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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
Flower development is an important part of plant growth. When a plant has reached maturity, it needs to develop flowers in order to reproduce. The male and female parts of the flower have specialized structures for reproduction that develop as the plant matures. How do flowers develop over time? Which structures develop first? You can answer these questions by dissecting the flowers of a gladiola. Gladiola flowers grow and develop along the stem, with the most mature flowers opening at the… Read more
PlantBio_p027
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Gladiola plants are available for purchase in many plant nurseries at select times of the year. Check with your local nursery.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when using a blade for flower dissection. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Some plants grow only in water-logged environments. These plants are usually native to wetlands and are important for the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems. Wetland ecosystems are very fragile and susceptible to the toxic dumping of sewage and fertilizer run-off from neighboring farm land. One very common aquatic plant called duckweed inhabits many wetland marshes. Duckweed grows by asexual reproduction and floats at the surface of the water with tiny roots extending into the water below.… Read more
PlantBio_p030
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Duckweed can be purchased from plant nurseries, or you can also find it growing naturally in local ponds and marshes. If you find the duckweed in a local water source, make sure you get permission from the land owner or town before taking any.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair 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)
Science Fair Project Idea
Want to send coded messages to your friends? Can you write a simple letter-substitution encryption program in JavaScript? How easy is it to break the simple code? Can you write a second program that "cracks" the letter-substitution code? Investigate other encryption schemes. What types of encryption are least vulnerable to attack? Read more
CompSci_p031
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Science Fair Project Idea
Make your own fertile soil using kitchen scraps, manure, leaves, grass clippings, and other compostable materials. Which materials make the best compost? How does the amount of nitrogen change the rate at which the compost forms? How does traditional composting compare to worm composting, or vermiculture? How does the temperature of the compost pile change? Read more
Geo_p036
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Science Fair Project Idea
If you're interested in analyzing how things break, check out the Science Buddies project . Read more
MatlSci_p032
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
If you know or calculate the field of view for your camera, you can use it to measure distances and the height of almost anything. It's all a matter of basic trigonometry. Read more
Photo_p015
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
You can compare the picture quality for photos taken at different shutter speeds with the camera handheld vs. with the camera on a tripod. (This is best done with a camera that has manual exposure control.) Read more
Photo_p017
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Students who are mathematically inclined can use the student version of a program like MatLab or Mathematica to convert a digital image into numbers, then perform operations such as sharpening or special effects. This is a great way to learn about image processing algorithms. Read more
Photo_p018
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
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