Is soil structure an important factor in earthquake dynamics? Investigate soil liquefaction and how different soil types respond to earthquake movements. Are movements more dramatic in sandy/loamy or clay type soils? Which soil structures are most stable? Which are the most volatile? (MCEER, 2005)
Soils are made of particles of different types and sizes. The space between particles is called pore space. Pore space determines the amount of water that a given volume of soil can hold. Porosity is the percentage of the total volume of soil that consists of pore space. Compare the porosity of different types of soil. Which types of soil hold the most water? Can you see this under a microscope?
Plastics are made of polymers, chemical structures containing many repeated subunits. How does the polymer type of a plastic affect the biodegradability of the plastic? Do research on how plastic is made and what types of polymers are used for making different plastics. Can you learn to make your own plastic? What materials can you use for making plastic that is biodegradable? Test biodegradability by burying plastic samples for different lengths of time. (Kadar, 2004) Reducing solid waste…
Make your own fertile soil using kitchen scraps, manure, leaves, grass clippings, and other compostable materials. Which materials make the best compost? How does the amount of nitrogen change the rate at which the compost forms? How does traditional composting compare to worm composting, or vermiculture? How does the temperature of the compost pile change?
Divide a part of your garden into two equal plots, with each plot receiving equal amounts of sun. Cover one plot with two inches of organic mulch, such as compost or ground bark. Leave the other plot uncovered. Use the same amount of water for each plot for two or three weeks. At the beginning of the experiment, and at one-week intervals, dig down and check the soil in each plot for moisture content. Which plot holds water better? Which plot shows better plant growth? (McCausland, 2006)
Many proteins act as catalysts which speed up or regulate a biochemical reaction. The kinetics of an enzyme can be investigated by measuring the reactants and products of the reaction over time. Research the enzymatic reaction of a protein and investigate its kinetics. Measure the production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) by catalase, the digestion of gelatin by papain, or any other enzymatic reaction you have access to.
Bio-Rad's provides a great measurement platform for exploring…
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Long (2-4 weeks)
Should have basic knowledge of chemistry and chemical reactions.
Low ($20 - $50)
Use caution when choosing a biochemical reaction to study. For more information about chemical safety, consult the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ChemistrySafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] Guide.
A magic square is an arrangement of numbers from 1 to n2 in an n x n matrix. In a magic square each number occurs exactly once such that the sum of the entries of any row, column, or main diagonal is the same. You can make several magic squares and investigate the different properties of the square. Can you make an algorithm for constructing a Magic Square? Can you show that the sum of the entries of any row, column, or main diagonal must be n(n2+1)/2? Are there any other hidden properties of a…
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 .
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)
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