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Project Idea
As you move up or down in altitude or elevation, the temperature and pressure will change. This is particularly striking if you live near a mountain range. During the summer, at low altitudes you may have temperatures in the 80's or 90's and still be able to see snow on mountain peaks at high altitude. You can test the effect of altitude by comparing temperature data from weather stations at high and low altitudes. You can test the effect of elevation by making your own weather balloon and… Read more
Weather_p020
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
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)
Project Idea
Survey your area to find out which species of plants and animals live there. You might be surprised to find out that something you grew up thinking was very common, is actually quite unique! For example, if you live in the great plains, then you may think that prairie dogs are a nuisance or a pest. Actually, some species of prairie dogs are only found here, and have a very important role for short and tall grass prairie ecosystems. The prairie dogs are an important part of the food-chain, and… Read more
EnvSci_p031
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
Do your parents like to garden? Then you might have a beautiful lawn surrounded by flowers, or a vegetable garden. Humans have been introducing plants to our landscapes for centuries, which has dramatically altered the natural habitat of many environments. Chances are, the landscape you live in is not a natural landscape. One movement is to restore these habitats by re-introducing native plants. Conduct a survey in your area looking for native and non-native plant species. You can take… Read more
EnvSci_p030
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
Invasive species are organisms (either plant or animal) that have been introduced into a new, non-native area and spread rapidly in the new environment due to a lack of regulation by predators. Frequently, invasive species will out-compete native species for resources which can put native species at risk. This is an especially big problem for threatened habitat and endangered species, which are already at risk. Survey your area to document cases of invasive species invading a local… Read more
EnvSci_p029
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Project Idea
Visit your local landfill to collect dumping statistics by watching the types of trash people bring to the dump. Identify problem areas and types of waste that are commonly brought to the dump. Propose new uses for common landfill problems like tires, construction materials, plastics, appliances, and computer parts. Measure packaging materials of some common products. Invent ways to reduce the amount of packaging and increase the use of recyclable materials like popcorn or corn-based packing… Read more
EnvSci_p036
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
Some plants use a lot of water, and some are very drought-tolerant. Drought-tolerant grasses are good for water conservation because they require less water to grow and stay green. How much less water do they need? Which types of grass are drought-tolerant? You can buy different types or brands of grass seed at your nursery that claim to be drought-tolerant. Grow them in a container and then starve for water after they are established. Which brands die out first? You can conduct a similar… Read more
EnvSci_p022
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Project Idea
Silt is a fine sediment that collects on the bottoms of rivers, streams and lakes. The natural process of the decay of organisms into the water can lead to the production of silt at the bottom of a lake. Silt can be a rich source of nutrients for fish and bottom dwellers like crayfish. However, it can also be introduced by unnatural processes. One problem for rivers, lakes and streams is the buildup of excess fine sediment introduced by industry. Because it often contains harmful chemicals it… Read more
EnvSci_p035
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
thumbnail On a rainy day, do you ever wonder what the weather is like on the other side of the planet? Different regions around the globe can have very different seasonal weather patterns. In this experiment, you can test if these seasonal variations are related to which hemisphere each region is located in. Read more
Weather_p006
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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)
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