The Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC) said exciting lessons where pupils were allowed to experiment with chemicals had been phased out with growing health and safety fears.
Teaching unions echoed the concerns, arguing that lack of resources also played a key part in the reduction in practical experiments.
The comments came after the publication of a new report on the teaching of science by national quango Education Scotland.
It stressed the importance of developing science teaching in a "wider range of stimulating and real-life" contexts.
"Too often learning is introduced in fairly traditional topics ... where the same learning could be better received in a context which is more relevant or stimulating for young people," it said.
The report also found schools are not challenging the brightest pupils in the teaching of science, partly because all abilities are being taught together, unlike other subjects.
It also called for staff in secondary schools to recognise and act on gender imbalance in physics and biology, with not enough female pupils taking the subjects.
"In too many classes, in the primary and secondary sectors, all children and young people learn in a whole-class setting, carrying out the same activity at the same level of difficulty at the same time," the report states.
"This often results in more able children and young people in particular, not being sufficiently challenged.
"In the primary sector, differentiation is often achieved in other areas of the curriculum, but is not consistently a feature of learning in the sciences."
Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland teaching union, said resources played a more important role.
"We are in favour of mixed ability teaching, but in certain subjects you need smaller classes and proper resources," he said.
"One of the complaints is that science is being taught in a way that does not allows pupils to explore the subject for themselves by doing experiments because they are costly and are often replaced by simulated experiments on a computer," he said.
"That makes science less hands-on and therefore less relevant to pupils and it becomes a body of knowledge to be passed on rather than a personal exploration."
Eileen Prior, executive director of the SPTC, added: "Experiments are the key to make science relevant and interesting, but a lot of the whizz-bang has gone out of the subject.
"There is an obsession with health and safety now so there is far less of the kind of science that went on a few years ago.
"If pupils don't see the more spectacular and visually exciting experiments then there are serious concerns over whether they will engage with the subject and be inspired by it."
Overall, the Education Scotland report found learning and teaching in the sciences was "strong, effective and improving".
But it added: "There is still work to do to share good practice both within schools and across schools effectively to help raise standards."
The report also highlighted concerns that, in some schools, literacy and numeracy were not being taught as part of sciences despite a new responsibility on all teachers to promote these areas of learning.
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