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Project Idea
Silt is a fine sediment that collects on the bottoms of rivers, streams and lakes. The natural process of the decay of organisms into the water can lead to the production of silt at the bottom of a lake. Silt can be a rich source of nutrients for fish and bottom dwellers like crayfish. However, it can also be introduced by unnatural processes. One problem for rivers, lakes and streams is the buildup of excess fine sediment introduced by industry. Because it often contains harmful chemicals it… Read more
EnvSci_p035
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
Reclaimed (treated) wastewater can be used for many purposes, including landscape watering and freeing up valuable fresh water for other purposes (like drinking water). It's a great way to conserve water, but is it really safe? This science fair project is designed to find out. Read more
EnvEng_p002
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Project Idea
Many people routinely use fertilizer for crops, gardens, and lawns. What people don't know is that each time they apply fertilizer, the fertilizer seeps through the soil into the water table. This can eventually lead to the contamination of a local water source, like a stream, pond, lake, bay, or ocean. This is an especially big problem for agricultural practices that frequently use large amounts of fertilizer on fields that are connected by irrigation channels. The run-off of fertilizer… Read more
EnvSci_p025
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
Disinfectants are products that kill harmful bacteria that inhabit surfaces. Disinfectants can be in household and personal cleaning products. Which products work best? Compare different household cleaning products, like bleach or Lysol, to see which ones kill the most bacteria. Compare different brands of antibacterial hand soap or dish soap to see which brand is the most effective. How do hand sanitizers work? Compare rub-on hand sanitizers to see if they work better than alcohol, or compare… Read more
MicroBio_p020
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Knowledge about growing and testing bacteria
Material Availability Specialty items, like bacteria and the media to grow them on, can be ordered from [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ApprovedSuppliers" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="online vendors" #] such as [# Link Name="Advanced.ApprovedSuppliers.2" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Carolina Biological Supply Company" #].
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Follow all safety warnings printed on the cleaning solutions you are using. Read the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] before starting any experiments. Adult supervision is recommended. [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ScientificReviewCommitteeSRC" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="SRC approval" #] may be necessary.
Project Idea
Some plants grow only in water-logged environments. These plants are usually native to wetlands and are important for the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems. Wetland ecosystems are very fragile and susceptible to the toxic dumping of sewage and fertilizer run-off from neighboring farm land. One very common aquatic plant called duckweed inhabits many wetland marshes. Duckweed grows by asexual reproduction and floats at the surface of the water with tiny roots extending into the water below.… Read more
PlantBio_p030
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Duckweed can be purchased from plant nurseries, or you can also find it growing naturally in local ponds and marshes. If you find the duckweed in a local water source, make sure you get permission from the land owner or town before taking any.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail What happens to the food leftovers in your home? Do they go in the trash? Down the garbage disposal? Or get gobbled up by the family dog? Food leftovers are a type of organic waste, a waste that comes from a plant or animal. Organic waste, like table scraps, agricultural waste, and human and animal waste, is biodegradable. This means, if oxygen is present, it can be broken down by various microorganisms through a process called composting. If oxygen is not present, it can be broken down using… Read more
EnvSci_p055
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Composting worms will need to be ordered online. A worm farm can be constructed or purchased.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
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
All animals need to respond to changes in their immediate environment. The sensory structures of animals are each made to respond to distinct types of sensory stimuli: touch, taste, sound, light and smell. How are these stimuli recieved? Different animals have different strategies for receiving stimuli and develop specialized structures for doing so. Antennae, ears, noses, tongues, eyes, eye spots, hairs and bristles are all examples of sensory structures used by different animals to sense… Read more
Zoo_p040
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Avoid applying too much pressure and harming an animal when performing the touch test.
Project Idea
Some people worry that modern electronic devices can give off harmful electromagnetic radiation, called EMF. Test your computer, radio, cell phone, computer, TV, or microwave for electromagnetic radiation. You can also try growing a sensitive organism, like flies, yeast or worms, to see if a potential source of electromagnetic radiation has an effect on them. Is it a myth, or will your cell phone fry your brain? Read more
EnvSci_p026
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Project Idea
What variables contribute to the properties of the soil in an area? Investigate the role of climate, weather, topography, time, parent material, vegetation, and biological and chemical agents on soil formation. How are soils characterized? There are 3 basic particle sizes which create three basic soil types: sand, silt, and clay. Investigate the properties of the three different types of soil by observing grain size, shape, hardness, color, chemical composition, pore space, aeration,… Read more
Geo_p034
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
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