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  • Writer's pictureObediah Thomas

First – Third Grade Classroom Science Project

As I travel from school to school, (over 2000 schools so far) I get to thinking about things I might do if I were a teacher.

Here’s one for grades 1-3: A science/ math project.

How tall does your entire class grow accumulatively in a school year?


Early in the school year, explain the project to the students:  “How big do you think our class will grow in height by the end of the school year?  How tall is the class right now if we could stand everyone in a tall stack?”  Have a discussion about math and predictions and how many inches one might grow in a year, multiplied by the number of students.  Have them all write this down and either post them or file them for later.


Now, it’s time to get out the tape measure. Carefully measure the height of each student.  Write the numbers down and have the class add them up.  You can discuss converting feet and inches to just inches.  Maybe even discuss the wide range of heights and how great it is that everyone is so different.  Once you have the total, mark it down and keep it in a safe place.


Then, on with the school year.  Maybe on the 100th day of school, you take a measurement to see the progress.  


During the final week of school, take the final measurement and see what the difference is.  Compare and contrast the predictions.  What if you grew that many inches forever?  How tall would be in 50 years? Will the difference be more or less next year?  What is the average height difference in the class?

This is a fun way to mark growth – the literal growth – in a school year.  And, of course, compare that to all the other intangible ways the students have grown: the new things they have learned and new skills they have acquired. 

Imagine now the entire school jumping into the project.  How much do 600 students grow in a year?  150 feet?  (That would be about 3 inches on average per 600 students).

Please be mindful of students who miss the measurement days, new students, or students that have left the class, as that will drastically affect your data.

This is a FREE, fun, and simple project promoting math and science. And it includes everyone.

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