Scientific Concept Scavenger Hunt

What You Need:

  • A copy of the chart below

What You Do:

  1. No preparation required! Simply use the chart below as a checklist. Read your child the challenge listed in the first column. Ask him if he understands the term raised in the challenge. If he say yes, ask him to explain the term to you. If not, use the definition in the second column to help him develop a clear understanding of the science concept.
  2. Once your explorer masters the science concept at hand, ask him to find something in and/or around your home that is an example of the science term. If he has trouble identifying something that represents the science concept, look for one of the items listed in the third column. Examine the item together and discuss how and why it is an example of the stated concept. Then challenge him once again to find an item that represents the concept. The great thing is there can be any number of items that represent each task!
  3. Can your child find one item for each task? Two? Three?
  4. Take the challenge to the next level and create your own scavenger hunt. Have your discoverer develop his own science scavenger hunt and look for objects together. Don't know where to start? Have your child use his current science text book's glossary and search for terms in the book.
  5. Take the scavenger hunt on the road. Look for items that employ the science concepts when you are out and about and not just at home! Remember, science is all around us!


 Find an example of…



a pure element

material consisting of only one type of atom (as listed on periodic table)

carbon – diamond in a ring or graphite in a pencil

a colloid

a mixture of tiny substances that are dispersed in one another but do not settle out

milk (curds & whey), Jello (protein & water), fog (water & air)

an acid

substance that produces or donates hydrogen ions in a solution

vinegar, citrus fruit

a chemical change

a change that occurs when the atoms of a substance are rearranged to make a new substance

vinegar mixed with baking soda, baking a cake, rusting nail


matter phase change of a gas to a liquid

drops of water on outside of a cold glass, dew drops on grass on a cool morning

a first class lever

simple machine that has a rigid arm that turns around a point (fulcrum), first class levers have the fulcrum in the middle of the resistance and effort forces

scissors, hammer, pliers

kinetic energy

energy of motion

anything moving – person walking, waving hand, running water

Newton’s First Law of Motion

an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stay in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force (inertia)

a book on a table does not move unless something (like a hand) moves it, a car breaks suddenly and its passengers jerk forward


resisting force that opposes motion of an object as it passes by another object

tires breaking against a road, rubbing hands together, shoe bottoms against floor

the Doppler effect

change in frequency of wave motion due to the motion of the wave source or the receiver

vehicle driving down road (listen how the sound changes as the car drives closer then passes by)

an arthropod

animals without vertebra that have jointed legs and segmented bodies

spider, ant, crab


plant life of a given place or time

any plant – fern, rose bush, grass


the break-down of earth’s material through chemical and mechanical means

broken rocks, pot holes that form in road during winter, marble stones damaged by acid rain

a cumulus cloud

puffy, white to grey clouds that can develop vertically indicating approaching thunderstorms

on a calm day look for puffy, cotton ball, like clouds; on a day of approaching storms look for tall, towering clouds

a mineral

natural, inorganic solid, with a set chemical composition and crystalline structure

quartz (various forms – amethyst stone, white/clear rock), salt

a constellation

groups of stars that form patterns in the night sky

Ursa Major (big dipper or bear) Andromeda, Orion (the hunter)


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