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Science Fair Project Idea
There are three different kinds of polymers used for kitchen plastic wrap: low density polyethylene (LDPE) (e.g., Handiwrap or Glad Wrap), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) (e.g., Reynolds PVC Foodservice Wrap or Boardwalk PVC Food Wrap Film) and polyvinylidene chloride (PVdC) (e.g., Saran Wrap, which is almost 90% polyvinylidene chloride). Which of these materials is least permeable to oxygen? When you slice an apple, the surface of the slice turns brown as the apple is oxidized. Can plastic wrap… Read more
Chem_p033
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Material Availability Some types of plastic wraps may need to be specially ordered. Various PVC wraps are available through [# Link Name="Chem_p033.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Science Fair Project Idea
Some plastics undergo an unusual transition, from a hard, glassy state to a soft, rubbery state, with increased temperature. For this project, you should do background research on the effects of temperature on different types of plastics. Make sure that you understand the difference between thermosetting and thermoplastic polymers. You should also look for information on the glass transition temperature (Tg) for different plastics. Pure polyvinyl acetate has a Tg of 28 C (about… Read more
Chem_p034
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Safety Adult supervision required for experiments using boiling water.
Science Fair Project Idea
Disposable diapers contain a polymer, called sodium acrylate, which is useful for absorbing water. Do background research to learn about sodium acrylate, and how it reacts with water. Make sure that you understand the terms hydrophilic, polarity and hydrogen bonding. Cut out the middle, padded section of a disposable diaper. Cut this into equally-sized square pieces, approximately 10-12 cm on a side. Remove some of the stuffing material so that you can staple the open ends closed. … Read more
Chem_p035
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Plastics are made of polymers, chemical structures containing many repeated subunits. How does the polymer type of a plastic affect the biodegradability of the plastic? Do research on how plastic is made and what types of polymers are used for making different plastics. Can you learn to make your own plastic? What materials can you use for making plastic that is biodegradable? Test biodegradability by burying plastic samples for different lengths of time. (Kadar, 2004) Reducing solid waste… Read more
MatlSci_p034
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail How can seawater from the oceans be turned into fresh water that is suitable for people to drink? Through a process called solar desalination! In this science project, you will make a solar desalination apparatus using readily available materials, and a power source that is free. How much water can the device produce, and is it still salty at all? What factors affect how effectively saltwater is turned into fresh water? Read more
EnvEng_p022
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Some specialty items needed, see Materials list for details. For your convenience a Science Buddies Kit is available for purchase.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety A hand drill is needed for some steps. Adult assistance is needed for the steps involving a hand drill. All items in the Science Buddies Kit come pre-drilled, eliminating this safety issue.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This project shows you how to build a simple model system to simulate underground water flow. Underground water flow is important for understanding replenishment of underground aquifers, migration of underground contaminant plumes, and cave formation. With your model system, you can simulate various underground conditions, and test your predictions about the effects they have on water flow. Read more
Geo_p014
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Did you know that you can make a simple hygrometer (a device for measuring the relative humidity of the air) with hair? This type of hygrometer is easy to build (for instructions, see: ). Does the type of hair used in the hygrometer affect the accuracy of the results? Do some types of hair respond faster than others? Do some types of hair give a larger (or smaller) response? You could get hair samples from classmates, or a local beauty shop. Use hair samples of equal length to construct… Read more
MatlSci_p035
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This physics project seems like it should have an easy answer. Instead, it turns out to be a great illustration of why it is important to base scientific conclusions on the outcome of controlled experiments. Things don't always turn out as we expect! Read more
Phys_p032
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Careful attention to the details of your experimental method are required for this project.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision recommended for heating water and handling hot water.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever thought about being stranded on a desert island? How would you find water to drink? What would you need to survive? In this science fair project you'll discover how to turn the ocean into a source of freshwater by using the power of the Sun. Read more
EnvEng_p027
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision required when boiling, stirring, and pouring hot water, or when using a microwave oven or knife. Students who are allergic to red dyes should use beets for coloring.
Science Fair Project Idea
The rebound rating is the ratio of the height the ball bounces to, divided by the height the ball was dropped from. Use the rebound rating to measure the bounciness of new tennis balls vs. balls that have been used for 10, 20, 50, and 100 games. Another idea to explore: does it matter what type of court the ball is used on? (See: Goodstein, 1999, 63-64.) Read more
Sports_p039
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
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