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Biology Science Fair Projects
Use petri dishes and
agar to grow bacteria.
- What effect do
household cleaners have
on a bacteria culture? What about temperature? What is the best or worst
environment in your house for bacteria growth?
- Are there substances in your kitchen (garlic, red pepper, curry, tea
tree oil, etc.) that have natural antibacterial properties?
- Use the
Gram stain method for testing whether
Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria is more common in your house. Do
interact differently with Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria?
- Studying mold growth conditions also makes an interesting experiment. What types of food mold the quickest? How
does temperature affect mold growth? Are there some practical ways to slow down
the growth of mold? Experiment with different types of preservatives to see how
they prevent mold growth.
- Does bacteria grow in a predictable pattern? Try an experiment by making thumbprint, fingerprint, or handprint
bacteria cultures using
agar and petri dishes.
- How much bacteria grows in the mouth and what effects do common cleaning
techniques have on bacteria growth? Consider brushing with a dry toothbrush,
comparing different toothpastes, mouthwashes, and flossing as well as time
spent cleaning teeth to find which methods work best to keep the mouth clean.
- Is a dog's mouth really cleaner than a human's?
- Use GloGerms to simulate the
behavior of germs. Experiment to find the best ways to eliminate germs from
hands and surfaces. (Test water temperature, soaps, length of time spent
- See a sample step-by-step project and more project ideas in our
Bacteria Science Project
Design an experiment to experiment with
leaf color pigments. (You
might compare pigments of different species of leaves or leaves at different
times of year.)
- How do plants react to
more or less light? What effect does wind or pressure have on plants?
- What happens when different types of soil or fertilizers are used on the
same type of plant?
- Try growing seeds from different fruit that you've eaten. Which ones grow
- How do heat and cold affect sprouting?
- How do different soil types affect the ability of roots to anchor the
- Does light wavelength affect plant growth?
- What is the effect of acid rain on plant growth?
- Set up an experiment to
measure the rate of photosynthesis and see the effects of temperature,
light intensity, or concentration of CO2.
- Design an experiment to discover the effects of abnormal radiation on
plant growth, using irradiated seeds
that are treated at different radiation levels.
Human Body & Anatomy:
- Test reflexes, hearing,
lung capacity, or
vision. Does one age group seem to have
better results than another?
- Does your nose have
anything to do with taste?
- How does age affect peripheral vision?
- How does the pH level of hair products affect hair quality? (Use
pH strips for testing.)
- Can petting an animal lower your heart rate? Is there a difference between
petting your own pet and petting an animal that you are not attached
- Does the heart rate of an animal decrease while it is being petted?
- Is there a difference between video games that make the player be
physically active versus nonphysical video games on the player's heart rate or
- What household foods are most effective at attracting ants or other
insects? What bait will probably attract the greatest number of different
- What happens to insects in winter?
- Which characteristic (fragrance, color, flavor) has the most influence in
attracting a species of bee or butterfly to a flower?
- Do bees recognize
patterns? Can this help them find their food sources?
- Design an experiment to explore how ants communicate with scent (pheremones).
Water, Acid rain, and the Environment:
- Do the organisms found at different levels of a pond differ significantly?
You might try re-creating a pond "cross section" of life.
- Where do you find the most polluted water locally? What about water with
the highest and lowest pH? (Use a water
test kit.) Does this have an effect on the organisms (fish,
insects, algae, protozoa, frogs, etc.) that live in or next to it?
- Investigate which pH and chemical levels are most common in your area. How
do garden soils with different amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, or pH
compare? (Use a soil analyzer.)
- Which de-icing agent used on roads in winter has the least negative
- You can make artificial acid rain by taking distilled water and slowly
sulfuric acid (one drop at a time) until the pH of the water reads
- You may also be able to collect rain water and test its
pH level to see if
it is acidic enough (pH ~ 4.0) for your experiment.
- Do our soils show the effects of acid rain?
a base such as
limewater be used to protect plants from acid rain?
- Can an antacid tablet like Tums or
Alka-seltzer be used to protect soils
from acid rain?
- Does acid rain affect the algae and protozoa found in ponds? Do a
comparative study with
protozoa grown in distilled water versus protozoa found
in a pond that might have been affected by acid rain.
- Does acid rain affect the growth of
- Study brine shrimp
or protozoa; what happens if you add mild
pollutants to their habitat? (See our
brine shrimp project.)
Do different species
(such as amoeba and euglena) react differently? (For testing specific species,
you may want to get a
- What effect does temperature have on brine shrimp or
Triops? Compare hatching, growth, and
population rates in a warmer environment vs. a colder one.
- How do
earthworms help improve soil quality?
Most science fairs have regulations regarding the use of living material,
especially bacteria, animals, and humans. You may need to get advance approval
for your project, so check your fair's guidelines before beginning! You
can go here
to find the rules for ISEF-affiliated science fairs.