7 Natural Science Experiments For High School Students To Try

Science is the answer to most students’ curiosity about how things work. Besides biology experiments, natural science experiments for high school are a perfect way for high schoolers to brush up on their concepts around science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in a way that does not compromise on the fun factor. 

In this article, we have listed 7 spellbinding activities for high schoolers which require them to observe and experiment with tools at hand. Since our focus remains on natural science, we shall deal with experiments that have mostly to do with nature and its unremarkable phenomena. The best part is that they can perform either in their backyard or at the science laboratories. 

So, read on to find out more!

Importance of application-based learning in science

Learning can be fun if one can find the opportunity to practically apply theoretical knowledge. Any scientific concept is incomplete if not carried out by experimentation. Practical work in laboratories is achieved by solely believing in ‘learning by doing.’

Besides, the following are some more reasons why it is good to expose students to practical and application-based learning in science.

  1. Satisfaction of curiosity

Most middle-aged teenagers are very curious. Handing them tools will help them experiment with stuff and satisfy their internal curiosity. 

  1. Development of scientific temper and attitude

A regular visit to the laboratory for science-related stuff can embark a scientific temper and attitude within students. 

  1. Inculcation of good habits

Practical experimentation helps students develop good habits like cooperation, patience, discipline, etc. 

  1. Understanding of concepts that have far more importance in the adult life

Due to practical experiments, students learn the basic phenomena of light, electricity, heat, etc. and this will help them utilise these basics as and when they grow up.

Having discussed the importance of a practical based approach towards learning science, let us dive into 7 amazing practical natural science experiments that will help students fiddle with basic concepts such as heat, sound, water, etc. 

Cool natural science experiments for high schoolers!

Here is a list of seven cool natural science experiments that high schoolers can perform from their school laboratories or their backyard!

1. Amplify a smartphone

Things needed:

  1. Tissue paper roll
  2. Two nos. paper cups
  3. Washi tape
  4. A pencil
  5. A pair of scissors
  6. Craft knife

How to perform the amplify a smartphone experiment?

  1. Trace the bottom of the smartphone on the empty tissue paper roll, i.e., trace the bottom of the smartphone on the cardboard and cut out the slot. 
  2. Place the tissue paper roll horizontally and trace out its bottom on the two paper cups, one on either side, and cut out the holes neatly.
  3. Now, use some washi tape and decorate the body of the tissue paper roll and the paper cups and affix the paper cups to the tissue paper roll. 
  4. Place the mobile phone in the slot.

Takeaway from the experiment:

Using this simple DIY experiment, students can turn their phone’s omnidirectional speaker into a directional music stand. It also teaches them about how soundwaves propagate due to the vibration created within the cup. 

2. Tornado in a jar

Things needed:

  1. Detergent
  2. Water
  3. Glass jar

How to perform the tornado in a jar experiment?

  1. Fill the glass jar with water up until the top with little space for air.
  2. Add some detergent. 
  3. Now, close the jar tightly with the lid and give it a little shake.
  4. Next, swirl the jar around with a swirling motion, and stop the motion.
  5. You will see a tornado within the jar with bubbles around it.

Takeaway from the experiment:

This simple experiment teaches about momentum, friction, and centripetal force. When swirling the jar, students impart a force on the liquid through the jar. The force imparted on the liquid forces the liquid onto the surface of the jar, and when the swirling is stopped, friction slows down the water.

The centripetal force pulls the water inwards, thus creating a vortex shaped like a funnel, and when the water approaches the centre of the jar, it creates a funnel-shaped vortex due to the angular momentum.

3. Egg into a bottle trick

Things needed:

  1. A kettle consisting of tap water
  2. A hard-boiled egg
  3. Safety glasses
  4. Oven mitts
  5. 1-liter glass bottle (ensure that the mouth and neck of the bottle are smaller than the egg)

How to perform the egg into a bottle trick experiment?

  1. Boil the water in the kettle and transfer it carefully to the glass bottle. Let it rest for about half a minute.
  2. Use oven mitts and transfer the water back into the kettle and wait half a minute.
  3. Now, place the peeled egg on top of the glass bottle. 
  4. As the bottle begins cooling, the egg gradually fits in and falls inside it.

Takeaway from the experiment:

When the hot water is poured into the glass and taken away, the glass gets heated and also heats up the air present within it. Since hot air rises, it rushes to the top of the bottle, creating a low-pressure area within the bottle. When you allow the bottle to cool down, the air present within begins contracting and takes up less space, thus reducing the air pressure inside the bottle. 

Differential pressure is created due to differences in atmospheric pressure and pressure within the bottle. However, nature wants to equalize things and balance them out, which is why it puts pressure on the egg to get into the glass, thus squashing the egg. 

4. Rising water

Things needed:

  1. Water
  2. Two paper towels
  3. Two different food colours
  4. Three cups

How to perform the rising water experiment?

  1. Take the two paper towels and fold them into two separate tubes, each roughly 15-20 cm long. 
  2. Take the two cups and fill them with water and add two different colored dyes to them.
  3. Place one end of each of the paper towels into the two cups. Place a third cup between the two cups and place the two free ends of the paper towels into it. 
  4. Alternate between the paper towel and the cup consisting of the food colours. 
  5. It will take you a few hours until you notice what is actually happening. Place a time-lapse camera if you wish to capture it. 

Takeaway from the experiment:

Water has an excellent ability to display capillary action. Water has stickiness in its nature, which enables it to travel through other materials without experiencing any of the other forces. The stickiness comprises surface tension, cohesion, and adhesion due to which the coloured water easily travels through the paper towels and into the empty glass. 

5. The suspended rice experiment

Things needed:

  1. Uncooked Rice
  2. A small plastic bottle
  3. A pencil 

How to perform the suspended rice experiment?

  1. Fill the plastic bottle with uncooked rice and plunge down the pencil and try to lift the bottle using the pencil. 
  2. You will realise that you will not be able to lift the bottle. 
  3. Now, plunge the pencil about 20-25 times, ensuring that the plunges are of different heights for varied compaction. 
  4. When you try to lift the bottle now, you will be able to do so easily. 

Takeaway from the experiment:

The concept that comes into play is friction. When you use the pencil to plunge the rice, you tend to push the air by compacting the rice. Therefore, the pencil gets in contact with a much greater amount of rice with each plunge. This increases the friction between the plunging pencil and the rice. After nearly 25 plunges, the friction is so high between the two that it surpasses the gravitational force and you can easily lift the bottle with the pencil. 

6. Soap-fueled powerboat 

Things needed:

  1. A piece of cardboard
  2. Toothpick
  3. A container full of water. (Ensure it is large enough to allow the power boat to take an entire lapse)
  4. Liquid soap

How to perform the soap-fueled power boat experiment?

  1. Cut the cardboard shaped like a 2-D Pentagon with a slit at the largest horizontal side. Ensure that the entire cutout is at least 2 inches long. 
  2. Take the toothpick and dip it into liquid soap.
  3. Now, rub the toothpick along the sides and slit of the boat. 
  4. Place the boat on the surface of the water, and you will see it scoot swiftly through the water. 

Takeaway from the experiment:

Soap breaks down the surface tension of water and thus, creates a sufficient force that pushes the cardboard boat across the surface. 

7. Who freezes first?

Things needed:

  1. A stopwatch
  2. A stirrer
  3. A cup of cold water
  4. A cup of hot water
  5. Pen and paper
  6. Freezer

How to perform the who freezes the first experiment?

  1. Take a cup of hot water and a cup of cold water. Ensure that there is the same amount of water in both cups and stir them gently. 
  2. Now, place both cups inside the freezer. 
  3. At each 5-minute interval, keep checking which of the two cups freezes first and record your observations. 

Takeaway from the experiment:

It shall be observed that in most cases, the hot water must have frozen first instead of the cold water. It happens because the warm hot water loses some of the water to evaporation while cooling and has a reduced mass, thus freezing faster than the cold water. 


Natural science is everywhere! Practical experiments help answer students’ curiosity revolving around natural and scientific phenomena. Growing up, students can also opt for careers in the domain of natural science.  Some of the well-paying career choices include chemical scientists, mechanical engineers, conservation specialists, environment specialists, science, engineering and production technicians, nurses, architects and many more! 

While preparing for university and college entrances, students can check and apply for various scholarships and fee waivers such as environmental scholarships, mechanical engineering scholarships, architecture scholarships, nursing scholarships and more, and can pave the way to a brighter future revolving around natural science.

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