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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 please 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
thumbnail Are you fascinated by radioactivity and the emission of particles caused by the disintegration of an atom? This science project enables you to observe safely a spectacular display of radioactive decay. Following the instructions in the Procedure, you will be able to isolate a safe radioactive source and build a cloud chamber to watch the radioactive decay. Then you will use your cloud chamber to discover if a plastic lid can shield you from this type of radioactive decay particles. Read more
Phys_p086
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of, or willingness to study independently, the atomic model and what radiation is.
Material Availability Specialty items are required. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety

You will be working with radioactive material in this science project; it is completely safe as long as the simple safety instructions in the Procedure are followed.

This project uses isopropyl alcohol, a flammable product. Do not use it near an open flame or anything hot.

Dry ice is colder than regular ice and can damage your skin. Wear insulating gloves when handling it.

If you choose to take apart a smoke detector, be very careful when cutting through metal or plastic. Cut edges might be sharp. Adult help and supervision is required. Minor injury is possible.

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.
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 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
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 "Gross! What is that in the toilet?" But maybe it's not just gross. Did you know there are bacteria that digest organic waste and create electrons? What if there was a way to collect those electrons to power a circuit? In this science fair project, you will make a microbial fuel cell to collect the electrons that the bacteria—anaerobic bacteria—create...only, you'll be using mud, which is much safer to handle than wastewater. If you would like to learn how to reuse and recycle an… Read more
Energy_p026
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You will need to be familiar with the procedures for handling biologically hazardous material. Read the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] from the Science Buddies Project Guide to learn more about handling biologically hazardous materials. You also need to have access to a lower-order stream of water or a creek. See the Introduction for an explanation of this type of stream. Try to avoid streams in which the bed is rocky. The benthic mud sample should be from an area that has a thick, rich mud bed.
Material Availability Specialty items required
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. Be careful when using a hot stove and a drill. Remember to always wear safety goggles when drilling. Exercise caution when working near a stream or creek. Water currents can be stronger than they look.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine if instead of spooning up a bowl of soup, a container of yogurt, or a cup of pudding you could just pick up and pop in your mouth a round, mess-free, ball-like blob of one of those. It might feel like snacking rather than eating a meal! In this food science project you can try exactly that. The simple step-by-step directions will lead you through trying a fun cooking technique called reverse spherification to turn yogurt into semi-solid balls, which are called "raviolis." How do you… Read more
FoodSci_p075
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Chemicals need to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision may be needed for using a blender. All chemicals in this science project are safe to use (they are common food additives).
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