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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever noticed that most yogurt containers say they contain "live cultures"? What does that mean? The label is suggesting that the yogurt has living bacteria in it! While some types of bacteria can make you sick, some are actually important to keep you healthy. But individual bacteria are so tiny that you cannot see one with the naked eye, so how can you tell if bacteria are really living in your yogurt? In this science fair project, you will investigate whether yogurt actually… Read more
FoodSci_p072
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to special order the agar plates. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety The bacteria in the yogurt is not harmful; however, it is possible for other bacteria to grow on the agar plates. For that reason, make sure to follow all the safety guidelines in the Experimental Procedure. Be sure to dispose properly any plates with bacteria when the experiment is over. Adult help is required to light a candle.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail How does your family thaw and cook meat? Have you ever wondered if it is the safest way? In this practical science project, you can find out and shed light on safe practices in the kitchen by investigating how many viable bacteria are present in samples of meat that have been thawed or cooked using different methods. Read more
MicroBio_p015
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need access to a laboratory with facilities for culturing bacteria. You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Standard precautions for handling bacterial cultures and bleach.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Ultraviolet light can damage DNA molecules. If a cell's DNA repair mechanisms can't keep up with the damage, mutations are the result. As harmful mutations accumulate, the cell eventually dies. How much ultraviolet light is too much for a bacterial cell? Read more
MicroBio_p017
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need access to a laboratory with facilities for culturing bacteria. You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision required. Read and follow the safety note below on ultraviolet light. Follow standard precautions for handling bacterial cultures.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Most people are not aware that the soil around them is a battle scene. The combatants are very small—bacteria on one side and bacteriophage on the other. The bacteriophage (or phage for short) try to pierce the outer coats of the bacteria and inject them with phage DNA. If successful, the DNA will take over the inner machinery of the bacterial cells and force them to make many copies of the phage. After the copies are made, the bacterial cells break apart, releasing new phage that start… Read more
MicroBio_p029
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This is an advanced science project that requires access to a laboratory with a water bath and 37°C incubator. The kit you will use has enough supplies to perform the procedure one time. To repeat the procedure, you should order additional supplies (listed in the Materials and Equipment section), or make your own media and agar plates. Working with a science teacher or other mentor who is familiar with growing bacteria and titering phage would be helpful.
Material Availability You will need to order the bacteria, the phage, and the supplies from an online science supply store. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety The bacteria (E. coli B) and the phage (T4r) are not dangerous, but you should follow common-sense safety guidelines and wear gloves and safety goggles when working in the lab. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever heard that nanoparticles can kill bacteria? You may have even seen some consumer products advertise that they contain antibacterial nanoparticles. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter long. Nanoparticles are usually just a few nanometers in diameter — really, really tiny! So how can something that small kill bacteria which are approximately 700 - 1400 nanometers across? Are they really effective? In this science project you will grow some E. coli bacteria and… Read more
MicroBio_p031
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures. If you have questions or need a refresher plese consult the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicrobiologyTechniquesampTroubleshooting" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] guide
Material Availability Some materials need to be special ordered; see the Materials and Equipment list for details
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety You must follow general safety precautions for handling microorganisms. See the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] for details.
Science Fair Project Idea
If you'd rate yourself high on the bacteriophobia scale, just keep on scrolling down to the next project. Bacteria are all around us, and normally our body's defenses keep us blissfully unaware of them. If you don't mind finding out where they're lurking in your house, then you might find this project interesting. Read more
MatlSci_p017
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Familiarity with sterile laboratory technique is a big plus.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Standard precautions for handling bacterial cultures.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered where acne comes from and how you can treat it? One major cause of acne is the colonization and infection of clogged pores with bacteria. In this science project, you'll test different acne medications and treatments to determine their effectiveness at killing bacteria. Read more
MicroBio_p019
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires access to some laboratory equipment, such as a 37°C incubator, as well as some specialty reagents, which can be ordered online. See the Materials and Equipment list for more details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety This science project involves the use of the bacterium E. coli. Standard microbiology and bacterial safety guidelines should be followed, see the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] for more details. To maintain a sterile environment, you will be working near a lighted Bunsen burner. Keep all flammables, including hair and clothing, away from the flame.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Germs are everywhere! We try and clean our home with disinfectants, but do we really get rid of all the germs? Find out with this "hands-on" experiment. Read more
MicroBio_p012
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Must follow general [# ProjectIdea Name="MicroBio_p007" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="safety precautions for handling microorganisms" #]
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you know what is living in your backyard? How about at the playground, or in your compost pile? Nematodes, also called roundworms, are the most abundant animal on Earth and they might be living in any of these places. In this science project you'll isolate nematodes from several soil samples to discover the best nematode habitats. Read more
Zoo_p045
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The E. coli culture and the agar plates are specialty items. They can be ordered online (see Materials and Equipment for more details), but you will need to plan ahead.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety This science project involves the use of the bacterium E. coli. Standard microbiology and bacterial safety guidelines should be followed.
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.
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