"Big data" is exactly what it sounds like, a really large amount of data. Science has always been at the forefront of gathering, visualizing, and trying to make sense of massive data sets. For example, think of the more than 661,000 (and counting) asteroids that have been discovered in our solar system. Or ponder that 1.2 million species have been caught, identified, classified, and catalogued on Earth. And then there are the approximately 3 billion base pairs sequenced from the human genome. Even before there was a term for it, scientists have been amassing and analyzing big data.

Science Fair Project Idea
You have probably seen figures showing how human beings are related to chimpanzees, gorillas, and other primates. In this genomics science fair project, you will use bioinformatics tools to generate your own primate family tree. Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Believe it or not, scientists were recently able to recover tissue from a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex fossil! Not only were they able to purify non-mineralized tissue, but they also succeeded in obtaining partial sequence information for protein molecules in the T. rex tissue. In this genomics science fair project, you will use the T. rex's protein sequence to search sequence databases for the its closest living relatives. Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
The first land animals took their tentative steps out of the ocean and onto solid ground around 365 million years ago. Over millions of years, these early ancestors developed into tetrapods, including amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals. Then, around 50 million years ago, the reverse process occurred: the mammalian ancestor of today's whales returned to the ocean. In this genomics science fair project, you will use mitochondrial protein sequencing to trace the evolution of… Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Did you ever wonder about your ancient ancestors? Who they were? Where they came from? In this science project, you will investigate the secrets of your distant past as revealed by your DNA. In order to obtain a sample for DNA analysis, you will scrape a soft swab inside your mouth to collect cheek cells. The cheek cell sample will be sent to a lab for processing, and the results of the analysis will be sent to you. Based on the genetic markers in your DNA, the ancient clan that your… Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Ozone in the stratosphere protects the earth by absorbing harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. However, when ozone occurs in the troposphere, i.e., the air that we breathe, it is harmful to health. In this project you can use data from EPA monitoring stations to analyze the weather/climate conditions that can lead to harmful ozone levels. Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
The Ring of Fire is a region of volcanic and earthquake activity that surrounds the Pacific Ocean. In this project you can explore the connection between plate tectonics and volcanic activity by mapping historical data. Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
When an earthquake happens, how are scientists able to determine the original location of the quake? In this project, you'll use archived data from a network of seismometers to find out for yourself. You'll create your own seismograms from the comfort of your own computer with an easy-to-use webpage interface. Then you'll analyze your seismograms to determine the distance of the quake from each seismometer station. By mapping your analyzed data, you will be able to determine the location of the… Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Scientists have known for hundreds of years that sunspot activity waxes and wanes over a cycle that lasts approximately 11 years. In the 1970's, scientists discovered that the sun periodically blasts electrified gases into space, in huge outbursts called 'coronal mass ejections,' or CMEs. This project asks the question: do CMEs follow the solar sunspot cycle? Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
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
Science Fair Project Idea
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
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Free science fair projects.