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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail All animals have a genome, but do they all have genome projects? Find out which animals are currently having their genomes sequenced and how much we know already. Whose genomes are already finished? Whose genomes are just getting started? Find out by doing some simple bioinformatics data digging! Read more
Genom_p007
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Being sick is no fun, especially when your friends are doing exciting activities that you have to miss out on. Thankfully, common illnesses usually last for just a few days, and then you start to feel better. Why is this? It is thanks to the immune system, which is a group of special organs and cells in your body that constantly work to keep you healthy. In this science project, you will make a simple model to investigate how the immune system defends the human body from common illnesses, and… Read more
HumBio_p036
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Iron filings may need to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you know someone who has an autoimmune disease? Autoimmune diseases are fairly common, affecting more than 23.5 million people in the United States, which is about 1 in 13 people! You may have heard of some of them, such as diabetes (type 1), rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease. Many autoimmune diseases are poorly understood, but they all have one thing in common: they happen because a person's immune system (which normally fights off germs to keep the person healthy) attacks the… Read more
BioMed_p017
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Our genes are made up of hundreds to millions of building blocks, called DNA nucleotides, and if just a single nucleotide of DNA becomes mutated it might cause a devastating genetic disease. But sometimes a mutation actually does no damage. What kinds of mutations have to occur to cause a genetic disease? In this science project, you will explore online genetic databases to identify how a mutation in a gene can result in a dysfunctional protein, and how other mutations may have no… Read more
BioMed_p007
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of what genes, DNA, and proteins are.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail How do scientists "copy" DNA? They use a process called the Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR. The key to making this process work is having a short piece of DNA, called a primer, that will stick to the larger piece of DNA you want to copy, called a template. In this science project, you will test how the number of matches and mismatches in a primer will affect its ability to stick, or anneal, to the DNA template during PCR. Read more
BioChem_p017
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A large number of magnets are needed.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you have ever prepared a cup of coffee or tea with sugar, you have probably seen that the grains of sugar quickly dissolve and completely disappear in hot water. But sugar is not the only type of solid that can readily dissolve in a liquid. In fact, there are some types of rocks that can be dissolved by common liquids. It might be hard to imagine large, hard rocks being eaten away by some ordinary fluids, right? But it actually happens all the time! In this geology science project, you will… Read more
Geo_p047
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Small limestone rocks are needed to do this science project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Note: The listed time required to do this science project includes shipping time.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Native plants are important for both ecological and medicinal reasons. However, most native plants are not very well studied. One way to know more about these plants is to understand which other species of plants they are most closely related to. In this science project you will sequence part of the chloroplast genome from a native plant and use this information to determine its evolutionary relationship to other species of plants. If the plant you chose has not been sequenced before, you can… Read more
Genom_p012
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites High school biology class; familiarity with using the PCR machine and gel electrophoresis equipment, and/or using the equipment with a mentor.
Material Availability You will need specialized pieces of equipment, including a PCR machine (thermocycler) and a gel electrophoresis apparatus. If your school does not have this equipment you might want to seek out a mentor at a junior college, university, or biotechnology company. If you have the resources you can do the DNA sequencing yourself, otherwise you can send the samples to Dr. Baysdorfer at California State University, East Bay, see Experimental Procedure for more details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety This project uses ethidium bromide, which is a carcinogen. Always wear gloves and safety goggles when handling. Dispose of the ethidium bromide according to your school or institute's hazardous waste protocols. If you have concerns, ask your teacher or mentor for advice.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever heard about different blood types? Do you know what your blood type is? Antibodies help scientists determine different human blood types. This project is a practical introduction to the human immune system in which you will learn about what antibodies are, how they are formed, and how they can be used to identify different types of cells. Read more
BioChem_p008
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A kit containing specialty items is needed for this science project. See the Materials tab for more details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail It's the bottom of the ninth, and you've spent a great afternoon at the ball game with a hotdog, a soda, and an ice cream in hand, but I'll bet you're not thinking about how many crops went into those classic baseball snacks. Sure, the bun contains wheat, but did you know that the hotdog might contain wheat, too? And soybeans may have been used to give that ice cream its perfectly smooth texture, while corn was likely used to sweeten the entire meal! Crops can be changed and added to processed… Read more
FoodSci_p053
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to visit a grocery store and have at least an hour to spend there. You will also need access to a computer with an Internet connection.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Plants need nitrogen to build proteins and nucleic acids to grow healthy stems and leaves. Though the Earth's atmosphere is made up of 79% nitrogen, the form of nitrogen found in the atmosphere cannot be used by plants. In this experiment, you will compare plants grown without nitrogen fertilizer to plants grown with nitrogen fertilizer. Read more
PlantBio_p012
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision recommended during preparation of nitrogen fertilizer solution
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