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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Spicy fried tofu. It's a delicious and savory main dish at many Asian restaurants. Stab a golden-brown piece, bite into it, and the juice inside rushes out, filling your mouth with rich flavors. Continue eating and you find the texture is very chewy and meat-like. Did you ever wonder how those white blocks of tofu you see in grocery stores are transformed into the chewy little sponges packed with flavorful juices you see in Asian restaurants? Try this cooking and food science fair project to… Read more
FoodSci_p045
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Two small graduated cylinders are required. A specialty item to help view the structure of the tofu is optional. Read the Materials and Equipment list for more information.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the knife.
Science Fair Project Idea
When you open a can of green beans, have you ever wondered why the beans are not mushy, or more like a puree? Canning requires boiling the beans for a long period of time to kill bacteria, so why don't the beans fall apart into small pieces? Some fruits and vegetables—like cherries, apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, beans, cauliflower, and tomatoes—have the ability to undergo hardening, or firming of their plant tissues. A special enzyme, called pectin methyl… Read more
FoodSci_p034
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the stove.
Science Fair Project Idea
Can water remain liquid below its normal freezing point? If it does, that water is supercool(-ed). This project shows you a method for supercooling water. You can test water from different sources to see whether or not it can be supercooled. Read more
Phys_p033
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available. Project will take longer if you have to order and ship a thermometer.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
When you think of successful inventions from the 1900's that have dramatically changed how people live, what comes to mind? The car? Radio? TV? The computer? What about the microwave oven? You might not remember a time when microwave ovens were not a standard part of most kitchens, but your parents or grandparents probably do. They can remember when heating leftovers took a good 30 minutes in a traditional oven. Or thawing a food from the freezer meant leaving it in the refrigerator overnight.… Read more
FoodSci_p033
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Access to a microwave oven and microwave-safe cookware.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the microwave oven.
Science Fair Project Idea
Caramelization is the name of the cooking process that occurs as sugar is heated and the molecules begin to break apart. But what happens to the sugar as it breaks apart? And what do the physical changes mean for the flavor of the sugar? Using the Internet or cookbooks, read up on the chemistry of caramelization, then head to the kitchen with an adult to caramelize your own batch of sugar. With an adult's help, dissolve 1 1/3 cups of sugar in 2/3 cup of water. Heat the mixture in a pan over… Read more
FoodSci_p018
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Use caution when making the caramel, it is extremely hot and can burn severely if it gets on your skin. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
What is cooking? Cooking is applying heat to food in order to help make it taste good. But the decision to cook your food doesn't end there. Do you want to cook it at a low temperature for a long time or do you want to apply high heat and cook or sear it right away? You might think that a pot is just something in which to cook your food, but it is also a cooking tool. Pots and pans are made from different kinds of materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, iron, and ceramics. Each of these… Read more
FoodSci_p031
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Access to cooking pots made of different materials.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible. Always exercise caution when using a stove. Adult supervision is required. Make sure that the cooking pots you have chosen to test are designed for stovetop use.
Science Fair Project Idea
How do you like your steak? The internal temperatures for beefsteaks at various levels of "doneness" are as follows: medium-rare, 145°F; medium, 155°F; medium-well, 165°F; and well-done, 170°F. What factors determine how long you have to cook a steak to reach the desired temperature? The temperature of the steak before you start to cook it will clearly be important. The temperature the steak is cooked at will also be a factor. And of course, the thickness of the steak will… Read more
FoodSci_p037
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever bitten into a slice of bread only to find that it no longer seems fresh? Instead, it has the firm, undesirable texture that comes about when the bread is going stale. Chemically, what happens during the staling process? Can it be reversed (at least temporarily)? Do some background research to answer these questions and then apply those answers to one (or more) of the following experiments to find the optimal state to keep your bread fresh. Experiment 1: What Temperature Keeps… Read more
FoodSci_p019
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail How does your family thaw and cook meat? Have you ever wondered if it is the safest way? In this practical science project, you can find out and shed light on safe practices in the kitchen by investigating how many viable bacteria are present in samples of meat that have been thawed or cooked using different methods. Read more
MicroBio_p015
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need access to a laboratory with facilities for culturing bacteria. You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Standard precautions for handling bacterial cultures and bleach.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail "Slurp...plop!" Recognize that sound? You might if your family usually serves jellied cranberries for the holidays. Jellied cranberries are thick, like gelatin, and retain the shape of the mold in which it was placed, which might mean Aunt Sue's turkey mold or even the shape of the can if you buy one of the popular canned versions. Taking a bite of wiggly jellied cranberries can be a fun addition to a delicious meal, but cranberries can also be served as a sauce. Both versions use the same… Read more
FoodSci_p061
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult assistance is required to make the cranberry sauce on the stovetop. The process involves boiling cranberries, sugar, and water. This mixture is prone to splattering as the cranberries pop open. Use caution to avoid being burnt by splattering cranberry sauce.
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