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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 Oil spills devastate wildlife and our precious water resources. In this science project, you'll test the absorptivity of different materials (sorbents) to discover which ones are best at removing oil from water. Read more
EnvEng_p025
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Wear eye protection and gloves when preparing coconut husks. Adult supervision required when cutting sorbents with scissors or cracking coconuts with hammers.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Everything on our planet is connected together, linked by a giant recycling system called the biogeochemical cycle. It is an amazing process. You can actually investigate how our planet recycles and reuses everything needed to support life by making a small model of the biosphere. What will be important to include in your miniature system so that it can support different types of life? Read more
Geo_p038
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need access to a muddy stream, lake, pond, or march in order to collect mud.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Always wash your hands with warm water and soap after handling soil that may contain microorganisms. Use caution if you use a knife. Adult assistance may be needed.
Science Fair Project Idea
Do you ever wonder how markers are made? Where do all of those colors come from? Many of the colorful dyes we use come from plant pigments. Pigments are what make the world around us so colorful. How do chemists turn those natural plant pigments into art supplies? In this science project, become a chemist and make your own marker out of a drinking straw and homemade plant dye! Read more
Chem_p014
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites none
Material Availability Filter paper can be purchased from the [# Link Name="PlantBio_p035.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Requires adult supervision
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail 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 that are blue in color have the same dye, called FD&C blue 1. In this chemistry science fair project, you will build a simple colorimeter, a device that measures the concentration of colored chemicals in solutions. You will use the colorimeter to measure the concentration of blue dye #1 in sports drinks, and to track the rate at which the… Read more
Chem_p075
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Basic knowledge of chemistry. Some familiarity with electronics would be helpful, but is not required.
Material Availability Specialty item: Cuvettes can be purchased online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Working with bleach is hazardous. Protect your skin and eyes.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Soap comes in many varieties and forms—from bars to bottles to boxes. The uses for soaps are just as expansive—from cleaning our hands, hair, and faces to a variety of household cleaning jobs, such as dishes or laundry. One thing all these different soaps have in common is their chemical origin; they were all made by mixing fat or oil with a strongly basic solution, such as lye. In this chemistry science project, you will carry out the chemical steps needed to transform coconut oil… Read more
Chem_p096
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This procedure should be done in a chemistry lab with adult supervision.
Material Availability Some specialty items are needed; see the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Minor injury is possible. This procedure requires use of sodium hydroxide solution. Sodium hydroxide can burn skin and eyes. See the Experimental Procedure for important cautionary notes. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever thought about how fortunate you are to have safe and clean water coming out of your faucet? Many people in undeveloped nations don't have this luxury. But does that mean they can't have clean water at all? Is there an inexpensive way they could use to make their own clean water? In this microbiology science fair project, you will investigate whether or not sunlight can disinfect contaminated water. Read more
MicroBio_p025
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You should have access to a local stream or creek.
Material Availability Specialty items are required. You will need to purchase tryptic soy agar plates, droppers, and glass rods for streaking. See the Materials and Equipment section, below, for more details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety This science fair project deals with potentially dangerous pathogens. Wear gloves when conducting the experiment. Read and follow the instructions in the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #]. Do not drink any of the water that results from the SODIS process. See the Experimental Procedure for more information. You should always exercise caution when obtaining a water sample from a creek or a stream.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever heard that nanoparticles can kill bacteria? You may have even seen some consumer products advertise that they contain antibacterial nanoparticles. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter long. Nanoparticles are usually just a few nanometers in diameter — really, really tiny! So how can something that small kill bacteria which are approximately 700 - 1400 nanometers across? Are they really effective? In this science project you will grow some E. coli bacteria and… Read more
MicroBio_p031
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures. If you have questions or need a refresher plese consult the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicrobiologyTechniquesampTroubleshooting" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] guide
Material Availability Some materials need to be special ordered; see the Materials and Equipment list for details
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety You must follow general safety precautions for handling microorganisms. See the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] for details.
Science Fair Project Idea
Plants need nitrogen to build proteins and nucleic acids to grow healthy stems and leaves. Though the Earth's atmosphere is made up of 79% nitrogen, the form of nitrogen found in the atmosphere cannot be used by plants. In this experiment, you will compare plants grown without nitrogen fertilizer to plants grown with nitrogen fertilizer. Read more
PlantBio_p012
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision recommended during preparation of nitrogen fertilizer solution
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Milkweed bugs, as their name suggests, have a close relationship with the milkweed plant. The plant produces an irritating, milky sap, and toxic compounds, but somehow the milkweed bug is unaffected by them. Instead, it concentrates chemicals from the sap in its body, acquiring an unsavory taste that, along with its bright coloration, protects it from predators. Given this close relationship, will the milkweed bug exhibit a color preference for egg-laying sites? This project is designed to find… Read more
Zoo_p027
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
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