Mythbusters Experiments for Kids

Assorted boxes on rack.jpg

Children are often intrigued by myths, at least partially because they want to know if the stories are true or not. Whether at home or at school, you can introduce children to some projects so they can see the truth behind the myths (or lack thereof) for themselves.

1 Poprocks

Some people still believe the legend that a part of your body would explode if you ate Poprocks candies and soda. Have the students grind Poprocks together in a small bowl and they will see that they pop a little bit just like that. You could also have them add a little bit of soda into the bowl so they see the Poprocks do not explode. They can even mix them together in their mouths, as none of their body parts will explode as a result.

2 Personal Experiments

Assign a different myth to each student. Be careful what you decide to classify as a myth. Avoid classifying Biblical materials as myths. Allow the students to pick their own myths to debunk. Have the students create their own science experiment where they prove the myth of their choosing is incorrect and then present their project to the rest of the class.

3 Elements of the World

Have students do projects to bust common myths they may have heard in past classes or on television. For example, some people believe that stars and constellations appear in the same place every night. Ask the students to chart the location of a specific star/constellation for several nights in a row to see if it is true. Other students may believe that air and oxygen are the same gas, so challenge them to engage in a research experiment proving if this statement is true or false.

4 Safety Myths

Challenge students to prove that a common safety myth is false. For example, have them explore whether incandescent lights really burn out from turning them on and off constantly by setting up a mock entrance way to a house or a room in the lab. Have them explore different myths surrounding food, such as the source of most food contamination problems or the actual risk of death for people who get salmonella poisoning.

Jen Marx holds a Master of Arts in English and American literature. She is a consultant at a university writing center and has numerous print and online publications, including "Community College Campus News." Marx specializes in topics ranging from wedding planning to history to the environment.