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Others Like “What Makes Candies So Colorful? Investigate How Gel Electrophoresis Unlocks the Color Code!”

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Science Fair Project Idea
When biologists want to separate different pieces of DNA, RNA, or proteins they use a technique called gel electrophoresis. In this science project you'll build a gel electrophoresis chamber and use it to discover how many components are in different colors of food coloring dye. Read more
BioChem_p028
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Have your parents ever found you munching on candy and asked you, "How much candy did you eat?" Instead of saying, "I do not know?" and getting in trouble, maybe you would rather say, "I ate precisely 10.7 cubic centimeters of candy, Mom." Make your parents proud of their candy-eating genius child (you) with this simple science project. Read more
Math_p022
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
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 wondered how your clothes get their color? Dyeing textiles is a very complicated process and involves a lot of chemistry. Not only are the properties of the dye and fabric important, but the dyeing conditions also have to be exactly right to get optimal color adsorption. Curious about how it works? In this science project, you will color wool with Kool-Aid® and explore the chemistry of dyeing. Read more
Chem_p106
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Knowledge of basic chemistry is helpful as well as a good understanding of mathematical operations such as algebra and simple linear regression.
Material Availability This project requires special electronic parts. A kit is available at the . Estimated time required includes time for shipping the kit. For data analysis, a spreadsheet program, such as Google SheetsTM or Microsoft® Excel®, is helpful.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety This project requires working with boiling water. Make sure to take precautions to prevent burns from the hot liquid.
Science Fair Project Idea
Quick, what is your favorite color of M&Ms® candy? Do you want to know what dyes were used to make that color? Check out this science project to find out how you can do some scientific detective work to find out for yourself. Read more
FoodSci_p006
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability For your convenience a kit is available from the .
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair 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 approval.
Science Fair Project Idea
What do sand, Skittles, and cereal have in common? They are all granular materials, which means they are made up of solid particles, but they can actually flow like liquid! Imagine pouring the sand out of a bucket or pouring the cereal out of a box— a lot like pouring water, right? In this physics science project, you will investigate how the size of granular materials affect how they flow. Read more
Phys_p091
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult assistance is needed with cutting cardboard. If you use material that you plan on eating later, like cereal or candy, be sure to wash your funnel with soap and water before you start the experiment.
Science Fair Project Idea
Do you like reading detective stories or watching crime shows on television? This advanced project idea in the area of forensic science might be right for you. Read more
BioChem_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites High School Biology
Material Availability This project requires you to order specialty items and have access to some laboratory equipment, see the Materials & Equipment section for more details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Do you read the list of ingredients in foods and drinks before you buy them at the grocery store? If you do, you may have noticed that many of the items, especially colored drinks, contain dyes with names such as FD&C Blue 1, Red 40, or Yellow 5. But how much dye is needed to create all these colors? In this chemistry science project, you will build a simple spectrophotometer that is able to measure the concentration of colored chemicals in solutions. You will test your device by measuring… Read more
Chem_p075
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Some knowledge of basic chemistry, as well as familiarity with electronics, would be helpful, but is not required.
Material Availability For your convenience a kit is available for this project from the . Time required includes shipping for the kit. For data analysis, a spreadsheet program, such as Google SheetsTM or Microsoft® Excel® is helpful.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever wondered how your cell phone or laptop keeps running once you unplug it? Sure, it is the battery that makes your portable electronics work, but how exactly does a battery do that, and from where does the electricity come? Generally, in a battery chemical energy is converted into electrical energy. In fact, many different types of batteries exist that are all based on a different set of chemical reactions. In this science project, you will explore a special battery variant called… Read more
Chem_p107
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some knowledge of basic chemistry and familiarity with the concept of electrochemistry would be helpful.
Material Availability This science project requires specialty electronics items. A structure is available. Estimated time required includes time for shipping the kit.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Hydrogen peroxide can irritate the skin and eyes. When working with this chemical, make sure to wear eye and skin protection in case of any splashes or spills. In case of chemical contact, rinse skin or eyes immediately with plenty of water.
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