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Earth Day Science Projects to Inspire Little Environmentalists

Explore solar energy, investigate water pollution, and discover the joys of composting by conducting these super-cool experiments at home.

Maria Bailey and Sarah Burns


Photo: Getty

Earth Day is a chance for us to learn more about our beautiful planet and how we can protect it from harm. We can't think of a better way to celebrate the meaning of Earth Day than with some of these fun and engaging experiments that challenge us to rethink our consumption and reduce our waste at home. 

Build a wind-powered sail car

When Greta Thunberg went on her two-week expedition across the Atlantic in 2019, the climate activist harnessed the wind, sun, and hydropower on her zero-carbon yacht. Build yourself a wind-powered sail car that will demonstrate how wind energy can power a vessel to move using zero emissions.

Create a compost Jar


Photo: Helping Ninjas

Composting significantly reduces the amount of trash in a landfill and also reduces the costs and carbon emissions it takes to move and process those materials. Throwing organic waste into the trash is also a missed opportunity to study the gradual disintegration of food, which is actually pretty cool! Place your organic waste in a glass jar so you can watch composting in action! Head on over to Helping Ninjas to carry out your own composting experiment. 

Make a solar oven


Photo: Desert Chica

The sun not only lights up our world, but it also provides us with a lot of energy in the form of heat. Did you know the sun radiates more energy in one hour than humans use in an entire year? The sun is one of the most abundant sources of energy — in fact, all the oil, gas, coal, and wood in the world only equate to a few days of energy produced from the sun. This next experiment demonstrates one of the cleanest energy sources — solar energy, trapping the sun's heat to create a greenhouse-style oven. Watch before your very eyes as this DIY solar oven toasts your s'mores by following the instructions on Desert Chica. Taste-testing the fruits of the sun's labor is a must — to TRULY understand the sun's sheer power, obviously! 

Investigate water pollution


Photo: One Time Through

When the waters in our rivers, lakes, and oceans become polluted, it could harm our wildlife, make our drinking water unsafe, and impact where we swim or fish. Clean water is essential for good health and well-being. To understand where clean water comes from and how water is cleaned at water treatment plants, One Time Through carried out several exciting water pollution experiments you can carry out at home! Check out the easy-to-follow instructions on their site to get started! 

Grow plants from food scraps


Photo: Getty

Another way we can reduce our food waste is by regrowing foods from scraps! Rather than throwing them away in the compost or trash, you can turn them into a super-fun science experiment in your kitchen! Regrow spring onions, avocados, and even a pineapple by going to Modern Parents Messy Kids to get started!

Learn about CO2 and ocean acidification


Photo: The Kitchen Pantry Scientist

Oceans play an important role in keeping our earth's carbon cycle in balance. As the amount of carbon dioxide rises, in part due to human activities like burning fossil fuels, the oceans absorb a lot of it. As a result, the oceans become more acidic, which harms sea life. This next experiment demonstrates how carbon dioxide, even in our own breath, can make a water-based solution more acidic. Go to The Kitchen Pantry Scientist to find out how you can carry out this engaging experiment at home while learning about why we need to take steps to reduce our carbon emissions.