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Others Like “Something's Fishy About That Fertilizer”

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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 Have you ever experienced heartburn after eating a large, greasy meal? Or have you heard of someone complaining about heartburn pains? It's very common; over 60 million people in the U.S. have heartburn at least once every month. Heartburn pain usually results from stomach acids escaping from the stomach and irritating the esophagus above it. Luckily, there are medical drugs, called antacids, which can help relieve heartburn pain. But how do antacids work, and how effective are they? In this… Read more
BioMed_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Wear safety goggles and gloves and have an adult help you when handling and working with the artificial stomach acid solution. Hydrochloric acid is corrosive to hands and eyes.
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
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Every day, we produce a lot of sewage (wastewater full of feces and urine). In fact, it adds up to 6.4 trillion liters of urine alone produced worldwide each year! The sewage is collected and then treated or disposed of. But what if, along the way, there were a way to make that sewage do something useful? It turns out that human urine is rich in nutrients, and some bacteria actually thrive on eating those nutrients. There are also devices called microbial fuel cells that can generate electrical… Read more
EnvSci_p061
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a multimeter is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell kit needs to be special ordered from the [# Link Name="Elec_p071.7" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be sure to wear the gloves supplied with the kit when handling the microbial fuel cell's electrodes (its cathode and anode). The electrodes are made of a conductive material called graphite fiber and should not be placed near electronics or power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when they come in contact with electronics. Wear gloves when working with human urine. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail To survive, we need oxygen in the air we breathe. Oxygen is also essential for most aquatic organisms, but there is much less oxygen available in water than in air. How much oxygen can dissolve in water? Does the temperature of the water matter? Learn how to measure dissolved oxygen and then see how oxygen concentration changes with water temperature. Read more
EnvSci_p014
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A dissolved oxygen test kit is needed, see the Materials tab for more details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you know why enzymes are oftentimes called the workhorses of biochemistry? It's because they can speed up a wide variety of chemical reactions, and chemists and biologists use enzymes to do all kinds of jobs. In this project, pectinase, an enzyme frequently used in the food industry, will be used to extract juice from apples. Read more
BioChem_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty Items
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Use care when using sharp knife to chop apples. Do not drink the juice produced in this experiment.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever had a cut or a bloody nose that seemed like it would bleed forever? Though it might have seemed like a long time, it probably did stop pretty quickly. This is because different factors in a person's blood normally work together to plug the opening caused by the cut in a process called blood clotting or coagulation. However, some people have a genetic disorder called hemophilia that causes them to bleed excessively. If a person has hemophilia, he or she is usually missing some of… Read more
HumBio_p037
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specific chemicals (sodium citrate, sodium alginate, and calcium chloride) are needed. A kit containing these chemicals is available from the Science Buddies Store. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision may be needed for using a blender. All chemicals in this science project are safe to use (they are common food additives).
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you want your hair to be shiny after you wash it? Do you want your clothes to stay bright and soft after laundering, and last a long time? You might think that a special shampoo or detergent can make this happen, but in this chemistry science fair project, you'll discover that how well people and things get clean has a lot more to do with the type of water used for washing than any special shampoo or soap. Did you know that water can be classified as either soft or hard? Soft water lathers… Read more
Chem_p094
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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 sure to wear safety goggles if you are using glass jars for testing.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Maple syrup is deliciously gooey and great on breakfast foods like pancakes and waffles. But it has another amazing property. It can be turned into maple candies with a range of textures, like sticky maple taffy or molded maple sugar candy. In this science fair project, you will investigate how the temperature that maple syrup is heated up to affects what type of maple syrup-based candies can be made. Read more
FoodSci_p044
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the stove.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Everything on our planet is connected together, linked by a giant recycling system called the biogeochemical cycle. It is an amazing process. You can actually investigate how our planet recycles and reuses everything needed to support life by making a small model of the biosphere. What will be important to include in your miniature system so that it can support different types of life? Read more
Geo_p038
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need access to a muddy stream, lake, pond, or march in order to collect mud.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Always wash your hands with warm water and soap after handling soil that may contain microorganisms. Use caution if you use a knife. Adult assistance may be needed.
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