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I have a confession.
I didn’t understand science experiments AT ALL until high school. The school I went to for elementary school and middle school was excellent in so many ways. I was definitely a high achiever. But somehow the proper steps for a science experiment just didn’t click until I was older.
I’m such a visual learner that I think I really would have benefited from a simple outline to map out each step of the science experiment rather than a long textbook chapter or drawn out lecture.
- Step 1: Ask a question, do background research, and form a hypothesis.
- Step 2: Conduct the experiment and track your data as you go.
- Step 3: Analyze your data and draw conclusions.
- Step 4: Report the results, revising the hypothesis as needed and suggesting ideas for future research.
I wanted an outline that was easy to follow and self-explanatory so I could just focus on the fun of the experiment!
Science Experiment Outlines for Kids
This free printable includes THREE different science experiment outlines for kids. They’re all incredibly simple to understand and follow.
All of them are based on the approach problem-based learning. Problem-based learning involves giving children an open-ended problem to solve that stimulates their curiosity. Solving the problem requires developing communication, research, and critical thinking skills. Students also gain self-awareness of WHY following the scientific process helps them learn. No more rote memorization! Our kids are going to discover how to be better learners! (What could be more essential for high school and college?)
How to Use These Free Outlines
This will shock you.
Preschoolers can use these science experiment outlines.
Let me repeat that. You can use these outlines when doing science experiments with 2-5 year olds!
In this printable pack, I give 3 examples of how to fill them out. Two samples are for elementary school or middle school students. And one is for preschoolers! In fact, the outline is based on a real science experiment I did with my 2.5-year-old. I actually wrote this data down as we conducted the experiment.
This was my outline for a water bead experiment I did with my son. I really do use words like ‘hypothesis’ with him. His hypothesis was that water beads would bounce after being placed in water. I had to write for him, but he closely watched me write his hypothesis and helped me when I drew the circles representing the growing water beads. Before we started playing with the water beads, we read his hypothesis and looked at our data chart again. He revised his hypothesis based on what we discovered!
In addition to 3 sample pages, I include detailed instruction pages for each method. I know it’s been a LOOOONG time since most of us have had to do a science experiment, so it’s great for you to brush up on the methodology. What’s the difference between an independent and dependent variable, again? How should a hypothesis be formatted? What discussion question should I ask when we’re analyzing our results? No need to stress. It’s all here in the instruction sheets.
Ready for some fun science experiments? Download the full set of outlines, instruction sheets, and samples below.