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Project Idea
thumbnail Every day, we produce a lot of sewage (wastewater full of feces and urine). In fact, it adds up to 6.4 trillion liters of urine alone produced worldwide each year! The sewage is collected and then treated or disposed of. But what if, along the way, there were a way to make that sewage do something useful? It turns out that human urine is rich in nutrients, and some bacteria actually thrive on eating those nutrients. There are also devices called microbial fuel cells that can generate electrical… Read more
EnvSci_p061
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a voltmeter/multimeter is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell needs to be special ordered from [# Link Name="Elec_p071.7" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be sure to wear the gloves supplied with the kit when handling the microbial fuel cell's electrodes (its cathode and anode). The electrodes are made of a conductive material called graphite fiber and should not be placed near electronics or power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when they come in contact with electronics. Use caution when handling human urine. Wear gloves when working with human urine. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you enjoy eating smoothies packed full of berries and other tasty fruits? Or maybe you like drinking a creamy milkshake with peanut butter, chocolate, and bananas. Often, smoothies and milkshakes are tasty to us because of the sugar in them. But did you know there are different kinds of sugar? Some ingredients in a smoothie can have more than one kind of sugar in them, and our bodies process each kind of sugar differently. In this science project, you will measure the concentration of… Read more
FoodSci_p073
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The invertase and lactase for this science project need to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that your body needs a certain amount of iron in order to stay healthy? Iron is an essential part of the hemoglobin complex in your blood, which carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. It is also involved in many other biochemical processes in your body. Iron can be found in much of what you consume each day. In this chemistry science fair project, you will use a simple test kit that produces an orange-colored chemical in the presence of iron in a solution. The kit… Read more
Chem_p089
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be enrolled in or already have taken an introductory chemistry class.
Material Availability You can order an iron test kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety The chemicals in the test kit could cause irritation if not handled properly. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves when working with chemicals. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
thumbnail Some chemical reactions occur explosively fast, others may occur almost imperceptibly s-l-o-w-l-y. This project explores what effect the particle size of the reactants has on the speed of a chemical reaction: production of carbon dioxide gas by an Alka-Seltzer® tablet. Read more
Chem_p028
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision recommended when working with hot water solutions
Project Idea
thumbnail Picture this situation: An elderly woman is rushed to the hospital complaining of severe abdominal pain, tinnitus, and lethargy. Suspecting a drug interaction, the emergency room doctor starts questioning her. The doctor learns that the woman takes no medicines except aspirin for her arthritis. Since she cannot swallow pills well she takes a powdered form of aspirin which she buys in bulk and keeps in a plastic container in her kitchen next to her baking goods. She had just finished a day of… Read more
Chem_p093
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability A kit containing specialty items is needed for this science project. See the Materials tab for more details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Wear safety goggles and gloves when working with chemicals.
Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine that you could make an important piece of laboratory equipment in your kitchen. With this science project idea, you can! You will create your own centrifuge out of a salad spinner and some putty. In science labs, centrifuges are used to separate different liquids and/or solids from each other. You can load your homemade centrifuge with samples and see how they separate. What do you think happens to melted butter in a centrifuge? Read more
BioChem_p040
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to purchase the centrifuge tubes online. See the Materials and Equipment section for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail In the first decade of the 21st century, scientists found ways to make one adult cell type turn into a completely different cell type. This has huge implications for the medical field, including being able to take some cells that a person could spare, such as skin cells or blood cells, and turn them into another cell type that might be much more important for that person to have, such as cells to make a new kidney. How are scientists able to accomplish this amazing feat of "reprogramming" the… Read more
BioMed_p009
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of how genes are turned into proteins.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Is it possible to manipulate bacteria to become protein production factories? Can diabetics control blood glucose with insulin produced by bacteria? How cool would it be to take advantage of these microorganism's sophisticated makeup, short doubling times and cheap growth media to mass produce medically and commercially useful proteins? All of these are possible with a few simple genetic manipulations. By the end of this project you would know the basic foundation on which many… Read more
BioChem_p013
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some laboratory experience required: knowledge of sterile technique, working with bacterial cultures, and using automatic pipets all helpful.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Requires adult supervision in a laboratory facility. For ISEF-affiliated fairs, this project will require [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ScientificReviewCommitteeSRC" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="SRC" #] approval.
Project Idea
thumbnail Alka-Seltzer® tablets fizz furiously when dropped into water. The moment the tablet starts dissolving, a chemical reaction occurs that releases carbon dioxide gas. Can you make Alka-Seltzer fizz faster or slower by changing the temperature of the water? How big of a difference in the rate of a chemical reaction can temperature make? Read more
Chem_p027
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision may be needed when working with hot water solutions.
Project Idea
Music boxes, bicycles, and clocks all have one thing in common: GEARS! You might say that gears make the world turn, since they are in so many mechanical instruments. How do they work and how do you know which gears to use? Find out in this simple experiment. Read more
ApMech_p016
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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