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Others Like “Goo-Be-Gone: Cleaning Up Oil Spills”

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.

Project Idea
thumbnail You may have heard the expression, "You can't get blood from a stone." But what about oil? Can you get petroleum oil from a stone? In this geology science fair project, you'll find out what kinds of stones make the best storage rocks for oil. You'll see which ones can soak up oil like a sponge, and which ones cannot soak up oil or let it pass through, but can act as a “cap” to contain the oil in secret underground traps. Can a hard rock really act like a soft sponge…maybe SpongeBob SquarePants… Read more
Geo_p041
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Sedimentary rocks must be purchased from a science supply store.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Dried beans are a major ingredient in dishes served all over the world. In their dried form, they can be stored for years and then "brought back to life" by soaking them in water. In this cooking and food science fair project, you will measure just how much water is absorbed by beans when they rehydrate (soak up water). Can such a little bean really hold that much water? Read more
FoodSci_p059
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Does your skin get dry? Or do you know someone with dry skin? Dry skin can be a real medical problem for some people. You may have seen many kinds of lotions, creams, and ointments advertised as restorative for dry skin, especially dry hands. But how well do they work? And which ingredients are most important in making them work? In this science project, you will create a model of human skin using JELL-O® and test how well skin moisturizing products with different ingredients keep the… Read more
BioMed_p015
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to purchase petri dishes online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended for using the stove.
Project Idea
thumbnail Soap comes in many varieties and forms—from bars to bottles to boxes. The uses for soaps are just as expansive—from cleaning our hands, hair, and faces to a variety of household cleaning jobs, such as dishes or laundry. One thing all these different soaps have in common is their chemical origin; they were all made by mixing fat or oil with a strongly basic solution, such as lye. In this chemistry science project, you will carry out the chemical steps needed to transform coconut oil… Read more
Chem_p096
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This procedure should be done in a chemistry lab with adult supervision.
Material Availability Some specialty items are needed; see the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Minor injury is possible. This procedure requires use of sodium hydroxide solution. Sodium hydroxide can burn skin and eyes. See the Experimental Procedure for important cautionary notes. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Whether you are sitting around a campfire, or drinking hot chocolate after a day in the snow, nothing says fun quite like a marshmallow! Even its name is soft and spongy! In this cooking and food science fair project, you will make your own marshmallows several different ways, and discover the three special ingredients that give marshmallows their unique texture. You will also find out why they melt so quickly. Explore the science of these sticky, spongy sweets! Read more
FoodSci_p065
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Be careful when heating syrup in the saucepan. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you considered where the gasoline that your parents put in your car comes from and how long that source will last? The fuel that most vehicles use, gasoline, is a petroleum product. Petroleum is a fossil fuel and is a nonrenewable form of energy, meaning we use it faster than it is able to be reproduced. Burning fossil fuels also produces pollutants that might hurt our environment. Using a kind of fuel from a renewable source would help save Earth's natural resources and cut down on… Read more
Energy_p030
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety You will be working with flammable materials. Wear safety goggles and other safety gear to prevent injury. Adult supervision is required. Perform this science fair project in a well-ventilated area, away from combustible and flammable objects.
Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that cosmetics companies employ teams of specialized chemists to develop and test each new line of makeup, perfume, lotion, or soap? This science project lets you be the cosmetics chemist. It shows how to manufacture your own lip gloss in your kitchen using a short list of ingredients. Check it out, and then apply some creative cosmetics science of your own. Read more
Chem_p022
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Look for ingredients at drug stores, craft shops, health foods stores, or online retailers like Amazon.com
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury possible
Project Idea
thumbnail Living in the industrialized world, like the United States, we are fortunate because we don't have to worry about the quality of our drinking water. Your community has the means to clean and provide water to you. But in many parts of the world, people don't have this luxury. Whether it is due to war or poverty, the lack of clean water leads to many health and social problems. In this environmental engineering science project, you will learn about different methods to filter out impurities in… Read more
EnvEng_p030
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You must have access to a stovetop.
Material Availability You will need to purchase a water filter kit. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You must exercise caution when using a stovetop. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
thumbnail On a hot summer day, don't you just love opening a can of your favorite soda pop and taking a deep drink? The bubbles in the soda tickle your tongue's taste buds and propel the ingredients to your palate and nose so that you get a kick of flavor. But how do the bubbles, fizz, and taste get into the water? In this cooking and food science project, you will work with baking soda, citric acid, and sugar to create a your own soda pop. Once you develop your recipe, try it out on your friends and… Read more
FoodSci_p070
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to purchase citric acid at a specialty store or online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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