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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In this biology science fair project, you will observe how the Physarum polycephalum (P. polycephalum) organism responds to various amounts of glucose. P. polycephalum is easy to grow in a petri dish and responds in complex ways to its environment. Will it grow toward the chemical as it looks for a meal, or will it flee, trying to avoid further contact? Try this science fair project to learn more about chemotaxis in the fascinating Physarum polycephalum. Read more
MicroBio_p028
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites An introductory course in chemistry would be useful.
Material Availability You will need to order the "Chemotaxis in Physarum" kit online; see the Materials and Equipment list for details. This item may have to be ordered by your teacher.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be careful working with sharp blades. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The human kidney is the most commonly transplanted organ in the United States, numbering more than 17,000 transplants in 2010 alone! But kidney transplantation technology faces a lot of challenges, including a shortage of kidney donors and the need for recipients to take immunosuppressant drugs to keep their bodies from rejecting a transplanted kidney. In this science project, with the help of bioinformatics databases, you will explore how a kidney could be bioengineered using stem cells,… Read more
BioMed_p013
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites An advanced biology course or equivalent understanding of how cells respond to environmental stimmuli and signaling pathways.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever noticed that most yogurt containers say they contain "live cultures"? What does that mean? The label is suggesting that the yogurt has living bacteria in it! While some types of bacteria can make you sick, some are actually important to keep you healthy. But individual bacteria are so tiny that you cannot see one with the naked eye, so how can you tell if bacteria are really living in your yogurt? In this science fair project, you will investigate whether yogurt actually… Read more
FoodSci_p072
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to special order the agar plates. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety The bacteria in the yogurt is not harmful; however, it is possible for other bacteria to grow on the agar plates. For that reason, make sure to follow all the safety guidelines in the Experimental Procedure. Be sure to dispose properly any plates with bacteria when the experiment is over. Adult help is required to light a candle.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The Pilobolus fungus has an interesting way of making sure the next generation has a good start on life. At high speed, the fungus shoots a sac that contains spores toward a light source. Why toward a light source? Because that is where it is most likely to find an open area with grass. Once the spore is placed on grass, it is eaten by a cow or a horse, which is a critical step in its life cycle. The spore passes through the animal's digestive track and ends up in a pile of manure. For a fungal… Read more
MicroBio_p027
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Note: Pilobolus is grown on rabbit dung embedded in plain agar. A strong stomach is a prerequisite for working with this culture.
Material Availability You will need to order a Pilobolus culture kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. You should work with your teacher to have the kit delivered to your teacher at school, since there are restrictions on sending it to a residential address.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that you can measure the speed of light using a microwave oven, some egg white, and a ruler? Find out how with this cool kitchen science project thanks to Mr. Nick Hood, a science teacher in Fife, Scotland. Read more
Phys_p056
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites You'll need a microwave oven to do this project. You'll get the most out of this project if you've taken (or are currently taking) a course in high school physics.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision recommended
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered if a piece of jewelry is real gold or if it's just some ordinary metal alloy? It turns out that some metals have a unique property; even in small amounts, they can be toxic to some organisms, including algae, molds, fungi, and bacteria, although it often takes many hours to see an effect. Can this phenomena, called the oligodynamic effect be used to tell whether or not the gold or silver in a piece of jewelry is real? Do bacteria react differently to pure, plated, and… Read more
MicroBio_p026
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science fair project requires access to some laboratory equipment, such as a 37°C incubator, a Bunsen burner, as well as some specialty reagents, which can be ordered online. It also requires several pieces of jewelry, including at least one 14-karat gold piece. See the Materials and Equipment list for more details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety This science fair project involves the use of the bacterium E. coli. Standard microbiology and bacterial safety guidelines should be followed. See the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] for more details. Projects using bacteria may require pre-approval from your science fair's [# Link Name="MicroBio_p026.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. To maintain a sterile environment, you will be working near a lighted Bunsen burner. Keep all flammables, including hair and clothing, away from the flame.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever heard that nanoparticles can kill bacteria? You may have even seen some consumer products advertise that they contain antibacterial nanoparticles. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter long. Nanoparticles are usually just a few nanometers in diameter — really, really tiny! So how can something that small kill bacteria which are approximately 700 - 1400 nanometers across? Are they really effective? In this science project you will grow some E. coli bacteria and… Read more
MicroBio_p031
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures. If you have questions or need a refresher plese consult the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicrobiologyTechniquesampTroubleshooting" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] guide
Material Availability Some materials need to be special ordered; see the Materials and Equipment list for details
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety You must follow general safety precautions for handling microorganisms. See the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] for details.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered how antibiotics and other medicines are able to stop dangerous infections? How do such medications kill microorganisms without in general harming the person the microorganisms are infecting? Because many different types of microorganisms can infect us, we have had to develop an amazing number of ways to deal with these harmful microbes. Fungal infections can be particularly dangerous, but we have developed many different antifungal medications that can usually deal with… Read more
BioMed_p012
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of what fungus, dilutions, and molecular pathways are.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Wear gloves and have an adult help you when you handle and work with the antifungal medications. Antifungal medications can be damaging to your skin if they are not used properly.
Science Fair Project Idea
Microbes are everywhere in our environment, but for the most part they escape our notice. This project shows you how to safely culture and study common bacteria from your everyday surroundings. Read more
MicroBio_p007
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Material Availability Agar plates must be specially ordered
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Must follow general safety precautions for handling microorganisms
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you heard that garlic powder is supposed to inhibit the growth of bacteria? Which do you think would make a better disinfectant: a solution of garlic powder or a solution of bleach? This project shows you a straightforward way to compare the effectiveness of different disinfectants (or other antimicrobial agents), by measuring zones of inhibition on a culture plate. Read more
MicroBio_p014
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need access to a laboratory with facilities for culturing bacteria. You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Standard precautions for handling bacterial cultures and bleach.
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