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Project Idea
Humans are bipedal, which means we walk using two legs. This gave humans an adaptive advantage during the evolution of humankind. Being bipedal gave humans additional speed, balance and flexibility used for walking, hunting or traveling long distances. However, we may have lost the ability to climb or swing in trees like other primates. How much faster can you go when you are bipedal? Have a race with your friends using two legs, and then four legs (use your arms as your 3rd and 4th legs).… Read more
Zoo_p035
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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
Fruit is a strategy some plants use to attract animals to disperse seeds. The animals eat the fruit and disperse the seeds through the digestive system. To attract animals, fruit needs to ripen and develop an odor that acts as an attractant. How much more successful are ripe fruits at attracting animals? Try setting out an over and under ripe piece of fruit, and compare how many many insects are attracted to each fruit. How does ripening occur? You can do an experiment using a very ripe… Read more
PlantBio_p021
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Do not eat any fruit to which you have added chemicals. Use caution when using sharp knives or other kitchen equipment; adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
thumbnail "What? My food needs some standing time? How can food stand? I don't see any legs on those baked potatoes!" Whether you're using a traditional oven or a microwave, standing time is an important concept in cooking or baking. When you remove a food from an oven or a microwave, the food retains heat and continues to cook for several minutes after it has been removed from the heat source. This process of the food continuing to cook, using the retained heat in the food itself, is called carryover… Read more
FoodSci_p067
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the oven.
Project Idea
One of America's favorite snacks is potato chips. Although potato chips are very tasty, some varieties are not very healthy for you. A typical 1-ounce (oz.) serving of a well-known national potato chip brand contains 150 calories, 90 of which are from fat. How greasy are your favorite potato chips? Try this science fair project, and you'll get a visual understanding about how much oil a potato chip can hold. Read more
FoodSci_p048
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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
If you stare at a waterfall, or look at passing scenery from the window of a moving train, you will have a strange sensation when you turn your gaze to something stationary. You can investigate these types of motion after-effects with simple equipment described by the Exploratorium. How long does it take to induce the effect? How long does the effect last? Can the after-effect be canceled by viewing motion in the opposite direction? (Staff, date unknown) Read more
HumBeh_p030
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
thumbnail 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 Measuring Plant Growth
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.
Project Idea
Have you ever bitten into a beautiful golden-brown cookie only to realize in dismay that the bottom is burned and black? What causes that uneven baking? Can it be prevented? You can discover the answer by conducting a science fair project to determine whether different types of cookie sheets result in noticeably different cookies. First you'll need to do some background research to figure out what kinds of baking sheets you can buy. For example, there are aluminum, steel, insulated, and… Read more
FoodSci_p023
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision recommended when baking the cookies.
Project Idea
Have your favorite foods been genetically modified? Genetically modified (GM) foods do not require labeling in the USA, and foods with less than 5% content from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be labeled "GMO free." In Europe and Asia, GM foods require labeling only if they contain more than 1% GM content. You can investigate whether your favorite food products, like corn tortilla chips, are made from genetically modified organisms using the GMO Investigator Kit from the Bio-Rad… Read more
BioChem_p025
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Access to a research laboratory with PCR equipment is required for this project.
Material Availability Requires purchase of Bio-Rad's GMO Investigator Kit. A teacher's help is needed to order as Bio-Rad sells directly to schools.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision is required in the laboratory facility.
Project Idea
Did you know that a scientific study has shown that chewing Big Red Gum reduces mouth microbes? (ScienceDaily contributors, 2004) The cinnamon oil in the gum is a natural defense against mouth bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath. Conduct an experiment to compare products with cinnamon essence in gum, candy, toothpaste, and mouthwash to see if they can decrease mouth germs. Do a before and after swab of the mouth with a Q-tip. Which treatments work the best? Can you find another… Read more
MicroBio_p023
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A basic knowledge of how to work with bacteria is needed to complete this science fair project. Consult the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicrobiologyTechniquesampTroubleshooting" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Microbiology Techniques and Troubleshooting" #] guide for information on how to conduct microbiology experiments.
Material Availability Specialty items, like the media to grow bacteria on, can be ordered from [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ApprovedSuppliers" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="online vendors" #] such as [# Link Name="Advanced.ApprovedSuppliers.2" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Carolina Biological Supply Company" #].
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety 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. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
Ahchoo! Got that stuffy nose and I-can't-breathe kind of cold? Those sniffles and clogged sinuses are bad enough, but why does it also seem everything tastes so bland and flavorless when we are sick? Is there really truth to the idea that smell is a key part of taste? Gather up a few volunteers, hit the kitchen, and try this experiment to find out. Read more
HumBio_p010
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites [# Fragment Name="ProjectIdeas.Human.Subjects.Prerequisites" Value="Html" #]
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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