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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Everyone loves the beautiful colors of fall, but where do they come from and how does the change in colors happen? In this project, you will uncover the hidden colors of fall by separating plant pigments with paper chromatography. What colors will you see? Read more
PlantBio_p032
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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
thumbnail 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 A few specialty items are needed; see the Materials tab.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Are all reds the same? Find out in this science fair project! Investigate if the pigments in one type of red flower are different from those in another type of red flower. Flowers contain an assortment of amazing chemicals that produce color. In this plant biology science fair project, you will analyze the colored pigments in different plants' red flower petals using paper chromatography, and compare the pigments in the different flowers. Read more
PlantBio_p035
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Filter paper can be purchased from the [# Link Name="PlantBio_p035.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You will be working with isopropyl alcohol. Adult supervision is recommended
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever looked at sunlight through a prism? If so, you know that the prism can separate the sunlight into many different colors of light — a rainbow. Like sunlight, chemical mixtures can also be broken into their component parts. One way of doing this is a simple technique called paper chromatography. What do you think you will see if you use paper chromatography to look at the components of black ink? Is black ink just black? Find out for yourself! Read more
Chem_p008
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A few specialty items are needed see the Materials section.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No Issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Chromatography is a method used to separate mixtures of compounds and to identify each compound in the mixture. You may have separated the different inks in a black marker by using a strip of paper and water. There are many different types of chromatography: paper, thin-layer, high-performance thin-layer, gas, and more. You will be using paper or thin-layer chromatography to analyze the compounds from different plants. Chromatography is used by analytical chemists, organic chemists, and many… Read more
Chem_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Filter paper can be purchased from the [# Link Name="PlantBio_p035.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Alcohol is flammable and toxic
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine that you want to create your own brand of colored candies. You know they would be a success if only you could figure out how to make a certain color, such as purple. How can you do this when government regulators have approved just a few food dyes? First, you will need to find out how your competitors make all of their colors from these few dyes. Do different candy brands use the same or different dyes? This can be figured out with gel electrophoresis, a technique commonly used in… Read more
BioChem_p039
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires a Bio-Rad kit. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Use caution when heating the agarose. Never connect more than five 9-volt (V) batteries together for this project.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This project will teach you the basics of analytical chemistry, which is a must for students who want to go into chemistry or materials science. The molecules in objects we see all around us are constantly attracting each other. Different materials can be attracted or repelled depending upon their molecular structure. We can utilize the different attractive forces between substances to separate a mixture of compounds. Chromatography is a method to separate mixtures and identify each compound in… Read more
Chem_p009
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Filter paper can be purchased from the [# Link Name="PlantBio_p035.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Alcohol is flammable and toxic
Science Fair Project Idea
Chlorophyll is a natural pigment found in green plants. It is the primary pigment that absorbs light energy from the sun for photosynthesis. This energy is then used by the plant to synthesize glucose from carbon dioxide and water. Chlorophyll in the leaves of plants can be extracted and separated using chromatography. A good source of chlorophyll for an extraction is a dark green leafy vegetable like spinach. Rub a fresh spinach leaf on the bottom of a strip of filter paper. You can get a… Read more
PlantBio_p020
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The page on [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.PaperChromatographyResources" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] lists the best papers and solvents for chromatography. The paper needs to be specially ordered and is available from the [# Link Name="PlantBio_p035.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety The solvents, like acetone or alcohol, for paper chromatography should be used in well-ventilated areas. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Some molecules can be either left- or right-"handed." The left- and right-handed molecules have the same number and type of atoms, and their chemical structures look identical, but they are actually mirror images of each other. Many naturally occurring molecules have this property, called chirality. Chiral molecules can interact with polarized light in an interesting way—they rotate the plane of polarization. This chemistry science fair project describes how to make a homemade polarimeter… Read more
Chem_p073
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This is a "do-it-yourself" kind of science fair project. It may present challenges that will require some technical creativity. Some experience working with digital pictures and videos on a computer will be useful.
Material Availability To do this science fair project, you should already have the following materials and equipment: a laptop computer or other device with a flat-panel screen and a digital camera that takes short videos.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when working with glass panes, as they can cut if they are broken.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What color is grape soda? If you pour it into a clear glass you can easily see it is purple, but that is usually not its natural color. Manufacturers add red and blue dye to the soda. The dyes mix together and you get purple soda. What if you wanted to un-mix the dyes, could you? Yes! In a chemistry laboratory, using a technique called column chromatography, you could separate the two dyes again. But what about at home, can you use low-tech supplies to do the same thing? In this science… Read more
BioChem_p045
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Syringes (without needles) and Space Sand need to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution and follow all safety warnings when handling and using the 70% isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol is highly flammable. Do not swallow, and avoid any contact with eyes.
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