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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
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you ever use a password to log in to a computer, email account, or website? Do you use the same password for each one? Even if your password is very long or hard to guess, using the same password for many accounts can still be risky. If someone manages to find out your password (for example, via a phishing attack, or if you write your passwords down and someone finds the piece of paper), they could easily access many of your accounts. However, memorizing lots of different passwords can be… Read more
HumBeh_p057
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night just not feeling well? Maybe your mom or dad gave you some medicine and you felt better after taking it. Medicine is a great tool in the fight against an illness, but medicine can be a poison if too much is taken. Similarly, household products can clean your home and make it smell great, but if eaten, can be poisonous. That is why most medicines and household products are stored in childproof containers. But are childproof containers really… Read more
HumBeh_p047
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You need access to Kindergarteners who can do this human behavior science fair project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety For this human behavior science fair project, you will have to safely dispose of medications and household products. Always wear disposable gloves and safety goggles while cleaning out the containers. Adult supervision is required.
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.
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 Microorganism Safety Guide to learn how to experiment safely.
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 voltmeter/multimeter is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell needs to be special ordered from [# Link Name="Elec_p071.7" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
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. Use caution when handling human urine. Wear gloves when working with human urine. Adult supervision is recommended.
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
There is strong interest in "going green," including using products that cause less environmental damage when they are disposed of. In this environmental sciences project, you will compare the toxicity of "green" and conventional liquid detergents using worms as test organisms. Read more
EnvSci_p053
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You will need to be flexible and creative in carrying out the procedure. You should be prepared to adjust the procedure, as needed, to ensure that the results are due to the detergents being tested and not variations in the worms' conditions.
Material Availability Worms can be purchased at fishing bait stores.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered if a piece of jewelry is real gold or if it's just some ordinary metal alloy? It turns out that some metals have a unique property; even in small amounts, they can be toxic to some organisms, including algae, molds, fungi, and bacteria, although it often takes many hours to see an effect. Can this phenomena, called the oligodynamic effect be used to tell whether or not the gold or silver in a piece of jewelry is real? Do bacteria react differently to pure, plated, and… Read more
MicroBio_p026
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science fair project requires access to some laboratory equipment, such as a 37°C incubator, a Bunsen burner, as well as some specialty reagents, which can be ordered online. It also requires several pieces of jewelry, including at least one 14-karat gold piece. See the Materials and Equipment list for more details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety This science fair project involves the use of the bacterium E. coli. Standard microbiology and bacterial safety guidelines should be followed. See the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] for more details. Projects using bacteria may require pre-approval from your science fair's [# Link Name="MicroBio_p026.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. To maintain a sterile environment, you will be working near a lighted Bunsen burner. Keep all flammables, including hair and clothing, away from the flame.
Project Idea
Have you ever tried rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time? What about doing your homework or studying for your math test while watching television? It is tough to focus on a task when you are distracted doing something else, isn't it? In this science fair project, you will investigate how distractions affect your focus on a task, such as driving, by looking at how gaming scores are affected as you're talking on a cell phone or having a conversation with a friend. Read more
Games_p018
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You need access to a gaming system, such as the Nintendo Wii, as well as Mario Kart or another driving game that requires a steering wheel, and a steering wheel for that game; or you can visit a video arcade to play a driving game with a steering wheel.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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