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Project Idea
Do ants sometimes ruin your picnic? There are some chemical ant repellents you can spray to keep them away, but who wants to spray poison all over their food? In this experiment you can investigate some less toxic solutions that may be around your house so that your next picnic won't become an ant buffet! Read more
Zoo_p025
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety If using commercial ant repellents, please use caution and read all safety information provided by the manufacturer.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever stopped to watch a trail of ants moving back and forth between a food source and their nest? Have you ever wondered how they establish their trail? You've probably read that ants use chemical signals to communicate with one another. This is a relatively simple experiment that you can do to determine whether ants use attractant signals (positive cues) or repellant signals (negative cues) or both. Read more
Zoo_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You'll need an ant colony to do this experiment (outdoors is fine).
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Animals respond to chemical cues in different ways. If an animal turns away from a chemical cue, then that chemical is a repellent. If an animal turns toward a chemical cue, then that chemical is an attractant. Attractants and repellents can be airborne chemicals, chemicals found in food, or chemicals that diffuse through water. One example of an airborne chemical is a pheromone, a chemical signal that is released by one individual to attract another. Moths release pheromones to attract… Read more
Zoo_p042
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail If you have a garden, you probably know about snails (or their shell-less relatives, slugs). You may even be looking for a good way to keep them from getting into your garden and eating up the results of all your hard work. In this science project, you will take a scientific look at one method of discouraging this garden pest. Read more
Zoo_p019
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You should only do this science project if you live in an area where you routinely see land snails or slugs. Land snails and slugs are most likely to be out and active when it is damp out (such as in the early morning or after it has rained), or you may find them hiding under plant leaves.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Do corked bats really hit the ball further? What about other materials? Here's a project to find out. Read more
Sports_p047
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites It helps to be handy with building things: you'll need to design and build a bat-swinging device for this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision recommended. Adult assistance required for drilling bats.
Project Idea
thumbnail Did you ever notice the cool patterns around your footprints when you take a walk in the wet sand at the beach? The pressure of your feet has effects far outside your footprints. Here's a project that uses a simple experimental apparatus to investigate how the volume of wet sand changes under pressure. Read more
Geo_p023
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail What keeps a submarine from spinning out of control? In this science project, you can investigate how submarines use stabilizing fins to move forward. You might even figure out the secrets to maneuvering a submarine! Read more
Aero_p035
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Have an adult help you when using the razor blade or knife, as well as the drill. Always wear safety goggles when working with power tools. If you are performing the experiment in a pool, be sure to have an adult with you at all times.
Project Idea
The holidays are a wonderful time, when lots of good foods and good smells come from the kitchen. But have you noticed that if you stay in the kitchen awhile, you no longer notice the delicious smells? Don't worry! Your nose is not broken, you are just experiencing olfactory fatigue—basically, that's when your nose takes a nap. But what is behind olfactory fatigue and what happens when you experience it? Does a person's sense of smell "get tired" in the same way for different smells? Put your… Read more
HumBio_p031
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Are you curious about the birds that live in your neighborhood? Would you like to find out more about them: what they look like close up, what they eat, how they sing? In this project you'll build a bird feeding platform with four separate feeding areas. You'll be able to observe birds at close range, find out what birds inhabit your area, and learn about their seed-eating preferences. So get out your woodworking tools and binoculars, and get ready to see some birds. Read more
Zoo_p028
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision required for using power drill and staple gun
Project Idea
thumbnail How can seawater from the oceans be turned into fresh water that is suitable for people to drink? Through a process called solar desalination! In this science project, you will make a solar desalination apparatus using readily available materials, and a power source that is free. How much water can the device produce, and is it still salty at all? What factors affect how effectively saltwater is turned into fresh water? Read more
EnvEng_p022
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Some specialty items needed, see Materials list for details. For your convenience a Science Buddies Kit is available for purchase.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety A hand drill is needed for some steps. Adult assistance is needed for the steps involving a hand drill. All items in the Science Buddies Kit come pre-drilled, eliminating this safety issue.
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