You’ve made it to the end of the school year! The last month can be tough to get through, and students start checking out mentally. I’ve compiled a list of some fun projects and activities you can do with your students to keep em engaged.
1. Have computer access? Have students create an infographic for a topic you learned about this school year. Here are directions on what program I use, and you can find student handouts here.
2. Students love completing labs, but take it a step further and collect meaningful data to contribute to a citizen science project. Check out this blog post with links to dozens of projects that can further scientific research in your community.
3. While hard copy newspapers are slowly becoming a thing of the past, all the parts are still available in a digital format so it’s good for students to learn about a newspaper format. I created a newspaper project that can be used for any science topic. You can find the activity lesson plan here.
4. Want to have your students make a difference in their community? Have them plan and execute a fundraiser! Find a great nonprofit to donate to such as Water Is Life or One Tree Planted. (I’ve had personal experience working with Water Is Life and they are a stellar organization).
5. Almost every student has a cell phone these days, and it can be tough to keep students off them during class. Try having students get the phones out and create a photo journal for a science concept. For example, if you recently taught ecology have students go outside and take pictures relating to succession, food chains, and habitats. Then they can do a small write-up on what their photos represent. Find the editable project here.
6. Summer is almost here, so have them plan a vacation! Have students pick a national park they would like to visit. (If they aren’t sure what their options are, check out Google’s 3D views of national parks they can explore- it’s so cool!) Once they’ve picked a national park, give them a travel budget. Tell them they need to account for travel expenses, food, park entry fees, and souvenirs.
7. Did you teach force and motion? Rube Goldberg projects are always a student favorite. Assign students with a task (such as getting a marble to land in a cup) in a certain number of steps. You can have them complete it in class or have them work on it at home and record a video. It’s a blast! You can find a lesson plan here.
8. If you have any students that are fans of the show Survivor, they will love this Survivor Science project from The Science Spot. You can find the activity write-up here.
9. If the weather is nice where you live, take students outside for a Scavenger hunt. You can hide review questions in plastic eggs, or have them search for science-related things. Examples include: something that is a liquid, a producer and consumer, something magnetic, or a material that is an insulator. Get creative!
10. Want to review vocabulary? Have students create an ABC book with science vocabulary from the year. For each letter of the alphabet students will find a vocabulary word, write out the definition, and draw a picture. You can find the printable template for free here.
11. Show and Tell may sound like an elementary school activity, but you can make it meaningful with a scientific twist. Give students a topic or theme and have them bring in objects from home that fit that topic. For example, you could assign the topic of friction. What is something at home that represents friction? They could bring in a pair of baseball cleats, a piece of sandpaper, or a can of WD-40. Then they have to explain to the class why they brought that particular object in and how it relates to the topic. Middle schoolers will really enjoy it!
12. Ooblek is always a fun end of the year activity. Mix 1 part water and 2 parts cornstach in a ziplock bag. Add a few drops of food coloring, mix, and enjoy!