There are all kinds of experiments you can do inside your home (or your yard, if you have one). Start with a question (such as “Which object will roll faster?”, or “Which freezes faster—milk or apple juice?”). Next, come up with your hypothesis (your guess) about the answer. Then design an experiment to see if you were correct or not.
Be sure to check with others that your experiment is safe, and will not hurt any people, pets, or objects in your home.
Collect data from your experiment by writing down everything you find out.
To be accurate, you may have to try your experiment many times to see if the same results happen again and again, or if the results seem to be different each time.
To be accurate, you need to try to control the conditions as much as you can so that each time you try it, certain things are exactly the same. Things that you can’t keep the same—that vary (change)—are called variables. If there are too many variables, or if a variable is too important, you may not be able to reach a conclusion about what you learned. For example, if you want to know which object goes the furthest when you throw it, one variable that is hard to control is how hard you throw it—it’s hard to keep that force exactly the same.
Let’s say your question is “Is water or Gatorade better for growing a plant?”. You think Gatorade will be better, and you have some little plants you sprouted from beans for your experiment. You would have to be careful to control as many variables as you can: Use the same size plants, keep them in the same place, water them at the same time each day, measure out the same amount of liquid to water them, measure the height of the plants with the same tool. Use many plants instead of just one, to see if you get the same results with each.
Working on Projects at Home is different than working in school. We do not give you lessons or directions. We give you models of each project to look at carefully, and then you decide how to adopt the project for your interests, skills, materials, time, and any new ideas you have. Your project does not have to look like the models—it can be inspired by the models. If you are proud of what you created, we encourage you to share it online with the hashtag: #ProjectsAtHome.