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High School Science Fair Projects
Below are ideas to get you started developing a project of your own. Choose
a topic that interests you, then begin your research and
build your project's hypothesis from there!
All high school projects require a
high level of original thought and development, so these ideas are merely
springboards to help you develop your own project.
To participate in upper-level competition, a project should be
relevant to current science and technology and should present a benefit to
society. Start brainstorming by
looking at the ISEF
categories; it's also a good idea to check the ISEF
guidelines before you choose a topic.
- Compare the effect of antibiotics
and gram-negative bacteria. (Grow your own cultures with
agar & petri dishes. For a
sample procedure and more project ideas, see our
bacteria science project
- Run a bioassay
to test for toxicity in water or
- Test the effect of ultraviolet radiation on bacteria growth.
- Do different types of bread grow different types of mold? Does temperature or light affect mold growth?
- Experiment with plant genetics (plant hybrids,
- Test factors like smoke or pollution that might affect transpiration rates for plants.
- Investigate the effects of increased oxygen or carbon dioxide
concentration on plant germination.
- Find out the differences in properties and effects of
organic vs. chemical fertilizers.
- Explore methods of erosion prevention, test effects of different soil
composition on erosion (e.g. how does more clay compare to more sand?).
- Experiment with methods of flood management and containment.
- Investigate the effects of sunspots on weather patterns.
- Work with methods for
- Test the concentration and effect of minerals and pH in soil and
water samples. (Use water test strips
and a soil analyzer.)
- Determine chemical makeup of rain in your area; test
possible hazardous effects.
- Study acoustic models and methods of noise control. (A
sound measurement kit might be
- Experiment with the effect of storage temperatures on batteries.
- Develop improvements in battery chargers; try methods of
cells to recharge batteries.
- Compare the bending strength and durability of different building materials.
- Experiment with building materials that are
- Design industrial uses of magnets;
test the effects of magnetic and electromagnetic fields on living organisms such
as brine shrimp.
- Design a project in advanced
- Test the effects of the pH level of a solution on the
corrosion of iron and copper; explore different methods of corrosion prevention.
- Experiment with types, effectiveness, and the impact on
nutritional value of preservatives in food.
- Compare the properties and effects of artificial sweetener
vs. sugar or other natural sweeteners. (For this and the following tests, you
might consider the
Chemistry of Food kit.)
- Test the chemical properties and physiological impact of
saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats.
- Use indophenol to test the
effect of different cooking methods on the depletion of vitamin C in food.
- Investigate the role of enzymes and yeast in the
fermentation or cheese-making process.
- Experiment with different methods of water
filtration/purification (such as solar distillation).
- Analyze the by-products of gasoline; compare efficiency of
various octane levels.
- Compare or develop methods of hydrogen production and
storage for use in fuel cells.
- Investigate methods of improving home insulation.
- Experiment with expanded uses of solar energy.
- Test methods for cleaning up and neutralizing the effect of
oil in salt water with this oil spill cleanup kit.
- Work with methods of processing/recycling non-biodegradable
items; experiment with decomposition aids.
- Experiment with design and function of wind
turbines or water wheels.
- Test for harmful effects of pesticides; test or develop
natural/organic alternatives; test the effectiveness of common pesticides such
- Which type and color of roofing material provides the most energy efficiency?
For more in-depth project ideas, we recommend the
Science Buddies website.