Science fair hypothesis ideas

Written by henry francis
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Science fair hypothesis ideas
One interesting chemistry project gets you to make your own lava lamp while investigating immiscible liquids. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

A hypothesis is an essential part of any science-fair project. Carry out background research and reading into your experiment before writing a succinct statement of your prediction for its outcome. When preparing a project for a science fair, be sure to emphasise your hypothesis on your display board to demonstrate that you followed correct scientific procedure.

Oxidation of Leaves

Purchase a bag of romaine leaf lettuce and divide the contents into thirds. Take one group and cut it into small pieces using a knife. Then take a second group of leaves and tear them into small pieces using your hands. Finally, leave the remaining third unaffected, so the leaves are whole. Gather each group together into three small heaps on a chopping board and leave it on a sunlit windowsill for at least two days. Write your hypothesis for this experiment, with a clear prediction for the leaves in each of the three conditions. For example, which leaves do you think will oxidate and turn brown first, second and third and why do you think this occurs? Return to your leaves after six, 12, 18, 24, 36 and 48 hours to observe the rates of oxidation and compare them with your hypothesis.

Make a Lava Lamp

Complete this science fair project, which involves making several hypotheses during the course of the experiment as you make a homemade lava lamp. First, take a regular drinking glass and fill it two-thirds of the way with tap water. Make your first hypothesis, which regards what would happen when you add a medicine dropper-full of food colouring. Add a medicine dropper of your chosen food colouring and observe the results. Continue the experiment by hypothesising about what would happen when you fill your glass to the brim with cooking oil. Add the cooking oil, pouring carefully to make sure it does not spill over the edge of the glass, and observe the outcome. Finally, write a hypothesis for what would happen in your glass when you spread a tablespoon of salt over the liquid's surface. Complete this step by adding one tablespoon of table salt to the glass and note the result: As the coloured oil is carried through the water, it creates a lava lamp effect.

Heat and Insulation

Exercise caution when conducting this science fair project, as you are occasionally required to handle hot items --- as such, you should wear rubber gloves throughout. Acquire three different cooling bags that are roughly the same size, including regular, styrofoam and insulated cooling bags. Heat six cups of tap water on a stove or in a microwave, measuring their temperature with a thermometer and removing them once they reach 26.7 degrees Celsius. Pour two cups into three identical plastic bottles, such as empty soda bottles, and affix the cap tightly. Place one bottle in each of your cooling bags before writing your prediction as to which bags will retain the temperature best. Wait for 30 minutes, remove and test the temperature of the water in each bottle before placing them back into their cooling bags. Repeat this process every 30 minutes for at least three hours before graphing your results and determining which material retains heat the best. Compare your findings with your hypothesis.

Testing Ground-Level Ozone

Carry out this experiment, which tests for ground-level ozone, by selecting three different areas where you think there will be different amounts of pollution. Base your hypothesis upon your chosen areas, predicting which will have the least and most ground-level ozone. For example, if one of your chosen locations is adjacent to a highway, you might predict a high level of pollution. To complete your experiment, purchase an ozone-testing kit and place three ozone testing strips in each of your chosen locations. Wait for the duration specified in the testing kit's instructions --- usually between one and three hours --- before collecting up your testing strips. Compare the colour on the strips with the colour chart included in the testing kit before graphing your results and comparing them to your hypothesis.

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