Science Projects for Kids: Density and Volume

Try the Full to the Rim project.
Try the Full to the Rim project.
© 2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Science Projects for Kids: Density and Volume teaches kids about density, or how compact a substance is, and volume, or how much space a substance occupies. Science is not just for scientists -- it's for everyone who's interested in the world around them and what makes things tick.

Did you ever wonder why some small objects weigh more than larger objects? Knowing how to measure the mass of an object in relation to its volume is an important skill.

You can learn a great deal about your world by observing and performing experiments right in your own backyard or kitchen. It's fun, easy and exciting to discover the answers.

Full to the Rim

Learn the true meaning of "over the top" with some pennies and a jar of water.

A Gallon a Day

See if you can conserve enough water to get by on a gallon ­a day.

­Washed Away

Learn about the forces behind erosion and what causes it in this interesting experiment.­

Undoing Pollution

Learn how difficult it is to reverse the effects of pollution with this enlightening activity.­

Click to the next page of science projects for kids: density and volume to get started with a fun activity called Full to the Brim, where you will begin investigating volume!

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Full to the Rim

Learn about density and volume with Full to the Rim.
Learn about density and volume with Full to the Rim.
© 2007 Publications International, Ltd.

In the Full to the Rim activity, discover how many pins or pennies you can add to a full glass of water! Because of surface tension, the water will rise above the rim of the glass before it actually spills. That's because surface tension forms a kind of "skin" on the top of the water. It is also why water collects in drops.

What You'll Need:

  • Glass
  • Pan with sides
  • Water
  • Pennies
  • Sugar
  • Teaspoon
  • Straw

In this experiment, watch as the surface tension of water keeps the water from overflowing, creating surprising results. Follow the directions below and watch what happens.

Step 1: Place the glass on a pan to catch spills.

Step 2: Fill the glass with water all the way to the rim.

Step 3: Make a guess about how many pennies you can add to the full glass.

Step 4: Then test by carefully inserting a penny slightly into the water and then letting go so it gently drops into the glass.

Step 5­: Observe the top of the glass from the side so you can see the water level rising above the glass! Keep adding pennies until the water begins to overflow.

The experiment can also be performed using sugar instead of pennies.

Step 1: Fill the glass to the top with water.

Step 2: Add a teaspoon of sugar.

Step 3: Gently stir the water with a straw to dissolve the sugar.

Step 4: After the sugar is dissolved, add a second spoonful of sugar and stir.

Step 5: Then add a third, and a fourth!

Perform the sugar experiment twice, first with cold water and then with hot, and compare the results.

Go to the next page of science projects for kids: density and volume to see if it would be at all possible for you to get by on only a gallon of water a day.

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A Gallon a Day

The Gallon a Day experiment can help you appreciate how much water you use every day. Perhaps you may not realize how much water you actually you use besides simply drinking it. To understand how vital water is to your daily existence, see if you can get by using only one gallon of water for one day.

What You'll Need:

  • Plastic gallon container
  • Water

Step 1: Fill a 1-gallon jug with water.

Step 2: Now try to get through a whole day using only water from this gallon.

That means you will be using water from the jug for hand washing, teeth brushing, face washing, dish rinsing, and drinking! Use the water sparingly, and see if you can make it last the whole day!

Hint: Some of the water you can recycle, some you can't. Don't drink water you've used for washing your hands (or anything else, for that matter) or brushing your teeth. But you could use water you've washed your face in to wash your hands.

Go to the next page of science projects for kids: density and volume to learn how the earth can get Washed Away through the process of erosion.

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Washed Away

Learn about erosion with Washed Away.
Learn about erosion with Washed Away.
© 2007 Publications International, Ltd.

In Washed Away, learn how erosion -- when soil is washed away by wind or water -- occurs. Because soil is a mixture of inorganic and organic materials, the ratio of these elements determines how well the soil can support plants and withstand erosion. Watch what happens when you cause erosion to occur.

What You'll Need:

  • Three aluminum-foil cooking pans
  • Three lengths of rubber or plastic tubing (1/2-inch in diameter)
  • Tape
  • A mixture of soil, sand, and clay
  • Potting soil
  • Blocks of wood
  • Three bowls
  • Cereal grains
  • Plant mister
  • Watering can

Step 1: Poke a small hole in one end of each aluminum pan, near the upper rim.

Step 2: Put one end of a length of tubing into each hole, using tape to hold it there.

Step 3: Into each pan put a layer of the soil, sand, and clay mixture.

Step 4: Add a layer of potting soil on top of that.

Step 5: Put all three pans indoors in a place where they will get sunlight.

Step 6: Rest all three pans on blocks of wood to elevate the pans at about a 30-degree angle. The tubing should be on the bottom end of each pan. Put the free end of each tube into a bowl.

Step 7: In one pan, make rows across the width of the pan and plant cereal grains in the rows.

Step 8: In another pan, make the rows lengthwise and plant the grain. Don't plant anything in the third pan.

Use a plant mister to keep the grain moist until it sprouts. ­Continue to water the grain until the seedlings are about two inches tall. Don't do anything to the empty pan. Once the seedlings in the two pans are about two inches tall, begin using a watering can to sprinkle all three pans. The watering can should have a spout that imitates rain. Each time you water the pans, watch the water that runs into the bowls.

Which bowl collects more potting soil? Why? What could you do to prevent potting soil from eroding into the bowls?

Go to the next page of science projects for kids: density and volume to learn how difficult it can be to undo pollution.

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Undoing Pollution

Learn how you can Undo Pollution.
Learn how you can Undo Pollution.
© 2007 Publications International, Ltd.

In Undoing Pollution, you'll learn how the effects of pollution are very difficult to erase. One of the most common forms is water pollution. In this activity, you'll have a chance to contaminate some water and then try to get rid of the pollution with different tools and devices.

What You'll Need:

  • Bucket
  • Water Pollutants (dirt, oil, trash)
  • Tongs
  • Strainer

Step 1: Fill a five-gallon bucket with clean water.

Step 2: Now, do your best to pollute the water. Throw in dirt, gravel, vegetable oil (to stand for toxic oil spills), trash (plastic packaging and any other kind of trash you've seen polluting water in nature), and other kinds of pollution. Yuck!

Step 3: Now, here's the hard part: What can you do to un-pollute the water? You can use tongs, strainers, and anything else you can think of. Can you get the water really clean again?

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