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Others Like “Crime Scene Chemistry: Determine the Identity of an Unknown Chemical Substance”

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Are oranges highest in vitamin C when they are fresh from the tree (or, in a pinch, the grocery shelf)? Does the amount of vitamin C in an orange change over time, after it has been picked? In this science project, you will find answers to these questions by measuring the amount of vitamin C in a solution using an iodine titration method. Read more
Chem_p043
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Ideally you would have your own citrus tree with ripe fruit for this science project. The second-best option is to use citrus fruit from a store.
Material Availability Titration equipment and supplies are needed. A kit is available at the Science Buddies Store. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision required. Concentrated iodine is poisonous if swallowed. Read and follow all safety guidelines in the Procedure. More information is available from the iodine [# Link Name="Chem_p044.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Materials Safety Data Sheet" #].
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Which type of orange juice has the most vitamin C? In this science project, you will learn how to measure the amount of vitamin C in a solution using an iodine titration method. You will compare the amount of vitamin C in three different types of orange juice: homemade, premium not-from-concentrate, and orange juice made from frozen concentrate. Which do you think will have the most vitamin C? Read more
Chem_p044
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability Titration equipment and supplies are needed. A kit is available from the [# Link Name="Chem_p044.7" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision required. Concentrated iodine is poisonous if swallowed. Read and follow all safety guidelines in the Procedure. More information is available from the iodine [# Link Name="Chem_p044.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Materials Safety Data Sheet" #].
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You may have seen police investigators on TV spraying a crime scene with a liquid that glows blue if there is any blood present. The chemical that glows in the liquid is called luminol. In this chemistry science fair project, you will investigate what factors make this interesting molecule "light up." Read more
Chem_p078
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order a special kit for this science fair project. You also need access to a digital camera and a tripod. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Wear latex gloves when handling the chemicals.
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 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
thumbnail There is evidence to be gathered at every crime scene. The hard part is making sense of it all. That's where crime scene investigators and forensic scientists come in. In this science fair project, you will investigate blood spatter using fake blood. Your job, as an impartial scientist, is to deliver facts so that justice can be served. Are you up to the challenge? Read more
Phys_p072
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Basic knowledge of trigonometry is required. For a refresher, check out the trigonometry reference listed in the Bibliography.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety This topic of inquiry can be a little scary. If you are at all squeamish, then do not attempt to research the topic or do this science fair project. Always have an adult with you when you are doing your research, especially if you are doing research online. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
Many essential chemical reactions and natural biochemical processes occur in liquid solutions, so understanding the chemical properties of liquid solutions is fundamentally important. This project asks the basic question, how much of a substance can dissolve in water, for three different substances: ordinary table salt, Epsom salts, and sugar. Read more
Chem_p050
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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
thumbnail There are many different types of vinegar that you can buy to use around the kitchen for cooking and pickling. The chemical compound that gives vinegar its tart taste and pungent smell is acetic acid. Do different vinegars have different amounts of acetic acid? How much variation is there between the different types? Find out for yourself with this science project. Read more
Chem_p045
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items. Note: this project requires the use of a sodium hydroxide solution, which is caustic. You will need to order this chemical through your school.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision required. Follow appropriate chemical safety procedures.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Chromatography is a method used to separate mixtures of compounds and to identify each compound in the mixture. You may have separated the different inks in a black marker by using a strip of paper and water. There are many different types of chromatography: paper, thin-layer, high-performance thin-layer, gas, and more. You will be using paper or thin-layer chromatography to analyze the compounds from different plants. Chromatography is used by analytical chemists, organic chemists, and many… Read more
Chem_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Filter paper can be purchased from the [# Link Name="PlantBio_p035.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Alcohol is flammable and toxic
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This project will teach you the basics of analytical chemistry, which is a must for students who want to go into chemistry or materials science. The molecules in objects we see all around us are constantly attracting each other. Different materials can be attracted or repelled depending upon their molecular structure. We can utilize the different attractive forces between substances to separate a mixture of compounds. Chromatography is a method to separate mixtures and identify each compound in… Read more
Chem_p009
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Filter paper can be purchased from the [# Link Name="PlantBio_p035.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Alcohol is flammable and toxic
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