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Science Fair Project Idea
Harmful algal blooms occur when algae, which form the base of the ocean food web, grow in massive numbers and produce toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds. In this project you will learn how to use archived data from continuous monitoring stations on the Chesapeake Bay to study how water quality measurements (dissolved oxygen (DO), salinity, temperature, pH, turbidity, and total chlorophyll) change before, during, and after harmful algal blooms. Read more
OceanSci_p001
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
You might know that lead can be toxic, and that you can get lead poisoning from eating or inhaling old paint dust. Lead is called a heavy metal, and there are other sources of heavy metals that can be toxic, too. Silver, copper, mercury, nickel, cadmium, arsenic, and chromium are all heavy metals that can be toxic in certain environments. In this experiment, find out if one common heavy metal, copper, can be toxic to an aquatic environment. Read more
EnvSci_p018
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites The copper sulfate pentahydrate used in this project requires special disposal. Create a disposal plan before starting this project. See the end of the Procedure for more details.
Material Availability Items will need to be special ordered. See the Materials & Equipment section for more details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety This project requires adult supervision when handling and measuring copper sulfate granules. Wear gloves and safety goggles when measuring. Dispose of the copper sulfate pentahydrate solutions and leftover granules according to local pesticide disposal regulations.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that your body needs a certain amount of iron in order to stay healthy? Iron is an essential part of the hemoglobin complex in your blood, which carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. It is also involved in many other biochemical processes in your body. Iron can be found in much of what you consume each day. In this chemistry science fair project, you will use a simple test kit that produces an orange-colored chemical in the presence of iron in a solution. The kit… Read more
Chem_p089
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be enrolled in or already have taken an introductory chemistry class.
Material Availability You can order an iron test kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety The chemicals in the test kit could cause irritation if not handled properly. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves when working with chemicals. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Lead is a very hazardous element. Even very small amounts can cause health problems, especially in babies and young children. One way to determine if a household item, such as a toy or a piece of jewelry, contains lead is to soak the item in a solution, and then test the solution for lead that might have leached out of the item. The goal of this chemistry science fair project is to determine how varying the pH of the test solution affects its ability to dissolve lead, which is a critical step… Read more
Chem_p080
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some chemistry knowledge will be helpful.
Material Availability Specialty items: You will need a lead test kit, which can be ordered online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required. The chemicals used in this science fair project are potentially hazardous. The test solutions contain lead and should not come into contact with skin or any part of your body. It also contains chemicals that produce a strong "rotten egg" smell, so the procedure should be carried out in a well-ventilated area.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Here is an interesting project that could be approached from several different scientific angles: Environmental Science, Weather & Atmosphere, Chemistry, or Plant Biology. You can probably think of your own variations to emphasize the scientific area that most interests you. Read more
EnvSci_p015
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Must be familiar with titration or be able to learn how titration is used in this experiment
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In this project, water fleas (Daphnia magna), a semi-transparent freshwater crustacean, are used to study the effects of caffeine on heart rate. Don't worry about having to learn how to take a crustacean's pulse: you can actually see the heart beating under a microscope. Many variations of this experiment are possible. Read more
Zoo_p048
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You will need a microscope for observing Daphnia closely enough to monitor heart rate. Either a dissecting microscope or a compound microscope with low-power objective and a depression slide could be used.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Pennies are bright and shiny when they're new, but become quite dull with time. What causes such a drastic change? Oxygen in the air combines with the copper in the penny to form copper oxide, which makes the penny look dull and dingy. You can make the pennies look like new again by soaking them in an acidic solution, like vinegar. Vinegar dissolves the copper oxide, making the pennies look like new. It turns out, however, that the same process that makes the pennies shiny has bad consequences… Read more
Chem_p090
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order copper test kits online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever been swimming at the beach and gotten some water in your mouth by mistake? Then you know that the ocean is very salty. But what about other bodies of water? How much salt do they have compared to the ocean? Read more
OceanSci_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
You might not know it, but a lake without algae would be a very dull place. If there were no algae, there would be no small animals feeding on the algae, and there wouldn't be any fish eating the small animals that eat the algae. You might conclude that since some algae is good, more algae is even better, but algae growth has a down side. If there is too much algae, they can deplete the oxygen in the water, killing off other species in the water. What is one culprit that leads to algal growth?… Read more
EnvSci_p054
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Material Availability You will need access to a pond or a lake from which to collect water. Students who do not have access to a pond or a lake might want to look at some of the variations, at the end of the project, which use purchased algae cultures.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Plants need nitrogen to build proteins and nucleic acids to grow healthy stems and leaves. Though the Earth's atmosphere is made up of 79% nitrogen, the form of nitrogen found in the atmosphere cannot be used by plants. In this experiment, you will compare plants grown without nitrogen fertilizer to plants grown with nitrogen fertilizer. Read more
PlantBio_p012
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision recommended during preparation of nitrogen fertilizer solution
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