Experiments & Project Ideas

Question: What Are the Best Liquid Conductors of Energy?

Summary: This experiment explores the kinds of liquids that are the best conductors of energy when splitting the molecules of water through electrolysis.

Materials Needed:

9 v Battery

Small Electrolysis Apparatus  

Distilled Water

Baking Soda

Lemon Juice

Table Salt

Dishwashing Detergent

Stopwatch

Pen and Paper for Taking Notes

Project Procedure:

  1. Set up the Electrolysis apparatus following the instructions, connecting it to the 9 v battery using the leads.
  2. Slowly fill the reservoir with distilled water. Add a pinch of baking soda to create an electrolyte mixture.
  3. Use the stopwatch to measure how long it takes for gasses to be formed in the test tubes. Record your observations about these gasses. Is there more gas in one test tube than the other? What gasses do you think are being formed there?
  4. Discard the baking soda solution, clean the test tubes and repeat this procedure with the following:
    1. Distilled water and lemon juice
    2. Distilled water and table salt
    3. Distilled water and dish detergent
  5. Create a hypothesis about the differences that you observed.
Posted by Isaac Fornari on 24 July, 2015 electronics projects | Read more →

Question: Can You Make a Battery Out of a Potato?

Summary: In this experiment, a potato is used to create an electrochemical battery, in which chemical energy is converted to electrical energy through spontaneous electron transfer. The energy created is enough to power a digital clock.

Materials Needed:

2 Medium Potatoes

2 Cans of Soda

2 Oranges

2 Small Grapefruit

1 Potato Clock Kit  

Pen and Paper for Taking Notes

Project Procedure:

  1. Follow the instructions included with the kit to set up the experiment. Place the potatoes in the two receptacles and observe the effect when connected as instructed.
  2. Repeat the set-up process using the 2 cans of soda, the 2 oranges and the 2 grapefruit. Observe and record the effect when using these different items as a buffer during the electron transfer.
  3. Record a hypothesis about what is happening during this experiment.
Posted by Isaac Fornari on 24 July, 2015 electronics projects | Read more →

Question: How Do Glaciers Affect the Earth’s Surface?

Summary: Glaciers are large masses of ice that move over the surface of the earth in many areas. This experiment is designed to demonstrate the effect of these rivers of ice on the earth beneath them.

Materials Needed:

1 lb. Cornstarch

Waxed Paper

Long-handled Spoon

1000 mL Graduated Beaker  

Gravel

Sand

Soil

Permanent Marker

Ruler

Paper and Pen for Taking Notes

 

Project Procedure:

  1. Put 350 mL of water in the beaker. Add a 1 lb. box of cornstarch and use the spoon to mix to the point where there is very little water standing on the surface of the cornstarch mixture.
  2. Place a golf-ball-sized amount of the cornstarch mixture in the center of an 8” square of waxed paper.
  3. Observe and note on your paper how the material behaves. Does it flow? This is similar to the way that ice deep in a glacier flows. Draw a diagram of what this glacier model looks like.
  4. On top of your glacier model, place another spoonful of the cornstarch mixture. This represents “new snow” that would fall on the glacier during the winter months. What can you observe about any changes in the glacier, and its perimeter?
  5. Sprinkle several tablespoons (approximately) of sand, gravel and soil in a band beginning about 1-1/2” away from the outside edge of your glacier model. Use the permanent marker to mark the inside and outside perimeter of the sand/gravel/soil band on the waxed paper.
  6. Now sprinkle some more soil on top of the glacier model. This represents loose rocks and soil from the Earth’s surface.
  7. Continue by placing successive spoonful’s of the cornstarch mixture on top of the glacier model in center. After each spoonful, mark the new perimeter to see how far your ice cap moved. Observe what happens when the glacier reaches the band of sand, gravel and soil. Stop when you have added enough cornstarch mixture to move your glacier within 2 inches of the edge of the waxed paper.
  8. Draw a diagram of your glacier. Compare the thickness of the glacier in the center and at the outer edges.
  9. Place a second piece of waxed paper on top of the glacier and carefully turn it over so you can see the reverse side. Measure and record each of the perimeters you marked previously. Observe and draw a diagram of the bottom of the glacier, taking particular notice of the position now of the sand/gravel/soil.
Posted by Isaac Fornari on 24 July, 2015 earth science projects | Read more →

Question: Does the Temperature of a Magnet Affect its Strength?

Summary: Magnets are used in many devices like refrigerators, audio speakers, and computers. They occur naturally in the earth’s rock. Magnets are dipoles, meaning that they have opposite charges at each end. When magnets are heated or cooled, their molecules become more disorderly. This project identifies the result of this disorder.

Materials Needed:

3 identical neodymium bar magnets  

Tongs   

Water

Kitchen Stove

Saucepan

Ice

Bowl

Compass             

Ruler

Tape

Oven Mitts

Pen and Paper

Project Procedure:

  1. Set one magnet on the table, so that it reaches room temperature.
  2. Bring a saucepan of water to boil, place the second magnet in the pan, and continue to boil for 45 seconds.
  3. Place the third magnet in a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes.
  4. Place a compass on a flat table so that the needle faces to the right. Tape a ruler to the table so that its direction is perpendicular to that of the compass needle. The “0” on the ruler should touch the “0” on the compass.
  5. Start with the room temperature magnet. Slide it along the ruler towards the compass, so that the needle moves toward the magnet. (If it is moving away from the magnet, use the reverse end.) Note the distance between the magnet and the compass when the needle begins to move. Record that distance on your paper.
  6. Use the tongs to remove the heated and cooled magnets and repeat the above procedure, again recording the distance when the needle begins to move.
  7. Compare the data and reach a hypothesis about the effect of heat and cold on magnets.
Posted by Isaac Fornari on 24 July, 2015 earth science projects | Read more →

Question: Are There Protozoa In My Pond—Or Fish Tank?

Summary: Protozoa are one-celled creatures that live in water or watery tissues. In a culture medium, they will be visible in about 24 hours, with the most variety of protozoa visible after about 3 days.

Materials Needed:

Pond Water or Water from a Fish Tank

1 Egg

Pipet            

Microscope, Compound, up to 400x  

Microscope slides and cover slips    

Protozoa Calming Solution (Methyl Cellulose)            

Project Procedure:

  1. Hard boil an egg and grind a pinch (1/4 gram) of the yolk in a bowl with a small amount of water to form a paste. Add the paste to 1 liter of boiled pond or fish tank water and let stand for two days.
  2. Use the pipet to place one or two drops of the water on a microscope slide. Cover with the cover slips.
  3. Place on a microscope stand and examine the slide with your microscope starting at 40x. Most protozoa have little color and are difficult to see in bright light, so turn your microscope diaphragm to the lowest light setting. It will take patience to adjust the lighting and focus the microscope.
  4. Initially you will see very tiny dots moving around on the slide. Some move very rapidly, others more slowly. You can slow them down for observation by adding a drop of methyl cellulose.
  5. Once you find an area of protozoa activity on the slide, turn the magnification up to 100x or even 400x to see them better.
  6. If no animals are visible, try again each following day. Many conditions, such as water hardness, temperature, and water acidity, can affect the growth and development rate of these organisms. Each succeeding day you will typically find more and different varieties of protozoa in your culture. Initially, smaller species will be prevalent. As the days pass larger species will appear. You will also see different algae forms appear. Certain species will be more common from the top of the cup and others from near the bottom. Gradually, food and water conditions will change, affecting the growth and development rates of the different protozoa.
Posted by Isaac Fornari on 24 July, 2015 biology science projects | Read more →

Question: What is the Difference between Green Plants and Fungi?

Summary: Some kinds of vegetation contain sugars and some contain starches. The chemical indicator Benedict’s Solution identifies sugars, and iodine identifies starches. Learn how the presence of sugars and starches are different in green plants and in fungi.

Materials Needed:

Mushrooms from the Grocery Store

Iodine  

Sugar

Graduated Cylinder

2-cup Clear Glass Measuring Cup

Benedict’s Solution

Paring Knife

Kitchen Stove

Small Saucepan

Green Leaves from a Tree or Bush

Scissors

Pen and Paper for Taking Notes

 

Project Procedure:

  1. Slice a mushroom lengthwise. Using the eyedropper, place 8 – 10 drops of iodine on the interior surface of the sliced mushroom. Write down your observations about color changes.
  2. Dice 4 or 5 small mushrooms into very small pieces. Put the diced mushrooms into a small saucepan with ¾ cup of water and 20 ml. of Benedict’s Solution. Bring the mushroom mixture to a boil and lower the heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a clear glass measuring cup. Record your observations about the color change.
  3. Repeat the procedure in #2, using 8 – 10 green leaves instead of the mushrooms. Collect the leaves from a tree or bush and use them immediately. Using scissors, cut them into small pieces before covering them with the water and Benedict’s Solution. Continue by simmering the leaves as in #2, removing them from the heat, pouring them into a measuring cup, and recording your observations.
Posted by Isaac Fornari on 24 July, 2015 life science projects | Read more →

Question: How Do Acids and Bases Affect Enzymes?

Summary: Enzymes are proteins that accelerate chemical reactions. They occur in the body in our digestive system, for example, to speed up the process of breaking down food into molecules that provide nutrients to the body. They are also using in many manufactured products, including cleaning products, cheese, beer, and biofuels. This experiment tests the effect of different levels of acids and bases on a common enzyme—yeast.

Materials Needed:

5 70 mL Glass Test Tubes 

Plastic Test Tube Rack  

Masking Tape

Permanent Marker Pen

Active Dry Yeast

5 plastic drink stirrers

1 small glass

Distilled Water (1/2 Cup)

Baking Soda

Set of measuring teaspoons

Hydrogen Peroxide

Lemon Juice

Baking Soda

Ruler

Measuring Cup

pH test strips                    

Pen and Paper for Taking Notes

 

Project Procedure:

  1. Label the test tubes as follows: #1-Control, #2-Low Acid, #3-High Acid, #4-Low Base, #5-High Base using the masking tape and permanent marker and place each test tube in the stand.
  2. Place one of the drink stirrers in each of the test tubes. Do not move them from one test tube to another.
  3. To the test tube marked #1-Control, add 2 teaspoons of distilled water, 1/8 cup (1 oz.) of hydrogen peroxide and 1/8 teaspoon yeast. Use the ruler to measure the highest point that bubbles reach and record that on your note paper.
  4. To the test tube marked #2-Low Acid, add one teaspoon of distilled water, one teaspoon lemon juice, 1/8 cup hydrogen peroxide, and 1/8 teaspoon yeast. Stir. Use the ruler to measure the highest point that bubbles reach and record that on your note paper.
  5. To the test tube marked #3-High Acid, add two teaspoons of lemon juice, 1/8 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1/8 teaspoon yeast. Stir. Use the ruler to measure the highest point that bubbles reach and record that on your note paper.
  6. Pour ½ C of distilled water into the small glass. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, stirring to dissolve.
  7. To the test tube marked #4-Low Base, add one teaspoon of the baking soda solution you created. one teaspoon of distilled water, 1/8 cup of hydrogen peroxide, and 1/8 teaspoon of yeast. Stir. Use the ruler to measure the highest point that bubbles reach and record that on your note paper.
  8. To the test tube marked #5-High Base, add two teaspoons of the baking soda solution, 1/8 cup of hydrogen peroxide, and 1/8 teaspoon of yeast. Stir. Use the ruler to measure the highest point that bubbles reach and record that on your note paper.
  9. Use the pH test strips to measure the pH of each test tube Record this information and use it, along with the measurements of the height of the bubbles, to hypothesize about how acids and bases affect enzyme activity.
Posted by Isaac Fornari on 24 July, 2015 chemistry science fair projects | Read more →

Question: Does Mint actually make things cooler?

Summary: Mint is an herb that is known for creating a light, cooling effect when used in gum, hard candy, breath fresheners and in teas. This experiment is designed to measure any cooling effect that mint has in liquids.

Looking for a kit with everything you need to complete this experiment? Click Here!

Materials Needed:

Package of Regular Mints (Mentos, Tic-Tacs, Altoids, or similar)

2 Glass Measuring Cups or Glass Flasks

Scientific Thermometer    

Pen and Paper for Taking Notes

Project Procedure:

  1. Carefully measure the same amount of water into the two measuring cups. Heat the both cups of water for 1-1/2 minutes in a microwave oven.
  2. Use the thermometer to take the temperature of both cups of water. Record both on your note paper.
  3. Place 5 mints in one cup of water and take the temperature again after 30 seconds. Was there a change? Record this temperature.
  4. Wait 10 minutes, and add 5 more mints to the cup with the mints in it. Record the temperature of both cups of water again.
  5. Wait 10 more minutes and add 5 more mints to the cup with the mints in it. Record the temperature of both cups of water.
  6. Use the data you have recorded to answer the question, “Does Mint actually make things cooler?”
Posted by Isaac Fornari on 26 May, 2015 physical science fair projects | Read more →

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Latest Additions to Our Science Project Database

  • Question: What Are the Best Liquid Conductors of Energy?

    Summary: This experiment explores the kinds of liquids that are the best conductors of energy when splitting the molecules of water through electrolysis. Materials Needed: 9 v Battery Small Electrolysis Apparatus   Distilled Water Baking Soda Lemon Juice Table Salt Dishwashing... Read more →

  • Question: Can You Make a Battery Out of a Potato?

    Summary: In this experiment, a potato is used to create an electrochemical battery, in which chemical energy is converted to electrical energy through spontaneous electron transfer. The energy created is enough to power a digital clock. Materials Needed: 2 Medium... Read more →