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Science Fair Project Idea
Trees grow more during the early spring than they do the rest of the year. Because of this period of dormancy, or lack of growth, each year of growth is marked by a line called a tree ring. You can count the number of rings in the cross section of a tree trunk to show how old the tree is. You can also count the number of rings in a stem to see the age of a stem or branch. One way to measure the rate of growth of a tree is to count the number of rings per inch. Trees with high numbers of… Read more
PlantBio_p025
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Most of the energy and fuel that we use in the United States is derived from burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are the remains of plants and animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. Examples of fossil fuels include coal, petroleum oil, and natural gas. Burning coal releases 21.3 gigatons of carbon dioxide— a greenhouse gas that may be responsible for global warming and climate change—into the air in one year. About half of this amount is absorbed by natural processes… Read more
Energy_p032
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This science fair project must be performed in a well-ventilated area; a fume hood is recommended. You must also have a teacher who can help you order the necessary chemicals.
Material Availability Specialty items are required. You will need methanol, and either potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. See the Guide to Purchasing Chemicals for more information.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Minor injury is possible. You must wear safety goggles and gloves when dealing with chemicals. Do not breathe in fumes from the chemicals. Read and follow the suggestions in the Chemistry Safety Guide.
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
The ozone layer is important for blocking most of the harmful radiation that comes from the sun. You can find maps of the ozone layer and compare different regions of the globe for ozone coverage. Where are the problem areas? Is there a difference in ozone coverage between different hemispheres? Between populated and un-populated areas? In atmospheric regions over land masses or over bodies of water? Some scientists think that aerosols in the air are breaking down the ozone layer. You can do… Read more
Weather_p014
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Wind can make a cold day colder, or a hot day more pleasant. Use weather data to test the effect of wind on the temperature. How much of a change on the perceived temperature can the wind make? How is wind shear calculated? How can a wind barrier, like a wind breaker, keep you warm even if there is no insulating material? Build an instrument to measure wind speed or direction. (FI, 2006; GLOBE, 2006; NCAR, 2006; NOAA, 2006; Unisys, 2006; Weather Underground, 2006; WMO, 2006) Read more
Weather_p019
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Disposable diapers contain a polymer, called sodium acrylate, which is useful for absorbing water. Do background research to learn about sodium acrylate, and how it reacts with water. Make sure that you understand the terms hydrophilic, polarity and hydrogen bonding. Cut out the middle, padded section of a disposable diaper. Cut this into equally-sized square pieces, approximately 10-12 cm on a side. Remove some of the stuffing material so that you can staple the open ends closed. … Read more
Chem_p035
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
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
What is geomagnetism, and how does it affect the earth? Visit the USGS Geomagnetism program for more information about this invisible force (USGS, 2006). How is the earth's magnetic field patterned? Are the magnetic poles located at the exact North and South Pole? How can the fields be mapped on the Earth's surface? What is declination? Use the mapping tools to study changes in declination patterns over time. (USGS, 2006) Read more
Geo_p029
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Can you remember what the weather was like last week? Last year? Here's a project that looks at what the weather was like for over a hundred years. You'll use historical climate data to look at moisture conditions in regions across the continental U.S. You'll use a spreadsheet program to calculate the frequency of different moisture conditions for each region and make graphs for comparison. Which part of the country has the most frequent droughts? The most frequent periods of prolonged… Read more
Math_p040
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Humans are bipedal, which means we walk using two legs. This gave humans an adaptive advantage during the evolution of humankind. Being bipedal gave humans additional speed, balance and flexibility used for walking, hunting or traveling long distances. However, we may have lost the ability to climb or swing in trees like other primates. How much faster can you go when you are bipedal? Have a race with your friends using two legs, and then four legs (use your arms as your 3rd and 4th legs).… Read more
Zoo_p035
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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