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Others Like “Cold Pack Chemistry: Where Does the Heat Go?”

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Along with its many other interesting properties, water has the ability to absorb a lot of heat energy, while only experiencing a relatively small change in temperature. One way this property affects us directly is that our bodies don't change temperature rapidly on hot or cold days, since we are made up of mostly water. In this chemistry-with-an-electronics-flair science fair project, you will determine how the temperature of a small volume of water changes as you add precise amounts of heat… Read more
Chem_p092
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites An introductory class in chemistry would be helpful. You should also be familiar with Ohm's law.
Material Availability You will need to order a calorimeter with a heating element online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
You're at the high school football game and it's getting pretty chilly as the sun goes down. You're determined to keep cheering for your team, but your hands are freezing—have you ever tried hand warmers? The chemistry within these little packets is pretty cool. Hand warmers provide a unique and fun way to study the chemistry of crystal formation and heat generation. By pressing a button in a pouch, which contains a supercooled solution, you start a rapid exothermic (heat-producing)… Read more
Chem_p085
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need a hand warmer with sodium acetate solution, available in most sporting goods stores. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision recommended when boiling the water.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever pulled a muscle or just been sore after a long day of work or exercise? Hot showers are great, but maybe you've used the more convenient heat packs. Heat packs, which you can buy at grocery or drug stores to soothe aching muscles, use exothermic reactions to produce a low level of heat that lasts for an extended period of time. Exothermic reactions change chemical energy into heat energy. In this chemistry science fair project, you will use heat packs to study the heat-generating… Read more
Chem_p054
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items are required. See the Materials & Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Use caution when working with the oxygen canister.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Alka-Seltzer® tablets fizz furiously when dropped into water. The moment the tablet starts dissolving, a chemical reaction occurs that releases carbon dioxide gas. Can you make Alka-Seltzer fizz faster or slower by changing the temperature of the water? How big of a difference in the rate of a chemical reaction can temperature make? Read more
Chem_p027
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision may be needed when working with hot water solutions.
Science Fair Project Idea
Can water remain liquid below its normal freezing point? If it does, that water is supercool(-ed). This project shows you a method for supercooling water. You can test water from different sources to see whether or not it can be supercooled. Read more
Phys_p033
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever made your own ice cream? If you have, you probably surrounded the ice cream container with ice and rock salt to get the mixture cold enough to freeze. But why does that work? How does adding salt (or other substances) affect the freezing point of water? Find out with this ice-cold science project. Read more
FoodSci_p013
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding the concepts of molecular weight and moles.
Material Availability Specialty items are needed. See the Materials tab for details
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered how nutritionists know how many Calories a certain food contains? In this project you'll learn a method for measuring how much chemical energy is available in different types of food. You will build your own calorimeter to capture the energy released by burning a small food item, like a nut or a piece of popcorn. This project gives a new meaning to the phrase "burning calories." Read more
FoodSci_p012
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of chemical reactions is helpful
Material Availability Specialty item: scale calibrated in grams
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Fire hazard: adult supervision required for burning food.
Science Fair Project Idea
The rates of some chemical reactions can actually be increased by adding light. Light sometimes interacts with one or more of the chemicals and provides an "energy boost" that dramatically speeds up a normally slow reaction. In this photochemistry science project, you will experiment with the effect of light on a chemical reaction. The reaction converts iodine, which forms a dark-orange solution, to iodide, which is colorless! Read more
Chem_p095
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites An introductory chemistry class.
Material Availability You will need basic lab equipment, which can be ordered online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Gloves and safety goggles are required. Oxalic acid is toxic and an irritant. Avoid breathing oxalic acid dust and avoid contact with skin. Ammonia is an irritant. Iodine is also an irritant and stains clothes and skin. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Enzymes speed up chemical reactions by factors of at least a million. Now that's acceleration! This project investigates how temperature affects how fast these enzymatic reactions occur. Read more
BioChem_p011
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Must have access to a stove, refrigerator, and a freezer.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use caution when handling the hydrogen peroxide, boiling water, stove, and blender. Adult supervision may be required for using the stove.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Earth, the Sun, wind, and water are all sources of renewable and sustainable energy—and sources you probably already know about. But did you know that you can get energy from such things as banana peels, coffee grounds, and newspaper? In a process called composting, you can transform kitchen and other solid wastes into a product that is beneficial for your garden: homemade fertilizer. As the waste decomposes, it also creates heat. Can this naturally created heat be put to use? In this… Read more
Energy_p035
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Making a compost pile can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks, depending on the method and bin you use. In this energy and power science fair project, you will spend a few days creating a compost pile. You will have to account for the time as you are planning your science fair project. You will also need to be home for several hours at a time on many specific days throughout this project. Read through the Experimental Procedure for more details.
Material Availability You (and friends, if possible) will have to start collecting potato peelings or grass clippings a few weeks in advance to accumulate enough, so keep this in mind when budgeting time for your science fair project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Wear safety goggles and use caution when working with all tools. Be sure to wear disposable gloves when handling animal waste and to clean all of the work surfaces thoroughly with a bleach solution. Read the Science Buddies Microorganism Safety Guide to learn how to experiment safely.
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