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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
Project Idea
Many organisms have ways of orienting toward or away from an environmental stimulus. Some of these behaviors are instinctive, meaning they are behaviors with built in instructions that do not need to be learned. The instinctive response to a stimulus is called a taxis, and there are several types of cues: electricity (galvanotaxis), gravity (geotaxis), light (phototaxis), heat (thermotaxis), touch (thigmotaxis) or a chemical (chemotaxis). You can design experiments to test whether organisms… Read more
Zoo_p043
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project can be done with insects you catch in your own backyard or order from [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ApprovedSuppliers" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="online vendors" #] such as [# Link Name="Advanced.ApprovedSuppliers.2" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Carolina Biological Supply Company" #]
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety If you choose to try this science project with small animals (rather than with insects), use caution when handling the animals and always have an adult present. The use of small animals may require [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ScientificReviewCommitteeSRC" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="SRC approval" #].
Project Idea
Trees grow more during the early spring than they do the rest of the year. Because of this period of dormancy, or lack of growth, each year of growth is marked by a line called a tree ring. You can count the number of rings in the cross section of a tree trunk to show how old the tree is. You can also count the number of rings in a stem to see the age of a stem or branch. One way to measure the rate of growth of a tree is to count the number of rings per inch. Trees with high numbers of… Read more
PlantBio_p025
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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
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
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 recieved? 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.
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 online vendor.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Do not eat any mushrooms that you find growing in the wild.
Project Idea
Our metabolism changes as we get older, a sad fact of life that we cannot change. Old age affects our bodies in many ways. Changes in musculature, bone strength, energy, diet and breathing are some of the many ways we change as we age. You might notice that people often get out of breath when they are older and doing a physical activity. Why do some people feel out of breath, while others do not? Does this change correlate with age? Could this reflect a difference in lung capacity between… Read more
HumBio_p003
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability Bromothymol blue is a specialty chemical which can be ordered from an online vendor.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. If using bromothymol blue, be careful not to ingest it. Any volunteer who feels light-headed after exhaling should stop immediately and not repeat the experiment.
Project Idea
thumbnail Everyone loves looking at the full moon, but are these nights the best time to go stargazing? Can the moon interfere with certain astonomical observations? Read more
Astro_p014
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Use safety measures when in dark areas and use a flashlight when walking in the dark.
Project Idea
This project can apply to soccer, hockey, baseball and many other sports. What is the effect of stopping the kick/shot/swing at the moment of impact vs. following through? Think of a way to measure the outcome in each case, and explain your results. (idea from Gardner, 2000, 83-85; for more information with regard to specific sprorts, see: Barr, 1990, 12-14; Gay, 2004, 142-144; Adair, 2002, 30.) Read more
Sports_p034
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Project Idea
One of my favorite things to do when I was a kid was to go outside and look at the stars. As an adult, I moved to a major city and the stars seemed to vanish from the sky. Where did they go? Read more
Astro_p012
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Need a parent to drive to different locations at night, use safety measures when in dark areas.
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