4 Topics for Middle School Biology Projects
Middle school students are just beginning to become self-sufficient in the sciences, and topics for biology project ideas should reflect that. When students become interested in various scientific areas, give them the range to explore those areas in ways that capture their attention and engage their rational minds. Here are 5 topics that do just that.
The scientific method
Although the scientific method is taught from a very young age at many schools, it is still an area of rich scientific inquiry for middle school students. Learning to pose a significant question, postulate hypotheses that might offer an answer to that question, test them and formulate conclusions are all valuable skills for students to acquire.
Students who have less familiarity with the process should focus on identifying a question they really think they can answer. Students who are already expert in the process can experiment with posing more than one hypothesis or creating multiple ways to test the same hypothesis.
The human body
Standard teacher-directed activities like constructing a correctly labeled paper skeleton or a 3-D model of the digestive system in clay abound, but more student-directed activities also exist. Consider forming students into groups to write reports on each of the body’s systems, or assign them each a specific body part and have them write a report from the part’s point of view.
Children from a very young age begin to understand that they look like their brothers and sisters as well as their parents. Because of this, they are often interested to learn how that happens. One of the easiest ways for students to learn about genetics is to study monohybrid cross mating. Mendel’s famous peas are often used to illustrate the dominant/recessive gene relationship, but kids can formulate entire projects around identifying similar relationships they see around them.
Ecosystems often defy the understanding even of world-renowned biologists, but every student is capable of learning the concept simply by looking outside their back door. While elementary lessons might focus on dirt and bugs, middle school students can take on more complicated projects. Consider having students map a food web of their yard. The map should include species that might live outside that area but still contribute to how the web works. Student should make note of any non-animal environmental factors that might impact it as well. Those factors might include traffic, weather, buildings or even cement.
Biology is a difficult subject for some middle school kids, so offering fun ways like these to explore it is an excellent way to create fun and student engagement.