Do you need to do a science fair project this year? Well, it does require a lot of work, but you can make it interesting with some help, and you might as well enjoy working on it. So, are you wondering, “What are good science fair ideas?”
First things first, to achieve success with your science fair idea, you need to thoroughly understand the requirements of your teacher or the rules of the fair you plan to enter. Just take some time, read through the instructions, and do not think twice to ask questions/clarifications.
If the project is for physics or a biology class, you need to consider projects on engineering or life sciences. So, if you want to come with a good science fair idea, you need to understand the kind of project the class for the science fair requires.
Before we dig deep into some interesting and fail-proof science fair ideas, let us start by knowing the types of science projects. This will help you make a better choice.
The Five Basic Types of Science Projects You Need to Know
Descriptive: The descriptive is just a simple science report that describes a situation. Students can choose topics like Plastic Pollution, the change in Global Climate, etc and can use a visual aid to represent it better. This is the kind of project that is often done by students from middle school.
Collection: Collection is a kind of project that is given to students from elementary school, where they are asked to collect leaves, rocks, or even insects. If you are in high school, it is evident that your teacher is hinting at something more than just collecting.
Demonstration: This is a kind of project where the student needs to demonstrate a principle or a scientific phenomenon. For example, try floating the needle to show water tension, etc. You are not learning anything new in such projects, but are just “demonstrating” that you have learnt.
Engineering: This is the ideal project for high school students as it involves improving a device, or design one from scratch. If you choose an engineering project, you not only need to build a prototype, but also develop a simulation to check its effectiveness.
Experimentation: This is one of the common kinds of projects most high schools opt for. The teacher expects the students to use their knowledge about a topic and do a “fair test” and report the findings.
Whatever science project you opt for, make sure it is yours – do not take an idea and just copy it. Remember that real scientists do not copy!!
You can indeed study some ideas and add your unique flair to it, to make it unique. Run tests to see what happens when you do it a little differently. Always try something new as you might end up with your own discovery.
There are a few questions before you start finding some good science fair ideas. Let us see what they are.
1. Is the experiment doable? Will I be able to answer all the questions that are asked during the fair?
2. Will I be able to document the answer with ease? If yes, how will I find the answer?
3. What are the materials need and their cost?
4. Am I using anything unsafe or a material that can be dangerous?
5. Do I require adult supervision?
6. Is my experiment very basic? Or is it very complicated for my age?
7. Is my science fair project original and interesting?
Now that we are aware of how to get started and how to choose a good science fair idea to let us now have a look at a few foolproof ideas. As said, you can always add your tweaks or twists to the same.
Make a Volcano using baking soda and vinegar
This is one of the most favorite experiments of all time, and you can never go wrong with it. All you need to get started on this classic project is baking soda, a little red food coloring, and some vinegar. Make the body of the volcanic mountain using clay. You can get inspirations from famous active volcanoes from around the world and make it look realistic. Make a magma chamber, a crater, and a conduit. Once it is all ready, mix one or two spoons of baking soda to vinegar to create the lava flowing out of the volcano.
This is a fun project that can be used in a school science fair. You can find various solutions that help us make invisible ink. One of the well-known and easy ways to create invisible ink is using lemon juice. You can use the juice of a lemon; use a paintbrush to write the message. Just heat the paper over the candle for a few seconds, and you can see the message. If you want to take it to the next level, you can use Quinine Sulfate tablets to create the ink that is only visible when you use a UV light.
There are various ways to grow crystals at home. Students can use metals salts and drop them in the solution made of sodium silicate. Some of the metal salts you can use are copper sulfate, lead nitrate, and calcium chloride.
If you wish to try the same at home using simple ingredients, you can make a warm solution using alum, salt or sugar. Just add a string to the solution and let it cool off. The particles from the warm solution start to aggregate around the string and will create tiny crystals. Just leave the jar undisturbed for a few days to see beautiful crystal formations.
Using Wind Energy
Students can create amazing experiments around the topic of wind energy, and its generation is the most popular of all. You can do a simple experiment to show how the rotor of the wind generator and a pinwheel work on the same principle. Try and make pinwheels of various sizes and can examine why they go slow or faster. By using a hairdryer or a fan, students can also do a stress-test using various materials and designs. This way you can see which design/material handles speed compared to others.
Looking for an interesting yet simple science fair idea? Well, you can never go wrong with plant science! Just take a few beans, and place them in a glass jar which is filled with wet or damp cotton. You can use grass seeds as well. You will see that these seeds will sprout in a few days. You can examine if these grow faster when you place them in a shadow or sunlight? Examine how the growth differs from one jar to another. Try adding a vitamin tablet to the water and provide the same water to your plants. Do you see any difference? Well, you can use a scale and keep a journal to note down the growth of the plants in different jars and different conditions.
Do you know that you can create amazing patterns using a magnet, a sheet of white paper and some sprinkles of iron fillings? The iron filings will start to trace the lines that are made by magnetic fields, and these lines are invisible to the naked eye. Just use different magnets to compare their strength.
This is an old experiment but it is a lot of fun at the same time. You can know the effect of immersion of different liquids on our teeth. Just drop a tooth in a glass filled with soda, drop another in water, and another tooth in a glass filled with vinegar. You can add a tooth each to different liquids you can think of and just leave them in those liquids for a few days. You can conduct this experiment in your school or college lab, where teeth are available for experiments.
If you wish to do this at home, you can use seashells as they too have quite a similar composition. Record the effects daily, and you will for sure be surprised with the results.
Those mentioned above are some of the easy and good science fair projects you can try. If you are innovative and wish to create something unique, you can always discuss the same with your tutor or the science fair panel.
FGSI is one such platform that provides excellent opportunities for students to showcase their love for science and technology. The organization not only provides a global platform for students, allowing them to take part in both national and international science fairs but provides them with all the support they need for their project. Visit www.fgsi.co.in for more information.