycle with one simple ingredient, old crayons. Kids will have a blast exploring all the stages, and they can even color with their new rock crayons if you make a few!

science project 3rd grade

Chromatography (with markers)

This chromatography lab is a fun way to explore separating mixtures using everyday supplies!

science project 3rd grade

D rops Of Water On A Penny

How many drops of water can you fit on a penny? The answer might surprise you! Fun and easy way to learn about the surface tension of water.

science project 3rd grade

Dry Erase Marker Experiment

Is it magic or is it science? Either way, this floating drawing experiment is sure to impress! Create a dry-erase drawing and watch it float in water.

science project 3rd grade

Electric Cornstarch

This cornstarch experiment is a fun example of static electricity. Mix up some goop or oobleck, and watch what happens when you bring it near a charged balloon.

science project 3rd grade

Explore the molecules in water and oil and create a tasty chemistry experiment that you can pour on your veggies too!

science project 3rd grade

Engineering: Marble Run (Coaster)

Dig deep into the recycling bin and grab all the cardboard you can find to create a unique ball run or marble coaster! Explore the engineering design process along the way! Make it as small or as elaborate as you want!

science project 3rd grade

Food Chains

All living plants and animals need energy to live on earth. Get kids thinking about how to represent this flow of energy in a simple food chain.

science project 3rd grade

Freezing Water

Explore the freezing point of water and find out what happens when you freeze salt water. All you need are some bowls of water, and salt.

science project 3rd grade

Growing Crystals

Crystals make for fascinating science! Follow our borax crystal recipe to grow crystals overnight for a cool science experiment any rock hound or science enthusiast will love!

science project 3rd grade

Explore magnetism through a variety of hands-on projects perfect for middle school. Our done-for-you magnet STEM pack is filled with extra projects!

science project 3rd grade

Mentos and Coke

Here’s a cool fizzing experiment the kids are sure to love! You might think there’s a chemical reaction happening, but this Mentos and coke experiment is a great example of a physical reaction.

science project 3rd grade

Click here or below to get your free science ideas pack

science project 3rd grade

Mini Paddle Boat

Make a paddle boat that actually moves through the water! Explore forces in motion with this simple DIY paddle boat activity.

science project 3rd grade

Penny Boat Challenge

Design a simple tin foil boat, and see how many pennies it can hold before it sinks.  How many pennies will it take to make your boat sink? Learn about the force of buoyancy while you test out your engineering skills.

science project 3rd grade

Popsicle Stick Catapult

What kid doesn’t love to launch stuff into the air? Build a catapult from simple materials, and turn it into a fun experiment as well. Catapults are great for learning about potential and kinetic energy, and more.

DIY popsicle stick catapult Inexpensive STEM activity

Pumpkin Clock

Although this is classically done with a potato, you can definitely experiment with other foods that are similar and test the results.

science project 3rd grade

Red Cabbage Ph Indicator

Learn how cabbage can be used to test liquids of varying acid levels. Depending on the pH of the liquid, the cabbage turns various shades of pink, purple, or green! It’s incredibly cool to watch, and the kids love it!

Cabbage juice science experiment and making pH indicator from red cabbage

Salt Water Density Experiment

What happens to an egg in salt water? Will the egg float or sink? There are so many questions to ask and predictions to make with this easy saltwater density experiment.

science project 3rd grade

Slime Science Experiment

Love playing with slime? Now you can turn slime-making into a fun science experiment with these easy ideas.

Basic Slime Science Information

Spaghetti Tower Challenge

Can you build a tower out of noodles? Build the tallest spaghetti tower that can hold the weight of a jumbo marshmallow. Test out those design and engineering skills with a few simple materials.

science project 3rd grade

Strawberry DNA Extraction

Every living thing has DNA and it is the blueprint for what makes us human. Usually, you need a microscope to see DNA up close. But with this strawberry DNA extraction, you can encourage the DNA strands to release from their cells and bind together so you can see them.

science project 3rd grade

Vinegar and Milk

Kids will be amazed by the transformation of a couple of household ingredients into a moldable, durable piece of a plastic-like substance.

science project 3rd grade

Water Filtration

Can you purify dirty water with a water filtration system? Learn about filtration and make your own water filter.

science project 3rd grade

Printable Science Projects Pack

If you’re looking to grab all of our printable science projects in one convenient place plus exclusive worksheets and bonuses like a STEAM Project pack, our Science Project Pack is what you need! Over 300+ Pages!

  • 90+ classic science activities  with journal pages, supply lists, set up and process, and science information.  NEW! Activity-specific observation pages!
  • Best science practices posters  and our original science method process folders for extra alternatives!
  • Be a Collector activities pack  introduces kids to the world of making collections through the eyes of a scientist. What will they collect first?
  • Know the Words Science vocabulary pack  includes flashcards, crosswords, and word searches that illuminate keywords in the experiments!
  • My science journal writing prompts  explore what it means to be a scientist!!
  • Bonus STEAM Project Pack:  Art meets science with doable projects!
  • Bonus Quick Grab Packs for Biology, Earth Science, Chemistry, and Physics

science project 3rd grade

~ Projects to Try Now! ~

science project 3rd grade

3rd Grade Science Fair Projects

  • Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College

The 3rd grade may be the first time students are introduced to science fair projects. Children ask questions from a young age, but this is a great time to begin to apply the scientific method .

Introduction to 3rd Grade Science Fair Projects

3rd grade is a great time to answer "what happens if..." or 'which is better..." questions. In general, elementary school students are exploring the world around them and learning how things work. The key to a great science fair project at the 3rd-grade level is finding a topic that the student finds interesting. Usually, a teacher or parent is needed to help plan the project and offer guidance with a report or poster . Some students may want to make models or perform demonstrations that illustrate scientific concepts.

3rd Grade Science Fair Project Ideas

Here are some project ideas appropriate for 3rd grade:

  • Do cut flowers last longer if you put them in warm water or in cold water? You can test how effectively flowers are drinking water by adding food coloring . You'll get the best results with white cut flowers, such as carnations. Do flowers drink warm water faster, slower, or at the same rate as cold water?
  • Does the color of your clothing affect how hot or cold you feel when you're outside in the sunlight? Explain your results. This project is easiest if you compare solid colors, such as black and white t-shirts.
  • Do all students in the class have the same size hands and feet as each other? Trace outlines of hands and feet and compare them. Do taller students have larger hands/feet or does height not seem to matter?
  • How much does the temperature have to change for you to feel a difference? Does it matter whether it's air or water? You can try this with your hand, a glass, a thermometer, and tap water of different temperatures.
  • Are waterproof mascaras really waterproof? Put some mascara on a sheet of paper and rinse it with water. What happens? Do 8-hour lipsticks really keep their color that long?
  • Do clothes take the same length of time to dry if you add a dryer sheet or fabric softener to the load?
  • Which melts faster: ice cream or ice milk? Can you figure out why this might happen? You can compare other frozen treats, such as frozen yogurt and sorbet.
  • Do frozen candles burn at the same rate as candles that were stored at room temperature ? Ideally, compare candles that are identical in every way except their starting temperature.
  • Research what dryer sheets do. Can people tell the difference between a load of laundry that used dryer sheets and one that didn't use them? If one type of laundry was preferred over the other, what was the reason? Ideas might be scent, softness, and the amount of static.
  • Do all types of bread grow the same types of mold? A related project would compare types of mold that grow on cheese or other food. Keep in mind mold grows quickly on bread, but might grow more slowly on other food. Use a magnifying glass to make it easier to tell the types of mold apart.
  • Do raw eggs and hard-boiled eggs spin the same length of time/number of times?
  • What type of liquid will rust a nail the quickest? You could try water, orange juice, milk, vinegar, peroxide, and other common household liquids.
  • Does light affect how fast foods spoil?
  • Can you tell from today's clouds what tomorrow's weather will be?

Tips for Success

  • Choose a project that won't take too much time to complete. Performing an experiment or making a model often takes longer than one expects, and it's better to have extra time than to run out at the last minute.
  • Expect a 3rd-grade project to require adult supervision or help. This doesn't mean an adult should do the project for a child, but an older sibling, parent, guardian, or teacher can help guide the project, offer suggestions, and be supportive.
  • Select an idea that uses materials you can actually find. Some project ideas might look great on paper, but be difficult to perform if the supplies are unavailable.
  • Second Grade Science Fair Projects
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science project 3rd grade

Home » Tips for Teachers » 14 Engaging Science Fair Projects for 3rd Graders to Ignite Curiosity and Explore the Wonders of the Natural World

14 Engaging Science Fair Projects for 3rd Graders to Ignite Curiosity and Explore the Wonders of the Natural World

In 3rd grade, science education plays a transformative role in shaping young minds. As students progress from foundational learning to deeper understanding, their curiosity reaches its peak. Engaging science fair projects offer a gateway to scientific discovery, moving beyond traditional classroom teaching. By creating, executing, and presenting these projects, 3rd graders gain insights into scientific concepts and develop essential skills.

14 science fair projects for 3rd graders

Science fair projects provide immersive experiences fueled by curiosity. Students become architects of their learning, exploring real-world phenomena, asking questions, and seeking answers. Bridging theory with practice, these projects make science tangible, igniting enthusiasm among young learners.

The impact of science fair projects extends beyond science itself. They foster critical thinking, nurture creativity, hone problem-solving abilities, and refine communication skills. This holistic approach blends knowledge with practicality, curiosity with collaboration, and individual exploration with shared learning.

In the upcoming sections, we’ll explore 14 tailored science fair projects for 3rd graders. Each project aims not only to educate but also to spark wonder and excitement, leaving a lasting impression. Through these projects, we’ll witness the magic of education and curiosity intertwining, creating a vibrant tapestry of knowledge, growth, and an insatiable thirst for discovery.

After reading this article, you’ll get to know about:

  • The Significance of Science Education in 3rd Grade→

4 Benefits of Science Fair Projects

  • What Do 3rd Graders Learn in Science?→

Discover the Importance of Science Education in 3rd Grade, Uncover the 4 Advantages of Science Fair Projects, and gain insight into the science curriculum for 3rd graders before diving into the projects.

The Significance of Science Education in 3rd Grade

The 3rd grade marks a pivotal point in a student’s educational journey, representing a phase of immense growth and cognitive development. As young learners transition from foundational skills to more advanced learning, their minds become fertile ground for cultivating a deeper understanding of the world. In the 3rd grade, students begin to bridge the gap between concrete and abstract thinking, as their cognitive abilities evolve to encompass more complex concepts.

The Significance of Science Education in 3rd Grade

At this juncture, children are not only curious about the world but are also developing the cognitive tools to explore it in a systematic and structured manner. Their emerging ability to think logically, ask probing questions, and apply critical thinking to their observations makes the 3rd grade a fertile ground for introducing science education. By nurturing this curiosity through science education, educators lay the foundation for a lifelong appreciation of the subject. This early exposure to scientific concepts equips students with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for their future academic pursuits and prepares them to be informed, engaged citizens who can navigate an increasingly complex and scientific world.

Science fair projects offer a myriad of invaluable benefits to 3rd graders that extend far beyond the classroom walls:

  • These projects serve as a bridge that connects theoretical knowledge with real-world applications, providing hands-on learning experiences that are both tangible and relatable. By engaging with scientific concepts through practical experimentation, students develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter. As they actively participate in designing, conducting, and analyzing experiments, they transition from passive recipients of information to active contributors in their own education.
  • Furthermore, the process of planning and executing science fair projects cultivates essential life skills. Teamwork is fostered as students collaborate with peers, brainstorm ideas, and share responsibilities. Effective communication skills are honed as students articulate their hypotheses, methodologies, and findings to their classmates, teachers, and parents. Presentation skills are polished as they deliver their findings in an organized and engaging manner, fostering confidence and poise from an early age.
  • Additionally, science fair projects spark curiosity and a genuine excitement for learning. The hands-on nature of these projects taps into students’ innate desire to explore and discover, making learning an immersive and enjoyable experience. This, in turn, paves the way for the development of a growth mindset, encouraging students to embrace challenges, learn from failures, and persist in the face of difficulties.
  • In essence, science fair projects are vehicles of holistic education. They not only convey scientific principles but also instill essential life skills, foster a passion for learning, and prepare 3rd graders for the ever-evolving demands of the future. Through the process of active exploration and discovery, these projects empower young learners to become confident, curious, and capable individuals who approach both education and life with a sense of wonder and possibility.

What Do 3rd Graders Learn in Science?

In the realm of 3rd-grade science education, students embark on a journey of discovery that mirrors the immersive nature of the curated science fair projects. The foundation is laid through the introduction of fundamental scientific concepts and processes. Much like the science projects encourage experimentation and communication, students learn the art of scientific observation, hypothesis formation, and experimental design. These skills not only echo the hands-on approach of the projects but also equip 3rd graders with the ability to investigate the world around them and effectively convey their findings.

What Do 3rd Graders Learn in Science?

Beyond the building blocks, 3rd graders delve into the diverse branches of science—life science, earth science, and physical science. This mirrors the multidisciplinary nature of the projects, where young learners encounter a tapestry of scientific realms. In life science, they explore living things, their characteristics, and ecosystems, paralleling their interaction with the natural world through experiments. The explorations extend to earth science, where they delve into the planet’s structure, atmosphere, and climate, mirroring their hands-on engagement with the environment. In the realm of physical science, students comprehend matter, energy, and motion, aligning with their manipulation of materials in experiments.

As students navigate the dynamic landscape of 3rd grade science, they foster critical thinking akin to the problem-solving elements of the science fair projects. By asking questions, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions, students are primed to address challenges and dissect complex scenarios. Just as the projects encourage drawing insights from data, 3rd graders are equipped to unravel patterns, make informed decisions, and approach problems strategically.

Furthermore, the correlation between 3rd grade science and everyday life mirrors the practical applications emphasized in the science fair projects. By recognizing the impact of the water cycle on agriculture or understanding the force of gravity’s influence, students grasp the tangible relevance of their scientific knowledge. This parallel enables them to appreciate science’s profound effects on the world, just as the projects merge theory with practice. The connections formed between 3rd grade science and everyday life cultivate a deeper understanding, inspiring students to pursue lifelong learning and cultivate a genuine affection for the realm of science.

My 3rd grader is doing her first science fair project, and it’s somehow one that I don’t already know the outcome for. She’s looking at how temperature affects magnetic strength. We’ll do a bunch of runs of using a magnet to pick stuff up at room temp, 1/x — Humphrey Bogart’s Hairpiece (@Onychomys2) March 22, 2023

14 Engaging Science Fair Projects for 3rd Graders

Now, let’s delve into the realm of science fair projects. Explore a range of projects accompanied by detailed descriptions and instructional videos. These projects are designed to be relatively simple to execute, although occasional assistance from adults may be necessary for children.

1. Floating Egg Experiment

Explore the concept of buoyancy with this experiment. By adding salt to water in a tall glass, you’ll observe an egg floating. Discover the science behind why certain objects float while others sink.

Materials: Eggs, salt, water, tall glass

Level of Difficulty: Easy

  • Fill a tall glass with water.
  • Gently place an egg into the water. Observe that it sinks.
  • Begin adding salt to the water while stirring until the egg starts to float.
  • Record your observations and note the amount of salt required.
  • Research and explain the scientific principles behind buoyancy and density.

View the video and adhere to the provided instructions. The video serves as an illustrative demonstration of how the experiment can be conducted.

2. Balloon Rocket Race

Embark on a journey to uncover Newton’s third law of motion. Create a balloon rocket by attaching a straw to a balloon and securing it with tape. Release the air from the balloon to propel the rocket forward and measure its distance traveled.

Materials: Balloon, string, straw, tape

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

  • Attach a straw to a balloon using tape, ensuring it’s secure.
  • Thread a length of string through the straw, creating a taut line.
  • Find an open space and have a friend hold the string taut.
  • Inflate the balloon and release the air, propelling the rocket along the string.
  • Measure the distance the rocket traveled and record the results.
  • Research and explain Newton’s third law of motion and the forces at play.

The video presents a demonstration of the experiment’s procedural steps. Additionally, the experiment can be undertaken as a challenge.

3. Rainbow in a Jar

Dive into the world of density by creating a rainbow in a jar. Layer liquids of different densities – honey, dish soap, water, and food coloring – to witness stunning separation and understand the principles of density.

Materials: Honey, dish soap, water, food coloring

  • Gather the liquids: honey, dish soap, water, and food coloring.
  • Start by adding the heaviest liquid, honey, to the jar.
  • Carefully pour the dish soap, followed by water and a drop of food coloring.
  • Observe the distinct layers forming in the jar.
  • Research and explain the concept of density and how liquids with different densities interact.

This video provides an explanation of density and illustrates the process of conducting the experiment. The video can serve as an instructional guide for performing the experiment.

4. Simple Circuit Project

Immerse yourself in the realm of electricity through a basic circuit project. Construct a simple circuit using a battery, wires, a bulb, and paper clips. Illuminate the bulb by completing the circuit, gaining insights into electricity flow and switches.

Materials: Battery, bulb, wires, paper clips

  • Gather the materials: battery, bulb, wires, and paper clips.
  • Connect one end of a wire to the positive terminal of the battery and the other end to one side of the bulb.
  • Attach a second wire to the negative terminal of the battery and the other end to the opposite side of the bulb.
  • Use a paper clip to bridge the gap between the two ends of the wires, completing the circuit and illuminating the bulb.
  • Experiment with switches by inserting a paper clip between the wires to break the circuit and turn off the bulb.
  • Research and explain the flow of electricity in a circuit and how switches control it.

This video functions as a visual guide, offering instructions that can be utilized during your preparation for a science fair project.

5. Plant Life Cycle Observation

Witness the stages of plant growth with this project. Plant bean seeds in pots, nurture them with soil and water, and observe their transformation from seeds to thriving plants.

Materials: Bean seeds, pots, soil, water

  • Fill pots with soil and make a small hole in each.
  • Plant bean seeds in the holes and cover them with soil.
  • Water the pots regularly and ensure they receive sunlight.
  • Observe and document the growth stages of the plants, including seed germination, sprouting, leaf development, and flowering.
  • Research and explain the various stages of a plant’s life cycle.

This video offers a valuable resource for students aiming to enhance their science fair presentations. It provides comprehensive insights into the different stages of a plant’s transformation from a seed to a fruit. The content is skillfully simplified to cater to the understanding of primary school students, making it a useful tool for speech preparation.

6. Solar System Model

Embark on a cosmic journey by crafting a solar system model. Use different-sized balls and objects to represent the planets and their positions relative to the sun. Paint and label each planet to create a visually accurate representation of our solar system. Present your model and explain the order of the planets, their unique characteristics, and their relationship to the sun. This project offers an interactive way to learn about the vastness of space and the arrangement of celestial bodies.

Materials: Various-sized balls, paint, labels

  • Gather different-sized balls to represent the planets. Use a larger ball for the sun.
  • Paint each ball according to the color of the corresponding planet.
  • Arrange the balls in their proper order and distance from the sun, following the real solar system layout.
  • Label each planet with its name and distance from the sun.
  • Research and explain the unique characteristics of each planet and their positions in the solar system.
  • Present your solar system model and demonstrate your knowledge of the planets’ arrangement and features.

This video illustrates a method for painting your own planets. It provides a simple and efficient technique to create your customized solar system model quickly.

7. Volcano Eruption

Embark on an explosive journey by creating your own miniature volcano. Craft the volcano using clay, then simulate an eruption by combining baking soda and vinegar. Observe the chemical reaction that triggers the eruption and learn about volcanic processes in a fun and interactive way.

Materials: Baking soda, vinegar, clay, dish soap

  • Mold the clay into a volcano shape, leaving an opening at the top.
  • Place the clay volcano on a tray or container to catch the eruption.
  • Add a small amount of baking soda into the volcano’s opening.
  • Mix dish soap with vinegar in a separate container.
  • Pour the vinegar and dish soap mixture into the volcano.
  • Observe the eruption as the mixture reacts with the baking soda, creating a bubbly foam that mimics volcanic activity.
  • Research and explain the chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar that causes the eruption.

The video showcases the process of creating a volcano and demonstrates how to conduct the associated experiment. By watching the video, you can learn how to construct your own volcano and replicate the experiment for yourself.

8. Homemade Lava Lamp

Fuse science and art with a homemade lava lamp experiment. Mix water, oil, and food coloring in a clear container, then drop an effervescent tablet to witness mesmerizing bubbles that resemble a lava lamp. Explore the science of density and chemical reactions while creating a visually captivating display.

Materials: Water, oil, food coloring, effervescent tablet

  • Fill a clear container with water, leaving some space at the top.
  • Add vegetable oil to the container, ensuring it forms a separate layer on top of the water.
  • Add a few drops of food coloring to the oil, which will gradually sink into the water.
  • Break an effervescent tablet into smaller pieces.
  • Drop a piece of the tablet into the container and observe as it interacts with the liquids.
  • Witness mesmerizing bubbles that rise from the oil layer to the water layer and back.
  • Research and explain the science behind the formation of bubbles due to chemical reactions and the role of density in this process.

This video provides detailed instructions on creating 11 different types of DIY lava lamps. Explore various methods and techniques to make your own mesmerizing lava lamp creations.

9. Static Electricity Butterfly

Unleash the power of static electricity by creating a butterfly that “flies” with the touch of a balloon. Inflate the balloon and generate static electricity, causing the tissue paper butterfly to levitate. Understand the science behind static charges and engage in a playful exploration of electric forces.

Materials: Balloon, tissue paper, thread

  • Inflate a balloon and tie it to a stationary object.
  • Cut out a butterfly shape from tissue paper and attach a piece of thread to its center.
  • Rub the balloon against your hair or clothing to generate static electricity.
  • Hold the charged balloon near the tissue paper butterfly.
  • Observe as the butterfly is attracted to the balloon and hovers in the air due to the static charges.
  • Experiment with different objects and distances to control the butterfly’s movement.
  • Research and explain the phenomenon of static electricity and how opposite charges attract.

Watch the video to gain insights into the preparation process for the Static Electricity Butterfly science project. Discover the steps and materials required to successfully undertake this engaging experiment.

10. Bouncing Egg Experiment

Discover the extraordinary properties of eggs by conducting a bouncing egg experiment. Submerge a raw egg in vinegar to dissolve the shell, leaving behind a bouncy, membrane-covered egg. Explore the concept of osmosis and observe the egg’s transformation while investigating the inner workings of cellular membranes.

Materials: Raw egg, vinegar

  • Place a raw egg gently into a clear container.
  • Carefully pour enough vinegar into the container to fully submerge the egg.
  • Observe the initial reaction between the eggshell and the vinegar, which will create bubbles.
  • Cover the container and let it sit for at least 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, carefully remove the egg from the vinegar and rinse it with water.
  • Gently tap the egg on a surface to see how bouncy it has become due to the membrane.
  • Research and explain the scientific processes of osmosis and the dissolution of the eggshell.

Observe the video to understand the essential steps in preparing for the Bouncing Egg science project. Acquire valuable insights into the necessary materials and procedures to effectively conduct this engaging experiment.

11. Solar Oven

Harness the power of the sun by constructing a solar oven using a shoebox, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap. Use the oven to heat small items and understand the principles of solar energy conversion. Delve into sustainable energy sources and the potential of harnessing sunlight for practical applications.

Materials: Shoebox, aluminum foil, plastic wrap

  • Line the inside of the shoebox with aluminum foil, ensuring it’s reflective.
  • Cut a flap in the box lid and cover it with plastic wrap, securing it with tape.
  • Place small items, such as marshmallows or chocolate, on a tray inside the box.
  • Set up the solar oven in direct sunlight, adjusting the flap to focus sunlight onto the tray.
  • Monitor the temperature inside the oven using a thermometer.
  • Observe as the items on the tray heat up and potentially melt.
  • Research and explain the principles of solar energy conversion and its applications.

View the video tutorial to gain comprehensive guidance on preparing for the Solar Oven science project. Acquire a clear understanding of the required materials and step-by-step procedures to successfully execute this captivating experiment.

12. Water Cycle in a Bag

Condense the water cycle into a simple yet enlightening experiment. Fill a ziplock bag with water, seal it, and observe the water cycle in action as condensation forms on the bag’s interior. Witness evaporation, condensation, and precipitation in a miniature, controlled environment.

Materials: Ziplock bag, water, marker

  • Fill a ziplock bag with a small amount of water.
  • Seal the bag, ensuring it’s airtight.
  • Hang the bag in a sunny window or place it outside in direct sunlight.
  • Observe as the water inside the bag heats up and evaporates.
  • Over time, notice droplets of condensation forming on the inner surface of the bag.
  • As condensation builds up, it may eventually resemble raindrops.
  • Research and explain the stages of the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

Observe the instructional video to acquire valuable insights on how to prepare for the Water Cycle in a Bag science project. Discover the essential materials and follow the step-by-step instructions provided to effectively conduct this enlightening experiment.

13. Magnet Maze

Embark on a magnetic adventure with a maze designed for a paperclip “magnet.” Construct a cardboard maze with hidden metal objects, guiding the paperclip through magnetic forces. Explore magnetism’s invisible yet powerful effects and navigate through the intricacies of magnetic fields.

Materials: Cardboard, magnets, metal objects

  • Create a maze design on a flat piece of cardboard.
  • Attach magnets to a paperclip, creating a “magnet” that can navigate the maze.
  • Place small metal objects strategically within the maze’s walls.
  • Hold the maze at an angle, allowing the paperclip “magnet” to move through the maze via magnetic forces.
  • Use the magnetic field to guide the paperclip and navigate the maze’s twists and turns.
  • Experiment with different angles and approaches to navigate the paperclip through the maze.
  • Research and explain the principles of magnetism and magnetic fields.

Discover the process of crafting a magnet maze in this instructional video. The video demonstrates the creation of a maze using cardboard, popsicle sticks, and two rare-earth magnets. Learn how the maze functions as the indicator is maneuvered through it, experiencing resistance from the magnets upon encountering walls or dead-ends.

14. Edible Rock Cycle

Take a delectable journey through geology by crafting an edible rock cycle model. Mold layers of chocolate to represent different rock types, then use a mallet to mimic the forces that transform rocks over time. Learn about the rock cycle while savoring the sweet rewards of hands-on learning.

Materials: Chocolate, wax paper, mallet

  • Melt the chocolate and pour it into layers on a piece of wax paper.
  • Create layers to represent different types of rocks (igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic).
  • Let the chocolate layers cool and harden.
  • Once hardened, use a mallet to break the layers into smaller pieces, symbolizing the rock cycle’s forces.
  • Arrange the chocolate pieces to illustrate the stages of the rock cycle: melting, cooling, weathering, and pressure.
  • As you enjoy the edible rock cycle, research and explain the geological processes behind rock formation and transformation.

Explore the process of conducting the Edible Rock Cycle science project in this informative video. The video provides step-by-step instructions on how to create the edible rock cycle model using chocolate and a mallet. Discover how the layers of chocolate represent different rock types and learn about the geological processes behind rock formation and transformation.

Useful Resources

  • 18 3rd Grade Classroom Management Tips and Ideas
  • Teaching 3rd Graders Problem Solving Skills
  • How to Do a Great Elementary Science Fair Project and Board Layout

In the dynamic landscape of 3rd-grade science education, the power of hands-on learning shines through science fair projects. These 14 engaging science fair projects for 3rd graders offer a gateway to discovery, nurturing curiosity, critical thinking, and creativity. As these young minds delve into density towers, erupting volcanoes, and edible rock cycles, they forge a deeper connection with the world around them. Through these projects, 3rd graders not only grasp scientific concepts but also develop lifelong skills that fuel their journey of exploration and growth. The journey of scientific inquiry has never been more exciting, setting the stage for a future marked by wonder, learning, and unbridled curiosity.

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All Science Fair Projects

1000 science fair projects with complete instructions.

73 Science Projects for 3rd Graders

73 Science Projects for 3rd Graders

Looking for ways to develop a lifelong love of learning in 3rd graders? Our handpicked list of 3rd grade science projects is designed to do just that!

Colorful Temperature

3rd Grade Science Project FAQ

What are some easy 3rd grade science fair projects.

Any one of these easy 3rd grade science fair projects will teach you important scientific concepts and help you have fun while learning. An easy science fair project is a great way to introduce the wonders of science to 3rd graders!

Preserving Flowers with Sugar

Bacteria on Our Hands

Growing Your Own Yeast Fungus

Magic Milk Painting

Swimming Raisins

Making Oobleck: Liquid or Solid?

Sparkling Rainbow Crystal

Explosive Elephant Toothpaste

Colors of Skittles Experiment

Balancing a Ball in Air

Science fair project details right above the FAQ!

What is the best 3rd grade science project ever?

We love the Bacteria on Our Hands science fair project for 3rd graders. It's a great way to introduce 3rd graders to bacteria, tiny living things we can't see until we grow a bunch of them on a special plate called an agar plate.

If you're looking for more 3rd grade science projects, check out the 3rd grade science fair projects at the top of this page! 

Check out more Best Science Fair Projects →

What are some cool 3rd grade science fair projects?

Get ready to be amazed by these super cool science projects for 3rd graders! With just a few simple things, you can be fascinated by science and have tons of fun with these cool 3rd grade science projects!

What are 5 testable questions for 3rd grade?

A testable question is a question that we can answer through a science experiment. To do this, we do a control science experiment, then we change one thing in the experiment to see how it affects what happens. This is how we can discover the answer to our question!

What makes a cloud form?

Can drink and food taste different just by changing its color?

Does the color of light affect photosynthesis?

Does temperature affect seed sprouting?

What makes popcorn pop?

Here are more testable questions along with their science projects →

What are the top 10 science projects for 3rd grade?

These are our top 10 science projects for 3rd grade, with projects from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering and Earth Science. These projects can be used as science fair project ideas or as a fun experiment to explore different areas of science!

Colorful Temperature

How Soil Affects Pinto Bean Growth

Jiggly Earth: Exploring Liquefaction

Growing Crystals in Different Temperatures

Make Your Own Anemometer

Science project details right above the FAQ!

Can I do a 3rd grade science fair project in a day?

Yes! Quick experiments can be a great option for a science fair project! If you want to explore quick reactions, we have science project ideas on various topics to get you started.

Acid-base reactions: Mixing acids with bases quickly makes carbon dioxide gas!

Make a rocket fly sky high with just baking soda and vinegar! Rocket Film Canisters

Chromatography reactions: Separate out colors!

Did you know that some Skittles have a secret rainbow hiding inside them? Colors of Skittles Experiment

Heat reactions: Heat speeds things up!

Do you want to find out which color candle burns the fastest? Which Candle Burns the Fastest?

What are some hands-on ways to find inspiration for my science fair project?

science project 3rd grade

There may be free admission days or free passes to a science museum near you! Check your local library for free museum passes, nearby science museums for free entrance days and your credit card for offers.

Find a science museum near you and prepare to be awed by all that you can learn there! I always learn something new and am inspired whenever I go to a science museum!

How do I start a science fair project?

science project 3rd grade

What should I do after I have a science fair project idea?

science project 3rd grade

How do I make a science fair board?

science project 3rd grade

What is the scientific method?

science project 3rd grade

What is the engineering design process?

science project 3rd grade

Where can I find a science fair competition?

science project 3rd grade

The www Virtual Library: Science Fairs website also has a collection of science fairs from all over the world, as well as national, state, regional, local, and virtual competitions!

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Top 31 3rd Grade Science Projects

By Suzanne Brown | Last Updated May 4, 2022

When it comes to teaching science in the classroom, the best bet is usually hands-on learning. Science experiments are often thought of as challenging or difficult, but they can also be a lot of fun. Lots of 3rd-grade science lessons ask students to make an observation, do research in a journal, and design and carry out their own experiments by using the scientific method. 

The science projects below are not only quick and easy, but they are also very engaging. Some of the projects need students to utilize a kit and conduct an experiment at home, while others require them to create a model activity. These exercises can be completed in class or over the summer with the assistance of parents. Before beginning any project, whether at school or at home, always get permission from your teacher.

Top 31 3rd Grade Science Projects

1. Fossil Making

Students will learn the basics of paleontology , the study of prehistoric life on earth. Fossils are preserved impressions or traces of plants and animals from thousands and millions of years ago. It is important to understand that fossils come in many shapes and sizes. Some are very hard to see with the naked eye; others are so big you can see them from space, like the Grand Canyon. 

2. Break the Rules of Gravity 

Are you ready to defy gravity? You will be with this cool science project. Balloon rockets are a blast and are sure to wow family and friends. The main ingredient is hot air, also known as fire! Students will record their observations while they’re doing the experiment. In the end, they’ll have a final product that’s fun and educational.

learn more : https://buggyandbuddy.com/gravity/

3. Making an Ice Berg

Icebergs are one of the most beautiful sights of nature. The white, blue, and green colors create a magnificent vision that can only be seen in its natural habitat. This project will help students get a better understanding of why this phenomenon happens in nature.

learn more https://www.science-sparks.com/titanic-science-make-an-iceberg/

4. Salt for Fall

The following salt crystal project is great for fall. When creating this activity, it is important to understand that the color of the crystals will be determined by what type of food coloring you use. Take note that adding a little bit of water to the salt makes the crystals form faster.

learn more https://www.steamsational.com/salt-crystal-leaves/

5. Water Cycle Model

The water cycle is very important in nature and has a direct impact on our lives. By using simple recycled materials, students will learn how evaporation, transpiration, and precipitation are related to each other and form part of the larger water cycle model.

lean more : https://www.science-sparks.com/make-a-mini-water-cycle/

6. Center of Gravity

This is a project about sturdiness. Students will devise an experiment to see how much weight behaves differently depending on where it is positioned. After that, students will conduct a range of experiments, constructing their own and obtaining the necessary measurements to learn how different materials react to forces.

7. Marble Racetracks

This project is an enjoyable one that will have students doing experiments that will demonstrate gravitational force. Students can try out different shapes and sizes of areas to see which ones make the marble move faster or slower.

lean more : https://theworkbenchutah.wordpress.com/category/wooden-toys/

8. Cloud in a Bottle

Using materials tubes, rubber stoppers, and a plastic bottle, this experiment teaches students about aerosols. By adding soap to water, students will create a cloud in their bottles when the air is released from the rubber stopper.

lean more : https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/make-clouds-in-a-bottle

9. Bounce Bubbles

This is a fun exercise that introduces kids to the concept of bubbles. Students will pour water into a transparent plastic container and “bounce” the bubbles over and around the bottle.

learn more : https://www.thoughtco.com/bouncing-bubble-recipe-603927

10. Umbrella Building

With simple household items, students will design an experiment to see how air pressure can be used to make an umbrella stay put on the ground.

learn more: https://raisinglifelonglearners.com/what-makes-the-best-umbrella-stem-challenge/

11. Star Projector

Using a flashlight and some white paper, students will learn how light is formed and how it can be projected outward.

learn more https://www.teachingexpertise.com/classroom-ideas/solar-system-project-ideas/

12. Catapaults

Catapults are a great way to challenge the mind and eye. First, you will need to choose which material you’ll be using for your catapult. The most common is wood, but other popular materials used in this project include cardboard, rubber bands, and duct tape. Next, you’ll need to choose an end for the projectile by picking between the long and short-range. The longer the range, the harder it will be to launch your arrow, but the farther it will travel.

learn more : https://frugalfun4boys.com/marshmallow-catapult/

13. Explore Water Temperatures

There are a lot of different projects that can be done with water. Water is both a liquid and solid; it’s also the substance that covers most of our planet. Understanding this substance is important to students who are interested in ecology, biology, and environmental science, as well as other sciences like chemistry and physics.

learn more : https://www.123homeschool4me.com/ice-salt-temperature-science-for-kids_28/

14. Water Balloon Buoyancy

Water Balloon Buoyancy is an experiment that allows students to learn about density and buoyancy. Using several water balloons, students can measure how much they weigh in different sizes of balloons. This experiment can be done at home or in the classroom.

learn more : https://www.adabofgluewilldo.com/sink-float-science-experiment-using-balloons/

15. Erosion Exploration

Erosion is essential to learning about geology and the environment. Erosion can cause problems for farmers when their land becomes too dry and their crops start dying. Once that happens, the farmer must make an observation about what happened, research his findings in a journal, and then come up with a plan to prevent erosion.

learn more https://thesciencepenguin.com/2016/02/erosion.html

16. Water Pressure Experiment

A water pressure experiment is an activity that helps students understand that water is a lot like gas and air. Water pressure, like gas and air pressure, can create movement. The more water you pour into a container, the more pressure you’ll have, and thus the more movement you’ll create.

learn more : https://playingwithrain.com/water-pressure-experiment/

17. Temperature and Density Correlation

A temperature and density correlation is an experiment that asks students to understand how temperature and density are correlated. All liquids expand as they get warmer, and all solids contract as they get older.

learn more : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0xB15fNzHc

18. Exploding Art

Exploding Art is a fun and inexpensive project for 3rd-grade science. Making homemade paper and creating exploding Art is a great way to explore your creative side. In this project, students will make colorful exploding art pieces using wheat paste, food coloring, and tissue paper.

19. Make Paper from Paper

Paper is a very important paper to have in school and at home. “Make Paper from Paper” takes a simple paper and makes it into something really interesting. This project gives students the tools, knowledge, and confidence to make their own papers.

learn more : https://www.undercoverclassroom.com/recycled-paper-in-classroom/

20. Water Filtration

This is one of the most important things a family can do. We should be filtering our drinking water in order to avoid disease and infection. In this project, students will learn about filtration and how it works.

learn more : https://teachbesideme.com/water-filtration-experiment/

21. Invisible Ink

Invisible ink is the key to many spy missions, secret messages, and solving murders. We are going to put invisible ink on paper and make it into a drawing.

learn more : https://scienceexplorers.com/invisible-ink-experiment/

22. Composting

Composting is an easy method of making soil amendments and fertilizer at home. All you will need to do this activity is a bin, starter material, and kitchen scraps. You will grow a soil amendment for your garden by recycling kitchen scraps and lawn clippings into nutritious soil for your plants.

learn more : https://www.teachstarter.com/us/blog/composting-in-the-classroom/

23. Growing Veggies Sprout 

Kids will learn about the secret life of plants and how to grow their own. They will understand that plants need sunshine, water, and food in order to grow. Kids will also learn about how to grow different kinds of veggies from seeds, including carrots, peas, beans, tomatoes, and peppers. This project is very simple and fast to do.

learn more : https://lifeovercs.com/germinating-seeds-bag-science-experiment-kids/

24. Exploring Conduction

In this project, kids will learn about electricity and conductors and how electricity flows. They will also learn about insulators and how they stop or slow down the flow of electricity. Kids will create a simple circuit on their own using everyday materials that they can find in their house. 

lean more https://www.scienceprojects.org/electrical-conductors-and-insulators/

25. Balloon Powered Car

The automobile is made out of a balloon, a few playing cards, a penny, and some tape. All you’ll need is a balloon and some tape to get started. The balloon is simple to inflate, and then cables can be attached to it to make it into a battery pack. Before installing cables as the track for the vehicle to drive on, the playing cards can be attached to the automobile. If you wish to use a quarter, make sure it weighs less than one gram. Otherwise, your automobile will not move.

learn more https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Phys_p099/physics/balloon-powered-car-challenge

26. Build a Tower 

just paper, glue, and a little water!

Students will learn that the three simple ingredients, water, paper, and glue, make a really strong sticky mess. It is important to always follow the instructions exactly. This project is also useful because it teaches students how to keep their work areas clean.

;earn more : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G2bE0KiZJI

27. Static Experiment

This experiment is fun and not too dangerous. Depending on the type of static generator you use, you will either be playing with a spark or an electric charge.

learn more : https://www.steamsational.com/easy-science-experiments-static-electricity/

28. Mentos and Coke

This experiment is about as fun as a soda pop commercial. This project is really easy and really fun. The results are fast and impressive!

learn more https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/original-mentos-diet-coke-geyser/

29. Melt a Cup

This experiment is hands down a great beginner project because it’s easy to understand, fun, and easy to conduct in the classroom.

30. Make Colorful Flowers

This project is fun, fast, and easy! Anyone can do this, even the little ones! Using only a few supplies and just a little water, you can make colorful flowers. This project is great for a class party or as a decoration for any day/event. 

learn more https://www.momjunction.com/articles/cool-paper-flower-crafts-children_0074282/

31. How Do Plants Eat?

Students will learn how a plant’s roots work to support the plant, usually by being exposed to soil nutrients that have dissolved in water seeping down from the leaves.

learn more https://www.plt.org/educator-tips/easy-plant-science-experiments-for-the-classroom/

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science project 3rd grade

Are you looking for science activities to do with your 3rd graders? No sweat. We have you covered. Check out our list of 20 science projects and experiments that you can try with your 3rd graders this month.

  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Age | All-Science-Fair-Projects.com – Grades 2-5, Use a stopwatch and ping-pong ball to find out how hand-eye coordination changes as children get older.
  • What Do Yeast Eat…and How Can You Tell? | Education.com – Grades 2-5, The objective of this project is to examine which foods yeast cells eat.
  • How Do Antacids Work? | Biochemistry Discovery Lab – Grades 3-6, Simulate out how antacids work to treat heartburn by using fake stomach enzymes.
  • Mice & Music | Hubpages.com – Grades 3-6, Find out if music affects the performance of mice in a maze.
  • A Magnetic Primer Designer | Sciencebuddies.org – Grades 3-6 Biology project that utilizes magnets to mimic the process that scientists use to replicate DNA, using the polymerase chain reaction.
  • Growing Bacteria in Petri Dishes | Stevespanglerscience.com – Grades 3-6 biology In this science fair project, you must find samples of bacteria from an assortment of surfaces to find the surfaces that are the dirtiest.
  • How Does Color Affect Eyesight? | Education.com – Grades 1-5, Find out which colors are easier and more challenging to read at a distance. This super simple project requires volunteers and color charts you can print from the web.
  • How Many Letters? | ScienceBuddies.org – Grades 1-4, How much memory does a computer use to “remember” a series of letters? Find out how much memory a computer uses to remember 1000 letters.
  • Jumping For Geodes: Can You Tell the Inside from the Outside? | ScienceBuddies.org Grades 1-4, Can you tell what’s inside a geode from looking at the outside? Learn more out these unique rocks and crack some open to discover the surprises inside.
  • How Water Beats Rock | Education.com – Grades 1-5, Discover how water is more potent than rocks.  Experiment with ways that water can break the stone.
  • Soil Type and Liquefaction | All-Science-Fair-Projects.com – Grades 1-5, Experiment with sand, clay, and loam and find out which type of soil dissolves most easily.
  • Effects of Temperature and Humidity on Static Charges | Education.com – Grades 1-5, Use balloons, a rubber ball, and a scarf to investigate why those socks stick together when you take them out of the dryer and how conditions in the air affect static electricity.
  • Condensation and the Water Cycle | Easy-Science-Fair-Projects.net – Grades 2-4, Gather up some jars, bowls, and ice water to determine how the amount of ice affects condensation.
  • Ready, Set, Search! Race to the Right Answer | ScienceBuddies.org – Grades 2-5, Find out how Internet search engines work and how you can get different results depending on the type of information you request.
  • Paper Airplane Science | Easy-Science-Fair-Projects.net – Grades 2-5, Put your paper airplane making and flying skills to the test. Design and fly a variety of different planes and determine which design flies the farthest.
  • Mag-nificent Breakfast Cereal – Grades 2-5, Use a blender and a magnet to find out how much iron is in different kinds of breakfast cereal.
  • The Big Dig | Sciencebuddies.org – Grades 2-5, Find out which materials are biodegradable, and which ones are not. How can you use this information to help the environment?
  • Weather-Related Science Projects | Hubpages.com – Grades 2-5, Learn more about the weather and other aspects of meteorology by using instruments you build. Make a barometer, hygrometer, anemometer… even lightning!
  • Hero’s Engine and Newton’s Third Law | Education.com – Grades 2-5, Build an aeolipile(Hero’s Engine) to explore Isaac Newton’s Third Law – for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Can you predict the movement of the Hero’s Engine?
  • Rocky Secrets: Where Does Oil Hide? | ScienceBuddies.org -Grades 2-5, Can you get petroleum oil from a stone? Find out which kinds of rocks can soak up and store the most fat. Learn how petroleum geologists and engineers use this information to find the best places to get oil from the earth.

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30 Weather and Climate Activities for 3rd Grade

Learning about weather, and all the fun investigations that come with it, is always a highlight for my students. In this post I’ll share some of our favorite third grade weather and climate activities that will spark curiosity in your students and excite their creativity. 

This post will help you plan and teach an in-depth weather and climate unit that covers all of the third grade NGSS.  I’ve included lots of weather activities, teaching ideas, books, videos, and science experiments that align with third grade NGSS as well as many state science standards.  

Find activities and STEM labs for students to explore:

  • Weather instruments and tools
  • Comparing and graphing weather data
  • Researching natural weather hazards
  • Reducing the impact of severe weather
  • Modeling flood prevention
  • Designing solutions to weather-related problems 
  • How mountains affect climate
  • Modeling sea level rise
  • How sunlight varies on Earth’s surface and affects climate

Weather and Climate Activities 

Weather and climate activities for 3rd grade

Learn the Difference Between Weather and Climate

Weather is what the atmosphere is like at a particular time and place. Climate describes what the weather is like over a long period of time in a specific area. Scientists use averages of temperature and precipitation to classify climates.

Weather vs Climate video

This Weather vs. Climate video does a good job of explaining the difference.

Compare Weather Data

Challenge your students to make tools to measure rainfall in a way that can be compared. This simple lab helps students understand these key concepts:

  • To compare data, the rainfall must be measured in the same way.
  • If two groups measure in different ways, their data cannot be compared.
  • Data is observations or measurements recorded in an investigation. 

Students work in groups and can use very simple objects like a popsicle stick, connecting cubes, or a pencil, to measure and compare the amount of rain that falls in two different places. 

Measuring rainfall experiment to compare weather data

  • Use a small paper cup as the rain cup. Poke small holes in the bottom.
  • Label two 9 oz. clear cups as Cup A and Cup B.
  • Students pour water into the rain cup and move the rain cup back and forth between cup A and cup B so it “rains” in both cups. 

Next, students use their materials to devise a way to measure the rainfall in both cups and record their observations. Since they will not have a ruler, their measurements will be untraditional. 

Measuring rainfall experiment to compare weather data

Make 3D Precipitation Graphs

3rd grade 3D weather graph scaled

Choose a city and research its weather to find the amount of monthly rainfall. Use connecting cubes to build a 3D precipitation graph of its yearly rainfall then to compare the monthly weather data.

3D precipitation graph for 3rd grade science scaled

Lab sheet source

Design a hurricane-safe home

Challenge your students to solve weather-related problems and incorporate engineering practices by designing a hurricane-safe house.

build a hurricane proof house STEM activity

Ask students to research hurricanes then use what they learn to design a house that will reduce the impact of a hurricane.

Model Ways to Stop a Flood

Make models to test various materials and their ability to reduce the impact of a flood. Engineers test properties of materials to decide which are best for certain jobs. 

reduce impact of flood 3rd grade weather science experiment scaled

Write Storm Safety Guides

As students learn about severe weather, have them research ways to reduce the impact of natural hazards. 

natural hazards reduce impact stay safe lesson scaled

Students can write storm safety guides about how to prepare for and stay safe during extreme weather events.

Natural hazards safety guide writing project

This project is a great way to incorporate writing in your science lessons!

Weather and Climate Lesson Plans

Click on the pictures below for complete weather and climate science unit with lesson plans, labs, teaching slides and more!

Third grade weather and climate unit

Learn to Read Thermometers

One of the key concepts students learn is that to compare weather data, it must be measured and recorded in the same way. Students learn to read a thermometer and use this standard tool to measure temperature. 

read a thermometer lesson plan temperature activity scaled

Measuring temperature and reading thermometers are also a great way to also incorporate math skills. Students can practice Reading A Thermometer online on IXL.

Determine an Average Temperature

Another way to incorporate math skills into a weather science unit is to determine the average temperature of a place. Students use addition and division to determine an average temperature.

Weather and climate temperature activity 3rd grade

Here’s how:

  • Record high temperatures each day for one week where you live.
  • Add those numbers together
  • Divide the sum by seven to find the average temperature for the week.

Make Weather Instruments

To predict the weather, scientists use several different tools to gather data. They collect information on temperature, humidity, wind speed, and barometric pressure. Students can easily make simple weather instruments to collect their own data.

Barometer with a Jar

Students can record changes in barometric pressure by making a homemade barometer.  This easy to do design requires a jar, a balloon, a rubber band and a toothpick!

How to make a barometer for kids

DIY Anemometers

Make a simple anemometer to measure wind speed with straws and small paper cups.

DIY anemometer

Turn a Bottle Into a Rain Gauge

Learn how to make a rain gauge on Science Sparks using a 2-liter bottle.

DIY rain gauge

Make a Water Thermometer

See how to make a water thermometer at Steve Spangler Science.

DIY Thermometer

Learn more about weather instruments on Weather Wiz Kids and National Geographic Kids . 

Simulate How Mountains Affect Climate

Climate on a mountain varies depending on what altitude you are up a mountain. Mountains can have a big impact on rainfall. Mountains are natural barriers to the winds that carry moist air over the land. When air reaches a mountain it is forced to go over it.

how mountains affect weather activity

The side of the mountain the wind reaches first will get plenty of rain. The other side will get little rain. This is because air cools as it moves upward. Students can simulate how mountains affect climate by using a fan and a box to represent wind and a mountain.

Third grade how mountains affect weather activity

Turn on the fan and have students drip cotton balls to simulate the mountain barrier that blocks cool moist air that results in precipitation.

Explore How the Sun Affects Climate 

Because the Earth is round, the sun’s rays don’t fall evenly on the land and oceans. This causes some parts of the Earth to get more of the sun’s energy than others. 

A location’s latitude has a big effect on its climate. Temperatures drop the further an area is from the equator. 

seasonal weather changes science experiment

Add Math to Your Weather Activities

Incorporate math by having students solve weather related word problems. These task cards are part of a complete 3rd grade weather and climate unit .

Third grade weather and climate math word problems task cards

Students analyze data, interpret weather graphs, read thermometers and more.

Play Weather and Climate Games Online

IXL Weather Games

You can only play the games for a short time without creating an account

  • Compare Temperatures on Thermometers
  • Graph Temperature Data
  • Weather vs Climate: What’s the Difference?
  • Weather and Climate Around the World
  • Use Climate Data to Make Predictions
  • Use Data to Describe U.S. Climates
  • Use Data to Describe World Climates

Weather and Climate Videos

  • Measuring Weather
  • Weather Instruments
  • Severe Weather
  • Weather Safety
  • Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Thunderstorms
  • Climate Zones
  • Weather Channel Tornado Simulation
  • Weather Channel Storm Surge Simulation

Books About Weather and Climate

Incorporate science in your reading block with informational books about weather and climate. I’ve collected a range of books on Amazon. Click here to see the list.

books aabout weather and climate for 3rd grade students

Weather Websites for Kids

  • Climate Kids NASA
  • Earth and Atmospheric Science
  • Extreme Weather
  • National Geographic Forces of Nature: Hurricanes and Tornadoes
  • Weather Wiz Kids
  • Treehouse Weather Kids
  • The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids  
  • National Weather Service for Kids
  • Space Weather Center

Excite your students with these high engagement experiments, project ideas, and weather and climate activities for third grade. Save this post for later so you have it when you plan!

Weather and climate activities for 3rd grade

Visit these posts for more third grade science activities:

10 Easy Inherited Traits Activities or 3rd Grade

inherited traits activities 3rd grade

Force & Motion Activities for Third Grade

fore and motion science activities

Free Science & Engineering Practice Posters

Free Science & Engineering posters and standards cards

The First Week in Third Grade Science

First week of third grade science activities

Happy teaching!

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I’m Linda Kamp, a 20 year primary grade teacher with a passion for creating educational materials that excite students and make learning fun! I'm so glad you're here!

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Science Projects on Magnets for Third-Graders

Iron filings show the magnetic field surrounding a magnet.

Elementary Science Experiments for Magnets

Magnets make for an educational and interesting science project topic for your third-grade students. A great number of projects involve making and using magnets, while other experiments assess the usefulness of magnets in everyday life. Students should record the process of their experiment in a logbook and take photographs as they complete different phases of the project, which is particularly useful when they are preparing for a science fair.

Build an Electromagnet

Introduce magnets to your third-grade students by getting them to build their own basic electromagnet. Help students remove a few inches of insulation from each end of a half meter-long copper wire before wrapping it around a 4-inch-long nail to form a coil. Students should then take each end of the copper wire and attach them to the two poles of a dry cell to complete the battery. Students can test the effectiveness of their electromagnet using a range of magnetic items, such as paper clips and staples.

Magnetic Fields

An idea for an introductory experiment involving magnets that will take your third-graders just five minutes to complete helps them understand how magnets work. Provide students with a sturdy, white A4 piece of cardboard, a magnet and a handful of iron filings. Students should lay the magnet flat on a table and place the cardboard on top of it so the magnet is roughly in the middle of the cardboard. Students should drop the iron filings onto the card, tap their finger a couple of times on the surface of the cardboard and observe as the iron filings become briefly magnetized and show the lines of the magnetic field.

Making a Compass

One simple experiment that your third-graders will enjoy is making a compass. First, students should lay a sewing needle on a table before running a bar magnet along its length a few times, which serves to magnetize it. Have students carefully push the needle all the way through the length of a cork, such as one from a wine bottle, and float the device in a cup filled with tap water. Students should place the bar magnet on the table adjacent to the glass and observe as the needle turns to point toward the nearest magnetic pole of the magnet (north or south).

The Street Stacker

Science projects on magnets do not have to be based on students carrying out experiments; they can also center on research. An example of this that allows your students to get creative and captures their imagination gets them to think about future scientific developments and whether traffic in a city could be run by magnets. Give students A3 pieces of paper, felt-tip pens, scissors and tissue paper and ask them to design a poster showing how a magnetic car system would operate in a city. Ask students to also think about the potential problems this system could pose and how they could be overcome.

Related Articles

Science projects & experiments with magnets, school projects with magnets, quick & easy experiments with magnets, how to explain magnets to kindergarteners, science fair magnet ideas, 5 uses of magnets for kids, how to make an alternator, easy inventions for science projects, how to make a windmill for a school project, science projects on electromagnetic cranes, how to make an electromagnet for kids, things to do with rare earth magnets, homemade generator science project, electric science projects you can make at home for..., what are bar magnets used for, how to build an electric motor from scratch, experiments with magnets for children, force & motion lessons for kindergarten.

  • Science Fair Adventure: Build an Electromagnet
  • Science Project Ideas: Magnetic Fields
  • Madsci: Making a Compass

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I have been involved in coaching and administration of youth soccer with the Herts FA for several years. I have many years experience with the technical side and equipment of soccer, cricket, rugby, snooker and poker. I studied the health and fitness and dietary side of competitive sport while at University. Currently, I am not ready for on-camera opportunities, but this could change with access to training and equipment.

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