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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 online vendor.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Do not eat any mushrooms that you find growing in the wild.
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
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
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 bit by an animal.
Project Idea
One thing that all living things have in common is that they grow through cell division. How is this growth regulated? Sometimes growth occurs when it is not supposed to, leading to cancer. Scientists are trying to discover how growth is regulated, hoping to find potential cures for cancer. One idea is that cells keep track of growth using special regions of the chromosome called "telomeres" that count how many divisions a cell has made. If this is true, then growth, cell division and age are… Read more
Zoo_p033
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability To see other people's medical records, you will need their permission. Since this project involves medical data, it may require SRC approval.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail How much force does it take to drive a nail through different types of wood? In this project you'll build a simple test apparatus to swing a hammer reproducibly so you can find out. Read more
ApMech_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision and assistance recommended (power tools used to assemble test apparatus).
Project Idea
Flower development is an important part of plant growth. When a plant has reached maturity, it needs to develop flowers in order to reproduce. The male and female parts of the flower have specialized structures for reproduction that develop as the plant matures. How do flowers develop over time? Which structures develop first? You can answer these questions by dissecting the flowers of a gladiola. Gladiola flowers grow and develop along the stem, whith the most mature flowers opening at the… Read more
PlantBio_p027
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Gladiola plants are available for purchase in many plant nurseries at select times of the year. Check with your local nursery.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when using a blade for flower dissection. Adult supervision is recommended.
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
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever noticed an old stone wall and wondered how long it has been there? If there is lichen growing on the wall, the lichen has most likely been living there since the time the wall was made, so if you could figure out how old the lichen is then you could deduce the age of the wall. Geologies use this method, called lichenometry, and other methods to establish dates and temporal sequences as they seek to construct a history from the available evidence. In this geology science project,… Read more
Geo_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Local lichen species with suitable growth patterns for use in dating.
Material Availability Availability of suitable lichen species can depend on geographic area.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Germination is the process by which a seed emerges from the seed coat. Many different variables can effect the process of germination. Try to sprout seeds from different species of plant to see if different species vary in germination time. Are weeds faster germinators than vegetables? Try measuring seeds and then germinating them to see if big seeds sprout at a different rate than small seeds. Try sprouting seeds in different environments to test the effect of different environmental… Read more
PlantBio_p028
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Use caution when using a blade to cut open seeds. Adult supervision is recommended.
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