Science Fair Project Ideas for Teens

Teenage students looking at model windmill in classroom

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Helping your child choose a science fair project can be the hardest part of the whole process. Coming up with a creative idea and then figuring out how to turn that idea into an experiment or demonstration can be tricky.

And of course, many teens wait until the last minute. But gathering poster board, craft supplies, or equipment the night before the science fair isn't likely to turn out well.

Start talking to your child early about narrowing down the types of science fair projects that interest them the most. If you can get them excited about it, they'll only invest more time and energy into creating an impressive project. 

Fun Science Fair Project Ideas

Here are some creative science fair project topics and ideas to consider.

Earth-Related Science Fair Projects

There are lots of projects about our planet. Show the causes of acid rain, detect carbon monoxide levels throughout your home, or show why clouds are in the sky. Look for inspiration in everyday things around you, such as lakes or mountains. 

Planet-Related Science Fair Projects

There are lots of science fair projects that involve the solar system. You could also pick a specific planet. Make a model of Mars, explain Saturn's rings, talk about the temperature on Mercury, or discuss the distance between Venus and the sun. 

Projects About Forces of Nature

Forces of nature make fascinating projects. Natural disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, and droughts are interesting topics. Many teens love to create projects on volcanoes which is especially fun if you can build a model.

Mysterious acts of weather, like tornadoes, can make for interesting research, as do earthquakes. 

Mammals, Reptiles, and Insect-Related Projects 

There are lots of interesting creatures that make for intriguing science fair projects. A shark's skeleton is made up entirely of cartilage rather than bone, for example. Chameleons change colors to blend into the environment. And birds navigate their way to new environments when the seasons change.

You can also do a project involving your household pet. Perhaps your child can teach your dog a new trick or toilet train your cat. 

Plant-Related Science Fair Projects

There are a lot of science fair projects that involve plants. Create a diagram showing photosynthesis or conduct an experiment to see what conditions help seeds grow best. You can even research how fertilizer or weed killer works.

Temperature-Related Projects

Temperature affects us every day, yet we often don't think about why the temperature changes. Explore temperature and why warm fronts move in or why cold fronts leave us shivering.

You can also explore body temperature. Show how and why your body temperature changes during the day. 

Psychological Science Fair Projects

Don't forget that science also involves psychology. Examine the different parts of the brain, or conduct an experiment to test your friends' and family's working memory skills. 

Science Fair Projects About Going Green

There are lots of science fair projects about how to minimize pollution and go green. For example, do some research on global warming. Discuss why some people think it's a major problem while others don't believe in it at all.

You could also discuss hydropower. Many scientists can't agree on whether it's really a green form of energy or not. Create a compost pile and explain how composting works, or show what happens when paper gets recycled.

By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, an international bestselling author of books on mental strength and host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. She delivered one of the most popular TEDx talks of all time.