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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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- 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.
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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- Less Details
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
The makers of sports drinks spend tens to hundreds of millions of dollars advertising their products each year. Among the benefits often featured in these ads are the beverages' high level of electrolytes, which your body loses as you sweat. In this science project, you will compare the amount of electrolytes in a sports drink with those in orange juice to find out which has more electrolytes to replenish the ones you lose as you work out or play sports. When you are finished, you might even… Read more
Chem_p053
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty electronics items are required. A kit is available from Science Buddies. See the Materials list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
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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- Less Details
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
Have you ever gone 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. While you do not necessarily want this in your milk, without coagulation (or curdling), there would not 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… 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
Your drinking water probably started out brown and muddy. Are you surprised? Maybe you were picturing it flowing from a clean mountain spring instead? All over the world, including in 68% of American homes, people get their drinking water from rivers, lakes, and other surface waters. This water is filled with dirt, debris, and other contaminants as it travels hundreds of miles. So, how does your drinking water go from brown and muddy to crystal clear? Often, flocculants—substances that… Read more
EnvEng_p039
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some basic knowledge in chemistry would be helpful, but is not necessary.
Material Availability This project requires special electronic parts. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. For data analysis, a spreadsheet program, such as Google SheetsTM or Microsoft® Excel®, is helpful.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
You probably know that turning off the lights and the water, and not wasting paper are all ways to help the environment and conserve our resources. Did you know that another way is to use fuel cells? A fuel cell is a device that converts the energy in chemicals to electricity and it creates no pollution. The starting chemical does not have to be something complex — in fact you it can even be water! In this science fair project try your own hand at converting water to electricity with the… Read more
Energy_p002
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items required. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety To do this science fair project, you will need to electrolyze water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is flammable, so keep the fuel cell and hydrogen storage tank away from sparks.
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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- Less Details
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
Do you read the list of ingredients in foods and drinks before you buy them at the grocery store? If you do, you may have noticed that many of the items, especially colored drinks, contain dyes with names such as FD&C Blue 1, Red 40, or Yellow 5. But how much dye is needed to create all these colors? In this chemistry science project, you will build a simple spectrophotometer that is able to measure the concentration of colored chemicals in solutions. You will test your device by measuring… Read more
Chem_p075
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Some knowledge of basic chemistry, as well as familiarity with electronics, would be helpful, but is not 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
"Gross! What is that in the toilet?" But maybe it's not just gross. Did you know there are bacteria that digest organic waste and create electrons? What if there was a way to collect those electrons to power a circuit? In this science fair project, you will make a microbial fuel cell to collect the electrons that the bacteria—anaerobic bacteria—create...only, you'll be using mud, which is much safer to handle than wastewater. If you would like to learn how to reuse and recycle an… Read more
Energy_p026
+ More Details
- 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 Specialty items required. See Materials and Equipment for more details. You also need to have access to a lower-order stream of water or a creek. See the Introduction for an explanation of this type of stream. Try to avoid streams in which the bed is rocky. The benthic mud sample should be from an area that has a thick, rich mud bed.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. Be careful when using a hot stove and a drill. Remember to always wear safety goggles when drilling. Exercise caution when working near a stream or creek. Water currents can be stronger than they look.
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