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

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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 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
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
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 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 [# 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
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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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you like reading detective stories or watching crime shows on TV? This advanced project idea in the area of forensic science might be right for you. Read more
BioChem_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites High School Biology
Material Availability This project requires you to order specialty items and have access to some laboratory equipment, see the Materials & Equipment section for more details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
Science Fair 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.
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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- 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
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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- Less Details
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.
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