Spider Web Collecting Science Fair Project #EEKologist

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This post brought to you by The Orkin Ecologist. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’m in the same boat as many of you – our school is very specific in what you can/cannot celebrate during Halloween time so I’ve become really good at coming up with alternative projects and ideas – like this Spider Web Collecting project which can easily be spun (no pun intended!) into a full fledged science fair project for all ages and grade levels! My kids LOVE bugs, creepy crawlies and anything else “EEK” related so I started by checking out The Orkin Ecologist website. I wanted a hands-on project for my boys to help with but we’ve recently hit a hard cold snap so I knew a lot of our normal critters wouldn’t be easily available. I spotted several spider-related articles, including this Learn How Spiders Build the Perfect Orb Web article, and I knew we still had spider webs were plentiful since we live in the country and there are plenty of old barns to scour!

To collect the actual spider webs you’ll need:

black spray paint
white paper or poster board
clear spray or hairspray

As you can see above this DOES take a little bit of practice! Never take a web with a spider already in it – I look for abandoned webs. Remember spiders can rebuild their webs quickly! Find yourself a spider web, then spray paint both sides of it if possible with black spray paint. Place your paper or poster board directly against the web and use your fingers to pull off the attached threads of the web. Spray with a clear spray or hairspray as soon as possible to help your web hold in place.

My second attempt at collecting a spider web turned out much better:

My younger kids needed help with this part of the project but your older kids should be able to accomplish this without a problem. You can turn your spider web science fair project into SO many things! Consider topics like:

Does web location change the web design?

Do different species create different webs?

Do spiders create different webs depending on the time of year?

Since my children are younger elementary we chose to create a display board with spider research onto it.

We displayed the webs that we collected, as well as created a large spider web using party streamers. We then researched the various types of animals that spiders can eat and glued them onto the web with tacky glue. On the side we added spider facts and habitat locations – we learned SO much about spiders and we spent a lot of time outdoors searching for spiders, and their webs.

I would LOVE to turn this into a year long project with my kids but in the time frame I had I was pretty limited! If you are good at building you can create a small “frame” for spiders to create their webs in, as well as set up various containers with spiders to observe them as they create their webs. Of course if you have older kids you can turn this into a much more detailed project. And actually having spiders to go along with your science fair project is always a plus!

Here are a few spider web – themed science fair project ideas for your kids:

comparing webs of different species

comparing webs in different locations

how strong is a spider web

local spiders and their webs

the effect of smoke on a spider web

the effect of wind on a spider web

Looking for more creepy crawly ideas to learn from? Don’t forget to check out  The Orkin Ecologist!

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  1. Sharon Donovan says:

    Some of the ideas are great for a science fair project as long as the information isn’t already known. The children should come up with their own ideas. Also, there appears to be way too much MOM in this project. Let the kids do their OWN. I organized and directed science fairs for over 20 years and was also a judge at regional fairs. Projects that appeared so parent oriented and directed were not given awards. My biggest problem with the fairs was getting the parents to keep their hands off the projects. Parents are so competitive. I wasn’t grading them….I was grading their kids!

    1. This post was not a submitted science fair project nor was it intended to look like one. It is only to give my readers ideas to begin with to create their own science fair project. My preschooler and 1st grader did this with me as an extra-curricular activity outside of school time to help me create this idea. Of course science fair projects should be done by the child – this is only meant to guide families and homeschoolers with some new and creative ideas and resources.

  2. I don’t see how this has too much “mom in the project”? The only part she was saying that had her direct help was assisting the younger kids in the collecting of the web’s. My child is in Kindergarten at a magnet school for science and is required to do a science fair project WITH major parent involvement because of the age. I thought the author explained how she helped guide the children on their discovery. I personally found this post extremely helpful and informative. Thank you

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