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Others Like “Get Rid of Those Leftovers: How Much Organic Waste Can Composting Worms Eat?”

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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Interested in helping the environment, and don't mind getting dirty? In this project you get to mix it up with earthworms, soil, and various types of organic kitchen scraps. The basic idea is to set up small earthworm colonies to compost different types of food waste. You test the soils in each type to see how diet affects both the earthworm population and the nutrients they put back into the soil. This project takes a little time, but it's worth it. You'll help the environment and learn… Read more
EnvSci_p041
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen a product labeled "biodegradable" or "compostable" and wondered just how well it decomposes? A lot of different products claim to be biodegradable or compostable, such as food containers, bags, packaging materials, and spoons and forks. Not only do they clearly come in different shapes and sizes, but they are made of different materials as well. Do they decompose differently, and, if so, which decomposes the fastest? In this science project, you will make your own indoor… Read more
EnvSci_p058
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use caution when using the drill and the scissors. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever dreamed of a world where you could take the scraps from last night's dinner and toss them into your car's fuel tank and make gas? Well, we're not quite in "Back to the Future" yet, but in this energy science fair project, you'll discover that food scraps, dead plants, sawdust, and other decaying organic matter, called biomass are a rich source of energy. You can get energy out of biomass by burning it, turning it into a liquid, or by turning it into a gas called biogas. You've… Read more
Energy_p027
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This science fair project requires access to a well-ventilated area, away from open flame or electrical sparks.
Material Availability A small quantity of fresh cow manure is required.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety This science fair project produces a small amount of a flammable gas, so it must be conducted in a well-ventilated area, away from any source of open flame or source of electrical sparks. Use caution and have an adult's help when using the bleach, as it can cause chemical burns.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Earth, the Sun, wind, and water are all sources of renewable and sustainable energy—and sources you probably already know about. But did you know that you can get energy from such things as banana peels, coffee grounds, and newspaper? In a process called composting, you can transform kitchen and other solid wastes into a product that is beneficial for your garden: homemade fertilizer. As the waste decomposes, it also creates heat. Can this naturally created heat be put to use? In this… Read more
Energy_p035
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Making a compost pile can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks, depending on the method and bin you use. In this energy and power science fair project, you will spend a few days creating a compost pile. You will have to account for the time as you are planning your science fair project. You will also need to be home for several hours at a time on many specific days throughout this project. Read through the Experimental Procedure for more details.
Material Availability You (and friends, if possible) will have to start collecting potato peelings or grass clippings a few weeks in advance to accumulate enough, so keep this in mind when budgeting time for your science fair project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Wear safety goggles and use caution when working with all tools. Be sure to wear disposable gloves when handling animal waste and to clean all of the work surfaces thoroughly with a bleach solution. Read the Science Buddies [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Microorganism Safety Guide" #] to learn how to experiment safely.
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 Animals survive in all sorts of extreme environments, whether it is a polar bear out and about when it is -40°F, a desert iguana trying to find food as the temperature rises to 110°F, or a deep sea anglerfish living 3281 feet down into the sea. How do they do it? The answer is adaptations! Their bodies have special features that allow them to live in those environments. You might not be able to dive down 3281 feet to observe the deep sea anglerfish, but in this science fair project you… Read more
Zoo_p050
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Even though many cities have recycling programs, a lot of trash still ends up in the dump. Find out which materials will break down and which materials won't. Will the results of this experiment change which products you often buy? Read more
EnvSci_p010
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail "What?! Many of my toys are also machines?" That's right—simple machines! Simple machines are everywhere! Under your feet when you climb stairs, in your hand when you use a utensil to eat your dinner, even in your arm when you throw a ball. Come visit this science fair project and explore the six types of simple machines. Find out how many are hiding under the hinged lid (yes, another simple machine) of your toy box! Read more
ApMech_p042
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you wash your hands? You should— it's the best way to prevent the spread of germs. But germs can be tricky; they find nooks and crannies to hide in, so it takes good hand-washing technique to get rid of them. In this science project, you'll investigate which parts of the hand are the most difficult to wash germs off of. Read more
MicroBio_p018
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability To do this science project you'll need to order Glo GermTM over the Internet. See the Materials and Equipment section for more details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered what a wildlife biologist does? Ronnie and Denise from DragonflyTV found out firsthand when they worked with a local wildlife biologist to take a survey of the fish populations in their local lake. They wanted to determine what the biodiversity (number of different species in a habitat) was like so that they could find out how healthy the lake habitat was. In this science fair project you can take on the role of a wildlife biologist by examining the biodiversity of… Read more
EnvSci_p045
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision needed to make bug vacuum.
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