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Science Fair Project Idea
Watching fish swim around a tank is not only a soothing activity, but (along with learning how to care for the aquarium inhabitants) it is also a good introduction to ichthyology, the study of fish. But having pet fish doesn't have to be a passive hobby; you can put those fish to work by helping to grow food for you and your family. How? By designing and building an aquaponics system. Aquaponics combines hydroponics with aquaculture. Hydroponics is the science of growing plants without… Read more
EnvEng_p032
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Read the following Science Buddies resource on [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MeasuringPlantGrowth" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Use caution when using drills and power tools. Be sure to wear safety goggles. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In this biology science fair project, you will observe how the Physarum polycephalum (P. polycephalum) organism responds to various amounts of glucose. P. polycephalum is easy to grow in a petri dish and responds in complex ways to its environment. Will it grow toward the chemical as it looks for a meal, or will it flee, trying to avoid further contact? Try this science fair project to learn more about chemotaxis in the fascinating Physarum polycephalum. Read more
MicroBio_p028
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites An introductory course in chemistry would be useful.
Material Availability You will need to order the "Chemotaxis in Physarum" kit online; see the Materials and Equipment list for details. This item may have to be ordered by your teacher.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be careful working with sharp blades. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Survey your area to find out which species of plants and animals live there. You might be surprised to find out that something you grew up thinking was very common, is actually quite unique! For example, if you live in the great plains, then you may think that prairie dogs are a nuisance or a pest. Actually, some species of prairie dogs are only found here, and have a very important role for short and tall grass prairie ecosystems. The prairie dogs are an important part of the food-chain, and… Read more
EnvSci_p031
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Science Fair 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)
Science Fair Project Idea
The sustainability of our ocean fisheries is a topic of concern for many, including environmentalists and fishermen who make their living on the bounty of the sea. It is important to use sustainable fishing practices so that our fisheries are not over-fished leading to a decline in productivity. Some states require fish markets to post information about their fish so that consumers can make informed decisions about which fish to buy. They post the type of fish (e.g., Coho Salmon), the source of… Read more
EnvSci_p037
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Science Fair Project Idea
Invasive species are organisms (either plant or animal) that have been introduced into a new, non-native area and spread rapidly in the new environment due to a lack of regulation by predators. Frequently, invasive species will out-compete native species for resources which can put native species at risk. This is an especially big problem for threatened habitat and endangered species, which are already at risk. Survey your area to document cases of invasive species invading a local… Read more
EnvSci_p029
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Science Fair 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
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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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 Picture this situation: An elderly woman is rushed to the hospital complaining of severe abdominal pain, tinnitus, and lethargy. Suspecting a drug interaction, the emergency room doctor starts questioning her. The doctor learns that the woman takes no medicines except aspirin for her arthritis. Since she cannot swallow pills well she takes a powdered form of aspirin which she buys in bulk and keeps in a plastic container in her kitchen next to her baking goods. She had just finished a day of… Read more
Chem_p093
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability A kit containing specialty items is needed for this science project. See the Materials tab for more details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Wear disposable gloves when working with chemicals.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What is cloning and how is it used in the biotechnology industry? How are plasmids constructed for use in a bacterial expression system? You can investigate bacterial expression with the from the Bio-Rad Biotechnology Explorer Program to make bacteria express green fluorescent protein (GFP), as shown in Figure 1, below (see the Science Buddies project, ). With variations to this kit you can test the conditions for pGLO expression under different conditions. You can also combine with… Read more
BioChem_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some laboratory experience is required: knowledge of sterile technique, working with bacterial cultures, and using automatic pipettes are all helpful.
Material Availability In the Summary tab change the Material Availability field to read: This science project requires the purchase of Bio-Rad's [# Link Name="BioChem_p035.6" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. You will need a teacher's help to order the kit as Bio-Rad only sells directly to schools.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision is required in the laboratory facility. Use sterile technique. Read the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] before starting any experiments. [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ScientificReviewCommitteeSRC" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="SRC approval" #] may be necessary.
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