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

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Science Fair Project Idea
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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- Less Details
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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- Less Details
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 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
Generating power from mud sounds like science fiction, but it is actually real science, and a promising source of alternative energy. Topsoil is packed with bacteria that generate electricity when placed in a microbial fuel cell. Because such bacteria-laden soil is found almost everywhere on Earth, microbial fuel cells can make clean, renewable electricity nearly anyplace around the globe. They are an up-and-coming technology that scientists and engineers are working on making even more… Read more
Elec_p071
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Having used a voltmeter/multimeter before is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell kit needs to be special ordered from the .
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be sure to wear the gloves supplied with the kit when handling the microbial fuel cell's electrodes (its cathode and anode). The electrodes are made of a conductive material called graphite fiber and should not be placed near electronics, power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when in contact with electronics.
Science Fair Project Idea
Big, puffy, cotton-like clouds, and the bubbles in a pot of boiling water may not seem like they have much in common, but they do—both are formed by a heat-transfer process called convection. Warmed gases and liquids rise, while cooler ones fall, creating currents and mixing things up. Whether making processed foods in a factory or making plastic or metal parts, knowing how to mix up a big tank of hot and cold liquids or gases quickly is important. Engineers must rely on experimentation… Read more
ApMech_p044
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended while pouring the boiling water.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever had a refreshing bath using a bath bomb? A bath bomb is several ingredients mixed and molded into a shape, which becomes fizzy when it touches the water. It can be quite a relaxing experience, especially if your bath bomb has a nice fragrance or includes some bath salts. The fizz is the result of a chemical reaction taking place between different ingredients within the bath bomb. In this science project, you will get to make your own homemade bath bombs and explore how changing… Read more
Chem_p105
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Ingredients for making bath bombs are required to do this science project. See the Materials section for details. Note that the time required for this science project includes shipping and handling time.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult assistance is required for using the oven.
Science Fair Project Idea
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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- Less Details
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
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
You might not know it, but a lake without algae would be a very dull place. If there were no algae, there would be no small animals feeding on the algae, and there wouldn't be any fish eating the small animals that eat the algae. You might conclude that since some algae is good, more algae is even better, but algae growth has a down side. If there is too much algae, they can deplete the oxygen in the water, killing off other species in the water. What is one culprit that leads to algal growth?… Read more
EnvSci_p054
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Material Availability You will need access to a pond or a lake from which to collect water. Students who do not have access to a pond or a lake might want to look at some of the variations, at the end of the project, which use purchased algae cultures.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
"Plastic made from milk" —that certainly sounds like something made-up. If you agree, you may be surprised to learn that in the early 20th century, milk was used to make many different plastic ornaments —including jewelry for Queen Mary of England! In this chemistry science project, you can figure out the best recipe to make your own milk plastic (usually called casein plastic) and use it to make beads, ornaments, or other items. Read more
Chem_p101
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety This science project uses hot liquids. Adult supervision and/or help is needed.
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