Candle Science Project Ideas

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

Engage your middle school students in these candle science projects to bring the concepts to life. They will explore the history of candles, burn speed of different colors and scents, and how candles are constructed using different products.

Candle Science Projects

Use these project ideas with your middle school students to help them understand and apply knowledge of candle science. Each project can be completed as individual students, partners, or teams. In these projects, students can learn more about the history of candles, the speed of candle burning depending on color and scent, and candle construction using different materials.

*Note: Projects involving candle science should be performed with attentive adult supervision and clear safety guidelines.

History of Candles

In this project, students will research the history of candles, including how they were invented, early materials used, and how they have changed over time.

  • Materials: technology access with printing capabilities, research resources, research guide or organizer (optional, for added support), poster paper, markers
  1. Begin by providing students with some research resources to help them explore more about the history of candles. Provide a research guide or organizer, for added support.
  2. Allow adequate time for students to conduct research, making sure to note dates, names, discoveries, and changes in candle construction.
  3. When research is complete, provide students with access to printing so they can find images for their timelines.
  4. Provide students with markers and poster paper and instruct them to create a timeline of the information they researched.
  5. Give time for students to present their timelines to peers and display their work as a visual reminder of how candle science has developed.

Burn Speed

In this project, students will conduct multiple experiments to determine how the color, scent, or type of candle affects burn speed.

  • Materials: candles of multiple colors, scents, and types, lighters, data tracking sheet, coloring utensils, poster paper
  1. Provide students with a data tracking sheet, a variety of candles, and a lighter.
  2. Instruct students to identify a method for monitoring the burn speed of their candles. For example, they may measure the melted wax or from the top of the candle to the bottom.
  3. Give students time to conduct multiple experiments and track their data. For example, students may measure the burn speed of different colored birthday candles, different scented candles, and candles made with different products.
  4. Provide poster paper and coloring utensils so students can create a graphic representation of their data.
  5. Encourage students to clearly depict their data using charts or graphs, colors, and keys.
  6. Provide time for students to present their information to others and display their work as a visual reminder of the results of their experiments.

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