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

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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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.
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
Project Idea
thumbnail Soap comes in many varieties and forms—from bars to bottles to boxes. The uses for soaps are just as expansive—from cleaning our hands, hair, and faces to a variety of household cleaning jobs, such as dishes or laundry. One thing all these different soaps have in common is their chemical origin; they were all made by mixing fat or oil with a strongly basic solution, such as lye. In this chemistry science project, you will carry out the chemical steps needed to transform coconut oil… Read more
Chem_p096
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This procedure should be done in a chemistry lab with adult supervision.
Material Availability Some specialty items are needed; see the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Minor injury is possible. This procedure requires use of sodium hydroxide solution. Sodium hydroxide can burn skin and eyes. See the Experimental Procedure for important cautionary notes. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that your body needs a certain amount of iron in order to stay healthy? Iron is an essential part of the hemoglobin complex in your blood, which carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. It is also involved in many other biochemical processes in your body. Iron can be found in much of what you consume each day. In this chemistry science fair project, you will use a simple test kit that produces an orange-colored chemical in the presence of iron in a solution. The kit… Read more
Chem_p089
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be enrolled in or already have taken an introductory chemistry class.
Material Availability You can order an iron test kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety The chemicals in the test kit could cause irritation if not handled properly. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves when working with chemicals. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
Lead is a very hazardous element. Even very small amounts can cause health problems, especially in babies and young children. One way to determine if a household item, such as a toy or a piece of jewelry, contains lead is to soak the item in a solution, and then test the solution for lead that might have leached out of the item. The goal of this chemistry science fair project is to determine how varying the pH of the test solution affects its ability to dissolve lead, which is a critical step… Read more
Chem_p080
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some chemistry knowledge will be helpful.
Material Availability Specialty items: You will need a lead test kit, which can be ordered online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required. The chemicals used in this science fair project are potentially hazardous. The test solutions contain lead and should not come into contact with skin or any part of your body. It also contains chemicals that produce a strong "rotten egg" smell, so the procedure should be carried out in a well-ventilated area.
Project Idea
thumbnail 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.
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
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order copper test kits online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh-baked muffins for breakfast on a Saturday morning! If you're into baking, you might want to try this project, which will give you insight into some of the chemistry that's going on in your muffin batter. You'll get some practical knowledge about substituting ingredients. Who knows, it may even get you started on the path to some new culinary inventions! Read more
FoodSci_p008
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Previous experience with baking is helpful, but not absolutely necessary.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible: hot oven.
Project Idea
Here's a practical engineering challenge: you need to build an enclosure for your dogs, using material that they can't chew through. It's going to be a lot of work to build, so you want to do it right. What material should you choose for the fencing? This project uses the scientific method to evaluate materials. Read more
MatlSci_p018
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever experienced heartburn after eating a large, greasy meal? Or have you heard of someone complaining about heartburn pains? It's very common; over 60 million people in the U.S. have heartburn at least once every month. Heartburn pain usually results from stomach acids escaping from the stomach and irritating the esophagus above it. Luckily, there are medical drugs, called antacids, which can help relieve heartburn pain. But how do antacids work, and how effective are they? In this… Read more
BioMed_p010
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Wear safety goggles and gloves and have an adult help you when handling and working with the artificial stomach acid solution. Hydrochloric acid is corrosive to hands and eyes.
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