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Project Idea
Did you know that you can use more water on your lawn and garden in the summer than you use for all other purposes all year long? If you have an automated sprinkler system for your lawn and/or garden, this project could save money on your family's monthly water bill. You'll also be helping to conserve a precious natural resource: clean water. Read more
EnvEng_p010
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Automated sprinkler system
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
When pesticides are applied to protect crops, run-off of potentially harmful pesticides is a major problem. Can water plants such as hardstem bulrush, common cattail, parrotfeather and smooth scouring rush promote pesticide breakdown? If so, diversion of irrigation run-off into plant-filled ponds could help reduce pesticide pollution. Mix malathion at 12.5% of the recommended application strength (to simulate dilution by rain or irrigation water). Use 5-gallon buckets for testing various… Read more
EnvEng_p019
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
Some plants use a lot of water, and some are very drought-tolerant. Drought-tolerant grasses are good for water conservation because they require less water to grow and stay green. How much less water do they need? Which types of grass are drought-tolerant? You can buy different types or brands of grass seed at your nursery that claim to be drought-tolerant. Grow them in a container and then starve for water after they are established. Which brands die out first? You can conduct a similar… Read more
EnvSci_p022
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever planted a garden? It is a real pleasure to see a garden where all of the plants lie in neat rows and are healthy and thriving. Plants need sunlight and nutritious soil to grow and be healthy, right? Not always! Hydroponics is the science of growing plants in nutrient-rich water. Does it work? Try this project and see for yourself! Read more
PlantBio_p045
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A hydroponics terrarium is required and, for your convenience, can be purchased at the [# Link Name="PlantBio_p045.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use gloves and safety goggles when handling chemicals. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you have any great-grandparents who lived through the Great Depression in the United States during the 1930's? If so, they might have stories to tell about terrible dust storms that blackened the skies, from the Midwest to the east coast. Severe drought was a factor in causing this "Dust Bowl" era, but decades of poor farming practices contributed to it, too. In this environmental science fair project, you'll learn about farming methods that help keep dirt from drying up into dust, and help… Read more
EnvSci_p052
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Do your parents like to garden? Then you might have a beautiful lawn surrounded by flowers, or a vegetable garden. Humans have been introducing plants to our landscapes for centuries, which has dramatically altered the natural habitat of many environments. Chances are, the landscape you live in is not a natural landscape. One movement is to restore these habitats by re-introducing native plants. Conduct a survey in your area looking for native and non-native plant species. You can take… Read more
EnvSci_p030
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
Do you know what plants need to grow? Sure, they need soil, water, and sunshine. Everyone knows that. But here's a secret: they also need nitrogen. Plants use nitrogen to make DNA in their cells and the proteins that lead to healthy stems and leaves. The problem is, although the Earth's atmosphere is made up of 78% nitrogen, the form of nitrogen found in the atmosphere cannot be used by plants. So how do plants get their nitrogen? Either through nitrogen deposits in the soil, or through… Read more
PlantBio_p010
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items (can easily be purchased online through Carolina Biological Supply Company)
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Requires adult supervision during use of nitrogen fertilizer
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever planted a garden? It is a real pleasure to see a garden where all of the plants lie in neat rows and are healthy and thriving. However, it can be very frustrating when your garden doesn't thrive. There are numerous causes that prevent a plant from thriving. Perhaps the soil is not rich enough with nutrients or maybe pests are present in the soil that are sapping the seedling's energy. Soils also carry fungi that can attack a young seedling. What if you could avoid some of the… Read more
PlantBio_p044
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You must purchase a hydroponics kit. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use gloves and safety goggles when handling chemicals. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
Visit your local landfill to collect dumping statistics by watching the types of trash people bring to the dump. Identify problem areas and types of waste that are commonly brought to the dump. Propose new uses for common landfill problems like tires, construction materials, plastics, appliances, and computer parts. Measure packaging materials of some common products. Invent ways to reduce the amount of packaging and increase the use of recyclable materials like popcorn or corn-based packing… Read more
EnvSci_p036
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
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
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
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