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Project Idea
thumbnail Do you have bats in your neighborhood? Have you heard them "whoosh" by you, but not been able to see them? In this science fair project, you will be able to detect flying bats by listening in on the ultrasonic signals they produce to locate objects in their environment. The bat detector is a useful and fun tool for studying the biology of this nocturnal flying mammal. Read more
MamBio_p024
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Provide a brief description of requirements: Since this project involves studying bats in their native environment, you should start this project only if you are confident you have bats in your neighborhood. Ask your science teacher if there are local bats that you can observe.
Material Availability You will need to purchase a bat detector for this science fair project. See the Materials & Equipment section for more details on where to purchase one.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety For this science fair project, you will be listening to bats as they fly near you. You will not be touching them or disturbing them in any way, so there are no safety issues. However, if you do see a bat on the ground, do not touch it because bats can carry dangerous diseases.
Project Idea
thumbnail We rely heavily on our senses to tell us about our environment. But in addition to the senses of touch, smell, taste, hearing, and sight, some animals are able to sense Earth's magnetic field. Migratory turtles and birds use this sense to guide them on long journeys. Homing pigeons use it to find their way home. New research suggests that large mammals, such as cows and deer, may also have the ability to sense the direction of magnetic north. In this animal behavior science project, you will… Read more
Zoo_p058
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Experience with Microsoft® PowerPoint® would be helpful. You will also need a computer that can run Google EarthTM and that has Internet access.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Cats are great house pets, but as every cat observer knows, they are also instinctive hunters. This experiment provides an interesting way to learn about cat behavior. You'll play bird call recordings for pet cats, and watch to see if the cat pays attention to the sound (by turning towards it) or ignores it. Will a pet cat distinguish between the calls of local birds vs. non-local birds? Read more
MamBio_p017
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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 Have you ever wondered why geese fly in a V-formation? In this science fair project, you will build a wind tunnel to test how the formation of birds in flight actually affects their flight efficiency. Read more
Zoo_p057
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This is an advanced project that will require substantial initiative to design, build, and test. The experimental procedure gives outlines for how to proceed, and includes pictures; but precise details for the setup have to be worked out independently. Also, to perform the analysis, it is recommended that you first read the scientific papers that are listed in the Bibliography.
Material Availability You will need a web camera and a computer for this science fair project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you know what is living in your backyard? How about at the playground, or in your compost pile? Nematodes, also called roundworms, are the most abundant animal on Earth and they might be living in any of these places. In this science project you'll isolate nematodes from several soil samples to discover the best nematode habitats. Read more
Zoo_p045
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The E. coli culture and the agar plates are specialty items. They can be ordered online (see Materials and Equipment for more details), but you will need to plan ahead.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety This science project involves the use of the bacterium E. coli. Standard microbiology and bacterial safety guidelines should be followed.
Project Idea
The Sun is the ultimate source of the energy that powers weather systems on Earth. Geomagnetic storms are sun-powered storms in the upper atmosphere, arising from energized particles that are periodically ejected by the Sun. Among other effects, geomagnetic storms can wreak havoc with earth-orbiting satellites, and disrupt satellite communications. The global positioning system (GPS) is a network of 24 earth-orbiting satellites that constantly sends radio signals through the earth's… Read more
Weather_p009
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You will need access to a WAAS-capable GPS receiver for this project. You will need to understand how to operate the GPS receiver. Note that WAAS signals are only available in North America.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail How do astronomers collect stardust? They design and build satellites that are launched into space to collect particles on specially designed panels. Satellites can be sent to orbit around an object of interest: a planet, moon, or comet. In this experiment, you can build your own mini satellite and use it to collect some pretend stellar debris. If you simulate an asteroid impact, how much stellar dust will your satellite collect? Will placing your satellite at different "orbital" distances from… Read more
Astro_p023
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Got a pampered pooch in your household? Then you know how much most dogs love their toys. And not just any toy. It has to be that particular beat up ball, gnawed frisbee, or ratty not-so-plush-anymore bunny with only one eye and partial ear remaining. Seems that dogs, like people, have definite preferences for their play things. This fun project investigates what makes a toy interesting to a dog. In these experiments, you and your dog can have some fun while you learn about canine behavior… Read more
MamBio_p016
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Comfortable around and access to at least one adult dog
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Requires adult supervision
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you love animals and want to help keep them healthy? Well, here's your chance to design and tailor a toy that will bring out your pet's most playful nature. In this science fair project, you'll evaluate the skills and activities of your pet and determine what kinds of toys most excite your pet and make him or her lively and curious. So call your furry or feathered friend, and let the frolicking begin! Read more
Zoo_p051
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to work with a pet that you are very familiar with.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when testing enrichment toys. Pet safety must be considered at all times. All toys must be made from non-toxic materials. You should be familiar with the pet you are working with.
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