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Others Like “Minds of Their Own: A Chemical Reaction that Changes, then Changes Back!”

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The Briggs-Rauscher (BR) chemical reaction is often used in chemical demonstrations because of its dramatic color changes. When the chemicals are mixed together, the clear solution turns amber, then dark blue, and then fades to clear again. The cycle repeats 10 or more times. Although the chemistry is complicated, the reaction is easy to set up and run in your kitchen. The goal of this science project is to build a device that can capture the changes of the BR reaction for analysis on a… Read more
Chem_p098
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A course in chemistry is a prerequisite. Some familiarity with electronics would be helpful, but is not required. This is an advanced science project, so you will have to do a lot of independent, creative problem solving as you work through the steps of the procedure.
Material Availability You will need to purchase some items online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Always wear gloves and safety goggles when working with chemicals. The iodine solution formed in the procedure will stain skin and clothes, so should be handled carefully. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
The iodine clock reaction is a favorite demonstration reaction in chemistry classes. Two clear liquids are mixed, resulting in another clear liquid. After a few seconds, the solution suddenly turns dark blue. The reaction is called a clock reaction because the amount of time that elapses before the solution turns blue depends on the concentrations of the starting chemicals. In this chemistry science fair project, you will explore factors that affect the rate of the iodine clock reaction. Read more
Chem_p091
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be attending or already have taken an introductory chemistry class. This science fair project requires careful attention to detail and will involve some creative problem solving and independent research on your part.
Material Availability You will need to order a chemical kinetics kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Wear safety goggles when working with all chemicals. Hydrochloric acid is corrosive to hands and eyes. Wear splash goggles and gloves when handling acids.
Science Fair 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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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.
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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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 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
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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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.
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 This is a simple "kitchen chemistry" project about acid/base chemistry. Scientists measure the acidity or alkalinity of a solution using a logarithmic scale called the pH scale. In this project you'll learn about the pH scale, and you'll make your own pH indicator paper using a pH-sensitive dye that you'll extract from red cabbage. You can use your pH paper to measure the acidity/alkalinity of various household solutions. Read more
Chem_p041
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Lab filter paper can be purchased from the [# Link Name="PlantBio_p035.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision required. Do not mix strong acids and bases.
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.
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