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Others Like “Using Daphnia to Monitor Water Toxicity”

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
Project Idea
thumbnail Chemicals from Earth's atmosphere are making their way down to the planet! Not in spaceships, but in rain. The acid rain can infiltrate ground water, lakes, and streams. How does acid rain affect aquatic ecosystems? Read more
EnvSci_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None.
Material Availability Items will need to be special ordered. See the Materials and Equipment section for more details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No hazards.
Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that when you use fertilizer in your garden, it can eventually reach a lake, stream, or pond? There are many different chemicals present in fertilizers. How will they affect the aquatic organisms in the ecosystem? In this science project you will get to find out! Read more
EnvSci_p017
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This project will require approval from the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) if you use fish or any other vertebrate animal in your experiment.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety This project requires adult supervision when handling and measuring liquid fertilizer.
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
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.
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.
Project Idea
The element lead is a neurotoxin that is particularly dangerous to young children. Among other uses, lead compounds were common paint additives until being phased out for safer titanium-based additives beginning in the 1960's. Lead compounds were also added to gasoline to prevent engine knocking, until being phased out beginning in the 1970's. Although paint and gasoline sold today no longer contain lead, soil can have contamination from older sources of lead, such as paint from old… Read more
EnvSci_p001
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability A lead soil test kit may need to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
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
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you seen plankton? I am not talking about the evil villain trying to steal the Crabby Patty recipe from Mr. Crab. I am talking about plankton that live in the ocean. In this experiment you can learn how to collect your own plankton samples and see the wonderful diversity in shape and form of planktonic organisms. Read more
OceanSci_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Requires parental supervision and use of water safety practices when collecting water samples from piers, docks, boats, and shorelines.
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)
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