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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 water vapor? Or, in other words, which of these materials will best prevent evaporation? Do background research on… Read more
Chem_p032
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Material Availability Some types of plastic wraps may need to be specially ordered. Various PVC wraps are available through [# Link Name="Chem_p032.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
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
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
Have you ever wondered how fun toys like Silly Putty, Gak, and Slime are made? These products are so much fun because of the properties of polymers, which make them delightfully bouncy, stretchy, sticky, moldable, breakable, hard, soft, and just plain fun! In this science project you can be the developer of your own putty product by changing the ratio of ingredients to change the physical properties of your putty polymer. By describing the physical properties of your results, you can choose… Read more
Chem_p012
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision required. Borax is harmful if swallowed. On rare occasion handling borax can result in rashes.
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 "Slurp...plop!" Recognize that sound? You might if your family usually serves jellied cranberries for the holidays. Jellied cranberries are thick, like gelatin, and retain the shape of the mold in which it was placed, which might mean Aunt Sue's turkey mold or even the shape of the can if you buy one of the popular canned versions. Taking a bite of wiggly jellied cranberries can be a fun addition to a delicious meal, but cranberries can also be served as a sauce. Both versions use the same… Read more
FoodSci_p061
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult assistance is required to make the cranberry sauce on the stovetop. The process involves boiling cranberries, sugar, and water. This mixture is prone to splattering as the cranberries pop open. Use caution to avoid being burnt by splattering cranberry sauce.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This is a simple "kitchen chemistry" project about acid/base chemistry. Scientists measure the acidity or alkalinity of a solution using a logarithmic scale called the pH scale. In this project you'll learn about the pH scale, and you'll make your own pH indicator paper using a pH-sensitive dye that you'll extract from red cabbage. You can use your pH paper to measure the acidity/alkalinity of various household solutions. Read more
Chem_p041
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Lab filter paper can be purchased from the [# Link Name="PlantBio_p035.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision required. Do not mix strong acids and bases.
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
Brrrr, freezing cold! It's the worst nightmare of any fresh fruit or vegetable! If the produce in your kitchen had legs, they would run in a panic every time the freezer door opens. Why? Well, freezing temperatures are not kind to fresh produce. Freezing kills the plant tissues and alters them on both a chemical and physical level. Chemically, the enzymes in the produce become more concentrated and do not work normally, so that discoloration, off-flavors, vitamin breakdown, and toughness may… Read more
FoodSci_p035
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A specialty item to help view the structure of the vegetables is optional.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the stove and working around boiling water.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Physicists sometimes study matter under extreme conditions. For example, think of the emptiness of interstellar space vs. the unimaginable crush of pressure at the center of a neutron star, or an object dipped in liquid nitrogen vs. the tiles on the space shuttle during re-entry. Here's an experiment on permanent magnets in "extreme kitchen" conditions that you can try at home. Read more
Phys_p025
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision highly recommended. Use tongs to hold magnets immersed in boiling water, ice, and dry ice. Use proper caution when transfering magnets at extreme temperatures.
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