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Science Fair Project Idea
Some sequences of RNA can catalyze biochemical reactions, much like protein enzymes. These catalytic RNA sequences are called ribozymes. The function of a ribozyme depends upon the primary sequence of the RNA which folds into a 3-D structure. How do different ribozyme sequences fold? You can search for ribozyme sequences using Entrez BLAST (NCBI, 2006). Then you can use a program like MFOLD () to submit your sequence for an analysis of its predicted 3-D structures based upon thermodynamics… Read more
BioChem_p023
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Advanced biology course, or willingness to read up on such topics extensively.
Material Availability A computer with Internet access is necessary for this project.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Here is a challenging problem for anyone with an interest in geometry. This project requires background research to solve it, but it is an excellent illustration of visual thinking in mathematics. Figure 1 below shows a series of circles (iC₁, iC₂, iC₃, ..., iC₃₀), inscribed inside an arbelos. What is an arbelos? The arbelos is the white region in the figure, bounded by three semicircles. The diameters of the three semicircles are all on the same line segment, AC,… Read more
Math_p011
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Good grasp of Euclidean geometry, a firm understanding of how to construct a mathematical proof, determination
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
The DNA in our cells contains our "blueprints," but it's the proteins in our cells that do most of the work. The Human Genome Project has allowed us to start reading the blueprints, but we still don't understand what most of the proteins do. This is a fairly advanced project that explores ways of identifying the function of unknown proteins. Read more
Genom_p002
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites High School Biology, excellent computer skills
Material Availability None required
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The human kidney is the most commonly transplanted organ in the United States, numbering more than 17,000 transplants in 2010 alone! But kidney transplantation technology faces a lot of challenges, including a shortage of kidney donors and the need for recipients to take immunosuppressant drugs to keep their bodies from rejecting a transplanted kidney. In this science project, with the help of bioinformatics databases, you will explore how a kidney could be bioengineered using stem cells,… Read more
BioMed_p013
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites An advanced biology course or equivalent understanding of how cells respond to environmental stimmuli and signaling pathways.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When is an animal considered endangered? When will it become extinct? What happens when a population has reached the limits of its resources? What happens to a population when a habitat changes? These are some of the questions population biologists try to answer. They use population models, created from math equations, to predict what will happen to a population over time. If you want to see how modeling is done and make some predictions of your own, you certainly won't need a crystal… Read more
EnvSci_p049
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Only arithmetic is needed to make the model; however, some exposure to simple programming will make this science fair project easier, and exposure to the Euler number, e, will make the model more understandable.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You have probably had X-rays taken at the dentist's or doctor's office, but do you know how the X-ray images are made? Images made using X-rays, also called radiographs, are considered to be relatively safe to take, even though they are made using a small amount of radiation, specifically electromagnetic radiation. Radiation is energy that travels through space as either waves or high speed particles. Watch this video to learn more about electromagnetic radiation. Watch… Read more
HumBio_p034
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of radiation and making pictures using film.
Material Availability See How to Build an X-ray Machine for a detailed list of materials that will need to be ordered.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety See Introduction to Radiation and Radiation Safety for safety information.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When you have your X-rays taken at the dentist's or doctor's office, do you ever wonder how the X-ray machine works? Or better yet, how you could make one yourself to use for experiments? This how-to guide provides detailed instructions for high school students and adult do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts to construct and use a homemade X-ray machine safely. Read more
Phys_p083
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A basic understanding of radiation and radiation safety is necessary before starting this science project.
Material Availability Many of the items for this science project, including the x-ray tube, need to be specially ordered. See the Materials & Equipment section for more details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety A good understanding of radiation safety, proper radiation shielding materials, and supervision by an adult are required for this science project. The X-ray machine must be operated in a properly shielded place away from passersby. The X-ray machine requires a high voltage power supply; the output from the voltage supply can be deadly if mishandled.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Native plants are important for both ecological and medicinal reasons. However, most native plants are not very well studied. One way to know more about these plants is to understand which other species of plants they are most closely related to. In this science project you will sequence part of the chloroplast genome from a native plant and use this information to determine its evolutionary relationship to other species of plants. If the plant you chose has not been sequenced before, you can… Read more
Genom_p012
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites High school biology class; familiarity with using the PCR machine and gel electrophoresis equipment, and/or using the equipment with a mentor.
Material Availability You will need specialized pieces of equipment, including a PCR machine (thermocycler) and a gel electrophoresis apparatus. If your school does not have this equipment you might want to seek out a mentor at a junior college, university, or biotechnology company. If you have the resources you can do the DNA sequencing yourself, otherwise you can send the samples to Dr. Baysdorfer at California State University, East Bay, see Experimental Procedure for more details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety This project uses ethidium bromide, which is a carcinogen. Always wear gloves and safety goggles when handling. Dispose of the ethidium bromide according to your school or institute's hazardous waste protocols. If you have concerns, ask your teacher or mentor for advice.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever played a video game and gotten so involved that you felt as if you were living inside the game? What were the characteristics of the game that made you feel part of the action? One component of an absorbing video game is an onscreen world that makes sense—a world that takes physics into account. A game in which the player feels the effect of trudging through mud, slipping on ice, or catapulting a bird is more fun than one with no environmental interaction. In this… Read more
Games_p031
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You should be comfortable programming in C++ language, familiar with the GameMaker software package, and able to program in GameMaker Language (GML). You should completely review and understand all the GameMaker tutorials and examples listed in the Science Buddies GameMaker User Guide and in the Tutorials section of YoYo Games Wiki.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail We encounter an amazing array of colors every day, from the greens of plants and the many colors of their flowers, to the pinkish blue of a sunset, to the artificial coloring in beverages. How do we perceive all of these colors? When light hits an object, some of that light is absorbed by the object, and the light that is not absorbed is what we see. In this science project, you will build a simple spectrophotometer from a cell phone and use it to investigate how visible light is absorbed by… Read more
Chem_p100
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to special-order some items. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. A cell phone with a functional camera is required. A computer that can run Windows® software is required.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
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