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Others Like “Is That Really Bacteria Living in My Yogurt?”

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Germs are everywhere! We try and clean our home with disinfectants, but do we really get rid of all the germs? Find out with this "hands-on" experiment. Read more
MicroBio_p012
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Must follow general [# ProjectIdea Name="MicroBio_p007" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="safety precautions for handling microorganisms" #]
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered how yogurt is made and what makes some yogurts different from other yogurts? You may have noticed that most yogurt containers advertise that the yogurt contains "live cultures." This means that there are living bacteria in the yogurt! These amazing bacteria can turn plain old milk into a yummy yogurt treat. In this science project, you will investigate whether the bacteria affect what the yogurt feels, tastes, and smells like by making your own yogurt at home! Read more
MicroBio_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Requires parental supervision when cooking on the stove.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever heard that nanoparticles can kill bacteria? You may have even seen some consumer products advertise that they contain antibacterial nanoparticles. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter long. Nanoparticles are usually just a few nanometers in diameter — really, really tiny! So how can something that small kill bacteria which are approximately 700 - 1400 nanometers across? Are they really effective? In this science project you will grow some E. coli bacteria and… Read more
MicroBio_p031
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures. If you have questions or need a refresher plese consult the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicrobiologyTechniquesampTroubleshooting" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] guide
Material Availability Some materials need to be special ordered; see the Materials and Equipment list for details
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety You must follow general safety precautions for handling microorganisms. See the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] for details.
Science Fair Project Idea
Microbes are everywhere in our environment, but for the most part they escape our notice. This project shows you how to safely culture and study common bacteria from your everyday surroundings. Read more
MicroBio_p007
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Material Availability Agar plates must be specially ordered
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Must follow general safety precautions for handling microorganisms
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In this biology science fair project, you will observe how the Physarum polycephalum (P. polycephalum) organism responds to various amounts of glucose. P. polycephalum is easy to grow in a petri dish and responds in complex ways to its environment. Will it grow toward the chemical as it looks for a meal, or will it flee, trying to avoid further contact? Try this science fair project to learn more about chemotaxis in the fascinating Physarum polycephalum. Read more
MicroBio_p028
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites An introductory course in chemistry would be useful.
Material Availability You will need to order the "Chemotaxis in Physarum" kit online; see the Materials and Equipment list for details. This item may have to be ordered by your teacher.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be careful working with sharp blades. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you heard that garlic powder is supposed to inhibit the growth of bacteria? Which do you think would make a better disinfectant: a solution of garlic powder or a solution of bleach? This project shows you a straightforward way to compare the effectiveness of different disinfectants (or other antimicrobial agents), by measuring zones of inhibition on a culture plate. Read more
MicroBio_p014
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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 Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Standard precautions for handling bacterial cultures and bleach.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever thought about how fortunate you are to have safe and clean water coming out of your faucet? Many people in undeveloped nations don't have this luxury. But does that mean they can't have clean water at all? Is there an inexpensive way they could use to make their own clean water? In this microbiology science fair project, you will investigate whether or not sunlight can disinfect contaminated water. Read more
MicroBio_p025
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You should have access to a local stream or creek.
Material Availability Specialty items are required. You will need to purchase tryptic soy agar plates, droppers, and glass rods for streaking. See the Materials and Equipment section, below, for more details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety This science fair project deals with potentially dangerous pathogens. Wear gloves when conducting the experiment. Read and follow the instructions in the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #]. Do not drink any of the water that results from the SODIS process. See the Experimental Procedure for more information. You should always exercise caution when obtaining a water sample from a creek or a stream.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Topsoil is packed with bacteria that generate electricity when placed in a microbial fuel cell (MFC). Because such bacteria-laden soil is found almost everywhere on Earth, microbial fuel cells can make clean, renewable electricity nearly anyplace around the globe. As natural resources are being depleted, scientists' attention has shifted to pursuing alternative energy sources, such as MFCs, even more than before. A microbial fuel cell, also known as a biological fuel cell, is a device that can… Read more
MicroBio_p032
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a voltmeter/multimeter is helpful, but not required. A basic knowledge of how to work with bacteria is also 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 The microbial fuel cell needs to be special ordered from the Science Buddies Store. Other 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="EnvSci_p016.5" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Carolina Biological Supply Company" #].
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. Use sterile technique when growing the bacteria. 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.
Science Fair Project Idea
Though the Sun provides heat and light, which are essential for life on Earth, ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight can cause damage to DNA. In this science fair project, you will experiment with a strain of yeast that is super-sensitive to UV light. This project will demonstrate the lethal effects of UV light when DNA damage is not repaired. Read more
BioChem_p036
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order a UV-sensitive yeast kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Note: You might have to have the yeast delivered to a school if the company does not deliver to residential addresses.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Pouring hot agar plates should be done with caution.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Everything on our planet is connected together, linked by a giant recycling system called the biogeochemical cycle. It is an amazing process. You can actually investigate how our planet recycles and reuses everything needed to support life by making a small model of the biosphere. What will be important to include in your miniature system so that it can support different types of life? Read more
Geo_p038
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need access to a muddy stream, lake, pond, or march in order to collect mud.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Always wash your hands with warm water and soap after handling soil that may contain microorganisms. Use caution if you use a knife. Adult assistance may be needed.
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