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Others Like “One Bad Apple Spoils the Whole Bunch: An Experiment on the Plant Hormone Ethylene”

Project Idea
thumbnail You have most likely witnessed the change that occurs as a banana ripens It changes from green and relatively hard to yellow and soft. The flavor also changes, from bitter to sweet. What happens during ripening? One big change is the increase in sugar content. In this food science fair project, you will measure how the sugar content of a banana changes as it ripens. Read more
FoodSci_p063
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You will need both ripe and unripe bananas for this science fair project, so be sure you can find them in your grocery store, particularly if it's the off-season.
Material Availability You will need to purchase a refractometer online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Fruit is a strategy some plants use to attract animals to disperse seeds. The animals eat the fruit and disperse the seeds through the digestive system. To attract animals, fruit needs to ripen and develop an odor that acts as an attractant. How much more successful are ripe fruits at attracting animals? Try setting out an over and under ripe piece of fruit, and compare how many many insects are attracted to each fruit. How does ripening occur? You can do an experiment using a very ripe… Read more
PlantBio_p021
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Do not eat any fruit to which you have added chemicals. Use caution when using sharp knives or other kitchen equipment; adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
thumbnail Why do different types of fruits come packaged in different ways? In this project, you will experiment with different ways of packaging fruit to see if it has an effect on the freshness of the fruit. Will a different kind of packaging allow the fruit to stay fresh longer? Read more
MatlSci_p022
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Are oranges highest in vitamin C when they are fresh from the tree (or, in a pinch, the grocery shelf)? Does the amount of vitamin C in an orange change over time, after it has been picked? In this science project, you will find answers to these questions by measuring the amount of vitamin C in a solution using an iodine titration method. Read more
Chem_p043
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Ideally you would have your own citrus tree with ripe fruit for this science project. The second-best option is to use citrus fruit from a store.
Material Availability Titration equipment and supplies are needed. A kit is available at the Science Buddies Store. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision required. Concentrated iodine is poisonous if swallowed. Read and follow all safety guidelines in the Procedure. More information is available from the iodine [# Link Name="Chem_p044.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Materials Safety Data Sheet" #].
Project Idea
thumbnail Which type of orange juice has the most vitamin C? In this science project, you will learn how to measure the amount of vitamin C in a solution using an iodine titration method. You will compare the amount of vitamin C in three different types of orange juice: homemade, premium not-from-concentrate, and orange juice made from frozen concentrate. Which do you think will have the most vitamin C? Read more
Chem_p044
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability Titration equipment and supplies are needed. A kit is available from the [# Link Name="Chem_p044.7" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision required. Concentrated iodine is poisonous if swallowed. Read and follow all safety guidelines in the Procedure. More information is available from the iodine [# Link Name="Chem_p044.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Materials Safety Data Sheet" #].
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever noticed that the salt you are using says it is "iodized"? Iodine is an important micronutrient, which means we need it in small quantities to be healthy. Because iodine is rare in many people's normal diets, it is added to table salt. Then when people salt their food, they are also adding this important micronutrient. In this food science project, you will use some kitchen-friendly chemistry to investigate which types of salt have iodine added (in the form of iodide) and which do… Read more
FoodSci_p011
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Crown gall is a plant disease caused by the soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. This project uses tomato plants to investigate whether garlic extract can prevent crown gall infection. Read more
MicroBio_p024
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You will need a plant with an existing crown gall infection as a source of bacteria for this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when cutting with sharp knife or razor blade.
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you know why enzymes are oftentimes called the workhorses of biochemistry? It's because they can speed up a wide variety of chemical reactions, and chemists and biologists use enzymes to do all kinds of jobs. In this project, pectinase, an enzyme frequently used in the food industry, will be used to extract juice from apples. Read more
BioChem_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty Items
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Use care when using sharp knife to chop apples. Do not drink the juice produced in this experiment.
Project Idea
The iodine clock reaction is a favorite demonstration reaction in chemistry classes. Two clear liquids are mixed, resulting in another clear liquid. After a few seconds, the solution suddenly turns dark blue. The reaction is called a clock reaction because the amount of time that elapses before the solution turns blue depends on the concentrations of the starting chemicals. In this chemistry science fair project, you will explore factors that affect the rate of the iodine clock reaction. Read more
Chem_p091
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be attending or already have taken an introductory chemistry class. This science fair project requires careful attention to detail and will involve some creative problem solving and independent research on your part.
Material Availability You will need to order a chemical kinetics kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Wear safety goggles when working with all chemicals. Hydrochloric acid is corrosive to hands and eyes. Wear splash goggles and gloves when handling acids.
Project Idea
The rates of some chemical reactions can actually be increased by adding light. Light sometimes interacts with one or more of the chemicals and provides an "energy boost" that dramatically speeds up a normally slow reaction. In this photochemistry science project, you will experiment with the effect of light on a chemical reaction. The reaction converts iodine, which forms a dark-orange solution, to iodide, which is colorless! Read more
Chem_p095
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites An introductory chemistry class.
Material Availability You will need basic lab equipment, which can be ordered online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Gloves and safety goggles are required. Oxalic acid is toxic and an irritant. Avoid breathing oxalic acid dust and avoid contact with skin. Ammonia is an irritant. Iodine is also an irritant and stains clothes and skin. Adult supervision is required.
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