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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Extinct might be a word you associate with animals that lived long ago, like the dinosaurs, but did you know that over 18,000 species are classified as "threatened" (susceptible to extinction) today? Scientists involved in wildlife conservation have a tough job; they're in charge of determining what needs to be done to prevent a species from becoming extinct. Habitat, food supply, and impacts of local human populations are just a few of the factors these scientists take into account. It's a lot… Read more
EnvSci_p057
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None.
Material Availability This science project requires a computer you can use to download and save data sets, and install Google Earth, a free mapping program. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
How do you figure out how to get places? Do you ask for directions, look at a map, or consult a compass? There are many ways for people to figure out how to travel from one place to another, but how do other animals do it? In this science fair project, you'll use real data, collected by biologists, to figure out how migratory birds manage to navigate more than 2,000 miles from their breeding grounds to their wintering grounds. Read more
Zoo_p053
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science fair project requires the use of a computer with Internet access to download data-analysis software.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You might like to play in the autumn leaves and winter snow, but have you noticed that many birds don't like to stick around for the cold weather? And instead of the birds you're used to seeing in the warm months, your new feathered friends might be Canada geese. Why is that? Various types of birds and other animals travel from one place to another either in search of food, warmer temperatures, or other things they need to survive. This type of traveling is called migration. Try starting your… Read more
Zoo_p052
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You need access to a place where you can feed birds, such as ducks, geese, pigeons, or seagulls. See the Experimental Procedure for more details.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered what life is like for different animals, and where it is that they roam? For example, how large is the area they live in, and why do they go to different locations? While we can set up cameras to watch animals that live on land, it can more challenging to see the lives of animals that live underwater, especially in the vast oceans. In this ocean science project, you will use satellite tracking data to learn about the activity patterns of harbor porpoises. How far do they… Read more
OceanSci_p004
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Understanding of latitude and longitude, reading maps; Longer project times if monitoring currently tagged animals.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail We rely heavily on our senses to tell us about our environment. But in addition to the senses of touch, smell, taste, hearing, and sight, some animals are able to sense Earth's magnetic field. Migratory turtles and birds use this sense to guide them on long journeys. Homing pigeons use it to find their way home. New research suggests that large mammals, such as cows and deer, may also have the ability to sense the direction of magnetic north. In this animal behavior science project, you will… Read more
Zoo_p058
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Experience with Microsoft® PowerPoint® would be helpful. You will also need a computer that can run Google EarthTM and that has Internet access.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Animals survive in all sorts of extreme environments, whether it is a polar bear out and about when it is -40°F, a desert iguana trying to find food as the temperature rises to 110°F, or a deep sea anglerfish living 3281 feet down into the sea. How do they do it? The answer is adaptations! Their bodies have special features that allow them to live in those environments. You might not be able to dive down 3281 feet to observe the deep sea anglerfish, but in this science fair project you… Read more
Zoo_p050
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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
Do you enjoy singing contests like American Idol? Well, male songbirds have their own version of a singing competition that has been going on for thousands of years, and classical musical composers have been taking notes! In this music science fair project, you'll investigate the different instruments composers have used to imitate or create impressions of bird songs and bird calls. Read more
Music_p028
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You need access to a personal computer with an Internet connection.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever gone camping, looked up at the stars, and found the Big Dipper? Two stars in the dipper part of this constellation point to Polaris, the north star, which people have used for thousands of years to help them find their way. In this plant biology science fair project, you'll investigate whether plants, like moss, can help you find your way, too. Read more
PlantBio_p043
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You must have access to three lone trees that have moss growing on their bases, and that are not shaded by other trees or buildings.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered why geese fly in a V-formation? In this science fair project, you will build a wind tunnel to test how the formation of birds in flight actually affects their flight efficiency. Read more
Zoo_p057
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This is an advanced project that will require substantial initiative to design, build, and test. The experimental procedure gives outlines for how to proceed, and includes pictures; but precise details for the setup have to be worked out independently. Also, to perform the analysis, it is recommended that you first read the scientific papers that are listed in the Bibliography.
Material Availability You will need a web camera and a computer for this science fair project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail We've all heard that hurricanes draw their immense power from warm ocean waters. Of course, many factors contribute to the formation and growth of a hurricane, but can we expect to find that the warmer the water, the stronger the hurricane will be? This project shows you how to use online data archives to investigate this question. Read more
OceanSci_p005
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with computers and web browser is helpful for this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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