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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you have a favorite picture? When you have a photo that you treasure, you want it to look as good as possible. Find out how the resolution of a digital photo effects the way it looks when you print it out. How does the quality of the image relate to the resolution? Read more
Photo_p002
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites Computer skills
Material Availability Requires photo editing software, a digital photo, and a color printer.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Requires adult supervision
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wanted to analyze data from a NASA spacecraft? In this science project you will use data from NASA's MESSENGER mission to measure the diameter and calculate the depth of impact craters on Mercury. You will then analyze that data for relationships between a crater's depth and diameter. This is your chance to perform a science project as a NASA researcher would! Read more
Astro_p036
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites Geometry: familiarity using sine, cosine, and tangent to solve right triangles
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that the same digital photo you see on a computer monitor may not look as good in print? When it comes to color profiles, there are a lot of options: RGB, CMYK, grayscale and indexed color! How do you choose the right color profile for the job? Read more
Photo_p008
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty Item: Requires Adobe Photoshop or similar photo editing software
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Native plants are important for both ecological and medicinal reasons. However, most native plants are not very well studied. One way to know more about these plants is to understand which other species of plants they are most closely related to. In this science project you will sequence part of the chloroplast genome from a native plant and use this information to determine its evolutionary relationship to other species of plants. If the plant you chose has not been sequenced before, you can… Read more
Genom_p012
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites High school biology class; familiarity with using the PCR machine and gel electrophoresis equipment, and/or using the equipment with a mentor.
Material Availability You will need specialized pieces of equipment, including a PCR machine (thermocycler) and a gel electrophoresis apparatus. If your school does not have this equipment you might want to seek out a mentor at a junior college, university, or biotechnology company. If you have the resources you can do the DNA sequencing yourself, otherwise you can send the samples to Dr. Baysdorfer at California State University, East Bay, see Experimental Procedure for more details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety This project uses ethidium bromide, which is a carcinogen. Always wear gloves and safety goggles when handling. Dispose of the ethidium bromide according to your school or institute's hazardous waste protocols. If you have concerns, ask your teacher or mentor for advice.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you like to look up into the night sky? There are so many stars, it can be mind boggling! Some ancient people marked time by the changes in star patterns. We still use changes in constellation patterns to mark astronomical time. Do constellations change more in one hour, one day, one month, or one year? Read more
Astro_p007
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No hazards
Science Fair Project Idea
In this project you'll learn about how digital image files are encoded, and how digital images can be compressed so that the files take up less storage space and can be transmitted more quickly. You will also measure the quality of compressed and uncompressed images, which will give you important insights into the tradeoffs between file size and image quality. Read more
CompSci_p006
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Good computer skills; Project costs lower depending on printing method and number of images printed.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail How many bits of information are in a digital photo? It depends on how many possible colors there are. Learn how to choose the right number of colors and bits to post your photo on the web or send it to your best friend. Read more
Photo_p009
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty Item: Requires Adobe Photoshop or similar photo editing software
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Passports, identification cards, bus passes, and even some credit cards contain RFID tags. An RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag allows a card to be read by a computer from a short distance away. While this is very useful in everyday life, would you believe you can make music with it? RFID + sampled music sounds + a little crafting = a fun musical instrument that is limited only by your imagination. In this science project, you will make handbells out of paper cups that play real sounds,… Read more
CompSci_p049
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Some previous programming experience (preferably in Python), or interest in learning how to write Python code, is preferable. Musical background is also helpful, but not required.
Material Availability This science project requires an RFID reader and tags. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety The construction steps require use of a craft knife and hot glue. Be careful when using these items and ask an adult if you need assistance.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever heard the expression "a canary in a coal mine"? In the 1900's and earlier, coal miners brought canaries with them into the mines to act as early warning signals. The canaries were very sensitive to low levels of dangerous gases, so if the birds stopped singing, or got sick, then the miners knew to leave immediately, even if they felt fine. As it turns out, our froggy friends are also very helpful at signaling problems, not in mines, but in and around bodies of water. Try this… Read more
EnvSci_p048
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Students must have access to a pond, lake, or marsh with abundant frogs.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Never explore natural bodies of water alone. Never pick up brightly colored frogs. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The enormous task of cleaning up oil spills in oceans and seas has burdened industry, government, and environmentalists for decades. The cleanup is almost always difficult. It involves great amounts of time, resources, and money to remove the oil from the water, and the cleanup is often only partially successful. Today, however, scientists are coming to the rescue, developing a new technique that combines nanotechnology and magnetism. In this science project, you will test the proposed… Read more
EnvEng_p036
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items (ferrofluid and neodymium magnet) are needed for this project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Neodymium magnets are very strong. Some have the capacity to interfere or reset pacemakers. Never put a neodymium magnet in your mouth. Always keep them away from computers, credit cards, and other magnetized objects.

Ferrofluids create stains on skin and other materials, so take appropriate measures to keep the fluid contained to the working area.

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