Distance Learning

At-home Science Activity Inquiry

What different science activities can you have your students do at home that do not require many outside resources?

Sierra Sizer
Sierra Sizer
555 Activity Points

Have you seen NSTA's new Daily Do

Emily Faulconer
Emily Faulconer
4660 Activity Points


When my students return from spring break, I plan to post optional labs for my students to complete. I have found many experiments and activities online that revisit topics we have covered throughout the semester. Often times, if you include "at home experiments" along with the subject area, you will find simple activities that use common household items. I am making this optional as some students may not have the materials or may not be doing well with digital learning in general. I plan to encourage them to take videos and pictures to share.

Also, check out LegendsofLearning.com for standards-based games!

Camillia Ledbetter
Camillia Ledbetter
785 Activity Points

Hello Sierra,

There is a multitude of activities that can be done with just household materials! I would concentrate on the process of science rather than products or results.  Having students question, observe, discuss, conclude and communicate are highly sought skills that can easily be practiced in simple, hands-on activities.

The first thing I would suggest is to go to the NSTA.org website and look at the Daily Do and scan through the Learning Center for easy, at-home activities. 

Have students record, describe and reflect on their observations using cameras, journals or sketchbooks.

Some simple ideas:

Count, identify, and observe behavioral and physical characteristics of plants, trees, insects, and birds.  Grow different seeds by placing them on folded, damp paper towels inside zip top bags.

Experiment with chemical and physical changes.  Put nails, screws, paper clips and other materials in separate zip top bags with a damp paper towel. Removing stains is an excellent study in solubility and chemical properties.

Design and carry out investigations in energy, inertia, acceleration and velocity using toy cars rolling down ramps or crashing them together. Make and use simple machines made with craft materials.

Grow crystals using baking materials: sugar, salt, cream of tartar, alum, and so forth.

Kitchen chemistry! There are many food-related experiments students can try (with parental consent):  Cracker pie, Maillard reaction, baking powder/baking soda.

Download, print and put together a planisphere and/or an astrolabe and make astronomical observations of the moon, stars, constellations and planets. (https://in-the-sky.org/planisphere/index.php ; https://in-the-sky.org/astrolabe/index.php )

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math)!  Design, build and test all kinds of DIY inventions.  (https://www.instructables.com/teachers/) Cardboard, paper and popsickle sticks are easy materials to get.

Hope this helps!


Gabe Kraljevic
Gabe Kraljevic
4174 Activity Points

Dear Sierra,

You know your students and what they are capable of doing without direct instruction or supervision. It's a tough thing right now, adapting activities to be done at home. Think about making them think and hypothesize without overwheling them. During this school closure I have tried many things. Some have worked and some have been flops.

Since we are studying the Earth, Moon and Sun I had students complete a nightly moon log for the entire month. In the log they had to draw the appearance of the Moon (showing the lunar phase) and then also draw what they believed the orientation of the Earth, Moon and Sun had to be for the Moon to appear how it did on that night. During part of that cycle the moon was setting before the sun, or only visible for part of the night, so I tasked students to asnwer why and explain via diagrams or other models. At the end of this unit the students will use a siumulation (https://ca.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/buac19-35-sci-ess-earthsunmoon35model/moon-phases-simulation-viewed-from-earth-and-space/#.XrBEhJNKhQI) to test their hypotheses.

What you deceide to do will depend on a lot of things, including your studnets' access to technology, their ability to work autonomously, your ability to provide support as needed, your content area, the age group of your students, et cetera. We are all figuring some of this out as we go, so don't be afraid to just try something, see what happens and learn from it!

Best wishes,


Jake Schulke
Jake Schulke
1035 Activity Points

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