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Environmental Science Project Ideas

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Many people are surprised to learn that the season's we experience—winter, spring, summer and fall—have nothing to do with the distance of Earth from the Sun. In this science fair project, you will investigate how the temperature on Earth actually depends on the tilt of Earth's axis of rotation. Read more
EnvSci_p051
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need a couple of specialty items: a globe of Earth and a heat lamp. Light from the sun can be used if a heat lamp is not available.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury is possible, so be careful when using the heat lamp.
Science Fair Project Idea
The conversion of forested to unforested areas has been occurring since humans began to impact and change their environments during the agricultural revolution. Recently deforestation has become a global problem, particularly for developing industrial countries and countries with very large populations. You can use satellite mapping resources to investigate the connection between urbanization, population growth and deforestation. You can also investigate the connection between deforestation… Read more
EnvSci_p033
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen a product labeled "biodegradable" or "compostable" and wondered just how well it decomposes? A lot of different products claim to be biodegradable or compostable, such as food containers, bags, packaging materials, and spoons and forks. Not only do they clearly come in different shapes and sizes, but they are made of different materials as well. Do they decompose differently, and, if so, which decomposes the fastest? In this science project, you will make your own indoor… Read more
EnvSci_p058
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use caution when using the drill and the scissors. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Some people worry that modern electronic devices can give off harmful electromagnetic radiation, called EMF. Test your computer, radio, cell phone, computer, TV, or microwave for electromagnetic radiation. You can also try growing a sensitive organism, like flies, yeast or worms, to see if a potential source of electromagnetic radiation has an effect on them. Is it a myth, or will your cell phone fry your brain? Read more
EnvSci_p026
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
There is strong interest in "going green," including using products that cause less environmental damage when they are disposed of. In this environmental sciences project, you will compare the toxicity of "green" and conventional liquid detergents using worms as test organisms. Read more
EnvSci_p053
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You will need to be flexible and creative in carrying out the procedure. You should be prepared to adjust the procedure, as needed, to ensure that the results are due to the detergents being tested and not variations in the worms' conditions.
Material Availability Worms can be purchased at fishing bait stores.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
How much water do you use? Conserving water can do more than save your parents' money, it can also save freshwater ecosystems, wetlands, and watersheds. Some companies are trying to help fix the problem by making low flow faucets and showerheads. How well do they work? How much water can you save? Go to the hardware store to buy a few of the water saving products. Compare the amount of water that you run over a period of time to determine how much water you can save. Which water saving… Read more
EnvSci_p021
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Do your parents like to garden? Then you might have a beautiful lawn surrounded by flowers, or a vegetable garden. Humans have been introducing plants to our landscapes for centuries, which has dramatically altered the natural habitat of many environments. Chances are, the landscape you live in is not a natural landscape. One movement is to restore these habitats by re-introducing native plants. Conduct a survey in your area looking for native and non-native plant species. You can take… Read more
EnvSci_p030
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Science Fair Project Idea
The ozone layer is important for blocking most of the harmful radiation that comes from the sun. You can find maps of the ozone layer and compare different regions of the globe for ozone coverage. Where are the problem areas? Is there a difference in ozone coverage between different hemispheres? Between populated and un-populated areas? In atmospheric regions over land masses or over bodies of water? Some scientists think that aerosols in the air are breaking down the ozone layer. You can do… Read more
Weather_p014
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Many people routinely use fertilizer for crops, gardens, and lawns. What people don't know is that each time they apply fertilizer, the fertilizer seeps through the soil into the water table. This can eventually lead to the contamination of a local water source, like a stream, pond, lake, bay, or ocean. This is an especially big problem for agricultural practices that frequently use large amounts of fertilizer on fields that are connected by irrigation channels. The run-off of fertilizer… Read more
EnvSci_p025
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail One way to test for the presence of toxic compounds in a water sample is a bioassay. In a bioassay, a living organism serves as a detector for toxins—the same way canaries were used in coal mines to detect invisible toxic gases. In this project, water fleas (Daphnia magna), a freshwater crustacean, are used in a bioassay to monitor water quality. Many variations of this experiment are possible. Read more
EnvSci_p043
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision required when collecting sediment samples from parking lot.
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