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Science Fair Project Idea
Mushrooms are not plants, but are fungi. Fungi include mushrooms, molds, and lichen. They do not produce seeds to reproduce like some plants. Fungi produce spores, like more primitive plants do. The spores of a mushroom are contained in the tiny folds around the stem underneath the mushroom cap. Different species of mushrooms have different types of spores, with different colors and different patterns of folds. You can make mushroom prints by removing the stem from a mushroom and placing the… Read more
PlantBio_p026
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires access to a place where mushrooms grow wildly (and you have permission to harvest them) or the purchase of a mushroom growing kit from an [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ApprovedSuppliers" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="online vendor" #].
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Do not eat any mushrooms that you find growing in the wild.
Science Fair Project Idea
Leaves grow in a different pattern than stems and shoots. They do not elongate along one axis, but instead spread out over time. Do all regions of the leaf grow equally? You can use markings on different regions of a growing leaf to see if the whole surface grows, or if growth is focused in a particular region, like the veins or edges of the leaf. If you look along a leafy stem, you may notice that leaves at different positions along the stem are different sizes. You can do an experiment to… Read more
PlantBio_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Our forests are a very important natural resource that need to be managed wisely. We use wood products for many different purposes: building materials, paper, cardboard, furniture, fuel, etc. How can we use wood products in a sustainable manner? You can do experiments that examine the growth time of different tree species to see which are good candidates for tree farming. Which types of lumber are most sustainable? You can also compare the effects of clear cutting vs. thinning a forested… Read more
EnvSci_p038
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Science Fair Project Idea
Plant stems grow through a process of elongation due to cell divisions within the stem. Does the entire length of the stem elongate evenly? Or do certain regions along the plant stem grow more or less than others? Regions that are involved in active growth are called vegetative. You can conduct an experiment to show which regions of a bean seedling are involved in vegetative growth. Use a marker to mark one inch sections along the main stem of a young bean seedling. Number the regions 1-6… Read more
PlantBio_p023
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Animals have different levels of activity depending upon their habitat, metabolism and behavior. Diurnal animals are more active during the day. Nocturnal animals are more active at night. Being diurnal or nocturnal may have different advantages for different animals. For example, desert animals tend to be nocturnal so they can stay cool and escape the desert heat present during the day. What types of diurnal and nocturnal animals are common in your area? You can set out a small trap to… Read more
Zoo_p041
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety If you choose to try trapping small animals, adult assistance will be necessary. Avoid touching wild animals. Seek immediate medical attention if bitten by an animal.
Science Fair Project Idea
Chlorophyll is a natural pigment found in green plants. It is the primary pigment that absorbs light energy from the sun for photosynthesis. This energy is then used by the plant to synthesize glucose from carbon dioxide and water. Chlorophyll in the leaves of plants can be extracted and separated using chromatography. A good source of chlorophyll for an extraction is a dark green leafy vegetable like spinach. Rub a fresh spinach leaf on the bottom of a strip of filter paper. You can get a… Read more
PlantBio_p020
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The page on [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.PaperChromatographyResources" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] lists the best papers and solvents for chromatography. The paper needs to be specially ordered and is available from the [# Link Name="PlantBio_p035.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety The solvents, like acetone or alcohol, for paper chromatography should be used in well-ventilated areas. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Global warming is how scientists describe the gradual warming of our global climate. Scientists think that the trend towards global warming can be attributed to the build up of greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere from industrialization. Another problem is deforestation, as we remove plants and trees from the environment to meet a high demand for lumber or by clear cutting fields for farming and urbanization. By removing trees from the earth's environment, are we changing how greenhouse… Read more
PlantBio_p029
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
You probably know that you can use iron filings to reveal the magnetic field produced by a strong magnet. If you sandwich the iron filings between pieces of waxed paper, you can make a permanent record of your magnetic experiments (Gardner, 2004, 66). Cover the wax paper sandwich with a layer of brown paper (from a roll, or cut open a paper shopping bag), and then (with an adult's help) use a hot, dry iron to seal the waxed paper together. You will have to experiment a little with your iron… Read more
Elec_p043
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
A solution consists of a solute dissolved in a solvent. A solution is saturated when no additional solute will dissolve in it. Can a saturated solution of sodium chloride dissolve any Epsom salts? Can a saturated solution of Epsom salts dissolve any sodium chloride? How does solubility vary with temperature? How does solubility vary with the surface area of the solute? Design experiments to find out! (Gardner, 1999, 16-17, Stretton, 2004) Read more
Chem_p038
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Want to send coded messages to your friends? Can you write a simple letter-substitution encryption program in JavaScript? How easy is it to break the simple code? Can you write a second program that "cracks" the letter-substitution code? Investigate other encryption schemes. What types of encryption are least vulnerable to attack? Read more
CompSci_p031
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
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