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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
You are looking under your bed for that video game you want to play, when you come across a real treasure—an open bag of potato chips that you forgot about! A crispy and salty potato chip is a tasty treat. But wait! This potato chip is not crisp and does not taste as great as it should. What happened? The chips have gone rancid! In this cooking and food science fair project, you will look into what factors turned your chips rancid. Read more
FoodSci_p052
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Solar cells are popping up on rooftops everywhere these days and are a model for clean, renewable energy. Did you ever look at those solar panels and wonder how we can get electricity produced by solar cells when the sun is not shining? It is a great question because solar panels do not produce electricity when it is dark outside. One strategy to overcome this challenge is to store the energy produced by solar cells during the day in the form of a fuel that can be used at a later time. In… Read more
Chem_p099
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Completion of a basic chemistry class is recommended before trying this science project. You should also know something about circuits, or use the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ElectronicsPrimerIntroduction" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Science Buddies Electronics Primer" #].
Material Availability A number of specialty items are required. For your convenience a kit is available for purchase from the [# Link Name="Chem_p099.6" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. Use caution when connecting the four 9V batteries. Ensure that the wires/connectors do not come in contact with each other to cause a short or the batteries will become VERY hot and can possibly cause burns. Cobalt nitrate can cause skin and eye irritation. It is recommended to wear disposable gloves when handling cobalt nitrate.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You may be familiar with permanent magnets—the kind that hang on a refrigerator. But did you know that other magnets, called electromagnets, can be turned on and off? When turned on, electromagnets act just like permanent magnets, but if you turn them off, their magnetic properties disappear. Electromagnets are an important part of many electronic devices, like motors, loudspeakers, and hard drives. You can create an electromagnet with a simple coil of wire and a battery. In this science… Read more
Elec_p035
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety The electromagnet can become hot during periods of extended use.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever looked in the kitchen cupboard and found a container of tiny white grains, but you were not sure if they were sugar or salt? They look very similar. How could you tell them apart? Well, you know that sugar and salt taste very different. Taste is actually called a property, and properties are used to describe and identify different materials. Properties can also be used to physically separate things. In this science project, you will use different properties to create a way… Read more
BioChem_p046
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Iron filings and neodymium magnets may need to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety An adult's help may be needed for using a knife and scissors to cut a plastic bottle. Follow all safety precautions when handling the neodymium magnets; these magnets should never slam together, never pinch fingers or skin, never be swallowed, and should be kept away from all electronic devices. Keep them out of reach of all young children and pets. An adult should help if a stovetop or oven is used.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Where do you get your best ideas? At school with your friends? When you are out for a bike ride? Over 2,200 years ago, a scientist named Archimedes got one of his best ideas when he sat down in his bath. Eureka! He went running through the streets without even bothering with his clothes. What was he so excited about? He had discovered that when objects, like his body, are placed in water, water is pushed out of the way. Have you noticed that, too? The weight of the water that is pushed out of… Read more
Aero_p044
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the hammer.
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 Today magnetic recording is used in audio and video cassette recorders, and computer disk drives. Did you know that you can also use an electromagnet to record and play back from a steel wire? In fact, this is how magnetic recording got started. This project shows you how to build a simple wire recorder. Read more
Elec_p015
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Eye protection required during construction
Science Fair Project Idea
The oceans are a precious natural resource, part of Earth's carbon cycle. But what happens if the oceans absorb too much carbon dioxide? Many scientists are concerned that the increased absorption of carbon dioxide is causing them to become more acidic. What impact does that have on the marine life? In this ocean science fair project, you will demonstrate ocean acidification and investigate the effect on the shells of marine life. Read more
OceanSci_p013
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites An understanding of basic chemistry is required. You will need access to a precise and fine-resolution digital scale and to a digital camera.
Material Availability Specialty items are required. See details in the Materials & Equipment list.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury possible. This science fair project requires using a hammer to break shells. Use caution and wear safety goggles when working with tools.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail 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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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 [# Link Name="Elec_p071.7" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
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.
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