Home Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students

Others Like “Decomposing Energy: Extracting Heat Energy from a Compost Pile”

Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen a product labeled "biodegradable" or "compostable" and wondered just how well it decomposes? A lot of different products claim to be biodegradable or compostable, such as food containers, bags, packaging materials, and spoons and forks. Not only do they clearly come in different shapes and sizes, but they are made of different materials as well. Do they decompose differently, and, if so, which decomposes the fastest? In this science project, you will make your own indoor… Read more
EnvSci_p058
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use caution when using the drill and the scissors. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
Even though many cities have recycling programs, a lot of trash still ends up in the dump. Find out which materials will break down and which materials won't. Will the results of this experiment change which products you often buy? Read more
EnvSci_p010
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail "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 You will need to be familiar with the procedures for handling biologically hazardous material. Read the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] from the Science Buddies Project Guide to learn more about handling biologically hazardous materials. 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.
Material Availability Specialty items required
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.
Project Idea
thumbnail Water is an interesting thing. We drink it, swim in it, and wash ourselves with it. We can get energy from water by damming it and sending it through a turbine. But did you know that we can use the natural electrical charges present in water and a Kelvin electrostatic generator to create sparks? You can even use a Kelvin electrostatic generator to temporarily light a bulb! Now that is one bright idea! Read more
Elec_p069
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to visit your local hardware store to purchase plumbing items to build the Kelvin electrostatic generator. You will also need a hand saw, a drill, a heat gun, a digital scale, a fan, and a dehumidifier. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Parts of the Kelvin electrostatic generator require use of a hand saw and a drill. Wear safety goggles when using power tools. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Interested in helping the environment, and don't mind getting dirty? In this project you get to mix it up with earthworms, soil, and various types of organic kitchen scraps. The basic idea is to set up small earthworm colonies to compost different types of food waste. You test the soils in each type to see how diet affects both the earthworm population and the nutrients they put back into the soil. This project takes a little time, but it's worth it. You'll help the environment and learn… Read more
EnvSci_p041
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever been so cold sitting in your house in the winter that you feel icicles could grow off your nose and your feet could turn into blocks of ice? Or have you ever been so hot in your house in the summer that sweat just drips off you? Making yourself comfortable can mean turning on the heater or the air conditioner—but that costs money. Still, being cozy or cool doesn't have to cost a lot of money if you use a geothermal heat pump. In this project you will build a model… Read more
Energy_p040
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability To make a geothermal heat pump you will need a pond pump. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Exercise caution when working with electrical equipment and water. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever dreamed of a world where you could take the scraps from last night's dinner and toss them into your car's fuel tank and make gas? Well, we're not quite in "Back to the Future" yet, but in this energy science fair project, you'll discover that food scraps, dead plants, sawdust, and other decaying organic matter, called biomass are a rich source of energy. You can get energy out of biomass by burning it, turning it into a liquid, or by turning it into a gas called biogas. You've… Read more
Energy_p027
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This science fair project requires access to a well-ventilated area, away from open flame or electrical sparks.
Material Availability A small quantity of fresh cow manure is required.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety This science fair project produces a small amount of a flammable gas, so it must be conducted in a well-ventilated area, away from any source of open flame or source of electrical sparks. Use caution and have an adult's help when using the bleach, as it can cause chemical burns.
Project Idea
thumbnail What is the first thing you do when you wake up on a cold, frosty morning? Snuggle down deeper under the covers? Animals, like puppies and piglets, do not like being cold either, but they do not have hands or blankets to wrap themselves up. So when animals get chilled, they change their behavior and do things like huddle—they curl up close to other animals. In this mammalian biology science fair project, you will see just how much huddling can help reduce heat loss. Read more
MamBio_p027
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when handling glass jars or thermometers, as they can break or crack if dropped. Adult supervision is required when using the stove.
Project Idea
thumbnail Enzymes speed up chemical reactions by factors of at least a million. Now that's acceleration! This project investigates how temperature affects how fast these enzymatic reactions occur. Read more
BioChem_p011
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Must have access to a stove, refrigerator, and a freezer.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use caution when handling the hydrogen peroxide, boiling water, stove, and blender. Adult supervision may be required for using the stove.
Project Idea
thumbnail Can you imagine designing and building a space telescope the size of a tennis court? Believe it or not, that is someone's job! Engineers are hard at work on the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST. This telescope has the potential to enable astronomers to see light from when the Universe was first formed. No one knows what amazing discoveries this might lead to. However, to make the telescope work properly, engineers have to overcome a lot of challenges. In this science project, you can… Read more
Phys_p082
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Most of the materials are available in hardware or craft stores.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Use caution when using the box cutter, heat lamp, and laser pointer.
1 2 >
Support for Science Buddies provided by:
Search Refinements
Areas of Science
Behavioral & Social Science
Earth & Environmental Science
Engineering
Life Science
Math & Computer Science
Physical Science
Difficulty
 
Cost
Time
Material Availability