Valentine’s Day is a time for love, but it can also be a time for nerding out over science!
Welcome to your one-stop shop for Valentine’s Day Science activities for high school or middle school. Keep reading for 10 ideas that you can implement tomorrow!
1) Science Trivia:
Sometimes you want to embrace fun holiday activities…but don’t always have the capacity to set up an experiment or an elaborate activity or the perfect stations activity. My solution? Trivia! Kids love it, it’s so easy, and they’ll learn some fun facts that will inspire research and talk at the dinner table.
Brainstorm some science topics related to Valentine’s Day and find some interesting questions! You could even have students help you to create the game by finding questions and using it as an opportunity to talk about finding reputable sources!
If you are looking for something ready to use, this trivia game touches on things like the heart, animal courtship rituals, jewelry, flowers, hormones, and more!
No need for students to have prior knowledge – they can simply make educated guesses and learn as they go!
2) Food Science Labs:
Who says science can’t be delicious? Students always love bringing food into the classroom! You can try taste testing different types of chocolate, have them explore their senses by trying to identify common baking ingredients while blindfolded, or work on metric conversions while making some heart-shaped sugar cookies!
3) Isolate Silver:
Silver is a common metal used in jewelry – a popular Valentine’s Day gift!
Use a single displacement reaction to extract silver ions from a silver nitrate solution, and observe the chemical reaction taking place. If you use copper wire like the video below, try bending it into the shape of a heart <3
4) Heart Rate Lab:
Have students design a lab about heart rate. Have them measure their heart rate before and after different activities, such as various types of exercise. Collect data, make graphs, and share what is learned!
5) Speed Dating Review:
This is a favorite review option any day of the year, but it’s extra perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Option #1 (Easy): Divide the class in half and have them face each other, one-on-one. Project a review question on the board and have the pair discuss it together for 2 minutes. Share some answers as a class or circulate and comment as you see fit. Shift one of the lines down by one person and move on to the next question. Repeat!
Option #2 (A bit more work): Set up tables where the “dates” will take place. Add a table cloth and flower if you’re feeling extra! Each table should have a card with a question on it that will be the topic of the date. Time the date and then send students on new dates. Plan pairs in advance to make sure that students visit all the questions.
6) Create Dating Profiles:
Use a class for creative review by challenging students to make dating profiles for different organelles, body systems, elements, or animals! Have students draw (or Google/copy/paste) a picture, then answer questions like:
- What are your likes?
- What are your dislikes?
- What is your ideal first date?
- How would your friends describe you?
- What is something you can’t live without?
- Other than appearance, what is the first thing others notice about you?
- What do you like to do for fun?
- What are your short and long-term goals?
Bonus: The profiles could be used to make a great bulletin board!
7) Candy Chromatography:
Use chromatography to separate the dyes used in candy and learn about the principles of this important analytical technique.
8) Rube Goldberg Team Challenge:
Try using Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to embrace group work!
Grab any and all random supplies you can find (and ask students to bring some in), and challenge small groups to create a Rube Goldberg machine! The ultimate goal might be to deliver a Valentine’s Day card to a mailbox, take the lid off a box of chocolates, or fill a candy dish with cinnamon hearts!
9) “Who sits where?” Review Activity:
This is a super fun review activity. Take a list of things you’ve been studying and set up a dinner party seating chart!
For example, you might decide to have a dinner party with all the body systems. Do you think Digestive System would like to sit next to the Skeletal System? What would they talk about? What will they have in common?
Students need to fill out the chart and make sure that each guest has something in common with someone sitting next to them.
This is silly but can spark some lively debate and some big laughs!
You can also give a list of scientists or science-related people and have students do some research as they work.
10) Flower Dissection:
So simple! Gift your students some flowers for Valentine’s Day…then dissect them! This is a nice opportunity to learn about reproduction in angiosperms.
11) Candy DNA:
Have you ever met a student who didn’t love using candy in the classroom? This one is always a hit and can be adapted with different candy for the “bases” as you see fit (mini marshmallows is popular!).
These are just a few ideas to get you started, but the possibilities are endless when it comes to combining science and Valentine’s Day. So grab your lab coat, put on your thinking cap, and get ready to nerd out in the name of love!
What are your favorite Valentine’s Day Science activities? I’d love for you to share by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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