Physical Science & Chemistry Projects

Posts in the physical science fair projects category

Question: How Much Oxygen is in Our Air?

The air around you is made up of about 21 percent oxygen. This science experiment will show you how to discover the amount of oxygen for yourself by analyzing a chemical reaction between oxygen and rust. 


Materials Needed:

(Any of The Materials Highlighted in Blue are Clickable Links for Purchasing)

Package of fine steel wool (available at hardware stores)

Wide, shallow bowl or dish


Food Coloring

Rubber Gloves

Glass jar

White vinegar

Four test tubes

Permanent marker


  1. Fill the glass jar with equal parts Vinegar and Water
  2. Put the package of steel wool in the glass jar, and leave it there overnight to soak. This will form iron oxide (rust) on the steel wool.
  3. Pour an inch of water into the shallow bowl/dish. Add two drops of food coloring to the water.
  4. Wearing gloves, pull a few strands of the steel wool from the rusted piece, and roll them together to make a tiny ball. Repeat this procedure two more times so you have three tiny balls. The balls should be slightly wider than the test tubes.
  5. Use a pencil to push one ball all the way to the bottom of one of the test tubes, one ball three quarters of the way to the bottom of a second test tube, and one ball halfway to the bottom of a third test tube.
  6. Make a paper ball the same size as the balls of steel wool, and push it to the bottom of a fourth tube.
  7. Put the four tubes upside down in a row in the shallow dish of prepared water. Leave the tubes there for 24 hours.
  8. Now mark the water level on each tube. Notice the difference in water level. The tube with the paper in it should not have risen. Now measure the length of each tube, pretend that the bottom of the steel ball is the highest point of the tube. Write both of these measurements into a table, like the one below.
  9. Fill in the fourth column of the table by dividing the amount the water moved up by the length of the test tube. Remember that the water that rose into the test tube was actually replacing the oxygen that reacted with the rusty steel wool. The percentage for all three tubes should be the same, since it is the same as the amount of oxygen in the air, 21% give or take.
 Tube Number Height of Water Height of Test Tube Percent of Oxygen in Test Tube



Posted by Paula Chen on 11 April, 2017 high school, middle school, physical science fair projects | Read more →

Question: Can You Measure Surface Tension of Water With a Penny?

Did you know that even though water is a liquid, it isn't always able to get into little cracks and crevices? So how do clothes go from caked with mud to clean? How can dishes go from greasy to glistening? With a few simple household items, you can find out!

Materials Needed:

(Any of The Materials Highlighted in Blue are Clickable Links for Purchasing)

Tap Water

Dish Soap

Drinking Glasses


Dropping Pipet


Paper Towel

Lab Notebook


Project Procedure:

1. Create a table in your lab notebook like the one below.

Type of Water Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Average
Regular Water
Soapy Water


2. Fill a glass with tap water

3. Fill a second glass with tap water. Add a few drops of dish soap and mix gently with a spoon

4. Use the bulb on the Pipet to suck some of the plain tap water into the Pipet

5. Place your penny on a flat level surface 

6. Use the Pipet to drop one drop of water onto the center of the penny

7. Continue slowly adding drops until the bubble of water on the penny bursts and spills over the edges.

8. Make sure and record the number of drops it took before the bubble burst

9. Dry off the penny and repeat steps 5-7 twice. Record the number of drops in the table each time

10. Repeat steps 4-7 with soapy water. Again, be sure to record your data in the table

11. Calculate the average drops it took for each of the two kinds of water

12. Based on the number of drops for each attempt, do you think adding soap increased or decreased the surface tension of the water?

Posted by Isaac Fornari on 13 February, 2017 elementary, physical science fair projects | Read more →

Question: Will adding glycerin or corn syrup help your homemade bubble solution work better?

Summary: Making your own bubble solution is fun, but sometimes the bubbles don't seem to work as well as the solutions you buy in the store. In this experiment you can test if adding corn syrup or glycerin to your bubble solution will make it just as good as the stuff you can buy. This experiment will have you blowing bubbles!

Looking for a kit with everything you need to complete this experiment? Click Here!

Materials Needed:

(Any of The Materials Highlighted in Blue are Clickable Links for Purchasing)

3 Glass Jars

Graduated Cylinder (for measuring liquid)

Distilled Water

Liquid Dishwashing Soap


Light Corn Syrup

Pipe Cleaners

Permanent Marker


Project Procedure:

 1. Use the table below to make 3 separate bubble solutions in the Mason Jars, label these according to their ingredients. 



Ingredient Solution #1
detergent only
Solution #2
detergent + glycerin
Solution #3
detergent + corn syrup

1 cup (240 mL) +

1 Tbsp (15 mL)

1 cup (240 mL) 1 cup (240 mL)
Detergent 2 Tbsp (30 mL) 2 Tbsp (30 mL) 2 Tbsp (30 mL)
1 Tbsp (15 mL)
Corn Syrup
1 Tbsp (15 mL)


2. Now make a pipe cleaner wand for each solution. Pinch a pipe cleaner in the middle and give it a kink. Bend one half of the pipe cleaner into a circle and twist together at the center. Repeat with the other two pipe cleaners, and make sure that all 3 wands are approximately the same size.

3. Go outside and test your bubble solutions. Blow a bubble and catch it on your wand. Immediately start the stopwatch and time how long the bubble lasts. This will take some practice, so try it out on some extra solution before you start!

4. Repeat the experiment as many times as possible for each solution.

5. Record your data in a data table like this one:



  Solution #1 - Bubble Time (secs) Solution #2 - Bubble Time (secs) Solution #3 - Bubble Time (secs)
Trial 1      
Trial 2      
. . . . . . .      
Trial 20      
Average Bubble Time in Seconds      


6. For each bubble solution, calculate the average time in seconds that the bubbles lasted. Do this calculation by adding up all of the data for a solution, and dividing by the number of trials for that solution.

7. Make a graph of your data. For each solution, make a bar of the average time in seconds that the bubble lasted.

8. Analyze your data. Which formula worked the best?

Posted by Isaac Fornari on 20 August, 2015 elementary, middle school, physical science fair projects | Read more →

Stay in touch

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you. Call 800-282-3248 toll-free or 408-727-7301. Email us here. Or come by our retail store at:
The Science Shop USA
1043 Di Giulio Ave
Santa Clara, CA 95050-2805
Open Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Latest Additions to Our Science Project Database

  • Question: What Are the Best Liquid Conductors of Energy?

    Summary: This experiment explores the kinds of liquids that are the best conductors of energy when splitting the molecules of water through electrolysis. Materials Needed: (Any of The Materials Highlighted in Blue are Clickable Links for Purchasing) 9 v Battery... Read more →

  • Question: Can You Make a Battery Out of a Potato?

    Summary: In this experiment, a potato is used to create an electrochemical battery, in which chemical energy is converted to electrical energy through spontaneous electron transfer. The energy created is enough to power a digital clock. Materials Needed: (Any of... Read more →