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Others Like “Crime Scene Chemistry—The Cool Blue Light of Luminol”

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Science Fair Project Idea
Objects that glow in the dark hold a special place in the imagination of both children and adults. The lights go out at night, but these odd things refuse to disappear. Where does the light come from? Do they work in any climate? In this science fair project, you will make a very simple electronic device to measure the light given off by luminescent materials. The device will be used to study how temperature affects luminescence. Read more
Chem_p072
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Familiarity with basic chemistry and electronics would be helpful, but is not required.
Material Availability For your convenience a kit for this project is available 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)
Safety Use caution when using the drill or knife. Wear safety goggles when using the drill.
Science Fair Project Idea
When you burn a piece of wood, you start with wood and oxygen, and end up with ashes, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. At no time during the reaction does wood reappear, even momentarily, from the ashes. Most chemical reactions are like this; they move in one direction, from reactants (starting chemicals) to products. In this chemistry science project, you will experiment with a rare and exotic reaction that oscillates. The reaction products appear and disappear for a number of cycles. Because… Read more
Chem_p097
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A class in chemistry would be helpful, but is not required.
Material Availability You will need to order the Oscillating Chemical Reaction Kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Minor injury is possible. Be sure to wear safety goggles.
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.
Science Fair Project Idea
Police detectives use various scientific tools to analyze evidence at a crime scene. One of the classic tools is the Kastle-Meyer test for the presence of blood. This test is inexpensive, easy to perform, and provides quick results. The test provides evidence if red spots found at a crime scene are actually blood. But the investigator needs to be careful, since other substances can also give a positive result. In this crime scene chemistry science project, you will learn how to perform the… Read more
BioChem_p037
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order the "Presumptive Blood Test" kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be sure to wear safety goggles and disposable gloves when working with the substances and blood kit.
Science Fair Project Idea
Picture this situation: An elderly woman is rushed to the hospital complaining of severe abdominal pain, tinnitus, and lethargy. Suspecting a drug interaction, the emergency room doctor starts questioning her. The doctor learns that the woman takes no medicines except aspirin for her arthritis. Since she cannot swallow pills well she takes a powdered form of aspirin which she buys in bulk and keeps in a plastic container in her kitchen next to her baking goods. She had just finished a day of… Read more
Chem_p093
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability A kit containing specialty items is needed for this science project. See the Materials tab for more details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Wear disposable gloves when working with chemicals.
Science Fair Project Idea
This is a cool way to learn more about your camera, and how to take better pictures. Read more
Photo_p001
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Must have a camera
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
The Briggs-Rauscher (BR) chemical reaction is often used in chemical demonstrations because of its dramatic color changes. When the chemicals are mixed together, the clear solution turns amber, then dark blue, and then fades to clear again. The cycle repeats 10 or more times. Although the chemistry is complicated, the reaction is easy to set up and run in your kitchen. The goal of this science project is to build a device that can capture the changes of the BR reaction for analysis on a… Read more
Chem_p098
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A course in chemistry is a prerequisite. Some familiarity with electronics would be helpful, but is not required. This is an advanced science project, so you will have to do a lot of independent, creative problem solving as you work through the steps of the procedure.
Material Availability You will need to purchase some items online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Always wear gloves and safety goggles when working with chemicals. The iodine solution formed in the procedure will stain skin and clothes, so should be handled carefully. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
You have probably heard the saying that "water and electricity don't mix." Well, in this chemistry science fair project you will mix them, to create two solutions, one basic and one acidic. The apparatus is very simple, but the chemistry is complex and offers many avenues for exploration. Read more
Chem_p087
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should know what the pH scale is, and what current and voltage measure in a circuit.
Material Availability A pH meter is required for this project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury is possible. Be careful not to short out the battery, as it may get very hot.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have an extra sense? What if you could hear above the normal range (ultrasound) like dogs or bats? What if you could see ultraviolet light, like bees or juvenile trout? What if you could see infrared light, like a rattlesnake or boa constrictor? This project shows you how you can use a camera, tripod and a special filter to take pictures using near infrared illumination. It's a whole new way of looking at the world. Read more
Photo_p004
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You'll need a camera with near infrared sensitivity (see Experimental Procedure)
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Pennies are bright and shiny when they are new, but become quite dull with time. What causes such a drastic change? Oxygen in the air combines with the copper in the penny to form copper oxide, which makes the penny look dull and dingy. You can make the pennies look like new again by soaking them in water that is corrosive enough to strip off the copper oxide layer. It turns out, however, that the same process that makes the pennies shiny has bad consequences when it comes to copper pipes: it… Read more
Chem_p090
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A copper test kit and other specialty supplies needed for this project are available through the .
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended.
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