Ah yes, who remembers those exciting and at times stressful days of the science fair? For the uninitiated, the science fair is an opportunity for kids of all ages to showcase their application of the scientific method via a topic of their choice. Think of it as a scientist in a laboratory working on your own independent research.
Occurring in schools, on the state and even global level, students are free to tackle a wide range of topics with the simple goal of testing their hypothesis. Now there are some competitive aspects to the science fair as students are judged on their use of the scientific method as well as the insights presented.
There is a certain excitement associated with the science fair season, as you truly never know what you are going to get from students. There are plenty of documented cases of students conducting experiments that not only won them the fair itself but ideas that have gone on to further our knowledge of existing well known scientific concepts.
Perhaps, you are currently preparing for your school’s upcoming science fair but have no idea where to start. Do not worry IE is here to help. Today we are going to examine some great science fair ideas that will help you make waves at your next science fair for people of all ages.
1. Which surfaces at home or at school are the dirtiest?
This could be a fun project with a great purpose. Every day we are exposed to tons of bacteria, sometimes in places that we least expect. Why not try to find those places around your home and even at your school that are unexpectedly disgusting? With very simple materials, including a q-tip, take swabs of areas you hypothesize to have the most bacteria and watch them grow over time in Petri dishes.
This experience will definitely have you washing your hands much more after it is done. For the full experiment be sure to stop by Steve Spangler Science for the full instructions.
2. What factors lead to the best formation of crystals?
This one is easy and if done right, can look visually very cool. In this experiment, you will be measuring the best temperature for growing the largest crystals. You will expose your growing crystals to room temperature, in the refrigerator, and in an ice bath. If you are younger, be careful as you will be handling borax and boiling water for this one. Nevertheless, it will be a lot of fun. Check it out here.
3. Build a friendly smart medicine cabinet
Millions of people across the world have to take daily medicine. Yet, remembering to take your medicine can be tricky. In this project, you will build a sensor that reminds patients to take medication. The fun thing about this project is that you can build on top of it, adding more features and technology-based and your resources and skill level. You can find the full project at Science Buddies.
4. Which paper airplane design will fly the farthest?
This is a classic experiment that is great for people of all ages. At some point, you probably have created a paper airplane. However, have you considered what factors influence how well your paper airplane will fly?
What designs will allow your plane to finally fly the farthest? Another great and cheap experiment, this project will have you testing different paper materials and folding techniques to create the most effective paper airplane. Though there are many great examples out there, stop by Easy Science Fair Projects for some inspiration.
5. Creating a solar-powered robot bug
Though this might sound like something Tony Stark will create for Spiderman in the Marvel cinematic universe, this science fair project is relatively easy to do and can be done under $50. This project is an awesome introduction to solar-powered devices and robotics. Taking it a step further, the project can be used to show young adults how robotics and solar energy can be used to eventually enhance our lives. Check out the project here.
6. Which toothpaste cleans your teeth the best?
We use toothpaste everyday. You probably even have to constantly remind your kids to brush their teeth before bed. Even more so, the general public now more than ever is interested in what ingredients are in toothpaste and how well different kinds of toothpaste clean their teeth.
With this experiment, you will be using different kinds of toothpaste, both organic and traditional, to see which one is more effective at cleaning teeth. This project is easy to complete and can be found here.
7. Do our cell phones leak?
You hear about it all the time, the potential radiation generated by our cell phones. For this experiment, you need to get your hands on a radio frequency meter, which is much easier than you think. For this project, you will investigate if your cell phone emits electromagnetic radiation when making a phone call or sending a text message, and to determine the level of radiation at varying distances. Here is what you need for the project.
Do you have a favorite science fair project?