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Building and Construction Science Fair Project

Wood Expansion and Shrinkage

Wood Expansion and Shrinkage | Science Fair Projects | STEM Projects
Have you ever wondered how humidity affects the size of wood? In this project, you'll measure the size of four different types of wood, then dry them in an oven to see how the humidity affects their size.


The hypothesis is that humidity will cause different types of wood to expand and shrink at different rates.

Method & Materials

You will cut four different types of wood into blocks, measure their dimensions, dry them in an oven, and measure their dimensions again.
You will need a redwood block, a teak wood block, a black oak wood block, a red maple block, a caliper, an oven, gloves, and a black marker pen.


It was observed that all four types of wood showed significant shrinkage along their growth rings after they were dried in the oven. The biggest change was in the black oak wood and the least change in dimensions was observed in the redwood.

Why do this project?

This science project is interesting because it shows how humidity can affect the size of different types of wood, and how experienced wood workers and carpenters need to understand this behavior of wood in order to effectively plan and implement projects.

Also Consider

Consider using more than one piece of each type of wood for the experiment, for more accurate results. Try this science fair project with other types of woods such as birch, fir, pine or hemlock.

Full project details

You can find additional information and details for this science fair project here. Have fun exploring!

Related videos

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