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Science Fair Project Ideas

The Science Buddies Blog gives students, teachers, and parents an inside look at student science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) projects, activities, success stories, and real-world connections.

Total posts in this category: 466

Previous posts in the Science Fair Project Ideas category


Solve a Mystery with Science

Students get a hands-on look at chemical reactions using a color test as they work to solve a hypothetical medical mystery in the Crime Scene Chemistry project.


A 'Big Blue Live' Look at Marine Life

Students and classes can explore environmental issues, marine life, the science of habitats and migration related to popular "Big Blue Live" series.


Racing Marbles to Measure Viscosity

Measure and compare the viscosity of different household liquids by doing a drop test with marbles.


Exploring Bridge Beams with Spaghetti

Use uncooked spaghetti noodles to explore the forces that come into play on a weight-bearing beam.


A Positive Science Fair Project Experience

What can parents do to help ensure that a science project assignment is a positive and successful learning experience for their student?


Wearable Electronics: Sewing an LED Patch

With needle, conductive thread, LEDs, and a power source, you can transform your own accessories or clothes into wearable electronics.


Sewing Electronics: Wearables that Light Up

With some basic e-textile knowhow, you can create your own wearable circuits, so grab a needle, conductive thread, a coin cell battery, and some LEDs to sew your own custom wearable electronics!


Seed Dispersal Science: Carried by the Wind

Explore the ways in which the shape and size of a seed influences how far it may travel when carried or blown by wind.


Planting a Solution to Soil Erosion

With inexpensive baking trays and seeds, K-12 students can make model hillsides and explore soil erosion.


Exploring 10,000 Steps a Day with Student Science

Put on a pedometer or fitness band and explore health and human behavior as you walk your way to 10,000 steps a day.


Make a Lemon Battery

Lemons may be sour, but in this science activity, getting a charge from a lemon is about electricity, not taste! Explore with a homemade battery.


Make Your Berries Last Longer with Aloe?

Experiment with aloe juice to see if it makes a difference in how long berries last.


Program Summer with Cool Computer Code

Infuse summer downtime with fun opportunities to experiment with computer programming and coding.


Popsicle Trusses

Explore how "shape" relates to strength when using trusses in building.


Make a Microscope from your Cell Phone

Give an old cell phone new life as a handheld microscope.


Sale in the Science Buddies Store!

Limited time offer! Take 25% off in the store now through July 15, 2015.


Whirly Bird Aerodynamics

Make and test paper whirly birds to learn more about the aerodynamics of helicopter flight.


Fun Frisbee Science

Test different throwing techniques or compare different Frisbees and learn more about aerodynamics and physics at the same time.


Explore Magnification with a Drop of Water: Weekly Science Spotlight

Use water drops to explore the physics behind mangification.


Measuring Surface Tension with a Penny: Weekly Science Spotlight

You can see surface tension in the way water pools on a penny, but what happens when you add soap?


Splitting Ink: Marker Chromatography

What colors make up a certain color ink in a marker? Find out with a family science activity.


Glow-in-the-dark Nighttime Summer Science

A test tube of phytoplankton offers a no-mess way to let kids observe biochemical processes, circadian rhythms, and bioluminescence.


Heat up Your Summer with Solar Science

Bright summer light is perfect for exploring solar energy with hands-on science activities.


Golden Rules of Photography: Family Science Spotlight

What makes a great photo great? Experiment with a family science activity to see if key approaches to composition make a difference.


Building Paper Bridges: Family Science Spotlight

Build bridges from paper to explore civil engineering in this family STEM activity. Does the shape of the materials make a difference?


Throwing Balls and Trajectory: Weekly Family Science Activity

In this week's spotlight: a physics-focused family sports science activity that may make a difference in your next game of catch!


Sweet Like Sugar? Weekly Science Activity Spotlight

Investigate how sugar and sugar substitutes compare in terms of sweetness in this family science activity spotlight.


Picturing Big Data: The Science of Infographics

With more data flowing in than most of us can ever hope to sift through, infographics have emerged as a viewer-friendly way to convey data-driven information.


Ex-stream Science: Exploring Local Watershed Health

Heading outdoors lets kids experience real-world applications of their classroom learning. What can you learn on a field trip to a pond or stream?


Going the Distance with Starlight Science

This sixth grade student took a comparative look at the change in intensity of a star's light in relation to its distance. She ended up with a winning combination of math and physics!


Bend or Break? Candy Science

What happens when you bend your favorite candy in half? If you put it in the freezer first, will the candy behave differently? Put it to the test with a family science activity!


New Raspberry Pi Projects Kit

The Raspberry Pi Projects Kit from the Science Buddies Store enable kids to work on creative projects that blend computer programming, electronics circuit building, and art.


Building a Solar-powered Bristlebot

Adding solar panels to a brushbot project gives a new twist to an intermediate robotics building activity, but does it offer more power?


Balloon-powered Vehicle Success

Hands-on engineering got a boost of balloon power with the fun 2015 Fluor® Engineering Challenge. Congratulations to everyone who joined the challenge and shared their creation! Take a look at some of the great entries!


Students 3D Design and Print Their Own Robots with Autodesk Tinkercad

A recent robotics workshop gave students in New Jersey the opportunity to experiment with 3D design using Autodesk® Tinkercad® and then to use their custom parts in their robots.


Stretchy Rubber Band Science: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: What happens when you heat up or cool down a bunch of molecules? Do rubber bands behave as you might expect?


What Shape is a Hard-boiled Egg?

This year, give your hardboiled eggs a twist and turn ordinary ovoid hardboiled eggs into fun shapes! The trick to the transformation is understanding the science behind the process of hardboiling.


Bubbly Soda Science: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: mix up your own bubbly drink and experiment to find just the right combination of ingredients.


A Farmer's Dilemma: To Till or Not To Till

As winter turns to spring, farmers are preparing to plant this year's crops. For some, tilling their fields is a thing of the past.


Fascinating Physics of Fluids and Surface Movement

Mesmerizing video puts the physics of liquid in motion. Students and families can explore related science with hands-on activities that are fun to do at home or in the classroom.


Guess What's Inside: Rock Science

Have you and your kids ever cracked open a geode to reveal the crystals inside? This is a great way to add something special to a prized rock collection and can be a lot of fun for kids who are interested in geology, rocks, or crystals.


Talking Pi and Pie for Pi Day

Pi Day is a great excuse to make some math- and food-related Pi puns and bake up a tasty dessert. We suggest you throw a bit of science into the mix as well!


How Low Can You Go? Melting Road Ice

Dropping the freezing point of water can help keep roads free of ice, making them safer for driving. What are the best tools for the job?


Sliding and Friction: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the relationship between friction and surface with a fun activity.


Great Ideas for Engineers Week

Great hands-on science projects and activities for Engineers Week!


Shoo, Flu!: Vaccine Science

What are your chances of getting the flu this year? Discover how your immune system and the flu vaccine work together to keep you healthy.


Blaze Your Own Trail with a Balloon-powered Vehicle

How much weight can a balloon-powered vehicle carry? Find out with this year's 2015 Fluor® Engineering Challenge. Enter for a chance to win money for your school!


Dancing Candy Hearts: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: drop candy hearts into soda for a Valentine's Day-themed chemistry exploration.


Ocean Currents: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore ocean currents with your own mini ocean model.


Explore Nanotechnology with Paper: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: learn more about nanotechnology with a hands-on paper-based experiment.


Football Science: Score Big this Super Bowl Sunday with Sports Science

In the days leading up to the big game, in the days after, or even during off-season, you can kick around sports science concepts with your student sports fans.


Bristlebots at the Museum

Participants at a natural history museum sleepover event in Utah experiment with bristlebots and brushbots.


Soaking Up Sorbent Science: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore how different sorbents might help clean up an oil spill.


Last Year on the Science Buddies Blog

Highlights and favorite posts from last year on the Science Buddies Blog—great science project overviews, visual spreads that show hands-on science in action, and real-world connections.


Making Math with Dough: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: use dough to explore the relationship between dimensions of an object and volume.


A Dolphin Tail and Prosthetics Engineering

In movies like Dolphin Tale, you don't have to look far to find the engineering design process in action. With the steps of the engineering process being acted out as the story unfolds, students see that success often involves a great deal of trial, error, testing, and redesigning.


Bean Soup Science: Weekly Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the science of making soup from dried beans.


Pastry Science: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the role of fat and temperature on pie crust texture.


Light Up the Season with Computer Science Exploration

With drag-and-drop computer programming, kids can explore fun activities that add lights and sounds lights to the season. We got in the holiday spirit with Scratch and Raspberry Pi to light up a simple light-activated star!


You Can Do That with Yogurt?

Grow bacteria colonies, create yogurt ravioli, even make your own top-secret recipe for delicious homemade yogurt.


Lotion Science: How Moisturizing is Your Moisturizer?

Hands-on medical biotechnology projects guide students in scientifically evaluating how common moisturizer ingredients work.


Seeing Science: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the Stroop effect for family fun. How quickly can you name the colors?


Ebola Fighters Receive TIME Recognition

TIME recognizes "Ebola Fighters" as Person of the Year. Students explore science related to Ebola epidemic.


Beyond the School Science Fair: Advanced Science Competitions

A science project, especially an advanced one, may have a longer shelf life than just a single fair or a linear competition circuit. Top science students may find many events and venues in which to enter and showcase their research and findings.


Singing Science: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore variables related to individual vocal range.


Squash Power

How do your favorite veggies compare when it comes to generating power? Find out with a hands-on science electronics kit from the Science Buddies Store!


Globs of Gluten: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore gluten in different types of flour.


A Bus Powered by Human Waste

Bio-Bus powered by human waste hits the roads for a test run in England.


Build Your Own Website: A Comic Guide to HTML, CSS, and WordPress

A lighthearted how-to guide puts students on a yellow brick road to setting up a website using basic HTML and CSS or a content system like WordPress.


Musical Bottles: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the physics of sound by making music using bottles.


Solar Ovens Are Totally Hot!

Can you harness the sun to cook your dinner? A solar oven skeptic is converted after building his own solar oven and putting it to the test.


Biomedical Engineering: The Search for Solutions, Big and Small, for Type 1 Diabetes

Put yourself in the middle of ongoing research and development with a cutting-edge student biomedical engineering, human biology, or computer science project.


The Speed of Falling: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the science of speed and constant acceleration.


Sounds Like Halloween: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: listen to how music and sound are incorporated in movies of certain types.


Halloween Science Connections

Science activities and projects that let kids get hands-on with things slimy, ghoulish, gross, light-up, or glow-in-the-dark.


Candy Corn Geodesic Dome

A classic science project takes on Halloween tones with candy corn-colored candies, a few ordinary toothpicks, and a bunch of triangles.


Detective Science: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: learn more about the science that helps solve crimes! Use fake blood and investigate how blood spatter changes depending on the height from which the blood was dropped.


Building a Halloween Brushbot: Family Robotics

An orange scrub brush gives a family science activity a boost of jack-o-lantern-inspired fun and leads to a great robotics exploration.


Solar Power Towers and Migratory Flight Paths

Environmental conservation and energy science collide in a proposed solar power project that promises greener energy but threatens to disrupt a major migratory path for birds. Students explore with big data science.


Major League Baseball = Major League Science

Think baseball is all about runs, outs, balls, and strikes? What about physics, biomechanics, and statistics? Explore the science of baseball!


Boba Spherification: The Science of Juice-filled Caviar

We go DIY with molecular gastronomy and family science as we make our own popping boba using the Spherification Kit from the Science Buddies Store.


Ebola Outbreak Reaches Epidemic Proportions in West Africa

The current Ebola crisis in West Africa has already topped charts for all Ebola outbreaks in history. Medical biotechnology science projects let students gets hands-on with projects that parallel real-world research and development.


Caterpillar Spotting Leads to Citizen Science

An unusual caterpillar brings lots of "eeeews!" and one contribution to a citizen science project. Discover how anyone can collaborate on serious scientific research.


Drag-and-drop Code: Engaging Students with Computer Programming

UC Berkeley Professor Dan Garcia talks about the kind of "drag-and-drop," block-based, snap-together programming environments that are becoming increasingly popular as a way to introduce students of all ages to code.


Computer Programming Basics: An Hour of Code

With a smorgasbord of fun, engaging, playful, and puzzling modules available as part of the Hour of Code initiative, kids can experiment with programming basics and sample Javascript, Python, Ruby, and more.


What's in a Watermelon?

Are the seeds in your watermelon playing hide-and-seek? Can plants grow without soil? The plant world offers a cornucopia of mysteries that are ripe for investigation.


Rosetta Pulls Alongside Jupiter Family Comet: Student Space Science Projects

The Rosetta spacecraft may help provide information about the formation of the solar system and planet Earth. Students and classes explore comets and space science through hands-on science projects.


Tie-Dye Using Permanent Markers: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: learn more about the chemistry of solubility while making your own tie dye using permanent markers.


New Bristlebot Science Kit for Student Robotics!

With new Bristlebot Kit from the Science Buddies Store, students can build three styles of introductory robots and learn more about robotics engineering.


Taste Test: Do You have the Papillae of a Supertaster?

Are you a picky eater? Maybe there is a scientific reason for your reluctance to eat certain foods even if you know they are good for you. Find out with a tongue-dyeing taste-testing science project!


Now Playing: The Perseid Meteor Showers

Catch the annual Perseids meteor shower and tie in some fun family astronomy science with an exploration of parallax. How far away are the things we see in the sky?


Pizza Box Solar Oven: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: make a solar oven from household and recycled materials.


Holey Porous Rock Science!

With different kinds of dried beans, plastic cups, and water, kids can model rocks and observe the way different sized particles in rocks affect how much water a rock can hold.


Crash Testing Calculators: Product Engineering and the Road to Improved Durability

Students can experiment with the engineering design process by trying to improve the durability of a simple handheld device.


Melting Ice: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: melting ice chemistry.


Drinking Up Water Science During a Drought

For families living in drought conditions, careful monitoring of water usage is especially important. With hands-on science and engineering projects, students can investigate water-saving strategies and science and engineering related to water conservation. Above: The effect of drought can be...


From Parking Space to Parklet: Civil Engineering and City Planning

City parklets provide interesting challenges for engineers, designers, and planners. With software from Autodesk and a fun Digital STEAM Workshop challenge, students can design their own parklets and see what is involved in reimagining a few parking spots as a social space.


Pharmacist: A Science Career in Patient Health Care

As the number of medications continues to rise, pharmacists play an increasingly powerful role in helping ensure patient wellbeing, safety, and quality of life. Beyond an apple a day, feeling better may require advice from a pharmacist!


Seeing Is (Not Always) Believing!

Visual illusions and other optical puzzles are fun for families to share and explore. With hands-on science projects and activities, students can create and test their own visual illusions--including a cool infinity mirror!


Marinade Science: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: the science of marinades


Making a Game of City Planning: Students Explore Civil Engineering

A fun SimCity science project from Science Buddies helps turn in-game city planning into a science experiment, one students can also use to enter the annual Future City competition.


Bike Science: The Physics Behind Cycling

What do gears and tires have to do with who wins a race—or how long it takes to ride to the corner store? Find out with hands-on sports science projects that help tie science to the sports kids love to do and watch.


Red, White, and Blue with Soft Circuits

When you combine your circuitry know-how with fabric, you can, literally, wear your electronics on your sleeve. Students experiment with e-textiles.


Girls, Boys, Video Gaming, and Summer Survey Science

What variables make a game popular with players, and do boys and girls choose different types of games? Design a survey-based science project this summer and do some statistical analysis of the data you gather. Your results might be eye...


Nick and Tesla Explore Robotics

Twins Nick and Tesla wind up in the middle of robotics intrigue while staying with their scientist uncle over the summer.


Powering a Raft with Surface Tension: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: surface tension used to power a small raft.


Password Games: Understanding and Testing Online Passwords

Computer bugs and vulnerabilities like the Heartbleed bug provide frightening reminders of how important it is to set strong passwords online. Students can learn more about password practices and experiment with testing passwords by using and improving a password-guessing program...


3D Modeling Layer by Layer: A Glue It Together Introduction to 3D Printing

3D printing has opened a cool new frontier of custom manufacturing that brings freedom to individuals interested in design, invention, or just in need of a rare or unusual part. With a hands-on modeling and design project using Autodesk 123D...


Families and Fingerprints: Weekly Science Activity

Weekly family science activity: are fingerprint patterns inherited and shared among family members?


World Cup Soccer Scores One for Science

From physics to statistics, science plays a big role in soccer. As the World Cup unfolds this summer, watch the games, cheer on your favorite teams, and see science in action! By Kim Mullin Image: Flickr, Peter DuttonSports fans all...


Geodesic Gumdrop Dome: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: build a simple geodesic dome from candies and toothpicks.


Vitamin C Titration Experiment: Science Kit

Chemistry titration project (and science kit) to investigate quantities of Vitamin C in juice.


Cardboard Houses: The Pritzker Prize and Inspiring Architecture from Surprising Materials

For this year's Pritzker Prize winner, cardboard and paper have proven to be key materials in designing disaster relief housing. Examples of Shigeru Ban's work force a reconsideration of design, materials science, and civil engineering. Can using recyclable materials make a cost-effective and sustainable difference in the way architecture is approached? With cardboard tubes, paper, straws, and other everyday materials, students can experiment with principles on a small scale that the award-winning architect has used in humanitarian structures around the world.


A Super Science-filled Summer Break

Ready or not... into the summer break we go. With school (almost) out for the summer, take stock of some great science activities and challenges that are perfect to help keep kids engaged and actively learning during the break. Science...


Pinwheel Science: Weekly Science Activity

School and family science weekly spotlight: energy-focused family science experiment that explores the relationship between the potential power of a wind turbine and the source and location of the wind.


Durable Paper Dolls: Materials Science Meets Creative Pastime

Joints give paper dolls added life and let little fingers manipulate characters as they play out their roles in an imaginative storyline. But joints also add potential hot spots for damage. A plastic toy figurine may lose its arm, head,...


Magic Train Puts Kids on Track with Physics of Magnetism

Assembling a simple wooden train and track with cleverly placed magnetic strips lets kids experiment with a train that levitates off the track and zips effortlessly from one end to the other when pushed. What happens when you add a...


Bath Bombs Chemistry: Family Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: chemistry of bath bombs.


Ball Dribbling Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: the science involved in how energy behaves when a ball is dribbled.


Ice Cream Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: adding salt to the process of making ice cream.


Mark DNA Day with a Field Trip, a Genome Refresher, or a Spool-Your-Own DNA Activity

Whether you explore strawberries, onions, the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, or the ways in which certain family traits are evident in your family, make time to talk about and experiment with DNA-related science. Students of all ages should know their A's, T's, G's, and C's. With a fun science kit from Bio-Rad Laboratories, they might even wear their own DNA around their neck!


Spring Science: Calling All Animal Lovers

Bunnies and chicks remind us that spring is here! No matter what sort of animals you have in your household, Science Buddies has a menagerie of Project Ideas for you to try. By Kim Mullin Learning from Your Pet Your...


Family Fun with Physics: Launching Plastic Eggs with the Ping Pong Catapult

The ping pong catapult is a great device for independent student science projects, but this is a tool you can use again and again—even as the basis for a fun afternoon or weekend family science activity. We put the rubber...


Strength of an Egg: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the strength of arches using eggshells.


Family Egg Science

Egg science comes over-easy this time of year. Whether you are boiling eggs, dyeing eggs, or both, there are easy questions you can ask with your kids to turn the activity into a hands-on science experiment that everyone will enjoy....


Floating Eggs: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: floating eggs.


Life Sciences and Big Data: What's the Big Deal?

There was no singular moment of Big Data Bang, but we are living in and heading towards a time of seemingly endless and exponential data explosion—and the race to create solutions and strategies to help tame, store, organize, and make...


Join Science Buddies at USASEF for Toothbrush Robot Racing and Catapult Launching!

Take a sneak peak at an exciting pair of hands-on science and engineering activities that Science Buddies has planned for USASEF visitors and get inspired to make your own robots this week in celebration of National Robotics Week—or experiment with your own catapult project!


Soft Robots: Alternative Robot Design

Robotics engineers are experimenting with soft robots and robots modeled after biological organisms. With a squishy project at Science Buddies, students can get in on the action and test their own soft, air-powered, robot. A recent story in MIT News...


Yeasty Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: What conditions cause yeasts to be most active during fermentation?


Musical Straws: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: musical straws.


Crystal Radio: A Science Kit for Student Electronics

Improvements in the Science Buddies Crystal Radio Kit make building a crystal radio a science project students may enjoy for the school science fair or just as an independent electronics experiment—no batteries required! Our scientists have worked to improve the...


Fun Science at Home: Give Spring Break a Science Boost

Science Buddies has great ideas to keep your students engaged during spring break with cool science experiments they can do at home. Tweak our full science fair Project Ideas to challenge your kids to scientific spring break fun! Ready or...


Exploring Acid Dyeing with Eggs and Ties: A Student Science Success Story

This student's school science fair project yielded a few dozen eggs sporting the prints of various recycled ties salvaged from closets and secondhand stores. These eggs are not ones to eat, but for this young scientist, egg dyeing brought the...


Basketball Science: Hooking March Madness Fever to Hands-on Sports Science Experiments

As college basketball's spring championship gets underway, student fans can apply math and physics in hands-on science experiments that help highlight secrets to hoops success. Student Sports Science Great hands-on sports science projects help students explore science, physics, and math...


Home Sweet Bug Microenvironments: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: which microenvironments will pillbugs and sowbugs choose and why?


Tackling a Stinky Situation: A Student Science Success Story

Kate Lande hasn't ever run into a skunk, but thanks to her 6th grade science project, she knows all about the role of oxidation in combatting stinky smells. Student Science in the Real World As a 6th grade student, Kate...


Colorful Family Science for St. Patrick's Day

School and family science weekly spotlight: what happens when you put drops of food coloring in milk and then add dishwashing liquid?


Serving up Some Pi Pie for Pi Day

March 14 is Pi Day, so grab a slice, and your best memorization skills. How much Pi can you remember—which is not quite the same as how much pie can you eat! Celebrating Pi Day with Pie A Google search...


Microbial Fuel Cells: On the Hunt for Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is hiding in places you might not think to look! For a glimpse into the future of power generation, experiment with a microbial fuel cell. By Kim Mullin Microbial Fuel Cells—Building Your Own Alternative Energy Experiment After assembling...


Carnival Game Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: why does a popular carnival game that looks easy to win sometimes seem really difficult?


Baking Up a Science Project

A batch of homemade muffins can easily turn into a great hands-on student science project. Grab some bowls and choose your variable! By Kim Mullin Image: My son headed to the kitchen for a recent science project and found that...


Larger-than-life Robots on Traffic Control Duty

Giant metal traffic control robots installed on busy streets in Africa remind students that robotics engineering tackles projects and issues that may require very big OR very small solutions. Image: "Now, Robocop helps manage traffic in Kinshasa," India Today Online....


Bridge Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: can a suspension bridge carry a greater load than a beam bridge?


Ensuring a Positive Science Fair Project Experience

Science fair projects let students learn, use, and demonstrate important science and reasoning steps, and the benefits of hands-on and active exploration compared to more passive modes of learning or rote memorization are well-documented. So why do so many parents...


Why Go to Space?: A Google Hangout for Galactic Answers

A Google hangout this week gives students and teachers a chance to find out more about space exploration and to talk with astronauts and leaders from Virgin Galactic about some of the many, many reasons "why" space science matters. Photo:...


Seasons Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: when a surface is titled, how does the light reaching it change?


Student Robotics: A Fourth-grade Student Explores Virtual Robots with VoxCAD

With open source software and guided directions from Science Buddies, students can explore the ways in which robotics engineers test designs before choosing which designs to prototype. This student put her own robots to the test—on her computer—and walked away...


LEGO Movie Makes Engineering Awesome

The LEGO® Movie puts engineering on the big screen in the hands of an assortment of plastic master builders and superheroes from various time periods and realms who come together to challenge Lord Business and the superior threat of Kragle....


Bio-inspired Robotics Engineering: Taking a Cue from Insects

What can engineers learn from studying the ways in which bugs and insects move? A great deal! Robotics labs like the Harvard Microrobotics Lab are using bio-inspired research and observation to design and test new approaches to designing and building...


Heart-health Science: Is Your Heart Really Heart-shaped?

February brings us both Valentine's Day and heart awareness month. That's two great reasons to take a closer look at the hard-working muscle thump-thump-thumping in your chest! By Kim Mullin A Day in the Life of Your Heart Your heart...


Heart Health: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: if you exercise regularly, does your heart recover from exertion more quickly than if you don't exercise often?


Sinkhole Science: Sudden Hole Swallows Corvettes Whole

A car museum turned into a tragic no parking zone this week when a sinkhole opened up, wiping out a fleet of prized automobiles. Sinkholes apparently have no regard for the caliber of car or building that may be sitting...


The Science of Winning Olympic Gold

Later this week, amazing athletes from around the world will converge on Sochi, Russia for the 22nd Olympic Winter Games. Beyond practice and determination, what affects a gold-medalist's performance? The answer is simple—lots and lots of science. By Kim Mullin...


Inspiring Future Female Engineers: GoldieBlox Goes to the Super Bowl

If you were watching the Super Bowl on Sunday with an eye especially tuned to the ads, you were not alone. Super Bowl Sunday is big business for advertisers. Chips. Beverages. Condiments. Cars. More cars. You might see ads for...


Pixel Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore how pixel-resolution is related to the quality of the graphics in a video game.


Super Bowl Sunday and Science on the Field

Before or after the big game, tune in for great hands-on sports science ideas that help turn an interest in football into an exciting science experiment. No matter who wins on Sunday, science will be part of every play, run, fumble, kick, and score. You just have to know where to look.


Static Electricity Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore static electricity with your own electroscope.


Puppy Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore why puppies and other animals huddle together for warmth.


The New CEO of General Motors Inspires Students about Engineering

Stories about Mary Barra have the potential to empower, encourage, and inspire students of all ages as she takes on a very visible and important leadership role in the automotive industry. As Barra shows, even something as simple as making...

Cellphone Spectrophotometry: Turn a Phone Into a Functional Piece of Science Equipment (Science-hack Your Phone: Part 2)

Cellphone cameras do a great job of helping us capture funny and memorable moments that we can share through our favorite social media sites, text messages, or email. That same imaging technology can be used as the basis for useful...


Sweaty Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: experiment

Cellphone Microscope: Turn a Phone Into a Functional Piece of Scientific Medical Equipment (Science-hack Your Phone: Part 1)

Cellphones do a great job of helping us capture funny and memorable moments that we can share through our favorite social media sites, text messages, and email. That same imaging technology can be used as a tool for medical and...


Cornbread Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: experiment with the role of baking powder in baking.


Science and Engineering Activities for the Winter Break (Or Any Time!)

As you prepare for winter break and lots of indoor time with your kids, consider scheduling some time for family science. We have suggestions for fun hands-on science and engineering activities you can do with your kids that might feel...


Memory Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: experiment with mnemonic devices to see if they help improve recall of items on a list.


Football Science: Distance and Field Goal Kicking—Increasing the Odds of Scoring

Making it to the end zone on a last-second Hail Mary pass is one way to score in football, but when it's 4th and 30, a well-executed field goal for three points can be the game-tipping, winning play. What's the...


Family Robotics: Toothbrush Bots that Follow the Light

Building light-tracking robots as a family activity lets you and your kids take next steps in electronics and circuitry! My kids and I had a great time over the summer whetting our teeth on basic robotics and electronics by transforming...


Taste Bud Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: find out your taste threshold for sweetness, saltiness, and sourness.


Sauce Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: experimenting to see how cooking time changes the consistency of cranberry dishes.


How Flaky Are You? The Science of Pie Crust

During the holiday season, pies are front-and-center on the dessert menu. Become the pie-baking champion in your family with this tasty experiment. By Kim Mullin Turning Family Baking into Family Science In the "Perfecting Pastries" kitchen science project, students explore...


Get Your Spud On with Potato Science

Potatoes make a great side dish, but they also make great subjects for hands-on science! Food chemistry, plant biology, and even basic electronics are all on the menu when you experiment with potatoes. By Kim Mullin What is your favorite...


Salty Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: detecting the presence of iodine in salt by looking for a visible chemical reaction.


Stride Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: the science of individual stride and walking measurements.


From a Boy on a Bike to a Catalyst for Diabetes Inspiration, Education, and Change

In honor of World Diabetes Day, we review a compelling autobiography by Phil Southerland, founder of Team Novo Nordisk. Phil didn't start out to change the world's view of diabetes or inspire others with diabetes, but his path on one bike after another led him to exactly that.


Exciting Girls about Science and Engineering

With its broad spectrum of free scientist-authored projects for K-12 students, Science Buddies wants ALL students to have a great science project experience—girls and boys. For teachers and parents looking for ways to engage girls in science, Science Buddies has...


Camouflage Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: does camouflage make a difference when it comes to a predator finding its prey?


This Experiment is Totally Sweet

Volunteer to make dessert for your next family event, and you can combine making a tasty contribution for after dinner with a kitchen science exploration!


Spilling Candy: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: how do granular materials appear to flow?


Slime, Catapults, and Halloween Science

Inspire hands-on learning by getting creative. You can easily turn chemistry and physics science experiments into Halloween-inspired activities that your students will enjoy!


Time for Spooky Halloween Science

As trick-or-treat night approaches, we have plenty of suggestions for hands-on science you can fit in with Halloween festivities and discussions! Meet your kids where they are—in the Halloween mindset! Science Buddies has great ideas for giving Halloween a boost...


Electronics and Play Dough: Fun, Tactile Family Science

With a new group of electronics Project Ideas and a cool kit from the Science Buddies Store, you can turn ordinary play dough modeling into a great hands-on electronics activity with your kids. Since the trio of "electric play dough"...


Eye Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: eyes and the science of afterimages.


Science Projects that Double as Halloween Costumes

If you are still thinking about what to wear this Halloween, you might find you can combine a science project and your costume needs to good, possibly ghoulish, effect!


Compost Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: how does the rate of different compostable items compare?


A Trick of the Eye for Halloween

Exhaust your eye cones in just the right way, and you can enjoy the spookiness of seeing something that isn't really there!


Saved by the Clot

How does the human body "turn off" bleeding from an injury? Why do some people bleed too much? This October, a cool experiment lets you investigate blood coagulation!


An Apple for the Science Fair

Apples are perennial favorites for pies, but how about for science experiments? Absolutely! From chemistry to food science and beyond, apples are the perfect vehicles for scientific exploration. By Kim Mullin With fall apples weighing down local trees, the timing...


Bird Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: what a bird's feet can tell you about the bird.


Probability and Playing Cards: Hands-on Family Math

A deck of cards provides a concrete look at probability and chance in a hands-on math activity that easily scales up and down in difficulty to match the experience of your students. played a lot of cards, so I grew...


Soil Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: make a Winogradsky column to explore a miniature biosphere.


Cooking Caramel: Family Science Spotlight

As this family discovered in their kitchen science activity, making caramel doesn't require much in the way of ingredients, but recipes vary, and timing and temperature matter! "My younger son wanted to make caramel sauce," reports the mom who sent...


Rooftop Gardens: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: investigate rooftop gardens.


Building Bristlebots: Basic Toothbrush Robotics

As this mom discovered, with a bag of toothbrushes and some basic electronics supplies, you can give a group of kids a fun introductory robotics experience—no prior robotics expertise necessary! Since the BristleBots robotics project first appeared at Science Buddies,...


Fizzy Chemical Reactions: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

In this week's spotlight: a trio of chemistry science projects for fizzy, science fun. When you drop an Alka-Seltzer® tablet into water, a chemical reaction begins. What influences the rate of this reaction? Explore the role of temperature on...


Moon Size Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: investigate the full moon illusion.


Laboratory Kidneys: Bioengineering Success Offers New Hope for Patients with Kidney Disease

Recent reports of laboratory-created rat kidneys provide hope for the future of bioengineered kidneys for those with kidney disease. Students can get involved in this hot area of biomedical technology and research with their own bioinformatics projects. By Yvette Leung...


Family Math: M&M Color Statistics

What can you do with hundreds and hundreds of M&sM's? Family math! -->My family's lineup of summer hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math projects and activities included almost enough M&M's to bring Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to mind. Maybe...


Meteor Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: investigate how the size of a crater depends upon the size of the meteorite.


The Science Behind Sun Protection

If you knew more about sunscreen and UV rays, would you change your sun protection habits? By Kim Mullin Understanding Differences in Sunscreens With hands-on science projects, students can investigate differences in sunscreens and how different ingredients and different...


Changing Diabetes: A Pro Cycling Team with a Mission

As the team trains for a future Tour de France, Team Novo Nordisk is spreading awareness about Type 1 Diabetes with every ride.


Species Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: investigate backyard biodiversity.


Playful Programming and Cool Code: From Tech User to Tech Creator

A move is on in the worlds of tech and education, a push to show students that learning to code is important, fun, and maybe not as hard as they think! Exploring code is easier today than ever, and even...


Fruit and Gelatin Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: investigate the role of enzymes on the way certain fruits combine with gelatin.


Super Scratch Succeeds in Scratching the Surface of Code with Cartoon Fun

Video games and comic books team up against the Dark Wizard in this hands-on how to book for kids. As the main characters tackle fun quests, kids learn programming fundamentals—and have fun making their own video games. Note: a new...


Student Science: Straw Suspension Bridge

How does the Golden Gate Bridge or another suspension bridge work? Does the suspension design help it support more weight than other types of bridges? In the "Keeping You in Suspens(ion)" science project, students put these questions to the...

Human-Powered Helicopter: Pedal Power Engineering

A team from Canada captures a longstanding prize with their human-powered helicopter. You won't be parking yours any time soon, but the story is an inspiring example of engineering design, innovation, and perseverance. News of a last month's human-powered helicopter...


Citrus Science Crisis: From Fruitful to Fruitfall

Thanks to the Asian citrus psyllids, your breakfast cup of orange juice is at risk. Learn more about citrus greening, the threat to the citrus industry, and ways students can develop related hands-on science investigations. A Fruity Problem Apple and...


Basketball Science on the Court

Have a sports-oriented kid? Playing basketball can engage muscle power and brain power! For summertime fun, hit the courts to explore the science behind shooting hoops. By Kim Mullin Better Basketball? Can science help you improve your skills on the...


Hula Hoop Science: Weekly Science Project Idea and Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: investigate the importance of the size and weight of a hula hoop.


Student Physics: Accelerometer on a Trampoline

For his 8th grade science project, Jonathan Stewart gave the "The Chills and Thrills of Roller Coaster Hills" Project Idea a new, bouncy, twist. When it was time for his science project, the local amusement park was already closed...


Rocket Science: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: investigate combustion and chemical reactions with mini vinegar and baking soda rockets.


Green Family Science: Pinpointing Constant Power Drain

Are there energy vampires in your house? There are probably more things sucking on your household energy than you realize! This summer, band together with your students to analyze your family's power usage—and to see what steps you can take...


Where's Waldo Science: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: investigate the science behind visual search and find.


Calling Naturalists of All Ages: Citizen Science Projects for the Whole Family

Birds, frogs, ladybugs, and butterflies—these are a few examples of species in which growing waves of scientists are helping contribute to a global knowledge base. You and your family can, too! Image: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural...


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Shake Up Some Butter

School and family science weekly spotlight: investigate the role of temperature in the process of making butter with these food science projects.


Avoid the Summer Slide: Bring on the Family and Home Science Projects!

Boost your summer break with hands-on science the whole family can enjoy. From activities you can do with the kids in an afternoon, to projects you can set up as challenges for the kids to work on throughout the summer,...


Create a Carnival of Robot Critters this Summer

With a bit of planning, you can stock up on materials your students can use to create a cadre of cool robotic animals, bugs, and creatures this summer. Upcycled vibrating motors may be your best friend for inspiring hands-on engineering...


Family Tree Science: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: investigate family traits by making a family pedigree and tracking certain traits through your family history in this pair of genetics science projects.


M&M Math: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: investigate to find out how often each color of M&M's appears. What are the odds of pulling your favorite color? Find out in these math and statistics projects.


Mummification Science: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the science behind Egyptian mummification by making a mummified hot dog!


Lazy River? No Such Thing!

Scientists tell us that rivers have formed some of our most fantastic landscapes—think Grand Canyon! Explore the power of rivers to shape surrounding terrain with this fun hands-on science experiment.


Girls at After-school Program Science Event Explore Paper Airplanes

Hands-on engineering doesn't always require high-tech materials. Armed with a stack of paper and the steps to folding a basic dart airplane, a volunteer leads a paper airplane station at a local science exposition and realizes, with surprise, that folding...


Family Math: Making a Geodesic Dome from Straws

Geodesic dome math project: A model dome like this can be made in any size (as long as you figure out the relative lengths of the struts). This one is pretty big!

Exploring Engineering with Hands-on Building Systems

Born on May 15, 1863: Frank Hornby, an inventor whose "toys" included Meccano, an engineering construction set of nuts, bolts, and strips of sheet metal. Hornby first devised the system for his children. When he moved on to mass produce...


Flower Pigment Science: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: use paper chromatography to see what makes up the colors of flowers.


Colorful Carnations: Hands-on with Capillary Function

What color flowers do you want this week? Nature produces a wide array of wonderful colors, but plant biology opens the way for a whimsical "choose your own color" flower experiment, perfect for home or the classroom. April showers, May...


Iron Man 3 Out Today--Highlight the Science

Thanks to the resounding support from members of the community who trust, use, and rely on Science Buddies for their projects, classroom, and family science activities, we collected a phenomenal number of views in 24 hours--all in the name of K-12 science literacy.


Crystal Chemistry: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: grow crystals at home and explore the chemistry behind the big ones!


Radiometric Dating: Playing Half-life Odds

Roll the dice in a fun hands-on simulation of an isotope's decay to better understand the way scientists date mind-boggling old matter. A Winning Math and Geology Combo! Students will need a 100 'marked' dice (a piece of tape on...


Iron Man and Fiber Optics—Technology at the Speed of Light

Verizon FiOS teams up with Science Buddies in support of science literacy. Fiber optics technology offers high-speed data delivery, but what's going on in a fiber optics system? Look to the 'light' for answers with hands-on science projects that let...


Celebrating DNA and the History of the Double Helix

April 25 is National DNA Day, a day that commemorates the 60th anniversary of DNA's double helix discovery in 1953 and the completion of the human genome project in 2003. We all boil down, genetically, to chains of DNA—each of...


Girls Explore Engineering with Marble Run Challenge

Getting girls inspired about engineering can be as simple as giving them the tools and a fun hands-on challenge to solve. Thanks to community support from Northrop Grumman, a group of Maryland middle school girls tested their marble run mettle...


Flip-book Animation Science: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: create easy and fun flip-book animations to explore the optical illusion behind animation.


Turning Biomass into Biofuel: These Cows Are Making Massive Amounts of Potential Alternative Energy

Living on a farm can be smelly business. But stinky piles of biowaste can hold the key to an alternative energy solution that can have a major impact on a farm's available energy and power. Get inspired by one dairy's...


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Circus Science

School and family science weekly spotlight: use marshmallows and sticks to explore how the distribution of an object's mass determines how the object will balance.


Bot Building for Kids and Their Parents: Celebrating Student Robotics

Find out how to get your (and your kids') feet wet with hands-on robotics engineering projects and activities. From taking robotic steps with LEGO® to upcycling toothbrushes or recouping the innards of cast-off electronics, robotics projects can turn kids on to creative thinking and STEM tinkering! Start at the beginning with simple bots that require only a few parts, and then move on to increasingly more innovative and sophisticated designs, building know-how with each new bot. Watch your student's understanding of robotics engineering grow bot by bot!


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Candy Chromatography

School and family science weekly spotlight: paper chromatography to explore the colors in candy coatings.


James Webb Space Telescope: Galactic Scope

SXSW Interactive Festival attendees got a chance to see a full-scale model of the giant James Webb Space telescope last month in Texas. Visitors to the Webb Telescope exhibit at South by Southwest engaged in presentations by prominent astronomers including...


April 1 Science: April Fools' Day Inspiration

Finding the fun in April Fools' Day gags and pranks—and the science connections to capitalize on the fun! Photo: Screenshot from Google Nose video. It is April 1, and April 1 means April Fools' Day jokes and pranks from trickster...


A Close-up Look at Egg Shells: One Family's Science Experience

Before settling down to serious Easter egg-dyeing with her family, this cool science mom did the "How Does a Chick Breathe Inside Its Shell?" activity with her daughter (age 9) and her nephew (age 3). Eggs and three-year-olds can sometimes lead to a scrambled science experience, but with a few extra eggs on hand, the experiment was a success!


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Soft-boiling Eggs

School and family science weekly spotlight: a pair of eggy projects that are just in time for more Easter-inspired science with your family!


Egghead Science: The Strong and the Weak of It

When it comes to structural engineering, there is a lot to be learned from the shape of the mighty egg. At the same time, sitting on an egg doesn't always work out so well. From eggs to domes to bridges,...


A Family Science Hop Along: Egg-centric Science Exploration

Egg science is fun at any time, but if you and your kids are planning to boil and dye eggs this week, don't miss out on the great opportunities for fun, colorful, and possibly smelly, family science! Above: the results...


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Silk Tie Dyed Easter Eggs

School and family science weekly spotlight: a pair of art meets chemistry projects perfect for Easter-inspired science activities with your family!


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Cabbage Clones

School and family science weekly spotlight: a pair of green-thumb projects straight from the pages of science fiction!


Surfing Mavericks: The Science of Northern California's Big Waves

When Mavericks' unusual sea floor terrain meets up with the perfect winter weather conditions rolling in from the Pacific Ocean, the surf's right for big waves. Students can learn more about the area's extreme surf with a range of hands-on...


The Results are In: Plotting Numerical Ranges

Adding graphs to your science project display board helps others see how your project went. Knowing when to use a histogram, and how it differs from other kinds of charts, might just give you a statistical edge! The above image...


Student Video Game Creators Get Their Game On

The National STEM video game competition supports the potential of video game design as a tool for STEM education and rewards and encourages the learning process for emerging student video game developers. Science Buddies' video game design resources can help...


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Mixing Up Some Science Fun

School and family science weekly spotlight: a pair of kitchen science projects that investigate mixtures, solutions, and colloids as part of a fun science activity!


Hands-on Science in Action: Building a Cloud Chamber to View Radioactive Decay

Check out a series of Cloud Chamber science experiment photos from the "Particles in the Mist: See Radioactive Particles Decay with Your Own Cloud Chamber" Project Idea.


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Paper Airplanes

School and family science weekly spotlight: a pair of paper airplane science projects that turn ordinary paper airplane folding into a fun hands-on science activity!


DNA Show and Tell: Biotechnology You Can Wear Around Your Neck

A biotechnology kit from Bio-Rad Laboratories introduces young scientists to the world of biochemistry. In this fun science activity, kids can extract their own DNA, examine it without a microscope, and create a pendant containing their DNA—the ultimate item for...


Seeing Student Hands-on Science in Action: Building a Crystal Radio

Check out a series of Crystal Radio science experiment photos from a 5th grade student using the Science Buddies Crystal Radio Kit.


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Tie Dye

Are you looking for a school science project topic or a hands-on science activity to do on the weekend or with your family? Science Buddies' science projects come in all sizes! In this week's spotlight: a pair of science...


Burning Calories: Putting Nutritional Value to the Test

Do you use a package's nutritional information when making food choices? Can you trust the accuracy of the information? Nutritional content requirements are becoming more widespread, but the information on a label or a restaurant brochure may or may not...


Beyond Winter White: A Burst of Color for Winter Engineering

Hands-on winter science may be full of snow and ice, but that doesn't mean it can't be colorful! Take a cue from this inspiring story about an engineering student who gave a colorful twist to a backyard igloo. Students can...


Heart-smart Science: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

Are you looking for a school science project topic or a hands-on science activity to do on the weekend or with your family? Science Buddies' science projects come in all sizes! This week's spotlight pays tribute to Valentine's Day...


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

Are you looking for a school science project topic or a hands-on science activity to do on the weekend or with your family? Science Buddies' science projects come in all sizes! In this week's spotlight: a pair of science...


Science Fit for the Stage: DNA Sequencing Confirms Identity of Richard III's Skeleton

Archaeologists and scientists have announced that the remains found last summer beneath a Leicester parking lot are those of Richard III, a much-maligned figure from English history. The story offers an enticing mix of history, literature, and science. Curious students,...


The Call of the Crystal Radio

Ask an engineer if she has ever built a crystal radio, and chances are you will get a story—one with all the makings of a classic when it comes to garage engineering and adolescence. Students often build a crystal radio...


BLASTing Flu Season Frenzy: A Bioinformatics Perspective

Did you get the flu shot? This year's flu season started early and with a vengeance. How effective is the vaccine against the influenza making the rounds? Using an online bioinformatics tool, students can analyze flu data from previous years...


Yearly Migration of the Monarchs

Parts of California play host each year to migrating masses of monarch butterflies that pass a number of months in protected groves, inspiring and astounding naturalists of all ages. The science behind butterfly migration is especially fascinating when you take...


A Look Back at 2012 on the Science Buddies Blog

As the 2013 science fair season gets underway, get inspired by what's possible for student science—and science at home—with a recap of last year's posts about science projects, science news, and family science. The New Year is underway, and even...


Encouraging and Inspiring Female Student Engineers

While "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day" is officially celebrated in February, helping girls understand the creative world of engineering is important all year long. If you love to innovate, imagine, build, tinker, solve problems, or make things, engineering might...


Blindfolds On: Designing Video Games for the Visually Impaired

Two students in LA took an audible cue from the community for their fourth-grade science project and designed a sound-based video game. Their first video game design project gave them an inside look into how games are designed, built, and...


Robot Engineering: Tapping the Artist within the Bot

When it comes to customizing robots, the spirit of innovation is alive and well in afterschool programs around the country. Extracurricular engineering and robotics clubs may provide a welcome outlet and important mentoring for students. From brainstorming designs to nuts...


When the Moon Is Full (Or Seems to Be)

Last month's interest in goblins and ghouls has faded, but you can spice up November classroom and family science discussions with a blend of astronomy and a fitting 'trick' of the eye in preparation for this month's full moon! (Image:...


Altered Foods: Labeling, GMOs, and Biotechnology

What kind of corn is in your favorite corn chip? Current debate in California surrounds the labeling of genetically modified foods and foods made from genetically engineered crops. Students can get hands-on and learn more about genetically modified organisms with...


More Halloween Science

(Image: Evan-Amos, Wikipedia) With a bit of planning, you can turn a pile of Halloween loot into an engaging science activity! Yesterday we posted a round-up of spooky, creepy, and candy-filled blog posts from years past to help you...


Science Projects for Trick or Treat

From glow sticks and colored candies to haunted house-worthy music, there is plenty of Halloween science to uncover! (Image, Cowen; 2012)-->Tap in to student excitement about Halloween to make engaging connections to science. There is plenty to talk about in...


Success Story: Student Engineer Tests Solar-Powered Robot

This fourth-grade student had fun building and playing with a solar-powered bot—and learned about alternative energy and electricity in the process! (Image, courtesy of Hilliard family)-->As a fourth-grade student, Keeley (above) investigated how effective different light sources are for a...


Success Story: Renewable Energy Ignites the Imagination of a Young Chemist

A 6th-grader combines his interests in chemistry and renewable energy with a particular goal in mind: to save the world with science! By Kim Mullin Matthew Early, pictured above, turned his enthusiasm for renewable energy into a winning science project....


Success Story: Zapping Zits in the Name of Science

A Science Buddies Ask an Expert advisor guides a budding microbiologist through a project on the scourge of the teenage years: acne! By Kim Mullin In his senior-year science project, Matthew Brewer (pictured above) tackled a problem familiar to many...


Going for the Gold: Boost Your Olympics Savvy with Sports Science

It takes a lot of talent, determination, conditioning, training, and dedication to make it to the Olympics. But every sport also involves points at which angles, trajectories, momentum, and laws of physics intersect with raw talent and the thrill of...


The Eyes Have It!

Get the kids together, build a simple vision protractor, and play a fun game of "now you see it, now you don't" while exploring the world of peripheral vision. Have you ever joked with your kids that you have eyes...


Grasping with Straws: A Robotic Hand

A new Project Idea from Science Buddies challenges student engineers to design an articulated hand—from ordinary drinking straws. Proving that diving into the robotics scene for a science fair project doesn't require expensive hi-tech equipment, the project invites students to...


Tower Talk: Hands-on Materials Science and Engineering

Families and young engineers can get hands on exploring the ins and outs of tower building using LEGO®, spaghetti, or even newspaper. Have fun seeing who can build the tallest tower, but be prepared for some structural collapses along the...


Hovercraft: A Multi-Terrain Vehicle

Planes, trains, and automobiles... all great ways to get around. But when it comes to exploring cool travel, the hovercraft shines with its ability to effortlessly glide across land or water. Make one at home to explore the aerodynamics at...


Summer Program Lets Students Get Their Game On

A new online video game design program from the makers of Gamestar Mechanic offers video game enthusiasts the chance to move from player to designer—with the help of industry pros. "Whether you're a beginning game designer or have some prior...


Blueprints for Family Science Fun

In a series of fun and accessible family science projects, Science Buddies and Scientific American make it easy to add family science to your together-time activities. Each week, Scientific American posts a new family science activity at Bring Science Home....


Roller Coaster Science: Marbles, Tubes, and Loops

Building paths for marbles to race, climb, and loop brings physics to heart-pounding life—minus the admission fee, height requirement, and endless wait in line. A willingness to uncover principles of energy and laws of motion is required; cotton candy is...


Success Story: A Video Game for the Blind

Dylan Viale's fifth-grade science project gave him a chance to share something he enjoys with his grandmother, who is blind. Designing his first video game ever, Dylan created Quacky's Quest, a maze game you don't have to see to play!...


The Goods on Glucose

When it comes to sugar and the body, there's more to consider than just after-dinner dessert or a plate of morning pancakes loaded with syrup. Experimenting with a plant-based enzyme can help students peer inside the digestion process.


Personal Genetics and Prescription Drugs

A single DNA mutation you don't even know you have may determine whether or not the medication your doctor prescribed will work for you. Image: Bigstock Due to differences in individual genetic makeup, prescription medications may work differently for different...


Science and Art: Mutant Sunflowers

Variations in gene expression can lead to anomalies in flowers. Some of Van Gogh's sunflowers were of a mutant variety, and scientists recently tracked down genes that may be responsible. When we think of a sunflower, many of us think...

Success Story: Tracking Wolves

By Kim Mullin Exciting project about wolf movement and behavior grabs the attention of an animal-lover preparing for his first science fair. -->Tracking wild Minnesota wolves for your 6th-grade science project? When you live in Louisiana? As this animal enthusiast...


The Wonder of Bioluminescence: Organisms that Glow

Many beaches and waters glow blue or green thanks to marine organisms that create their own light as a result of a biochemical reaction. The above photo, taken by photographer August Bach at Grayton Beach, shows "waves" of glowing blue...


A Game of Letters

Born on April 13, 1899: Alfred Mosher Butts, inventor of Scrabble®. The history of the Scrabble® game makes for interesting reading. As is the case with many eventual success stories, Scrabble is a game that didn't succeed at first. A...


Learning from Worms

April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. But if you look closely, you'll find that April showers also bring creepers, slimers, wrigglers, and crawlers out in force. Every student's and every parent's tolerance level for organisms like...


New Resources Guide X-ray Exploration

For some students, the most enticing science project or weekend driveway science experiment is one that explodes or burns—a project with clear wow factor and just enough danger to make it exciting. If you live on the wild side of...


Putting Your Eggs All in One (Dye) Basket

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Galaxy Games

Astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz are part of an international team that captured exciting first photos of a dwarf galaxy absorbing an even smaller galaxy. The photo above, captured by the Suprime-Cam in Hawaii, shows the dwarf...

New Paper Plane Record

A plane designed by John Collins set a new world record last week. Thrown by former football quarterback Joe Ayoob, the plane flew 226 feet, 10 inches in an indoor hangar on the McClellan Air Force Base, breaking the previous...


The Nighttime Sky Offers a Rare Treat This Week

The night sky is offering up a rare show this week: five planets so bright that you can see them with the naked eye! Also for your viewing pleasure, Earth's moon will stay high in the sky several hours before setting, and two of the brightest stars, Sirius and Canopus, will each be at their highest point in the sky during 2012.


Arsenic and Rice

If you think arsenic poisoning is something relegated to the pages of mystery novels, think again. Arsenic may be in foods you routinely eat—but it's undetectable by taste or smell. How much arsenic in your diet is safe? Number...


Science Buddies Helps Scientific American Bring Science Home

Image: Wikipedia. The following Science Buddies activities appear as part of Scientific American's Bring Science Home: Starch Power: Generating Gooey Gels (full Project Idea) Earthquake-Proof Engineering for Skyscrapers (full Project Idea) Cabbage Chemistry--Finding Acids and Bases (full Project Idea)...


Approaching Solar Max

The image above shows predicted rise and fall of sunspot activity during a Solar Cycle. Image source: NASA. Born on January 24, 1882: Harold Delos Babcock, an astronomer who studied sunspot cycles and the sun's magnetic polarity during each...


Licorice Root, Please

Licorice root may help fight cavities and other oral health problems, but most "licorice" candies are actually flavored with anise. Image source: Pikaluc, Wikipedia. Willing to try a licorice-based toothpaste? When it comes to candy, certain flavors fall into...

Field Work: Gorillas, Lions, and More

Our "science history" notes this week at Facebook included mention of both Dian Fossey and Joy Adamson. Both women left behind inspiring legacies and volumes of experience gathered from living with, observing, and interacting with animals. Born on January 16,...


Find a Feather, Pick It Up?

Hanson's essay is thought-provoking and eye-opening, and for students with an interest in birds, or even an interest in paleontology, there is plenty of potential for inspiring and inspired science projects that may find a launching point in an essay on feathers. One path students might follow involves considering the question: where did feathers come from? And why do birds, alone, have them?


A Wolf Story in California

This zoology Project Idea gives students an inside look into wolf movement.


Green Tiles: Renewable Energy One Step at a Time

Pavegen's research into green technology, sustainable energy sources, and clean, renewable energy alternatives led to the development of Pavegen tiles—and an exploration of the potential offered by kinetic energy harvesting.


Looking Back: Science in 2011

A look back at science news from 2011 opens up exciting angles for student research and investigation. Despite the exacting nature of "science" and the scientist's quest for cut and dried, statistically sound results, science is constantly changing. There...

Staff Picks: Top Project Ideas from 2011

The staff of scientists, editors, and writers at Science Buddies work throughout the year to develop exciting new Project Ideas that encourage and enable hands-on student exploration of inspiring areas of science and cutting-edge topics of research. We have more...

Today in Science History: snakes!

Born on December 21, 1883: Laurence Monroe Klauber, a herpetologist who was particularly interested in rattlesnakes. Snakes appear in many different locations, including tucked away inside warm, dark caves. While winter weather may keep you indoors, you can learn more...

Turn Your Pencil Into a Dimmer Switch

If the holidays are in force in your house during the days of December, you might just have materials lying around that could shed a bit (or less) light on some fundamental principles involved in working with electricity and simple...

The "Science" of Giving

(Editorial note: the following fun science giving suggestions and selections are from one Science Buddies science mom and do not represent official endorsements by Science Buddies, with the exception of the Science Buddies Kits. Many of these gift ideas are...


Mom of Two Emerging Video Game Designers

Got students who are interested in video games? There's science and engineering to be discovered and leveraged—even as they rack up points and level up! The December 2011 issue of the Science Buddies newsletter focused on video and computer...


Pumpkin Seed Puzzle

By Kim Mullin With Thanksgiving this week, you might even be counting on pumpkin pie after dinner, at least once! If the baker in your house is using fresh pumpkin, it's a perfect time for young scientists to turn pumpkin...


Can You Harvest the Moon?

Do the phases of the moon also effect agriculture? Do plants need moonlight to stay healthy? Do they grow better when planted during a particular phase of the moon?


The Goo on Gluten

The above ball of dough has been kneaded. Students can explore kneading as one variable that influences the strength of the gluten in a food. For many of us, Thanksgiving brings with it the feast mentality and ushers in...


Good Hand Washing? Turn on the Black Light!

"Glowing" germs let students test their hand washing techniques, evaluate areas of the hand, and investigate germ transmission! Image source: Glo Germ, used with permission. With its emphasis on creepy, crawly, nighttime fun, Halloween is a perfect time for...


Candy Chromatography

Brightly colored candies in your Halloween bag might be the key to your next science investigation! Image: Wikipedia. Trick or treat! Today's the day! But what will you do with all the candy you accumulate going door to door...


Vampire Bats and a Bat Detector

Only a small percentage of bats are blood-drinking vampire bats, like the one shown here, but all bats in the sub-order Microchiroptera use echolocation to help them navigate and locate prey. Image: Wikipedia, Ltshears. By Kim Mullin Predators in...


Glow-in-the-dark Chemistry

Glow-in-the-dark items can be fun year-round, but the eerie glow of a chemiluminescent reaction like the one shown here fits right in at Halloween!


Biodiversity at Halloween: A Spider Variety Show

Kim and her kids spotted an Argiope aurantia like the one shown here on a daily walk. Image: Wikipedia, Deisy Mendoza. Family Exploration Remember, your students are curious about the natural world around them. A simple walk to school...

Sounds Like Halloween

Family "Listening" Fun What does Halloween sound like? Ask your kids, and they'll probably come up with a rapid list of eerie sounds they associate with Halloween. You can explore principles of the Movie Music science project with students...


Trick-or-Treat Science

Image: Wikimedia Commons. Halloween is next week, and you may have your mind on the treats you hope to rack up going door to door in your neighborhood, candy bag open. While Halloween's entourage of ghouls, goblins, and zombies...


The Science of Too Sour

Tang, an orange-flavored, powered drink developed by William Mitchell was popularized on board NASA's Mercury flight in 1962. Experimenting with powdered drinks and levels of "sour" can offer kitchen science fun for the whole family! Image: Wikimedia Commons. Born...


New Biotechnology Areas: Medical Biotechnology and Biotechnology Techniques

To support the overwhelming growth of biotechnology, we are separating the "Biotechnology" area of our Project Ideas library into two areas: Medical Biotechnology and Biotechnology Techniques.


Form and Function: A LEGO Camera

Legotron camera, by photographer Cary Norton. Image used with permission, courtesy of Cary Norton. Photographers with an engineering streak are always looking for creative ways get an image from an unexpected source. Sometimes invention starts with a big (and...


New Summer Science Fellows Videos

Our Summer Science Fellows recently turned the camera on themselves and had a great time shooting videos related to two of our Project Ideas. Here's a recap from Maddy: "In July, the six Science Buddies Summer Fellows met and...


Philo Farnsworth: The Student Who Invented TV

Farnsworth invented the TV and landed on a U.S. postal in stamp in 1983. In later years, Farnsworth's widow, Pem, reportedly explained Farnsworth's relationship to the history of TV this way: ''You take Farnsworth's patents out of your TV...

Slingshot Science: The Physics in Angry Birds

It's hard to believe that a year ago I wasn't yet wise to the squawking, oinking, glass-shattering, wood-breaking, and highly addictive cacophony of Angry Birds. Slingshot a little bird through the air to knock down a structure that seems...


Rowing in Icy Waters: An Extreme Challenge

--> Screenshot from the Row to the Pole website for Day Thirteen of their multi-week row to the magnetic North Pole. The "Day Thirteen" update on the Row to the Pole website reads: "The crew fight against turbulence during...


Inspired by Neil Armstrong

Born on August 5, 1930: Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon. The story of Neil Armstrong's historic Apollo 11 mission captivates and inspires many young moon watchers. With the right science projects, they can turn their...


An Herbicide Goes Awry

Eastern White Pines are among the types of conifers included in recent reports of widespread tree loss that may be linked to the commercial herbicide IImprelis. Image: Wikipedia. Sometimes, becoming more environmentally-friendly is a one-step-forwards, two-steps-backwards process, a reality...


The Artful Side of Bacteria

The art itself occupied two large, fully-enclosed, wall-mounted Winogradsky Panels, each filled with bacteria-laden mud that had taken on impressionistic shapes in a spectrum of colors, including reds, greens, and golds. From afar, you see a piece of "art"—not millions of bacterial organisms. In reality, this display is a version of a Winogradsky Column, an experiment which enables students to observe and investigate the growth of a microbial community and the influence of oxygen and light.


Women's World Cup and Soccer Science

Photo: Screenshot from FIFA headline coverage of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup outcome. The U.S. Women's Soccer Team didn't win in the finals of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup on Sunday against Japan, but for women's "football"...


"Standing Up" for Your Health

The choice between standing and sitting might be as important as choosing to eat better or exercise more. --> (Image originally excerpted from the larger infographic series created by -->Medical Billing And Coding. Update 1/2/14: Image source no longer available...


The "Bloom" of Successful Inquiry

Mikaela May, student at Crowley High School, Crowley Texas, with her award winning project. Mikaela May's world is one of full of flowers... real flowers at the floral shop where she works. As an agriscience student and dedicated Future...


A Student Puts a "T" on Turbidity

How's the water? SODIS water disinfection uses PET bottles and the power of the sun over time. Image Source: SODIS Eawag, Wikipedia) The answer depends on a number of variables, including where you are, especially if you are considering taking...

From the Field: Nora Volkow

Yesterday, the New York Times ran an in-depth profile of Nora Volkow, the neuroscientist in charge of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In the accompanying video, Volkow talks about the psychology and physiology behind addiction. According to Volkow, the...


Building Bridges

Born on June 13, 1806: John Augustus Roebling, an engineer especially known for suspension-style bridges and the design of the Brooklyn Bridge. From straws to balsa wood to egg shells, students can get hands-on this summer exploring and testing...


Blow: From Marshmallows to Microbes

The parts of a woodwind instrument, like the clarinet reed and mouthpiece shown above, could turn the band into a bacterial hotspot! Photo: James Eaton-Lee Njan Wikipedia. At Maker Faire a few weeks ago, I wandered with my kids...

Pass the Chocolate

Can you turn a craving for chocolate into a reason for science exploration? You bet! As "The Sweet Science of Chocolate" video from KQED QUEST shows, there is a lot of science that goes into the production of chocolate. It...

Zombie Preparedness

Zombies. Are you ready? You can get your own "zombie preparedness" badge on the CDC website. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a guide on how to prepare for a zombie attack. That's right, the government...


Visual Illusions: When What You See Is... Not What's There?

Exploring the science behind what we see and what we think we see. It's not always the same thing! When you watch the animation above, focus on the white dot in the center. As the surrounding dots begin to spin,...


Hard-Boiled Science

Hard-boiling and dyeing eggs offers a number of avenues for families to explore both food science and chemistry. Forgoing boxed dye tablets, the eggs shown above were dyed using natural ingredients like turmeric and beets. Photo: Whiteley Creek, used...

Earth Day: Staff Picks!

As I wrote my blog essay in celebration of Earth Day, I found myself in unexpectedly bug-laden territory, without a compost bin, wind turbine, or reusable food container in sight. But Earth Day is about all of those things. It's...


Earth Day: Turn Over a New Log

"Beetle collection at the Melbourne Museum, Australia," Wikipedia In celebration of Earth day, take a colorful entomological look at biodiversity by browsing Pheromone: The Insect Artwork of Christopher Marley. When it comes to things that creep, crawl, or fly,...


Celebrate the History of Space Flight

Screenshot from First Orbit (the movie), created by FirstOrbit.org. Today marks the 50 year anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's 108-minute, first human in space, orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961. It's a big day in the history of...


Second Grader Puts Squanto's Advice to the Test

McCray, a 2nd grader at Piney Grove Elementary in North Carolina, won 2nd place with his "which fertilizer works best" science project! Science Buddies knows that students are often most successful doing science projects that tie in with an interest...


Birds on the Move

Cedar Waxwing. Source: Wikipedia. Field Scientists Putting Today's Science in the Hands of Students Recent additions to the Science Buddies library of Project Ideas utilize animal movement data from Movebank.org. Among the field scientists who worked on developing these...

Did You Do One of These Science Projects?

Students who completed one of the projects listed can enter our iTunes gift card giveaway.


Programming a Logo

With over 40,000 versions, MIT Media Lab's new logo is computer-driven design. Students can begin creating and exploring their own image-oriented applications--and algorithms--using MIT's Scratch programming environment.


Watch Science Mom on Mom's Homeroom

Courtney Corda, AKA "Science Mom," appeared in a video segment (Episode 6) of Mom's Homeroom this week with a roundup of great tips for parents whose students are doing science projects or preparing for the school science fair. Walking a...


A "Science Mom" Thumbs-Up Science Detectives Series

[Editorial Note: Amy, whose blog entry appears below, is one of several "Science Moms" at Science Buddies!] Image source: screenshot from video trailer of The Case of the Terrible T. rex. We love our math and our science and our...

Natalie Portman: A Winning Combination

As a straight-A high school student, Natalie Portman (a.k.a. Queen Amidala) was a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search, a prestigious, and highly competitive, national science competition.


Sorting Things Out with Paper Chromatography

What is chromatography? It is simply a technique used to separate a mixture into its different component parts, based on the chemical properties of each component. Various types of chromatography are used in many areas of science.


pH Concerns for Hungarian Farmers

Almost six months later, scientists are still trying to assess the damage, both long-term and immediate, caused by the red mud, which contains both toxic metals and radioactive elements. Recent studies suggest that an immediate challenge for farmers will be dealing with soil that might be considered super alkaline.


Plants on the Move?

Your plants may appear to be still, but they are actually constantly in motion! Their movements are just very slow, and it can be easy to overlook what might amount to very small changes and adjustments in angle or direction....


What is... Watson?

What would you have made Watson "look like"? Check out IBM's video coverage of what was involved in giving Watson both a "face" and a "voice" for the Jeopardy! Competition. "I'll take "Artificial Intelligence" for $1000, please." Jeopardy! fans...


The "Shock" of Static Electricity

Static electricity can make your hair stand on end. Source: Chris Darling, Wikpedia Ahhh.... winter. Snowpeople. Snowy days home from school. Hats, mittens, and scarves. Hot chocolate. And static electricity. Zap! That's right, it's during the winter months that...


Desks Piled High, and Lizards for Lunch

There are 70,000 species of plants—flowering ones—that haven't even been tackled by scientists, but that we know exist and, as the article suggests, half of them are probably sitting on a desk somewhere or in a jar or maybe even pressed between the pages of an old dictionary.


Fun with Flying Monkeys

In my house, if it can be launched through the air, it probably will be. I'm constantly listening for the sound of a crash because once it's discovered that "x" can be propelled through the air, it will be...


Gifts to Give the Grownups--That You can Put to Good "Scientific" Use!

Earlier this week, we posted a list of cool science-y things you might add to your own wish list... things that would be fun to explore and might win holiday brownie points with Mom and Dad for sheer educational value....


Scientifically Speaking: A Holiday Wish List

If you're making lists and checking them twice this holiday season, make sure you put on your science cap as you think through what you really want! Well, that would be our suggestion. There may be many things on your...

DNA-Based Crime Prevention

Depending on where you live, you may find that even local corner stores have sections that are kept under lock and key. Over-the-counter drugs and even toys often end up under "please ask for assistance" supervision. It can be frustrating...

Bitter is Better for Bronchial Tubes

Do you wrinkle up your nose at the taste of something bitter? That's partly what your taste buds do—help warn your body against something that is bitter and could be poisonous. While your tongue may or may not like the...

Cholera Season

Smallpox, typhoid fever, bubonic plague, cholera... These may be health problems you know best from history class—or even from novels in your literature class. In a world in which super-bugs lurk on the medical fringe and new viruses like H1N1...

Trapped Below Ground: The Importance of Circadian Rhythm

Nuts and Bolts: The study of Circadian Rhythms is called chronobiology. It's not about bugs! "Cicadas" are the insects that come back periodically—every 13 or 17 years in the case of some species. But the bugs (often called locusts)...


Making Radio Contact with the Space Station

If you consider FM-radio a bit old-school compared to your portable MP3 stash, it may be time to think again—with a look to the sky. Not only is it possible to see the International Space Station with the naked eye,...

A Vinegar-Based Effort to Save the Danube

Red Sludge: What is It? According to The Associated Press coverage of the Hungarian spill, "red sludge is a byproduct of the refining of bauxite into alumina, the basic material for manufacturing aluminum. Treated sludge is often stored in...

Nobel: Palladium as a Catalyst

Key Terms: Synthesis: forming or building a more complex substance or compound from elements or simpler compounds. Palladium: a chemical element with the chemical symbol Pd Catalyst: a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without being affected...

Nobel: The Wonders of Graphene

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics went to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, a team of researchers from the University of Manchester. Using ordinary tape, Geim and Novoselov managed to extract a flake of graphene from a piece of graphite...

Nobel: In Vitro Fertilization

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded yesterday to Robert G. Edwards, a pioneer in in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy. Edwards' research and conviction that infertility could be treated, dates back to the 1950s. After years of...

New Exoplanet Discovered

This week, a team of astronomers at the Keck Observatory announced the discovery of Gliese 581g, a planet orbiting Gliese 581, a red dwarf star twenty light years away (and part of the constellation Libra). Gliese 581g is one of...

Turning the Titanic

Over fifteen hundred people died when the "unsinkable" Titantic sank in 1912, just days into the passenger steamship's first trip from Southampton, England to New York City. Collision with an iceberg undisputedly caused the tragedy, but recent news has raised...


A Sweet Sequence: The Cocoa Genome

The preliminary release of the cocoa genome sequence was announced last week, three years ahead of expectations. The sequence is called the Theobroma cacao Matina 1-6 genome sequence (referred to as Matina 1-6) and contains approximately 92% of the...


Carbon Dioxide Output You Can See

Respirometer made from a water bottle and used in "The Effect of Exercise: Changes in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Output" project. [Editor's Note: Madeline Sides, 2010 Intel ISEF participant, has been testing project ideas this summer from the Science Buddies...


Burning Calories: Cashews on Fire

My favorite project this week was Burning Calories: How Much Energy is Stored in Different Types of Food? The basic goal of this project from the Cooking & Food Science interest area is to build a homemade calorimeter to determine the energy (measured in calories) found in foods like cashews, marshmallows, crackers, and even dog food.


Science on the Move: One if By Land, Two if By Sea

Paper airplanes are popular for all ages, and in my house we're continually at work testing new models or trying to memorize the steps of favorite, tried-and-true designs like the Nakamura Lock. Moving outside, however, opens up aerodynamic and...


Soccer Ball Science

The "Adidas Jabulani" is the official match ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Image source: Wikipedia, RoyFocker 12. A World Cup Debate Away on vacation last week, I was admittedly only vaguely aware that the World Cup was...


Campground Science

Glittering stars overhead. The sounds of crickets and frogs. The flash of lightning bugs. The lack of cell phone signals. Ahhh... The great outdoors. Whether you like to rough it with a tent or prefer the comforts of cabin camping,...

Symantec and Science Buddies Special Award in Computer Science

Last week, Science Buddies joined with Symantec, a sponsor of the 2010 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), to evaluate projects in the area of Computer Science and to name winners of the 2010 Symantec Science Buddies Special Award in Computer Science.

Taste Bud Savvy?

The under-ten crowd in my house uses strawberry toothpaste. I can't stand the smell of it, and I can't imagine not having minty-fresh breath. But they can't imagine using anything with even a hint of mint in it. Both of...

Science Mom's Radio Appearance

If you missed Science Mom on the radio Saturday morning, you missed a great talk about science, parenting, and the ways in which science impacts every aspect of our lives! See a list of projects and listen to the show online!


Science Mom on the Radio

Courtney Corda, our very own Science Mom, will be live Saturday morning (May 8, 8:30 AM PDT) on the KGO radio Joanie Greggains show. A former PE teacher, Joanie Greggains is a special advisor to the California Governor's Council on...

Pop! Goes the Canister

There's more to baking soda and vinegar than just volcanoes in the sand! One day last summer I opened the gate that shields the preschool from the eyes of the surrounding neighborhood and caught sight of a film canister being...

Scientist's Pick: A Biotechnology Laboratory...on Your Kitchen Counter!

It turns out you can make a simple version of an electrophoresis chamber on your own kitchen counter using just a few household items like batteries, a plastic soap dish, some stainless steel wire, and baking soda.


Oil Spill and Wildlife

A massive oil spill off of the Gulf of Mexico has had environmentalists watching the winds in hopes that the oil wouldn't wash ashore. The oil spill threatens the habitats and health of many coastal species.

Morning Music

I was on my way to the car one morning last week, and as I rounded the car to open the door, I noticed the repetitive trill of a bird. It was loud, persistent, and close. Stopping to listen, I...

Earth Day: Polar Caps

As you observe Earth Day 2010 today, it's the perfect time to talk with students of all ages about conservation, recycling, and the importance of being good caretakers for the Earth. The following newly released Science Buddies science project can...

Ash Air

Eruptions this week of a volcano that sits beneath a glacier in Iceland forced the evacuation of local residents who were in the path of the meltwater run-off from the glacier as surface melting occurred in response to the energy and temperature underground.

Dim Light; Bright Science

In the Sliding Light: How to Make a Dimmer Switch project, Johnson found a good match for his interest in circuits and electronics--and a novel use for a #2 lead pencil!

Methane: Handle with Care

An explosion yesterday in the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia is responsible for at least 25 deaths. The cause of the explosion is as yet undetermined, but there is speculation that methane gas built up in a section of the mine that had been sealed off.

Scientist's Pick: Minty-Fresh Chemistry

Staff Scientist Dave opened a Science Buddies meeting with a small can of breath spray, a gas grill igniter, a film-canister, a homemade wooden apparatus to "hold" the canister in place, and the question: "Is it okay if I set this off in here?" Read why this project is one of his favorites.


Kite Science

It's certainly easier to sit back and enjoy the kite masters on the beach than to fly your own, but if you've got ideas about design, structural engineering, or aerodynamics, a kite offers instant gratification and a high-flying step up from what you can test with a paper airplane!


"Sunny" Photograms

The rain and fog may be just around the corner, but a sunny afternoon is a great time to explore the colorful composition of light, the filtering properties of various colors, and a light-activated chemical reaction--all while making cool photographic prints without the use of a camera.


Fun with Seek and Find

What makes one seek-and-find harder than the next? You probably can make some educated guesses about what's going on and how seek-and-finds can be configured for a variety of age ranges and difficulty levels. Scientifically speaking, much of the "challenge factor" can be boiled down to the degree of interference presented in the picture or photograph.

The "Tilt" of Time

An earthquake can alter the tilt of the Earth to such a degree that the length of time in a "day" changes. The change is very small—we are talking seconds broken into millions—so small that our timekeeping methods of hours and days isn't effected.

Lip Balm Science

Have you ever noticed how many kinds and brands and flavors of lip balm appear in the cosmetics department at your favorite store? Why are there so many variations? Which one do you like most? Why do you like it?...


Scientist's Pick: No Pain, Lots of Game

Note: This month's "Scientist's Pick" is from Science Buddies' staff scientist, Kristin Strong. Kristin presented this project to the Science Buddies' team in February. It's got an icy, winter theme! ~ Science Buddies' Editorial Staff Project: No Pain, Lots of...

Science Mom Uncovers Science in Gelatin Dessert

"Science Mom" Courtney Corda appeared live on View from the Bay today to demonstrate the way enzymes and proteins interact when you mix various fruits with gelatin. For Courtney, the kitchen is the perfect place for parents to get hands-on...

Familial Fingerprints

There are two birthdays coming up in my house, two boys who thought it would be funny to wrap their births (quite symmetrically) right around Valentine's Day so that the middle of February will always be a conglomeration of treats...

Wringing Ringtones

Like most of us, I would be lost without my cell phone. It's not that I talk on the phone all the time. It's not even that I spend endless time sending texts. Cell phones have just become a seemingly...

Going for the Gold: The Science of Winter Sports

The 2010 Winter Olympics will be held in Vancouver February 12-28. With a list of sporting events that includes Alpine Skiing, Bobsleigh, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Ice Hockey, Luge, Skeleton, Ski Jumping, Snowboard, and Speed Skating, you know the...

Scientist's Pick: Smart Slime

Note: This month's "Scientist's Pick" is from Science Buddies' staff scientist, David Whyte. David presented this project to the Science Buddies' team last fall. It's very cool! ~ Science Buddies' Editorial Staff Project: Smarter Than Your Average Slime: Maze-solving by...

A Better Cup of Tea

While I do cook my pasta the amount of time noted on the box (which may or may not be necessary), I'm one of the laziest sorts of tea drinkers. I drink dozens of cups of tea a day, and...

Pasta Efficiency

Is pasta on the menu? If you are considering spaghetti and sauce, you may find yourself staring at the pot...waiting for the water to boil. It's best to bring the water to a boil first, right? And it's best to...

The Golden State Star Party - III

The Golden State Star Party - III Photo: Kenneth Hess, 2009. Specs: Stack of 17 images, 85 minutes total exposure time on a Nikon D3. The telescope was an Astro-Physics 155mm f7 StarFire EDF Triplet Apochromatic Refractor. [View full-size image.]...

Tracking the Sun

A new science fair project idea on the Science Buddies website caught my eye today because the apparatus shown in the photograph looks like a most amazing piece of sculptural scrap art. In fact, the "Helio Tracker" shown in...

In the Wake of Shake

While smaller US earthquakes made recent news, like the 6.5 magnitude shake in Northern California that was felt up into central Oregon, the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti yesterday, has brought earthquakes into the foreground of national...

A Healthy New Year

In a blink, the hustle and bustle of December holidays has passed, and the close of the year and the start of the new year is upon us. Do you have "goals" for the New Year? Are you hoping to...

Double Cookie Duty

Image by Geraldine, via Wikipedia Commons Earlier this month I looked through the Science Buddies' library of Project Ideas for cooking projects that seemed perfect for the holidays, for winter break, and even for snow days when young scientists...

Scientist's Pick: Worth a Smile

Note: This month's "Scientist's Pick" is from Science Buddies' lead staff scientist, Sandra Slutz. Did you miss last month's "Scientist's Pick" write-up? Do you speak Ollie? ~ Science Buddies' Editorial Staff Project: That's a Real Smile! ...or is it?...

The Holiday Kitchen: A Hands-On Lab

As post-Halloween sugar highs ebb and trick-or-treat stashes wane, the days of pre-packaged, ready-to-eat treats give way to the smells of freshly-baked bread, pies, cakes, gingerbreads, and a variety of other family favorites. Indeed, as the year winds down...

A Look at Zero-G

Shortly after finding out she was one of thirty teachers selected to participate in a Zero-G flight as part of the Weightless Flights of Discovery Program, sponsored by Northrop Grumman, Erin Moore, an eighth grade teacher at Lincoln Avenue School...

Leafy Science

Earlier this week, I talked about a paper chromatography project that offers a perfect opportunity for younger students to observe the pigmentation of Autumn leaves and then a make-your-own-markers project that can turn a pile of leaves into a set...

Fall Chromatography

Mashing a pile of fall leaves offers a colorful demonstration of "extraction" and sets the stage for paper-towel-based chromatography. One of the things that I often miss living in the Bay Area is the definitive visual change of seasons....

An Hour Here, an Hour There

Does it take you a bit of time to settle in once the time changes? Did you or members of your family wake up earlier the day after the time changed? Do you notice already the changes in available light...

The Golden State Star Party - II

Photo: Kenneth Hess, 2009. Specs: Stack of 17 images, 85 minutes total exposure time on a Nikon D3. The telescope was an Astro-Physics 155mm f7 StarFire EDF Triplet Apochromatic Refractor. [View full-size image.] I wrote earlier about my trek...

Trick-or-Treat Science

A Jack o' Lantern made for the Holywell Manor Halloween celebrations in 2003. Photograph by Toby Ord on 31 Oct 2003. Source: Wikmedia Commons Giant four-foot spiders climbing the sides of houses, carved pumpkins perched along stairwells of houses,...

Scientist's Pick: The Physics of an Ollie

Note: A core team of scientists at Science Buddies work on an ongoing basis on the development of science fair project ideas that are grounded in real-world science and current events and are engaging. Working to excite a wide range...

Everyday Tasks, Simple Machines, and Engineering Projects

In his second "Road to the Science Fair" blog entry, Chicago-based guest teacher-blogger Brian shared questions raised as he met with staff and colleagues to talk about their upcoming science fair. Brian was prepared with an impressive set of well-considered...

Earth Science Week: Climate

This week, we'll be looking skyward as we await the impact of the LCROSS satellite and hope for sight of the plume on the morning of October 9. But next week, our attentions will spiral back to Earth for...

Near-Space Photos on Shoestring Budget

"Earth" as photographed by Project Icarus' weather-balloon-toted camera at 93000 feet. (Photo used with permission. http://space.1337arts.com/) A recent CNN story highlights the spirit of ingenuity and determination that pushes the envelope of science and, in this case, the financial...

Cleaner Coasts

The 25th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day is this Saturday, September 19, 2009. Part of the California Coastal Commission's Adopt-a-Beach initiative, California Coastal Cleanup Day encourages volunteers of all ages to head to the beach to help protect the marine...

Courtney "Shakes" Things Up on TV

Courtney was live as resident "Science Mom" on ABC's "View from the Bay" last week. Tune in as she talks about science literacy, the basics of earthquakes, tectonic plates, P-waves, and the importance of putting real-world science into concrete...

The Pull of Ancient Egypt

Photo of Tuthankamen's burial mask. Source: Wikipedia Commons Without a doubt, King Tut, the boy who became a Pharoah at age nine, is one of the most familiar icons of Ancient Egypt. From a young age, students are regaled...

The Golden State Star Party

Photo: Kenneth Hess, 2009. Specs: Nikon D2x, 10.5mm f/2.8 fisheye lens, 60 second unguided exposure at ISO 1600. I recently spent a new moon weekend with 350 amateur astronomers camped in a field near Adin, California, one of the...

The Size of GFP

The Science Buddies library of science fair project ideas recently got a bit of glow and an unusual dose of "green" in the form of a new project that uses chromatography. The "green" in this case is "green florescent protein...

From Storyboard to Computer Design

For today's students, the leap from playing video games to programming video games isn't necessarily a big one. Even elementary school students who enjoy filling some down-time with a favorite game can begin exploring the logic and sequencing involved in...

Pop Goes the Mentos®

Did you see Aliens in the Attic? If so, you probably noticed that scientific concepts were skimming along the surface of the dialogue and underwriting the tactics the kids called upon as they matched wits with the quartet of aliens...

Finding Your Way

Which way does your house face? In which direction do you sleep? Your school is which direction from your house? Learning to read a pocket compass - a long-lost art? (Image: Wikipedia) If you don't know the answers, offhand,...

Singing On Key or Off Key

                Michael Jackson, 1984, Wikimedia Commons If you can remember the first time the Moon Walk was performed on stage (and I don't mean anything related to Neil Armstrong) and know the...

A Twist on Heart "Beat"

CNN Health reported last week on a woman who saved her husband's life by using the rhythm and pacing of the Bee Gees 1977 classic "Staying Alive" as a metronome for performing CPR. With no prior CPR training, she...

Science Buddies on Air

In her appearance on The View from the Bay, Science Buddies Vice President, Courtney Corda, talks about the value of making science an everyday subject and topic of family discussion. Courtney encourages parents to approach science first and foremost...

LCROSS: Crashing Craters

          Image of LCROSS separation from Centaur during lunar approach. Image created for NASA and the LCROSS mission by Northrop Grumman, sponsor of Science Buddies' Aerodynamics Interest Area. If everything goes as scheduled, the countdown...

47-Million-Year-Old Fossil

Last month, CNN and National Geographic reported on a 47-million-year-old fossil discovered in the Messel Pit in Germany, in 1983. The fossil, described as small-cat sized, was of something that has been pinpointed as a predecessor of humans and...


Up, Up, and Away!

Box office sales over the weekend will tell the story, but the hype around Disney/Pixar's newest release, UP (opens May 29), has been "floating around" for months. For movie-goers of all ages, there's a certain level of enchantment to...

The Science of Bridges

   May 27, 1937 marked the initial celebrations of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, a project that was started in January of 1933 and cost more than 35 million dollars. (Source: Wikipedia) A popular Magic School Bus...

Mockingbirds Recognize Humans

      Image source: Wikipedia Commons Driving to my son's preschool this week, I spotted a bird on a wire as it lifted up into the air, wings fluttering, and then settled back down. Seeing the white patches...

The Power of Forensics

Popular prime time TV like CSI (in all its variations) shows have imbued forensics labs with glamour and intrigue, but beyond the lights, camera, and action of the stories we see unfold on TV, the world of real-life forensics...

Gearing Up for Pedal Power

The month of May is national "Bike to Work" month, and this week the League of American Bicyclists is encouraging people to leave their cars parked and get on a bike for the morning commute to work or to school!...


A Closer Look at Saturn's Rings

The May 11 successful launch of the space shuttle Atlantis marks NASA's fifth repair trip to the Hubble Space Telescope. This trip is listed as Atlantis's final servicing trip for Hubble, and slated repairs and upgrades include installation of the...

Smart Hand Washing

It's no secret that good hand washing is important in stemming the flow of germs and reducing the transmission of viruses and bacteria. My preschooler knows that the first thing he's supposed to do when he gets to school is...

Renewable Energy

PG&E recently asked the state of California to approve plans to turn to space-based solar systems as a source of clean energy. With plans for the satellite which would relay the solar energy to be designed and completed by Solaren...

Swine Flu: BLASTing viruses

No matter what you open, turn on, or tune into, chances are you'll catch a headline about swine flu. The outbreak can be tracked at HealthMap or with their newly launched Twitter stream, which, according to Discovery News, was created...

DNA Day!

In celebration of the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, today is National DNA Day. The following Science Buddies project ideas offer an excellent point of entry for DNA discussions and an introduction of relevant concepts. Do-It-Yourself...

Earth Day Project Idea #5: Phantom Power

Appliances may be the largest objects in a house and the most visible signs of electricity consumption, but today's typical household uses a constant flow of electricity to power all the gadgets and conveniences that have become, for many of...

Earth Day Week Project Idea #4: Making Paper

How much paper do you throw out each week? Are you good about using both sides? Is your recycling bin overflowing? Despite the ways in which technology has changed traditional paperflow, paper is ubiquitous. We use paper day in...

Earth Day Project Idea #3: Biomass and Biogas

Happy Earth Day! I was surprised this morning to log into my iGoogle page and see that of the science sites I'm following, "Earth Day" wasn't in the headlines. At Twitter, I saw much more hubbub about Earth Day, in...

Earth Day Week Project Idea #2

The California Academy of Science's Living Roof is home to 1.7 million native plants specially chosen to flourish in Golden Gate Park's climate. The phrase "Going Green" takes on new relevance when you consider roofs that are also green gardens....

Earth Day is this Week!

April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Earth Day offers a perfect opportunity to talk with students and young scientists about environmental, ecological, and energy issues, conservation efforts, and what it means to think "green." The Science Buddies...

Building Science Understanding, Brick by Brick

It's not too late to enter the 2nd LEGO Builders of Tomorrow contest, sponsored by GeekDad. The deadline for submitting a photo of your family working together to build something from LEGO is April 30. The winning family will be...

Looking Up--Astronomy for K-5

A headline today from New Scientist asks what the sun will look like as a planetary nebula when it begins to die--in about 5 billion years. Questions that involve billions of years from now can be mind-boggling, but considering what...

Water-Based Electricity?

I don't know what was being talked about, but as I cleaned up in the kitchen, I heard a conversation with an 8-year old that resulted in questions about water and electricity and whether or not water can conduct electricity....

Science Fair Project: Biomass and Biogas

If you're ready to tackle something related to energy, power, and the environment but want to push the envelope a bit farther than the cool (but maybe not quite cutting-edge-enough-for-you and just a bit ubiquitous) Veggie-Powered Batteries, pull on your...

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