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Others Like “Compost Creativity: Try Various Methods and Test Soil Fertility”

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Science Fair Project Idea
Interested in helping the environment, and don't mind getting dirty? In this project you get to mix it up with earthworms, soil, and various types of organic kitchen scraps. The basic idea is to set up small earthworm colonies to compost different types of food waste. You test the soils in each type to see how diet affects both the earthworm population and the nutrients they put back into the soil. This project takes a little time, but it's worth it. You'll help the environment and learn… Read more
EnvSci_p041
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Everybody knows that worms are good for the soil, but not everybody knows why. Here's a project that investigates just one of the ways earthworms improve the earth. Would earthworm castings (or earthworm manure) help your plants prosper and flourish? If so, how much should you use? Read more
PlantBio_p002
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Science Fair Project Idea
What happens to the food leftovers in your home? Do they go in the trash? Down the garbage disposal? Or get gobbled up by the family dog? Food leftovers are a type of organic waste, a waste that comes from a plant or animal. Organic waste—like table scraps, agricultural waste, and human and animal waste—is biodegradable. This means, it can be chemically broken down by bacteria, fungi, or other living organisms into very small parts. [[ Image [] Figure 1. This photo shows… Read more
EnvSci_p055
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Composting worms will need to be ordered online or bought in a local gardening store. A worm farm can be constructed or purchased.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Plants need nitrogen to grow healthy stems and leaves. Although nitrogen is the most abundant element in the air we breathe, that form of nitrogen cannot be used by plants. Nitrogen contained in fertilizer, on the other hand, is readily taken up 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
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever seen a product labeled "biodegradable" or "compostable" and wondered just how well it decomposes? A lot of different products claim to be biodegradable or compostable, such as food containers, bags, packaging materials, and spoons and forks. Not only do they clearly come in different shapes and sizes, but they are made of different materials as well. Do they decompose differently, and, if so, which decomposes the fastest? In this science project, you will make your own indoor… Read more
EnvSci_p058
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use caution when using the drill and the scissors. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Soil may look like a bunch of dirt, but good quality soil is actually a complex mixture of dirt, nutrients, microorganisms, insects and worms. What type of benefit do these microorganisms offer a growing plant? You can test this by baking soil in the oven to sterilize and kill the microorganisms. Do plants grown in sterile soil do better than plants in unsterilized soil? What about adding worms to one plant, but not to the other. Will the plant with worms grow better? Some insects are bad… Read more
PlantBio_p031
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the oven. Use caution when handling and disposing of mold. Treat molds according to the same safety rules as outlined for bacteria in the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #].
Science Fair Project Idea
Many people routinely use fertilizer for crops, gardens, and lawns. What people don't know is that each time they apply fertilizer, the fertilizer seeps through the soil into the water table. This can eventually lead to the contamination of a local water source, like a stream, pond, lake, bay, or ocean. This is an especially big problem for agricultural practices that frequently use large amounts of fertilizer on fields that are connected by irrigation channels. The run-off of fertilizer… Read more
EnvSci_p025
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Earth, the Sun, wind, and water are all sources of renewable and sustainable energy—and sources you probably already know about. But did you know that you can get energy from such things as banana peels, coffee grounds, and newspaper? In a process called composting, you can transform kitchen and other solid wastes into a product that is beneficial for your garden: homemade fertilizer. As the waste decomposes, it also creates heat. Can this naturally created heat be put to use? In this… Read more
Energy_p035
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Making a compost pile can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks, depending on the method and bin you use. In this energy and power science fair project, you will spend a few days creating a compost pile. You will have to account for the time as you are planning your science fair project. You will also need to be home for several hours at a time on many specific days throughout this project. Read through the Experimental Procedure for more details.
Material Availability You (and friends, if possible) will have to start collecting potato peelings or grass clippings a few weeks in advance to accumulate enough, so keep this in mind when budgeting time for your science fair project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Wear safety goggles and use caution when working with all tools. Be sure to wear disposable gloves when handling animal waste and to clean all of the work surfaces thoroughly with a bleach solution. Read the Science Buddies [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Microorganism Safety Guide" #] to learn how to experiment safely.
Science Fair Project Idea
Watching fish swim around a tank is not only a soothing activity, but (along with learning how to care for the aquarium inhabitants) it is also a good introduction to ichthyology, the study of fish. But having pet fish doesn't have to be a passive hobby; you can put those fish to work by helping to grow food for you and your family. How? By designing and building an aquaponics system. Aquaponics combines hydroponics with aquaculture. Hydroponics is the science of growing plants without… Read more
EnvEng_p032
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Read the following Science Buddies resource on [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MeasuringPlantGrowth" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Use caution when using drills and power tools. Be sure to wear safety goggles. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
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) Read more
EnvEng_p021
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
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