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Wood Expansion and Shrinkage

Wood Expansion and Shrinkage | Science Fair Projects | STEM Projects
Have you ever wondered how wood changes size when exposed to different levels of humidity? In this science project, you will explore how wood of different types expands and shrinks when exposed to different levels of humidity.


The hypothesis is that wood of all types will expand when they absorb moisture and shrink when they lose moisture.

Method & Materials

You will cut four types of wood into blocks of the same size, label them, and place them in an oven for 24 hours. You will then measure the change in dimension of the wood after being dried in the oven, and at normal room humidity.
You will need a redwood block, a teak wood block, a black oak wood block, a red maple block, a caliper, an oven, a pair of gloves, and a black marker pen.


It was observed that all four types of wood shrank the most along the growth rings. The black oak showed the biggest change in dimensions compared to the other three types of wood. Redwood showed the least change in dimensions.

Why do this project?

This science project is interesting because it shows how wood changes size when exposed to different levels of humidity. It also shows how the type of wood affects the amount of expansion and shrinkage.

Also Consider

To improve the reliability and accuracy of the results, a larger number of wood samples should be used. This science project can also be repeated with other types of woods like Pine, Fir, Hemlock or Birch.

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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