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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In this project, water fleas (Daphnia magna), a semi-transparent freshwater crustacean, are used to study the effects of caffeine on heart rate. Don't worry about having to learn how to take a crustacean's pulse: you can actually see the heart beating under a microscope. Many variations of this experiment are possible. Read more
Zoo_p048
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You will need a microscope for observing Daphnia closely enough to monitor heart rate. Either a dissecting microscope or a compound microscope with low-power objective and a depression slide could be used.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Changes in the environment, or stimuli, affect your behavior and movement over the course of a day: When you get cold, for instance, you might get up and put on a sweater. Or if it is sunny and warm, you might go outside to play sports or go for a walk. Different stimuli, including light, affect the movement of other organisms as well. But how does the type of light influence their movement? Do they respond differently to different kinds of light, depending on other factors in their… Read more
EnvSci_p006
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items, like a Daphnia magna culture kit, can be ordered from [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ApprovedSuppliers" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="online vendors" #] such as [# Link Name="EnvSci_p006.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. Alternatively, you could purchase Daphnia possibly from a local tropical fish store.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail One way to test for the presence of toxic compounds in a water sample is a bioassay. In a bioassay, a living organism serves as a detector for toxins—the same way canaries were used in coal mines to detect invisible toxic gases. In this project, water fleas (Daphnia magna), a freshwater crustacean, are used in a bioassay to monitor water quality. Many variations of this experiment are possible. Read more
EnvSci_p043
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision required when collecting sediment samples from parking lot.
Science Fair Project Idea
Many people routinely use fertilizer for crops, gardens, and lawns. What people don't know is that each time they apply fertilizer, the fertilizer seeps through the soil into the water table. This can eventually lead to the contamination of a local water source, like a stream, pond, lake, bay, or ocean. This is an especially big problem for agricultural practices that frequently use large amounts of fertilizer on fields that are connected by irrigation channels. The run-off of fertilizer… Read more
EnvSci_p025
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
During metabolism, organisms experience physical and chemical changes. All animals need some way to exchange chemical waste generated during metabolism for fresh nutrients. One way that these metabolic chemicals are exchanged is during respiration, the process by which used carbon dioxide gas is exchanged with fresh oxygen and circulated throughout the body. How do organisms living underwater respirate? They use gills, which filter oxygen from the water and pass the oxygen into the… Read more
Zoo_p031
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail People often call cardiovascular disease a "silent killer." This disease sneaks up and causes damage, but patients don't realize it—until serious symptoms start. That is why physicians recommend keeping your cardiovascular system healthy. A healthy cardiovascular system gives us the energy and the stamina to do all of the things that we want to accomplish, such as do our best in school and perform well in sports. But what makes a cardiovascular system unhealthy, and what are the… Read more
HumBio_p032
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need access to a hand drill with bits of different sizes. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when using a drill. Be sure to wear safety goggles. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
No one can deny the devastating consequences of an oil spill on the local wildlife. Oil affects all levels of the ecosystem, from plants to fish and birds. What happens to water plants if you add motor oil to their pot? What is the effect of motor oil on the health of a goldfish, or water insects? What happens to the barbs of a bird feather if they are dipped in oil? Can you test different types of environmentally-friendly detergents for cleaning the bird feathers? Can you test different… Read more
EnvSci_p032
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What happens to the food leftovers in your home? Do they go in the trash? Down the garbage disposal? Or get gobbled up by the family dog? Food leftovers are a type of organic waste, a waste that comes from a plant or animal. Organic waste, like table scraps, agricultural waste, and human and animal waste, is biodegradable. This means, if oxygen is present, it can be broken down by various microorganisms through a process called composting. If oxygen is not present, it can be broken down using… Read more
EnvSci_p055
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Composting worms will need to be ordered online. A worm farm can be constructed or purchased.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Fruit is a strategy some plants use to attract animals to disperse seeds. The animals eat the fruit and disperse the seeds through the digestive system. To attract animals, fruit needs to ripen and develop an odor that acts as an attractant. How much more successful are ripe fruits at attracting animals? Try setting out an over and under ripe piece of fruit, and compare how many many insects are attracted to each fruit. How does ripening occur? You can do an experiment using a very ripe… Read more
PlantBio_p021
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Do not eat any fruit to which you have added chemicals. Use caution when using sharp knives or other kitchen equipment; adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
All animals need to respond to changes in their immediate environment. The sensory structures of animals are each made to respond to distinct types of sensory stimuli: touch, taste, sound, light and smell. How are these stimuli received? Different animals have different strategies for receiving stimuli and develop specialized structures for doing so. Antennae, ears, noses, tongues, eyes, eye spots, hairs and bristles are all examples of sensory structures used by different animals to sense… Read more
Zoo_p040
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Avoid applying too much pressure and harming an animal when performing the touch test.
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