Projects ideas and topics for a science fair

Updated April 17, 2017

Science fair projects are a well rounded way to educate children. Finding unique ideas and topics for your experiments can be challenging. Students should be encouraged to learn about biology, chemistry, engineering and foods within the scope of science. The many science fair resources on the web are a great place to start, yielding research topics for an award winning science fair project of your choice.

Cooking Effects on Vegetables

One idea for a science fair project is to explore how cooking affects vegetables. Can vitamin C content be altered by microwaving, boiling or steaming vegetables? Our main source of vitamin C comes from the vegetables in our diet. This is a great study to monitor which cooking process best preserves the vitamin for human consumption. Here is one possible hypothesis: Vitamin C content would be lower for broccoli cooked by microwaving than cooked by steaming. In addition, the longer period of time broccoli is boiled, the more significant loss of vitamin C.

Cotton Gin

Create a model of Eli Whitney's invention--the cotton gin--for a creative science project. Investigate how it works. You can collect data on the impact of the cotton gin on agriculture, industry and the economy of the United States. The cotton gin made a direct impact upon the American industry and is thought to have started the American Industrial Revolution. Find out how prior to the gin, cotton seeds were removed by slaves or prisoners.

Pinhole Camera

The pinhole camera is a simple optical device that captures light and exposes film. Experiment with it to determine the correct exposure times for different indoor and outdoor lighting levels. Photography combines art and science; photography is a science because the photographer must have a working knowledge of the lens and mechanisms used to control the light needed for the photograph. For instance, film speed measures how sensitive the film is to light.

Food Spoilage

Investigate which types of wrappings keep fruit or vegetables fresh in the refrigerator. Foil, waxed paper, cling film or plastic bags can be used to experiment. Find out how long it takes for bacteria to develop in these wrappings by culturing bacteria from each of the samples, for a more in-depth project. Does the bacteria vary with the kind of wrapping used? List the unpleasant odours, tastes and textures that may develop among the wrappings. Sometimes food can even look perfectly good to eat, but can harbour pathogenic bacteria that are hard to detect. Examples of pathogenic bacteria include salmonella and E. coli bacteria. Be sure to consult an expert scientist in this field to help monitor your progress and data to avoid contaminating your family refrigerator with E. coli.

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About the Author

Brittany McComas has been writing since 2000. She has served as a scriptwriter, freelance writer, editor, dramaturg and producer for theater, television, radio and film. She wrote for a television series that won a Royal Television Society Award. McComas holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from West Virginia University and a Master of Arts in scriptwriting from Bath Spa University.