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Others Like “The Case of Mistaken Identity”

Science Fair Project Idea
You may have read about criminal cases where innocent people have been wrongly convicted of a crime. Sometimes, modern DNA analysis techniques have provided the evidence to exonerate these innocent people. In many cases, mistaken identification by eyewitnesses provided strong evidence for the original conviction. How can prosecutors and defense attorneys make sure that photo lineup procedures used to identify criminal suspects are unbiased? This project shows you how to conduct an objective… Read more
HumBeh_p015
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Think back to the last time you went to the grocery store. How well can you describe the person who was ahead of you in the check-out line? How many details do you remember about the person? How accurate do you think your memory is? Here is a project to investigate the accuracy of people's observations during everyday life. Read more
HumBeh_p014
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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
thumbnail There is evidence to be gathered at every crime scene. The hard part is making sense of it all. That's where crime scene investigators and forensic scientists come in. In this science fair project, you will investigate blood spatter using fake blood. Your job, as an impartial scientist, is to deliver facts so that justice can be served. Are you up to the challenge? Read more
Phys_p072
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Basic knowledge of trigonometry is required. For a refresher, check out the trigonometry reference listed in the Bibliography.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety This topic of inquiry can be a little scary. If you are at all squeamish, then do not attempt to research the topic or do this science fair project. Always have an adult with you when you are doing your research, especially if you are doing research online. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Every criminal leaves behind evidence at the crime scene. The trick to catching the criminal is collecting all of the evidence and making sense of it. This is what the forensic expert does. In this science project you will be correlating the size of blood stains to the distance from which a body fell, but don't get too grossed out. You'll be doing it with water-filled balloons. If you like figuring out mysteries, this is the science project for you! Read more
Phys_p066
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available. You might need to purchase a ladder.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible. This project involves dropping balloons from different heights. Have a helper hold the ladder so you can avoid falling and getting hurt. Do not try this science project with anything else but water balloons.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever looked at two girls and thought they looked so similar that they must be sisters? What about a father and his son — have you ever seen a boy who looked just like how his father did when he was younger? We can often tell that two people are related because they appear to have several similar physical traits. This is because children receive half of their DNA — their genetic blueprints — from each parent. What about fingerprints — are they an inherited trait?… Read more
Genom_p009
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of genetic inheritance

Consent forms must be signed for each person participating in this experiment. You should inform people that although fingerprints can be used as forms of identification, you will assign their fingerprints a code and not use their name so that the fingerprints remain anonymous. For children under the age of 18, parents must grant consent. In addition, the fair's Scientific Review Committee (SRC) must approve the experimental design (including consent forms).

Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In physics class, you have probably rolled your eyes at some point after being assigned a "projectile motion" homework problem where you use equations to predict how a ball will move through the air. This experiment will show you just how fun that problem can be by using a real catapult to launch a ball and videotaping it as it flies along its path. Then, you will analyze the video and compare it to what the equations predicted. If you have ever wondered if those equations in your physics… Read more
Phys_p089
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This project requires a basic understanding of algebra, trigonometry (sine and cosine functions), and physics (kinematics—two-dimensional projectile motion), or the willingness to learn about these subjects on your own.
Material Availability This project requires access to a video camera (not included in the cost estimate) and the purchase of a catapult kit. (See the Materials and Equipment list for details.)
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Minor injury possible. Never aim the catapult at anyone, and keep your hands and fingers clear of the moving catapult arm when launching the catapult.
Science Fair Project Idea
Police detectives use various scientific tools to analyze evidence at a crime scene. One of the classic tools is the Kastle-Meyer test for the presence of blood. This test is inexpensive, easy to perform, and provides quick results. The test provides evidence if red spots found at a crime scene are actually blood. But the investigator needs to be careful, since other substances can also give a positive result. In this crime scene chemistry science project, you will learn how to perform the… Read more
BioChem_p037
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order the "Presumptive Blood Test" kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be sure to wear safety goggles and disposable gloves when working with the substances and blood kit.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The Briggs-Rauscher (BR) chemical reaction is often used in chemical demonstrations because of its dramatic color changes. When the chemicals are mixed together, the clear solution turns amber, then dark blue, and then fades to clear again. The cycle repeats 10 or more times. Although the chemistry is complicated, the reaction is easy to set up and run in your kitchen. The goal of this science project is to build a device that can capture the changes of the BR reaction for analysis on a… Read more
Chem_p098
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A course in chemistry is a prerequisite. Some familiarity with electronics would be helpful, but is not required. This is an advanced science project, so you will have to do a lot of independent, creative problem solving as you work through the steps of the procedure.
Material Availability You will need to purchase some items online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Always wear gloves and safety goggles when working with chemicals. The iodine solution formed in the procedure will stain skin and clothes, so should be handled carefully. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You may have seen movies or read books where armies in medieval times catapulted large rocks or other objects at castles (or each other!). These armies used different types of catapults to accomplish different goals — for example, launching things over or into castle walls to knock them down. In this experiment, you will use a ping-pong ball catapult to lay siege to a "castle" and find the right settings to hit your targets. Read more
Phys_p085
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible. Keep your fingers clear when launching the catapult. Do not aim the catapult at people.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you were in a raiding army in the Middle Ages, a catapult would come in mighty handy for taking down castle walls. But only if you could aim it reliably! With this science project, you will try your hand at catapult technology. Using a rubber-band-powered catapult you will send ping pong balls flying through the air. The catapult's design makes it easy to measure and repeat how hard the ball is launched and its direction, so you can find the right catapult settings to hit the target reliably. Read more
ApMech_p008
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A catapult kit is needed; see the Materials tab for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Do not aim the catapult at breakable objects or people; minor injury possible.
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