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

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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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
thumbnail 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 build an electronic device that measures 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 A familiarity with basic chemistry is required. Also, some experience with electronics would be helpful. Although the circuit is fairly straightforward, especially if you use the kit, this is a DIY ("do-it-yourself") project that will call for some creative problem solving on your part.
Material Availability Any phosphorescent material will work for this project. If you want to use super-bright phosphorescent paints, they are available online. See the Materials & Equipment list for more information.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Use caution when using the drill or knife. Wear safety goggles when using the drill.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail 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
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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
thumbnail 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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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
thumbnail Have you ever noticed that the salt you are using says it is "iodized"? Iodine is an important micronutrient, which means we need it in small quantities to be healthy. Because iodine is rare in many people's normal diets, it is added to table salt. Then when people salt their food, they are also adding this important micronutrient. In this food science project, you will use some kitchen-friendly chemistry to investigate which types of salt have iodine added (in the form of iodide) and which do… Read more
FoodSci_p011
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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
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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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
thumbnail 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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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
The iodine clock reaction is a favorite demonstration reaction in chemistry classes. Two clear liquids are mixed, resulting in another clear liquid. After a few seconds, the solution suddenly turns dark blue. The reaction is called a clock reaction because the amount of time that elapses before the solution turns blue depends on the concentrations of the starting chemicals. In this chemistry science fair project, you will explore factors that affect the rate of the iodine clock reaction. Read more
Chem_p091
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be attending or already have taken an introductory chemistry class. This science fair project requires careful attention to detail and will involve some creative problem solving and independent research on your part.
Material Availability You will need to order a chemical kinetics kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Wear safety goggles when working with all chemicals. Hydrochloric acid is corrosive to hands and eyes. Wear splash goggles and gloves when handling acids.
Science Fair Project Idea
Pennies are bright and shiny when they're 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 an acidic solution, like vinegar. Vinegar dissolves the copper oxide, making the pennies look like new. It turns out, however, that the same process that makes the pennies shiny has bad consequences… Read more
Chem_p090
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order a copper test kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended.
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