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Project Idea
thumbnail Why is it more comfortable to wear light-colored clothes on a hot summer day? Why wear a dark-colored jacket for early-morning fishing on a cold lake? How much difference can it make? Here's a project where you can quantify how much difference color makes for absorbing heat. Read more
Phys_p030
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision required for drilling jar lids.
Project Idea
Pennies are bright and shiny when they're new, but become quite dull with time. What causes such a drastic change? Oxygen in the air combines with the copper in the penny to form copper oxide, which makes the penny look dull and dingy. You can make the pennies look like new again by soaking them in an acidic solution, like vinegar. Vinegar dissolves the copper oxide, making the pennies look like new. It turns out, however, that the same process that makes the pennies shiny has bad consequences… Read more
Chem_p090
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order copper test kits online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
thumbnail 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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- Less Details
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Having used a voltmeter/multimeter before is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell needs to be special ordered from Science Buddies. See the Materials tab for details.
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.
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 Science Buddies Kit is available for purchase.
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.
Project Idea
When you burn a piece of wood, you start with wood and oxygen, and end up with ashes, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. At no time during the reaction does wood reappear, even momentarily, from the ashes. Most chemical reactions are like this; they move in one direction, from reactants (starting chemicals) to products. In this chemistry science project, you will experiment with a rare and exotic reaction that oscillates. The reaction products appear and disappear for a number of cycles. Because… Read more
Chem_p097
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A class in chemistry would be helpful, but is not required.
Material Availability You will need to order the Oscillating Chemical Reaction Kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Minor injury is possible. Be sure to wear safety goggles.
Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine seeing waves glowing a beautiful blue color. The marine dinoflagellate Pyrocystis lunula is responsible for this magnificent phenomenon. Pyrocystis lunula is a bioluminescent organism—bioluminescence is the production of light by living organisms. But does this organism always glow, no matter what the conditions, such as how much light there is? In this biotechnology science fair project, you will investigate how altering this dinoflagellate's exposure to light and dark affects… Read more
BioChem_p033
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items: Living Pyrocystis lunula cell cultures are required for this science fair project and can be ordered online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered how nutritionists know how many Calories a certain food contains? In this project you'll learn a method for measuring how much chemical energy is available in different types of food. You will build your own calorimeter to capture the energy released by burning a small food item, like a nut or a piece of popcorn. This project gives a new meaning to the phrase "burning calories." Read more
FoodSci_p012
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of chemical reactions is helpful
Material Availability Specialty item: scale calibrated in grams
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Fire hazard: adult supervision required for burning food.
Project Idea
thumbnail You have probably heard the saying that "water and electricity don't mix." Well, in this chemistry science fair project you will mix them, to create two solutions, one basic and one acidic. The apparatus is very simple, but the chemistry is complex and offers many avenues for exploration. Read more
Chem_p087
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should know what the pH scale is, and what current and voltage measure in a circuit.
Material Availability A pH meter is required for this project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury is possible. Be careful not to short out the battery, as it may get very hot.
Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that your body needs a certain amount of iron in order to stay healthy? Iron is an essential part of the hemoglobin complex in your blood, which carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. It is also involved in many other biochemical processes in your body. Iron can be found in much of what you consume each day. In this chemistry science fair project, you will use a simple test kit that produces an orange-colored chemical in the presence of iron in a solution. The kit… Read more
Chem_p089
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be enrolled in or already have taken an introductory chemistry class.
Material Availability You can order an iron test kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety The chemicals in the test kit could cause irritation if not handled properly. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves when working with chemicals. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
Here's a practical engineering challenge: you need to build an enclosure for your dogs, using material that they can't chew through. It's going to be a lot of work to build, so you want to do it right. What material should you choose for the fencing? This project uses the scientific method to evaluate materials. Read more
MatlSci_p018
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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