24 Hour Science Project Ideas

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

A good science fair project moves students through the scientific process, but it doesn't have to take a lot of time. These projects provide students the opportunity to design an experiment that can be assembled in less than 24 hours.

24 Hour Science Fair

Many schools require or encourage students to create a project to compete in a science fair. Typically, students would present their project on a tri-fold display board that includes a title, question, hypothesis, procedure, data, and conclusion. While many experiments require students to observe and collect data over time, the projects included in this asset can be completed in 24 hours or less and are appropriate for students of all ages.

Effervescent Pill Rockets


  • empty film canisters
  • Alka-Seltzer tablets
  • water
  • timer
  • measuring tape
  • thermometer
  • cardstock (optional)
  • tape (optional)

Guiding Questions:

  • How long does it take before the rocket launches?
  • How high does the rocket travel?
  • How do changes in the amount of water or the amount of Alka-Seltzer affect the rocket's performance?
  • How do changes in water temperature affect the rocket's performance?
  • What data will be collected? What method will be used for collection?
  • How does this experiment reflect Newton's third law?
  • What type of reaction takes place during this experiment?


  • Optional: Students may use cardstock to create fins and a nose cone to tape on the canister.
  • Place a tablespoon of water in a film canister. Use the thermometer to measure the temperature of the water and record.
  • Place half of an Alka-Seltzer tablet in the water. Quickly place the lid on the canister. Place the canister on a surface lid-down and stand clear.
  • Use the timer to calculate how long it takes for the rocket to launch. Record.
  • Watch the rocket launch. Use the measuring tape to measure the height the rocket travels. Record.
  • Repeat the experiment multiple times, but change the size of the Alka-Seltzer pill each time.
  • Compare the results and write a conclusion.

Viscosity of Liquids


  • marbles (same size/weight)
  • clear plastic cups
  • honey
  • liquid dish soap
  • vegetable oil
  • water
  • thermometer
  • measuring cup

Guiding Questions:

  • What is the difference between viscosity and density?
  • What effect does temperature have on the viscosity of a liquid?
  • Why is viscosity important?


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