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Others Like “Fish + Food = Science of Aquaponics”

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Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever planted a garden? It is a real pleasure to see a garden where all of the plants lie in neat rows and are healthy and thriving. Plants need sunlight and nutritious soil to grow and be healthy, right? Not always! Hydroponics is the science of growing plants in nutrient-rich water. Does it work? Try this project and see for yourself! Read more
PlantBio_p045
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use gloves and safety goggles when handling chemicals. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
You might not know it, but a lake without algae would be a very dull place. If there were no algae, there would be no small animals feeding on the algae, and there wouldn't be any fish eating the small animals that eat the algae. You might conclude that since some algae is good, more algae is even better, but algae growth has a down side. If there is too much algae, they can deplete the oxygen in the water, killing off other species in the water. What is one culprit that leads to algal growth?… Read more
EnvSci_p054
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Material Availability You will need access to a pond or a lake from which to collect water. Students who do not have access to a pond or a lake might want to look at some of the variations, at the end of the project, which use purchased algae cultures.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Every day farmers around the world apply commercial fertilizer to their fruits and vegetables to improve plant health and yield. But applying commercial fertilizer is expensive and not economically possible for some farmers in developing countries. What if they could find a way to fertilize plants cheaply? It turns out that human urine is rich in the nutrients that plants need to grow. Could urine serve as a fertilizer substitute? Find out for yourself in this plant growth science project. Read more
PlantBio_p046
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability To do this project, you will need dirt without any added fertilizer. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when handling human urine. Wear gloves when working with human urine. Adult supervision is recommended.
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 a 'hot' compost pile compare to a 'cold' compost pile, or how does traditional composting compare to worm composting, or vermiculture? Figure 1. Different composting methods yield different soils. In this picture, the soil on the left is vermicompost (the… Read more
Geo_p036
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Science Fair Project Idea
Do you know what plants need to grow? Sure, they need soil, water, and sunshine. Everyone knows that. But here's a secret: they also need nitrogen. Plants use nitrogen to make DNA in their cells and the proteins that lead to healthy stems and leaves. The problem is, although the Earth's atmosphere is made up of 78% nitrogen, the form of nitrogen found in the atmosphere cannot be used by plants. So how do plants get their nitrogen? Either through nitrogen deposits in the soil, or through… Read more
PlantBio_p010
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items (can easily be purchased online through Carolina Biological Supply Company)
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Requires adult supervision during use of nitrogen fertilizer
Science Fair Project Idea
Plants need nitrogen to grow healthy stems and leaves. Although nitrogen is the most abundant element in the air we breathe, that form of nitrogen cannot be used by plants. Nitrogen contained in fertilizer, on the other hand, is readily taken up by plants. In this experiment, you will compare plants grown without nitrogen fertilizer to plants grown with nitrogen fertilizer. Read more
PlantBio_p012
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision recommended during preparation of nitrogen fertilizer solution
Science Fair Project Idea
Interested in helping the environment, and don't mind getting dirty? In this project you get to mix it up with earthworms, soil, and various types of organic kitchen scraps. The basic idea is to set up small earthworm colonies to compost different types of food waste. You test the soils in each type to see how diet affects both the earthworm population and the nutrients they put back into the soil. This project takes a little time, but it's worth it. You'll help the environment and learn… Read more
EnvSci_p041
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
What happens to the food leftovers in your home? Do they go in the trash? Down the garbage disposal? Or get gobbled up by the family dog? Food leftovers are a type of organic waste, a waste that comes from a plant or animal. Organic waste—like table scraps, agricultural waste, and human and animal waste—is biodegradable. This means, it can be chemically broken down by bacteria, fungi, or other living organisms into very small parts. Figure 1. This photo shows examples of… Read more
EnvSci_p055
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Composting worms will need to be ordered online or bought in a local gardening store. A worm farm can be constructed or purchased.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Do you know what is living in your backyard? How about at the playground, or in your compost pile? Nematodes, also called roundworms, are the most abundant animal on Earth and they might be living in any of these places. In this science project you'll isolate nematodes from several soil samples to discover the best nematode habitats. Read more
Zoo_p045
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The E. coli culture and the agar plates are specialty items. They can be ordered online (see Materials and Equipment for more details), but you will need to plan ahead.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety This science project involves the use of the bacterium E. coli. Standard microbiology and bacterial safety guidelines should be followed.
Science Fair Project Idea
We are all familiar with the nursery rhyme, "Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day...", or the song "Singin' in the Rain." Numerous songs and stories describe our feelings about rain. Why so many? Because we humans understand how important rain is to our well-being. Rainfall, as part of the water cycle, brings water back to Earth that had previously evaporated or transpired from the surface. When water vapor in the atmosphere condenses into clouds and falls back to Earth as rain,… Read more
EnvEng_p033
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Before starting this project, check your local and state laws regarding the rules for collecting rainwater.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Wear safety goggles and equipment when working with tools. Minor injury is possible. Adult supervision is required. Do not drink the water collected in the project.
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