The Solar System

Science Fair Projects for Middle and High School

Pacific Islander boy making planet model in classroom
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Scientists believe the solar system began forming 10 to 12 billion years ago as swirling gas and dust formed a dense core. The core, with most of the mass, collapsed around 5 or 6 billion years ago and later became the Sun.

The small amount of remaining material swirled into a disk. Some of it crashed together and formed planets. That's the main theory though most scientists think that's how it happened.

Scientists suspect there are many other solar systems like ours. And as of late, they had found nearly two dozen other planets orbiting faraway stars. None of them appear to have the right conditions to support life, though.

Project Ideas:

  1. Build a scale model of our solar system.
  2. Explain the forces at work when the planets orbit the sun. What keeps them in place? Are they moving further away?
  3. Study pictures from telescopes. Show the different planets in the pictures and their moons.
  4. What are the features of the planets? Could they support some kind of life? Why or why not?

Link Resources to Complete the Science Fair Project

  1. Basics of The Planet Venus
  2. Pictures of The Planet Venus
  3. Build a Solar System
  4. Your Weight on Other Worlds

Related Science Fair Project Resources

Quick Links: Science Fair Projects Ideas Index | High School Homework Help | High School Survival Guide

About These Science Fair Projects:

The science projects located here on the Parenting of Teens site at are ideas developed by its Guide, Denise D. Witmer. Some are projects completed during her years of working with high school students, researched projects and others are original ideas. Please use these science fair ideas as a guide to help your teen complete a science project to the best of their ability.
In your role as a facilitator, you should feel free to share this project with them, but not to do the project for them. Please do not copy these project ideas to your website or blog, post the link if you wish to share it.

Recommended Books for Science Fair Projects:

365 Simple Science Experiments with Everyday Materials
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"The fundamentals of science are brought to life in a year's worth of fun and educational hands-on experiments that can be performed easily and inexpensively at home." People who have purchased this book have called it easy to understand and great for the student who needs a project but they aren't really interested in the sciences. The book is for both young and older students.

The Scientific American Book of Great Science Fair Projects
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"From creating your own non-newtonian fluids (slime, putty, and goop!) to teaching a sow bug how to run through a maze, you'll be astounded at the number of incredible things you can do with Scientific American Great Science Fair Projects.

Based on the long-standing and well-respected "Amateur Scientist" column in Scientific American, each experiment can be done with ordinary materials found around the house or that are easily available at low cost."

Strategies for Winning Science Fair Projects
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"Written by a science fair judge and an international science fair winner, this must-have resource is packed with strategies and pointers for putting together a winning science fair project. Here you'll get the nitty-gritty on a wide variety of topics, from the fundamentals of the science fair process to the last-minute details of polishing your presentation."

The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science: 64 Daring Experiments for Young Scientists
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"Introducing 64 valuable science experiments that snap, crackle, pop, ooze, crash, boom, and stink! From Marshmallows on Steroids to Home-Made Lightning, the Sandwich Bag Bomb to Giant Air Cannon, The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science awakens kids' curiosity while demonstrating scientific principles like osmosis, air pressure, and Newton's Third Law of Motion."

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