First Days of School Science Activities

It is said that first impressions can be made in seconds, so on the first days of school, you want to do anything you can to show students your classroom is full of learning in fun and exciting ways. Here are some ideas for science activities you can use on the first days of school. 

Science Activities for the First Days of School

If you are using my Zombie Lab Safety idea, this will be a good lesson on the first days of school. Students will work together to determine the answer to the riddle, so they don’t fall into the pit of zombies.

The lesson starts with this 3:49 video. Then you can have students work in pairs or small groups to try to solve the riddle. 

Use this activity on the first days of school because: 

  • students love zombies, so they’ll be engaged
  • it breaks up the monotony of rules and procedures
  • student collaboration
  • classroom community 

Build classroom community by having students work together on the first days of school. 

Sam is a gummy worm who has mistakenly fallen out of his boat, a cup, and needs to get on his life preserver before Sam drowns in the lake. Unfortunately, the only way to get this life preserver on Sam is through teamwork using paper clips. 

Use this activity on the first days of school because: 

  • Instant engagement! Students love the materials and have no issues working together. 
  • In addition, materials are easy to gather. 
  • Increases classroom community, inquiry thinking skills, and collaboration
  • You’ll get bonus points if you bring in extra candy to the winner

Likely, one of your first units will be lab safety, so get a head start on teaching using this creepy demonstration. 

Using an egg, alcohol, and a cup, students will learn the significance of learning and using the lab safety rules and strategies taught to them year after year. 

Use this on the first days of school because: 

  • Engagement is high as students wonder what is happening. 
  • This activity bridges beautifully into your science curriculum. 
  • Materials are easy to obtain
  • Use this as a classroom demonstration on the Smartboard to minimize chaos.  

STEM activities are great to use as a back to school activity because they will get students moving and thinking- both are ways to engage them and inspire a love for science class. 

Most materials for STEM activities are easy to gather and use in groups which cuts down on materials and prep work, making it a great way to start the first days of school

Here are some ideas: 

  • Marshmallow Launchers
  • Paper engineering: Give students 10 pieces of paper and have them create a structure that can withhold a stack of books 3inches off a surface. 
  • Marshmallow and Spaghetti Tower: Using one marshmallow and 3 strands of spaghetti, see who can build the tallest tower. 
  • Paper Tower: Who can build the tallest tower using one piece of paper? 

Have you ever heard of Fortune Telling Fish? Would your students believe they can make predictions about their personality? 

This is a fun activity that I usually connect to the scientific method. To really engage their interest, I put up an anchor chart to get them wondering about what is going to happen in class today. 

It is a lot of fun when students realize the fish aren’t real. 

If you want the FREE Fortune Telling Fish activity, click here to get it! 

I hope your first days of school are great, science friend. If you are looking for more tips and ideas to start your school year, check out: 

first days of school activities for science
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