50 Top 8th Grade Science Fair Projects and Classroom Activities


Whether your students are preparing for the science fair or you’re looking for classroom ideas to grab their interest, we’ve got the answers! Find lots of 8th grade science fair projects across a spectrum of topics and difficulty levels (including plenty of easy science fair project ideas). Plus, check out fun classroom demos and hands-on experiments and activities your students will love.

To make it easier to find classroom activities or science fair projects for 8th graders, we’ve rated all the projects and activities by difficulty and the materials needed:

Difficulty:

  • Easy: Low or no-prep experiments you can do pretty much anytime
  • 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

Materials:

  • 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

Jump to:

Biology and Life Science 8th Grade Science Fair Projects

Explore human behavior, plants and animals, the water cycle, and more with these 8th grade science fair project ideas.

Measure and compare lung capacity

Two eighth grade science students measuring the circumference of a blue balloon
Blog She Wrote

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

This experiment combines math and biology to measure lung capacity using a balloon. There are a lot of interesting hypotheses students can form, document, and explore while taking these measurements.

Learn more: Measuring Lung Capacity at Blog She Wrote

Guide a growing plant through a maze

A plant in a cardboard box, growing in a twisted pattern through holes toward light at the top
KiwiCo

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Basic

Prove that plants really do seek out the light by setting up a simple or complex maze. This is a simple 8th grade science project with really cool results.

Learn more: Plant Light Maze at KiwiCo

Explore symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria

Frozen peas next to two plant containers labeled control and bacteria
Education.com

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Many plants depend on nitrogen for growth, but how important is it? This science project compares the growth of pea plants with and without nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Learn more: Nitrogen and Plants at Education.com

Test water quality

Water quality testing kit with TDS meter
The Homeschool Scientist

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

A water-testing kit opens up limitless options for 8th grade science fair projects. Test the water quality of local streams, swimming pools, or even the taps at home.

Learn more: Water Quality Experiment at The Homeschool Scientist

Cast animal tracks

Plaster cast of dog footprint next to autumn leaves, dated 7/25/15
Blog She Wrote

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Explore wildlife biology by becoming an expert tracker! Learn to identify tracks and take casts. Turn this into an experiment by trying different methods to take casts, or use it as a method of identifying wildlife in the woods.

Learn more: Casting Animal Tracks at Blog She Wrote

Determine a plant’s favorite music

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

Play different types of music for plants, then observe and document any changes in the growth and development of the plants as they’re exposed to different genres of music.

Conduct fingerprint analysis

Large fingerprint in black ink on white paper
Home Science Tools

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Budding forensic scientists will love this idea. Learn to dust for prints and try a technique called “fuming” for trickier surfaces. See if you can compare prints and make accurate matches in the classroom. You can buy a fingerprinting kit just for kids or use supplies from around the house.

Learn more: Fingerprinting at Home Science Tools

Examine the connection between personality and memory

Notecard labeled Personality Type INFJ and worksheet labeled Memory Tests
Education.com

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Basic

Do introverts have better memories than extroverts? This science project aims to find out. Round up some willing volunteers and administer the Myers-Briggs personality test, then challenge your subjects with a memory test. The results may or may not surprise you!

Learn more: Memory and Personality at Education.com

Measure algae growth

Mason jars filled with water and algae, along with other chemicals
Layers of Learning

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Fertilizer runoff has become a serious cause of water pollution. In this experiment, students will see its effects firsthand and brainstorm ways to keep it in check.

Learn more: Algae and Pollution Experiment at Layers of Learning

Water plants with different liquids

A series of plants in glass jars, labeled
Calm the Chaos Parenting

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

In this easy science fair project, kids water plants with different liquids, like rainwater, tap water, salt water, and even soda. They might be surprised at the results!

Learn more: Effecting Plant Growth at Calm the Chaos Parenting

Chemistry 8th Grade Science Fair Projects

Beakers and test tubes, pouring and mixing … do it all with these fun chemistry science fair project ideas for 8th graders.

Perform a starch test with iodine

Test tube with yellow liquid labeled neg, test tube with black liquid labeled pos, and stoppered bottle filled with iodine
Biology Notes for IGSCE

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

This simple chemistry experiment uses iodine to determine the starch content of food items. Use the process to perform a variety of 8th grade science experiments related to food.

Learn more: Starch Test at Biology Notes for IGCSE

Keep your hands warm

Man rubbing hands together with plastic bag of black liquid in between
Steve Spangler Science

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

If you live in a chilly part of the world, chances are you’ve seen chemical hand warmers for sale. In this 8th grade science fair project, use oxidation to make your own hand warmer, and find other creative ways to use this heating process.

Learn more: Homemade Hand Warmer at Steve Spangler Science

Compare electrolytes in sports drinks

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Sports-loving kids will enjoy the chance to learn just how many valuable electrolytes their favorite sports drinks contain. Compare them with water or orange juice for a cool science fair project. You’ll need a few special supplies, like a multimeter and an ohm resistor, but they’re not too expensive and they’re easy to find.

Turn juice into spheres

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

You’ll need a few special supplies for this experiment, but the results are so cool. Turn spherification into a science fair project by experimenting with different beverages and liquids.

Block the sun’s UV rays

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

Use color-changing UV beads to test the protective power of medicine bottles, hats, clothing, and more. This is an easy 8th grade science fair project with nearly endless possibilities.

Grow a carbon sugar snake

Tin pan of sand with large carbon snake growing out of it
KiwiCo

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Remember those little black pellets that fire up into long snakes on the 4th of July? This is the same concept but much bigger! The simple chemical reaction of sugar and baking soda makes it happen. Turn this into an 8th grade science fair project by varying the formula to create even bigger results!

Learn more: Carbon Sugar Snake at KiwiCo

Create a rainbow of flames

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

You can change the color of fire by adding chemicals found at your local grocery store—what a sight! How can you use these flame colors to determine the chemical content of other materials? Sounds like a cool 8th grade science fair project!

Get your laundry really clean

Container of OxiClean with beakers of liquid on a counter
Steve Spangler Science

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Find out if all those laundry detergent commercials are really telling the truth with this 8th grade science fair experiment. Test their cleaning power on a variety of stains and fabrics, and analyze your results.

Learn more: Science of Cleaning Products at Steve Spangler Science

Study the effects of acid rain

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

In this project, students use chalk as a stand-in for stone to learn how acid rain affects buildings, statues, and more. Turn this into a science fair project by exploring ways to mitigate the effects of the acidity.

Extract bismuth from Pepto Bismol

Black mortar filled with pink powder and a pestle
Popular Science

Difficulty: Advanced / Materials: Advanced

This is the kind of project that really makes you feel like a scientist. Grinding tablets with a mortar and pestle, filtering in beakers, heating over a Bunsen burner … this is what chemistry is all about!

Learn more: Extracting Bismuth at Popular Science

Optimize fermentation temperature

A Hot Yeast Experiment. Bottle of fizzing liquid with a partially inflated green balloon attached to the top.
Elemental Blogging

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Delve into the mystery of how temperature affects the fermentation process and determine the optimum temperature for yeast development. (Test your hypothesis by baking a loaf of bread!)

Learn more: Hot Yeast at Elemental Blogging

Brew up some root beer

Bowl filled with root beer and dry ice, spilling over with white vapors
Steve Spangler Science

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Who says science can’t be delicious? Tinker with the basic root beer recipe to make it sweeter, fizzier, or better in any way you like!

Learn more: Root Beer Science at Steve Spangler Science

Physics and Engineering 8th Grade Science Fair Projects

For those who love to build and tinker, try a science fair project that experiments with various physics concepts like energy, electricity, motion, and more.

Build a better light bulb

Simple lightbulb built from a glass jar, battery, and wires
123 Homeschool 4 Me

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

First, use the steps at the link to build a simple light bulb with a jar, some wire, and a 6-volt battery. Then, turn it into an 8th grade science fair project by tinkering with the various materials to make a light bulb that lasts longer, burns brighter, or is powered by an alternative source.

Learn more: Build a Light Bulb at 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Test the strength of interleaved paper

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Basic

Paper seems smooth and slides apart easily, right? Not when you add friction into the mix! Mythbusters was amazed at how much strength it took to pull apart two interleaved phone books. Try this with smaller books for an 8th grade science fair project that people won’t believe!

Stand on a pile of paper cups

Student standing on top of a structure built from cardboard sheets and paper cups
Science Sparks

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Basic

Combine physics and engineering and challenge 8th grade science students to create a paper cup structure that can support their weight. This is a cool project for aspiring architects.

Learn more: Paper Cup Stack at Science Sparks

Cook up a tasty treat with solar energy

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Students can design and build a solar oven, and then use it to cook food to compare the cooking time and temperature with a conventional oven. See if you can improve on the original design by changing up the materials or construction.

Investigate advanced properties of liquids

8th grade science project studying viscosity, surface tension, and temperature.
Education.com

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Do surface tension and viscosity decrease with increasing temperature? Find out in this 8th grade science fair project.

Learn more: Surface Tension and Viscosity at Education.com

Make a solar desalinator

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Clean freshwater is a valuable commodity. Construct solar-powered desalination devices with readily available materials, and find the most effective desalination methods.

Engineer a roller coaster loop

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Kids may have created marble roller coasters before, but have they ever built one with a loop-the-loop? They’ll have to experiment to find out which initial height gives a marble the speed it needs to complete the journey.

Capture a picture of lightning

Lightning pattern made on piece of acrylic with photocopier toner
Science Notes

Difficulty: Advanced / Materials: Medium

Lichtenberg figures capture the branching path of electricity as it travels through an object. You can make your own in a variety of ways, including burning it into wood or acrylic.

Learn more: Lichtenberg Figures at Science Notes

Crash cars for science

Collage of STEM car crash project images
The Ardent Teacher

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

This is a great class project for teachers, but it’s also excellent for an 8th grade science fair project. Build cars and crash-test them to learn the best methods of keeping passengers safe.

Learn more: STEM Car Crash Project at The Ardent Teacher

Discover the center of gravity

Wood craft stick balanced on end on a pencil, with orange pipe cleaner twisted around it
Rookie Parenting

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Once you find and maintain its center of gravity, almost any object will balance, even in surprising circumstances. Using this concept, what amazing objects can you balance and where?

Learn more: Center of Gravity at Rookie Parenting

Power up homemade batteries

Bottle of distilled white vinegar, paper towel, aluminum foil, duct tape, pennies, electrical wires, and voltmeter
123 Homeschool 4 Me

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Building batteries is a classic science experiment for any age. Make it into an 8th grade science fair project by trying different variables and exploring the amount of power you can produce.

Learn more: DIY Batteries at 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Assemble a spring balance scale

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Apply Hooke’s law to find out if the stretching of a spring can be used to accurately measure the weight of objects. The materials are simple, but you’ll need patience and physics to calibrate a spring and use it to test weights.

Design a robotic hand

Model robotic hand made from paper, straws, and string
Mombrite

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

This is a project that can be tweaked by coming up with ways to improve upon the design. Can you build a hand that can pick up a ball? How about one that can pluck up a piece of string? So many possibilities!

Learn more: DIY Model Robot Hand STEM Activity at Mombrite

Build an infinity mirror

Difficulty: Advanced / Materials: Medium

Experiment with optical illusions by creating a tunnel of lights that seems to stretch away into infinity. Eighth grade science students will learn about engineering and the physics of optics along the way.

Construct a Rube Goldberg machine

Difficulty: Advanced / Materials: Medium

Create a machine to complete a simple task in the most complicated fashion! This is a neat 8th grade STEM fair project because it allows you to use a variety of physics concepts in a fun way.

8th Grade Science Classroom Demos, Experiments, and Hands-On Activities

Explore a wide variety of 8th grade science concepts with these fun and engaging activities.

Protect an egg in a crash

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

We love this spin on the classic egg-drop project. In this version, students build a structure to protect an egg during a collision with a wall, making the connection between crash tests and physics concepts.

Drop an egg to prove the first law of motion

Egg on top of a toilet paper tube, standing on a plate on a glass of water, with a man ready to hit the plate
Steve Spangler Science

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

This experiment looks like a magic trick, but it’s firmly grounded in Newton’s first law of motion. When you knock the pie tin out of the way, the egg falls straight into the glass thanks to inertia. (Worried about making a mess? Use plastic eggs instead.)

Learn more: Egg Drop Inertia Challenge at Steve Spangler Science

Break out the leaf blower to teach Bernoulli’s principle

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

Eighth grade science students have probably seen a Bernoulli demo or two, often with straws and Ping-Pong balls. So grab their attention by trying it with a leaf blower and a beach ball instead!

Assemble a Newton’s cradle

Newton's Cradle built of wood craft sticks, yarn, and marbles
Babble Dabble Do

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Newton’s cradle is a fascinating way of demonstrating momentum and energy transfer. Follow the directions at the link to build one, or challenge 8th grade science students to experiment with their own construction methods.

Learn more: Newton’s Cradle at Babble Dabble Do

Extinguish a candle without blowing it out

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Combine an acid/base experiment with some fire science in this really popular classroom science demo. It seems like magic, but it’s just science!

Relight a candle without touching it

Student's hand holding a lighter over a candle that has just been blown out
Steve Spangler Science

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

Tell students you’re going to relight a candle without touching the flame to the wick. The results will boggle their minds!

Learn more: Magic Traveling Flame at Steve Spangler Science

Demonstrate the “unpoppable” balloon

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

Your students won’t believe you when you say you can hold a balloon up to a flame without popping it. Use the conductivity of water to prove your point.

Extract your own DNA

Test tube with cloudy liquid and small white floating strand
Home Science Tools

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

DNA is the blueprint of life, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to extract your own with a few simple supplies. Preserve it in alcohol in the freezer when you’re done.

Learn more: How To Extract DNA at Home at Home Science Tools

Build a trash can air cannon

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

This is such a fun way to demonstrate an air vortex! It takes a little effort to build the air cannon, but you can use it year after year for amazing 8th grade science demos.

Separate water into hydrogen and oxygen

Eighth grade girl wearing goggles, looking at a container of water with test tubes and electric wires
Navigating by Joy

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Use electrolysis to prove that water really is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. It’s a simple concept but one that never fails to amaze.

Learn more: Separating Water at Navigating by Joy

Assemble a ring of Pringles

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Everybody loves an edible STEM challenge! Here’s one that seems simple but takes some time to work out: Build a ring of Pringles chips without using any other materials.

Construct a cup holder

Student showing a foil platform balanced on drinking straws, holding two yellow plastic cups of water
Homeschool Creations

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Basic

Can your 8th grade science students build a device to stabilize and carry two cups of water, using only a few simple supplies? Oh, and can they manage it in just 5 minutes? This timed challenge pushes their creative engineering limits!

Learn more: Cup Holder STEM Challenge at Homeschool Creations

Navigate a light maze

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Basic

Here’s the STEM challenge: Bounce a beam of light around a corner past an obstacle. Increase the difficulty by adding more obstacles and variables.

Engage your 8th grade science students further with these 24 Science Kits for Middle and High School That Make Hands-On Lessons Easy.

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