Holding a child's interest is key to his academic success. A variety of science projects are available that are based on the Harry Potter series of movies and books. These projects offer insight into the fundamentals of science and help children to unlock the mysteries of the world of science.
Plants That Attack
This classroom-based project helps elementary and middle school students to discover how plants affect the world around them. Advise students that Harry, Ron and Hermione, characters in the Harry Potter book series, have read about an accident involving a deadly plant in the imaginary newspaper, The Daily Prophet. Using encyclopedias and online sources, encourage students to research plants that affect humans such as poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac, and plants that attack insects, such as the Venus Flytrap. On a poster board, have them to draw a picture of the plant they chose and write a description on how their plant affects humans like Harry Potter and other creatures it comes into contact with.
The Life of the Tarantula
This classroom science project helps students to understand the vastness of nature and the number of species that exist. Advise students that Ron, Harry Potter and Hermione have decided to visit their friend, Aragog, the giant talking spider. While visiting, they become curious about Aragog's friend the Tarantula. Using encyclopedias, library books and the Internet, encourage students to find out as much as they can about tarantulas. Provide them with a list of questions to use on their quest, including how many varieties there are, whether or not they can be kept as pets, how long they live, if they are poisonous or not and in what regions of the world are they typically found. Have each student list interesting facts they discovered about tarantulas and encourage them to draw a picture of the variety they think most resembles Aragog.
Flying Through the Clouds
Flying through the clouds helps elementary and middle school children to unlock the mystery of clouds and how they produce rain. Set the scene by telling the children that while leaving Dursley's, Tonks warns Mad Eye Moody to beware flying through the clouds. Using encyclopedias and the Internet, encourage the group to discover how may different types of clouds there are. Have them describe what type of precipitation comes from each type of cloud and what will happen if Harry Potter and Mad Eye Moody fly through them. Have them determine if all clouds produce rain and whether or not Harry or Mad Eye will get soaked if they fly through each type on the way home.
Pop Rocks Potion
This experiment involves helping middle and high school students discover the effects of carbon dioxide through a Harry Potter-inspired pretend magical spell. Fill a small paper cup halfway with water to use as a cauldron. Pour a packet of popping rock candy into the water. As you add the popping rock candy, say "Popping rock candy, let me hear that the future is near!" Next, while adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the mix, say aloud "Give me a notion of the popping rock potion!" You will see the combination begin to rise. As it rises, add a few drops of red or blue food coloring to the mixture while saying, "If the professors are strange, let the colors change!" You should notice the mixture begin to change color. Lastly, add a few drops of lemon juice to the mixture while saying "Let this potion make Harry fast in motion!" As the mixture combines with the lemon juice, it will begin to bubble and fizz. Ask the students to express their opinions on what caused the chemicals to react and encourage them to share their hypotheses with the class.
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