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Others Like “Growing a Soil Menagerie”

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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
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
What covers less than 10% of the Earth's surface, yet is a vital natural resource for terrestrial life? What filters ground water and supports most of our food production, not to mention the production of building materials and paper? The answer, often overlooked, is: soil. With this project you can get all the dirt on soil formation, soil horizons, and the composition of different soils. Read more
EnvSci_p011
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury possible
Science Fair Project Idea
Generating power from mud sounds like science fiction, but it is actually real science, and a promising source of alternative energy. Topsoil is packed with bacteria that generate electricity when placed in a microbial fuel cell. Because such bacteria-laden soil is found almost everywhere on Earth, microbial fuel cells can make clean, renewable electricity nearly anyplace around the globe. They are an up-and-coming technology that scientists and engineers are working on making even more… Read more
Elec_p071
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Having used a voltmeter/multimeter before is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell kit needs to be special ordered from the .
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, power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when in contact with electronics.
Science Fair Project Idea
Do you think worms are gross? Or that they are only good for birds or fish to eat? Well, in this zoology science project, you will find out that this lowly animal helps to put food on your table, too, by all the hard work that it does in the dirt. In this science project, you will discover in what kind of soil it likes to do its work. It is wiggly good fun! Read more
Zoo_p061
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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
Look out! When you walk on the grass, you are squishing millions of micro-invertebrates! Just kidding, these animals are too small to squish. Learn how to catch them by making a Berlese funnel in this fun project that will teach you about soil. Read more
EnvSci_p042
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Every day, we produce a lot of sewage (wastewater full of feces and urine). In fact, it adds up to 6.4 trillion liters of urine alone produced worldwide each year! The sewage is collected and then treated or disposed of. But what if, along the way, there were a way to make that sewage do something useful? It turns out that human urine is rich in nutrients, and some bacteria actually thrive on eating those nutrients. There are also devices called microbial fuel cells that can generate electrical… Read more
EnvSci_p061
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a multimeter is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell kit needs to be special ordered from the .
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. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when they come in contact with electronics. Wear gloves when working with human urine. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever planted a garden? It is a real pleasure to see a garden where all of the plants lie in neat rows and are healthy and thriving. Plants need sunlight and nutritious soil to grow and be healthy, right? Not always! Hydroponics is the science of growing plants in nutrient-rich water. Does it work? Try this project and see for yourself! Read more
PlantBio_p045
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A hydroponics terrarium is required and, for your convenience, can be purchased at the .
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use gloves and safety goggles when handling chemicals. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
Everybody knows that worms are good for the soil, but not everybody knows why. Here's an idea for measuring how efficiently earthworms turn over organic surface material into the soil. Read more
Zoo_p049
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Science Fair Project Idea
Earthworms are important for the soil and fun to study. In this science project, you will find where earthworms like to stay when food is around. Will they gather around the food, take food with them in their tunnels, or not be attracted to the food at all? You will fill four pots with dirt, add food and worms, and track their activity over one week to find out! Read more
Zoo_p064
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project calls for live worms. See the Materials list for suggestions about buying them locally or online.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision or help is required during the preparation of the experiment.
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