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"A very useful resource."

"Fantastic ideas for use in the classroom"

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"Very inspiring!"



Click on the relevant picture to open up the investigation page.

Sci-box contains a host of ideas for simple investigations that can be carried out by children aged 7-11.  As well as proposing a topic for investigation, each page includes suggestions regarding the equipment that may be required; how to ensure "fair test" procedure; how to record and present findings; evaluating the investigation, etc.  Nevertheless, the over-arching emphasis is on encouraging children to think for themselves.


Many of the investigations contain links to appropriate websites that extend children's understanding or illustrate the principle of the investigation.  For additional recommended links, click here.


Click here to see an example report.


 Click on the book symbols to see how each investigation relates to the QCA scheme of work.


Which fruit goes mouldy quickest?



My old fruit

Which type of fruit goes mouldy quickest?



Testing tissue strength



A-tissue, a-tissue

Comparing different types of paper towels and tissues.



Comparing fresh eggs and boiled eggs



Compare the properties of fresh eggs and boiled eggs.



That sinking feeling

Investigating whether materials and objects float or sink.



Investigating floating and sinking



Rolling along?

How far will a toy car travel when rolled down a slope?



Rolling cars down a slope



All fall down

Does the mass of an object affect how quickly it drops?



Effect of mass on rate of fall



Which balls bounce highest?



On the ball

Which type of ball bounces the most?



Height of bounce relative to drop height



Having a ball

Does the height a ball bounces depend on how high it is dropped from?



Ball bounce height - different surfaces



On the bounce

Investigating how high a ball bounces on different surfaces



Batteries not included

Which brand of batteries lasts the longest?



Which batteries last longest?




Which chocolate-covered biscuit bars have the most chocolate covering?



How much chocolate on a chocolate biscuit?



Keep your hair on

How strong is a single human hair?



Testing the strength of human hair



Will flowers grow in different liquids?



Blooming lovely

Can flowers survive in liquids other than water?



Plant growth and coloured light



Light re-leaf

Does the colour of light affect plant growth?



Characteristics of leaves



Re-leaf map

Investigating different types of leaves.



Spaghetti "Oops!"

How much mass can be supported by a stick of spaghetti?



How strong is a stick of spaghetti?



Happy as a sandboy!

What is the mass (weight) of a grain of sand?



The mass of a grain of sand



Beam me up!

Testing the strength of horizontal beams made of various materials.



Testing the strength of beams



Effect of mass on a spring




What effect does it have on a spring to add different masses?



Which materials are magnetic?




Investigate which materials are magnetic?



Investigating soil



Can you dig it?

Does soil vary or is it always the same?



A nice hot cup of tea

Investigate the heat-insulating properties of various materials.



Insulating properties of various materials



Eating snails

What do snails prefer to eat?



What do snails prefer to eat?




How many worms in a square metre of soil?  Does it vary for different types of soil?



How many worms in a square metre of soil?



Which substances dissolve?



Stir crazy

Investigate which substances dissolve in water.



Which ice-cubes melt quickest?



That's cool!

What kind of ice-cubes melt quickest?



Saturated solutions



Still crazy

Is there a limit to how much of a substance will dissolve in water?



On the slopes

Which objects slide more easily down a slope?



Friction and different objects



Bubbling away

Which is the best brand of washing-up liquid?



Which washing-up liquid is best?



Slippery slope

Does an object slide down a slope more easily on some surfaces?



Friction and different surfaces



Does parachute size affect rate of descent?



'Chuting star

How does the size of a parachute affect its rate of descent?



Which soap is best?



Soap stars

Which is the best brand of soap?



Effect of mass on rate of parachute descent



'Chute 'em down

How does the mass of an object affect its rate of descent by parachute?




How fast does the heart beat during different activities?



Heartbeat during different activities



Face the music

Does music affect concentration?



Does music affect concentration?



Beats to the bar

Is heart-rate affected by music?



Is heart-rate affected by music?



Factors affecting memory



Memory like an elephant

What factors affect (human) memory?



Reaction time and age



Full speed ahead

Is a person's reaction time affected by their age?



Effect of temperature on bananas



Banana split

What happens to bananas stored at different temperatures?




Investigate the sound-insulating properties of various materials.



Sound insulating properties



Good vibrations

How does the length of a vibrating ruler affect the note produced?



Vibrations and sound



Bridge that gap

Investigate the best bridge design.



Investigating bridge design



Investigating paper helicopter design




How do various factors affect the performance of a paper helicopter?



Objects falling through liquids



Watered down

Do objects fall through different liquids at the same speed?



Investigating paper plane design



Up, up and away

What is the best design for a paper aeroplane?



In full swing (M)

How is the period of a pendulum affected by the mass on the end of the string?


Pendulum - effect of altering mass



In full swing (A)

How is the period of a pendulum affected by the angle from which the pendulum is released?


Pendulum - effect of altering angle of release



In full swing (L)

How is the period of a pendulum affected by the length of the string?


Pendulum - effect of altering length



Long and short shadows



The long and short of it.

Why are shadows sometimes long and sometimes short?


Mirrors and reflections  

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

Investigating mirrors and reflections.



Shadows vary with Sun's position




How do shadows change during the day?




What is the best design for a flying spinner?



Investigating spinner design



What's around the corner?

How to look round corners using a mirror



Using mirrors to look round corners


If you need even more ideas for investigations, CLICK HERE



If you are a UK teacher and want "useful stuff", check out how these investigations fit into the QCA Scheme of work; suggestions for using Sci-box; assessing AT1