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Plastics are made of polymers, chemical structures containing many repeated subunits. How does the polymer type of a plastic affect the biodegradability of the plastic? Do research on how plastic is made and what types of polymers are used for making different plastics. Can you learn to make your own plastic? What materials can you use for making plastic that is biodegradable? Test biodegradability by burying plastic samples for different lengths of time. (Kadar, 2004) Reducing solid waste…
If you like to bake, this might be an interesting project for you. When you're following a recipe, do you ever wonder why certain ingredients keep showing up time after time (e.g., baking powder in quick breads)? Do you notice that certain ingredients tend to occur in a particular ratio to one another (e.g., amount of shortening and sugar, or amount of shortening and flour, or number of eggs and amount of flour)? What happens if you use more or less of an ingredient than the recipe calls…
Make your own fertile soil using kitchen scraps, manure, leaves, grass clippings, and other compostable materials. Which materials make the best compost? How does the amount of nitrogen change the rate at which the compost forms? How does traditional composting compare to worm composting, or vermiculture? How does the temperature of the compost pile change?
You can compare the picture quality for photos taken at different shutter speeds with the camera handheld vs. with the camera on a tripod. (This is best done with a camera that has manual exposure control.)
Students who are mathematically inclined can use the student version of a program like MatLab or Mathematica to convert a digital image into numbers, then perform operations such as sharpening or special effects. This is a great way to learn about image processing algorithms.
You can find this page online at: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/search.shtml?v=solt&pi=CompSci_p031
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