3 Magical Science Project Ideas for Montessori Middle School

3 Magical Science Project Ideas for Montessori Middle School - Flagstaff Montessori Cedar Campus

If you’re a Montessori middle school guide, you know it’s important to help children learn advanced scientific concepts while engaging them in the joy and wonder of discovery. Because the Montessori method focuses on hands-on learning, you can use magical science experiments to accomplish that goal. 

If you’re looking for some ideas, here are three fun science projects that will help students learn about real-world science concepts while having lots of fun.

1. Salty Ice Sculptures

If you ask middle school children what melts ice, they will probably say it’s heat. They might be surprised to learn that salt can do the job much faster. Salt lowers the freezing point of water by separating it into sodium and chloride ions, which disrupt the formation of bonds between water molecules. This prevents ice from forming.

To make this project magical, try freezing plastic figurines in a large block of ice. When you’re ready, remove the ice from the freezer. Have the children sprinkle salt over the ice blocks. Then, use a dropper to add food coloring. They’ll observe their blocks of ice turn into beautiful sculptures that reveal what’s inside as they continue to melt.

2. Solar Oven S’mores

Montessori middle school science projects are not only fun, but they can also be edible. If you want to provide an exciting science activity, try having middle schoolers learn about heat transfer by making smores. 

This experiment needs a prepared environment, as you’ll have to create an oven using a cardboard box, aluminum foil, tape, glue, plastic wrap, a stick, and a box cutter. Once you’ve created the oven, you can have middle schoolers put one-half of their s’mores together by placing a marshmallow on top of a graham cracker inside the oven. 

If it’s hot enough outside, the marshmallow will become soft after about an hour because the aluminum foil and other materials turn the light of the sun into thermal energy that heightens the temperature in the oven and bakes the s’mores. 

You can then put the rest of the s’mores together and finish baking them. At the end of this outdoor project, the children will understand how heat transfer works and have a delicious snack to show for it.

3. Alka Seltzer Lava Lamps

Middle school kids love lava lamps because they are colorful and fun to look at. Fortunately, they can make their own using the principles of chemistry. Just fill empty jars with water, add food coloring, and then fill them three-quarters of the way with vegetable oil. Next, break up an Alka-Seltzer tablet and drop a small piece into each jar.

When the Alka-Seltzer hits the water, the reaction forms carbon dioxide. However, it must cut through the vegetable oil to do so, as it will not bond with it. When the gas (which is lighter than both the oil and the water) bubbles up, it takes the colored water with it, forming colorful blobs that float through the oil to the top of the jar. 

The blobs will release the carbon dioxide at the top of the jar and then float back down to the bottom, creating a lava lamp effect. 

You can encourage even more critical thinking during this experiment by comparing reaction times in jars of water that differ in temperature (e.g., warm versus cold). Making a lava lamp gives children an exciting opportunity to observe, learn, and cultivate scientific insight.

Facilitating Discovery in Montessori Middle School

The Montessori approach to middle school science emphasizes hands-on learning through exploring and manipulating materials. This approach perfectly describes our middle school curriculum at Flagstaff Montessori’s Cedar Campus. If you’re looking for a school that will help your middle schooler find joy in practical learning and discover more about the world around them, contact us today to find out how our Montessori middle school program can help your child build academic and personal competence.