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Science Fair Project Idea
Bacteria are powerful little creatures. They can dispose of contaminants, make us sick and did you know they can even generate electricity? In devices, called microbial fuel cells (MFC) they can extract electrons from their food sources such as organic materials and feed them into an electrical circuit to generate power. This way they can even turn plain soil into a source of energy! Does it matter though what kind of food the bacteria "eat"? Find out how bacteria grow in a microbial fuel cell… Read more
MicroBio_p032
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a multimeter and familiarity with the physics of electricity is helpful, but not required. A basic knowledge of how to work with bacteria is also recommended to complete this science fair project. Consult the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicrobiologyTechniquesampTroubleshooting" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Microbiology Techniques and Troubleshooting" #] guide for information on how to conduct microbiology experiments.
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 or power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. Use sterile technique when growing the bacteria. Read the before starting any experiments. may be necessary. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever noticed how magnets appear to have no effect on each other when they are far apart? Then, when you slowly move them closer together, you will start to feel a gentle pull until they suddenly snap together? How exactly does the strength of a magnet change with distance, and how would you measure it if you wanted to find out? In this project you will build a circuit that can measure the strength of a magnetic field and see how the field strength changes with distance. Read more
Elec_p030
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with using a solderless breadboard, or willingness to learn
Material Availability For your convenience a kit is available for this project from the . Time required includes shipping for the kit.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot. Double-check all of your wiring before you connect the 9 V battery.
Science Fair Project Idea
If you want to get your friend's attention at a crowded sporting event with lots of people cheering, you need to shout. If you're trying to do the same thing in a quiet library, a whisper works. The detection limit for each of our senses depends on the amount of "background" stimulation that is already present. This project uses an LED control circuit to investigate detection of changes in light levels. Read more
Elec_p039
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding of Ohm's Law and an understanding of logarithms. Note: the biggest expense is a powered, solderless breadboard, which can be used for future explorations in electronics.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Don't you hate it if you want to pour yourself a cup of milk and all you get is milk clumps? What happened to the milk is called coagulation, which is the mechanism that occurs when proteins in the milk clump together. Without coagulation, or curdling, there wouldn't be any cheese or yogurt which is why it is a very important process in the food industry. But what makes milk curdle? In this science project you will use pineapple juice to curdle milk and measure the coagulation process over time… Read more
BioChem_p032
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A familiarity with basic chemistry and experience with simple electronics would be helpful, but is not absolutely required.
Material Availability For your convenience a kit is available for this project from the . Time required includes shipping for the kit. For data analysis, a spreadsheet program, such as Google SheetsTM or Microsoft® Excel® is helpful.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Science Fair Project Idea
LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are electronic components that convert a portion of the electrical energy flowing through them into light. How does the intensity of the light produced vary with the current flowing through the LED? To find out, you'll build some simple circuits to vary the current flowing an LED. You'll also build a simple light-to-voltage converter circuit to measure LED output. Read more
Elec_p037
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding of Ohm's Law.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
What can you do with a bucket of soil? You could use it to grow some beautiful plants and vegetables—or you could use it to produce electricity! Surprised about that? You actually can power electric devices with just mud! Are you curious about how this works? You need some little helpers in the soil—bacteria—that are able to turn their food sources within the soil into electricity in a device called a microbial fuel cell. But is this possible with any soil and does the soil… Read more
Energy_p042
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a multimeter and being familiar with the physics of electricity 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 or power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air.
Science Fair Project Idea
Sometimes engineers get ideas to build robots from animals in nature. There are robot dogs, robot snakes, robot birds, robot cheetahs, and even tiny robotic insects! In this science project, you will build a robot insect of your own. The robot will automatically drive toward a light source, mimicking a behavior called phototaxis, seen in some insects. You will build your own robot and then make adjustments so it can reliably drive toward a light. Read more
Robotics_p012
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites none
Material Availability A kit containing all the electronics parts needed for this project can be found in the .
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
In the animal kingdom, many different critters use whiskers to help them find their way around in the dark, through murky waters, or even to help them hunt prey. Whiskers can be very useful when the animals cannot rely on sight. Did you know that you can also build a robot that uses "whiskers" to find its way around? This project will show you how to build a simple robot that uses whiskers as "bump sensors" to help the robot detect when it is about to bump into an obstacle, so it can turn… Read more
Robotics_p028
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You will need to know how to use a breadboard to do this project. See the Science Buddies reference [# ProjectGuide Name="Breadboard.Tutorial" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] if you have not used a breadboard before.
Material Availability A kit is available from the .
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Be careful to avoid short circuits when building your robot. See the Procedure for more information.
Science Fair Project Idea
Imagine telling your friends about your latest science project: using a battery to make a light turn on. You might get some blank stares...sounds a little boring and basic, right? Now tell them you will do it with a potato! Yes, you can actually turn fruits and vegetables into electric power sources! Batteries power many things around you, including cell phones, wireless video game controllers, and smoke detectors. In this science project, you will learn about the basics of battery science and… Read more
Energy_p010
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires specialty electronics items. A Science Buddies kit is available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Estimated time required includes time for shipping the kit.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Do not eat the potatoes after they have been used as batteries.
Science Fair Project Idea
Every day, we produce a lot of sewage (wastewater full of feces and urine). In fact, it adds up to 6.4 trillion liters of urine alone produced worldwide each year! The sewage is collected and then treated or disposed of. But what if, along the way, there were a way to make that sewage do something useful? Human urine is rich in nutrients, and some bacteria actually thrive on eating those nutrients. There are also devices called microbial fuel cells that can generate electrical power by using… Read more
EnvSci_p061
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a multimeter and being familiar with the physics of electricity 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 or power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when they come in contact with electronics. Wear gloves when working with human urine. Adult supervision is recommended.
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