Choosing a Topic
Choosing an appropriate area of investigation is often the most difficult part of the entire science fair process. Typically, students are overwhelmed by the sheer number of potential projects. It is important, however, that the final choice of a science fair topic be made by the student. Here are some questions which can assist students in making appropriate choices.
- What kinds of things do you enjoy doing?
- What area of science interests you the most?
- What are your hobbies or free time activities?
- What are your special skills or talents?
- Will you be able to spend some time on this project every week for a minimum of eight weeks?
- How long do you think you will need to gather preliminary information about this topic?
- Do you have other activities or responsibilities (e.g., Little League, babysitting, scouts, etc.) that may affect the time you have to work on the project?
- What special materials do you think you'll need for this project?
- Do you have those materials at home or will you need to buy them?
- Will others be able to help you obtain the materials?
Possible Science Fair Topics
Grades 6 to 8
This list is not meant to be all-inclusive. Rather, it should be used to stimulate and encourage other ideas and possibilities on the part of the students. There is certainly lots to explore, lots to discover, and lots to investigate in a science fair.
- How water rises in different kinds of plant stems
- Forming compounds
- How heating water affects the rate at which materials dissolve
- Factors affecting how fast liquids will mix
- Freezing points of different liquid substances
- What metals and/or materials will rust?
- Good and poor conductors
- Are there particulates in the air we breathe?
- What materials are biodegradable?
- The effect of different kinds of physical activity on pulse rates
- Sprout seeds without using soil
- How glaciers change the land
- The circulatory system
- Eclipses of the sun and moon
- What is photosynthesis?
- What is respiration?
- Reptiles and amphibians
- Gestation periods of different mammals
- Endangered and threatened species of animals and/or plants
- Environmental effects on the size of animal populations
- Succession in an ecosystem
- Major sources of energy
- The "Greenhouse Effect"
- Nuclear energy
- Ways to conserve energy
- Physical and chemical weathering
- Weather records and extremes
- The life cycle of a star
- Fossil fuels
- Solar heaters or cookers
- Can nonliving things grow?
- Factors affecting germination
- The effect of salt water and other liquids on plant growth
- Cell reproduction
- How our eyes distinguish color
- Different types of satellites
- Major nerve pathways in the body
- The parts of a cell
- Tissues, organs, and systems in the body
- The migration patterns of selected birds
- How the human body reacts to exercise and inactivity
- The development of the atomic theory
- Benefits of recycling
- What causes volcanoes?
- The phases of the moon
- Computers in the field of science
- Ways to slow down plant growth
- Effects of smoking
- Laser beam technology
- Drinking and driving
- Rockets into space
- Space probes
More project ideas...
Electronics Science Project Ideas
- Appliances And Radiation
- Factors Affecting A Voltaic Cell
- Laser Beam Intensity
- Fabrication Of Ybacuo Superconducting Wires
- The Effect Of Temperature On The Resistance Of Semiconductors And Insulators
- Does Temperature Affect The Life Span Or A Battery Underload
- Crystal Growth And Electricity
- Can Reflected Light Increase The Voltage Produced In The Photovoltaic Cell?
- Radio Signals - How Far?
- What Type Of Copper Wire Conducts Electricity Best?
Chemistry Project Ideas
- Effects of temperature on viscosity of oil, chemical reactions, Brownian movement, burning of different materials.
- Everyday activities that illustrate chemical principles
- Chemical reactions that produce energy or that require energy
- Testing of consumer products- glues, stain removers, antiseptics, mouthwash, detergents, paper towels, making salt water potable, removal of pollutants
- Effects of sunlight on rubber, ink, paper
- Effects of increased concentrations on the rate of chemical reactions
- Compare the pH levels in mouths of various animals and humans at different times in the day
- Compare the surface tension of various liquids
- Dealing with chemical spills from industry
- Analyzing snow and rain for pollutants; samples from different locations
- Effects of temperature on density of gases
- Effects of salt and other contaminants on rate of rusting
- Growing crystals- factors that affect the rate and the size
- Can you obtain water from ink, vinegar, milk?
- What effects do different amounts of exercise have on the production of carbon dioxide in humans?
- Analyze soil samples for their components, ability to hold moisture, fertility and pH
- Does the amount of particle pollution vary with distance from a road, with location, with height. Determine types of particles found in pollution fallout
- Catalysts- how they work and why; commercial applicants and problems
- Fire extinguishers-principles of operation and factors affecting their efficient use
- How do acids react with different metals under varying conditions
- Identify different metals by the color of flame when they burn
- Can you devise and experiment that will list metals in order of their activity, from the most potassium to the least active ore gold
- Electroplating- the principles, how different metals can be used and the practical applications
Aerospace Project Ideas
- Air speed and auto body design '86
- Comparing solar noise at three selected radio frequencies
- Two styles of model rockets: speed tracked with Infrared film
- Fin designs for optimum model rocket height & stability '87
- Which paper plane design produces best flight results? '92
- The effect of shape and angle of attack on the lift of an airfoil
- Comparing size and air resistance of model cars in a wind tunnel
- Nose cone designs and drag in vertical flight
- Reducing friction dray on model rocket with a sealant '89
- How degree of an airfoil's flap affects its lift
- Effect of wing shape & size on distance of unpowered plane '90
- Do multiple wings (airfoils) produce more lift ?
- Which angle of launch sends a project the greatest distance? '93
- Wind powered generator design, wind speed direction and their effect on generation of electricity
- Designing a better parachute '94
- Which airfoil will generate the most lift?
- Which airfoil thickness provides the most lift?
- The effects of drag on model rocket fins
- The effect of length & width of wings on the lift of a plane
Behavioral Science Project Ideas
- Effect of background music on learning '86
- Deciphering memory location in planaria
- Effects of different types of noise on concentration
- Do video games affect heart rate?
- Full moons and human behavior
- Word retention/retrieval & age
- The effect of birth order and career choices
- Who does better on tests? Visual vs. auditory learners
- Motor automatism & paranormal information
- Environmental preferences of Tenebrio molitor and larvae
- Musical stimuli & electrical activity using ergs
- How color conditioning affects taste perception.
- Effects of the anapestic beat with music and no music on math productivity
- Racing rodents '87
- Child-restraint closure and age
- Light intensity & vertical migration of daphnia
- Peer pressure and honesty
- The effect of salt on planarians
- Optical illusions & age, handedness, or wearing of glasses
- Does gender affect reaction time?
- The tell-tale eye (How pupils react to stimuli) '88
- Left brain or right brain: Which gender is in their right mind?
- Visual & verbal stimuli and short term memory '89
- The effects of visual aid on memory
- Bird feeder color: What do birds prefer?
- Extra-sensory perception and twins '90
- Do cats demonstrate a paw preference?
- Memory and color: Does color affect memory? '93
- Gender and manual dexterity in kindergartners
- Biorhythms: Fact or fiction?
- Children's recall and gender specific terms
- Testing the learning patterns of ants
- Children's drawings as a measure of ability to excel
- Does age affect equilibrium?
- Does temperature affect cricket chirp rate?
- Does practice improve putting performance?
- Genetic Studies - connections between hair and eye color, sex and left handedness, hair color and strength - family studies on inheritance
- A study of territoriality in mice
- A study of the cleaning habits of mice
- Observation of conditioned responses in different animals
- A study of animal phosphorescence and other biolumincescences
- Learning and perception in animals and humans
- Studies of memory span and memory retention
- Age versus learning ability
- A study of the relation between physical exercise and learning ability
- Is audio or visual information better remembered
- Study of insect of animal behavior versus population density
Biochemistry Project Ideas
- The effect of the amount of pectin in fruits and the amount of juice they contain'87
- Can you separate the colors of natural dyes using chromatography paper?
- The effect of fresh, frozen and canned pineapple juice on the jelling of gelatin
- How hydrogen peroxide temperature affects enzyme reactivity of lipase enzyme on liver'88
- The effect of various stimulants on the heartbeat of Daphnia
- How different foods affect blood glucose'89
- The effect of low-fat diet and cholesterol
- The toxic effect of plastics used in food packaging as observed in earthworms
- The effect of ultraviolet light on the germination of pea seeds
- The effect of aspartame on the morphological changes in Drosophila
- The effect of carbon dioxide production and temperature in yeast growth'90
- The effect of temperature storage and the amount of vitamin C retained in oranges
- Under what storage conditions is corn seed the most viable?
- Fluoride exposure'93
- A study of animal phosphorescence and other biolumincescences
- The effect of bleaching and dyeing on hair
- A study of the percentage of DNA (by weight) in different species
- Factors affecting the enzyme's reaction rates
Botany Project Ideas
- Do coleus plants benefit from adding eggshells to the soil?'86
- The effects of over fertilization of lima bean plants
- The growth of electrostatically separated seeds
- Toxic soil - lead in your diet
- How sewage sludge affects plant growth
- The effect of humidity on the growth of mushrooms'87
- What is the effect of flat, side, and cleft grafting on different cacti?
- How cadmium contamination of soil affects lettuce plants
- Plant germination/growth and magnetism of seeds
- What effect does gravity have on plant, root and stem growth?
- The effect of acid rain on plant life
- Determining changes in growth, appearance, biomass, cell structure and germination of tomato seeds and seedlings exposed to different doses of radiation by gentle and massive distribution
- The effect of filtered and unfiltered sunlight on plant growth direction (phototropism)
- Does removing the tips from young shoots affect their growth? (auxins)
- Determining the water absorption characteristics of different types of wood
- Determining the effect of different light sources on hydroponic growth
- Do air fresheners affect plants?
- The effect of ion concentration and hydroponic response (using tap, distilled & spring water)
- The effect of microwave radiation on the growth and development of bean plants
- Determining the effects of inorganic and organic fertilizers on coleus plants
- The effect of battery powered electricity on the growth of radishes
- How does the amount and type of fertilizer affect a pepper plant?'88
- Determining the rate of starch production in a bean leaf through photosynthesis
- Nutrient solutions and hydroponic plants
- Aeroponics:Can terrestrial & epiphytic plants gain weight if roots exposed to air & humidity
- Determining if various glucose solutions affect tomato seedling growth
- Does the size of a wheat seed affect its growth performance?
- How do earthworms affect the growth of bush bean plants?
- Which plant extracts can be used as indicators to determine acidic or basic solutions?
- Determining the effect of acid rain on aquatic plants
- The effect of soap sprays on bean plants'90
- Determining the above soil effects of gibberellic acid & indole-3-acetic acid on dwarf peas
- Does the pH of water affect plant growth?
- Plant wars: Alfalfa autotoxicity - effects of alfalfa in soil previously planted with alfalfa
- Photoreversible control of grass seed germination and by alternating red & far red irradiation
- At what depth does a nasturtium seed grow the fastest?
- What are the effects of nitrogen phosphorus, and potassium on beefsteak tomato plants?
- Does cotyledon removal affect the germination and growth of peanut embryos?
- Determining how to keep cut flowers as fresh as daisies
- Do auxins promote root formation from various houseplant cuttings?'92
- Combinations of organic fertilizer, chemical fertilizer, & weed preventatives & bean plants
- Cryopreservation of seeds and growth of tomato, lima bean, asparagus, and cucumber seeds
- The effects of compost and gibberellic acid on plant growth
- The effects of chlorine and plant healthiness
- The effects of crowding and bean plant growth
- Determining which color of light (red or blue) has the most phototropic effect on plant growth
- The effect of beta carotene reducing the presence of Agrobacterium tumefaciens in plants
- Does centrifugal force affect plant growth?
- Plant nutrients or pollutants: how plants are affected by ice melting salt and motor oil
- The effects of thermal pollution on germination and growth of plants(no yearbook)
- The effects of environmental stress on plant growth
- Do herbicides affect nitrogen-fixing bacteria?
- Germination - how monocots and dicots differ - the effects of heat, light, carbon dioxide, pH level, etc. on germination rate
- Photosynthesis - factors affecting the rate of photosynthesis temperature, light intensity, water, carbon dioxide - part of light spectrum used in photosynthesis
- Leaf - do the numbers and sizes of stomata vary with different plants - what happens if stomata are covered and why
- Roots - how much water is used by different plants - what is the effect of temperature, sunlight, etc., on the use of water (transpiration) - how do different types of soils affect the ability of roots to anchor plants - what factors encourage root growth and what is the effect of water, oxygen, soil type, minerals on root growth
- Plant growth - determine the effects of various nutrients, amounts of water, hours of sunlight, strength of weed killer, temperature, pollutants, pH levels on plant growth and crop yields - can plants live without oxygen, carbon dioxide - what percentages of various plants is water
- What conditions are favorable for: -fungus growth- E.G. yeast, mold, mildew diseases -mushroom production -growing brine shrimp -algae growth -bacteria growth or control- mutations -rooting cuttings -the survival of Planaria -the growth of nitrogen fixing bacteria -lichen growth
- The preferred pH level in the soil for various plants
- The effect of sound on plants
- Plants in different environments (light intensity, color)
- The effect of nicotine, air, yeast on mold growth
- Factors affecting the strength of hair, the growth of bacteria, molds or yeast
- Experiment with Hydroponics
- Use seedlings started from seed with three types of soil and >different rates of fertilizer
- Comparing types of artificial light on plant growth
- The commercial uses of algae methods of production
- Best conditions for mushroom production, growth of ferns
- Plant tropisms and growth hormones
- Transpiration rates for different plants and conditions
- Sugar level in plant sap at different times and dates
- Using radioisotopes to study uptake of plant nutrients
- Genetic variations across a Sansevieria leaf
- Factors affecting seed germination (e.g. soil temperature, pH)
- Root formation in cuttings versus lighting conditions
- Factors affecting flowering
- Study of sterility in plant hybrids (F1 and F2)
- Comparison of plant's ability to add humus to the soil
- Factors affecting nodule formation in legumes
- Can household compounds (e.g. tea) be used to promote good health in plants
- The effects of water impurities on plant growth
- The effects of phosphates on aquatic plants
- Effect of mineral deficiencies on protein content in soybeans
- The effect of excess salinity on plants
- A study of the tumors produced in plants by Agrobacterium tumifacieus
- The effect of polarized light on plant growth direction
- The effects of solar activity on plant growth
- Tracing solar activity cycles in tree growth rings
- The effects of electric fields on plants
- The effects of magnetic fields on plant growth
- Effects of magnetism on the size and frequency of blooms and fruits
- Does magnetizing seeds before planting affect growth
- The effects of X-Ray and other radiation on plants
- The effect of music of varying types and duration on plants
- Organic fertilizer versus chemical Fertilizer
- Manipulation of Vegetative reproduction in plants
- Search for near vacuum environment tolerant plants
Computer Studies Project Ideas
- Studies of storage/retrieval techniques for computer systems
- Handling of data transfer between 1/0 devices
- Data manipulation and information management techniques and procedures
- Applications in education using the computer as an education tool
- Compiler design
- Statistics and random number problems
- Simulation of nonscience areas e.g. history, life or other planets
- A programmable processing unit design, function and operation
- Developing a video game
- Pascal programming tools
- Developing a program to write a new custom program
- Use of computers in managing industrial processes
- Using computers to help people do what they want to do
Consumer Science Project Ideas
- The Detergent Battle Goes On: Concentrate Or Regular?
- Burning Times of Fabrics
- Household Cleaning Agents: Are They All The Same?
- Which Antacid Works Best?
- Sud Power
- How Effective Is Your Mouthwash?
- A Comparison Of The Vitamin C Content In Pears and Carrots In The Fresh, Frozen, and Canned States
- How Much Acid Do Different Brands of Aspirin Contain?
- Can A Coating on A Bulb Make It More Energy Efficient?
- Which Orange Drink Has The Most Vitamin C?
- Paper Towel World
- Are Nutrition Labels On Food Packages Correct?
- Diaper Dispute
- Comparing Ph Levels In Different Shampoos
- The Effect of Packaging And Cooking On The Vitamin C In Green Beans
- Which Battery Really Keeps On Going And Going?
- Extra Flavor Lasts An Extra Long Time
- Does The Price of A Soccer Ball Have An Effect On Its Performance?
- The Effect Of Hair Coloring On The Strength Of Hair
- The Scoop On Cereals
- Which Toothpaste Appears To Be Most Abrasive
- How Cost Effective Is The Fluorescent Vs. The Incandescent Bulb?
- Stain Removal: Fighters Against Stain
- Which Chip Is Greasiest?
- Does Octane = More Miles Per Gallon?
- Which Additive Makes Cut Flowers Last Longest?
- How Much Pop Your Popcorn's Got
- Fluoride - Does It Make A Difference?
- Watery Apples? Which Contains The Most
- Determination Of The Best Plant Starting Medium
- Which Soap Is Best?
- Detecting Vitamin C In Fruits And Vegetables
- Does A Product's Label Affect Buying Habits?
- Paper Towels: Are You Getting A Bargain?
- Which Bandage Has The Best Adhesive?
Some other project ideas
011. The effect of sound on plants [Exp]
021. Plants in different environments (light intensity, color) [Exp]
031. The effect of nicotine, air, yeast on mold growth [Exp]
041. Factors affecting the strength of hair [Exp]
042. Factors affecting the growth of bacteria [Exp]
043. Factors affecting the growth of molds or yeast [Exp]
051. Experiment with Hydroponics (Use seedlings started from seed with three types of soil and different rates of fertilizer) [Exp]
071. The effectiveness of Antiseptics and soaps on household bacteria [Exp]
091. Comparing types of artificial light on plant growth [Exp]
101. Conditions necessary for the life of a brine shrimp [Exp]
121. Producing mutations in bacteria
122. Producing mutations in yeast
131. Best conditions for mushroom production [Exp]
132. Best conditions for the growth of ferns [Exp]
141. The effects of ultrasonic on bacteria count [Exp]
142. The effects of antibiotics on bacteria count [Exp]
143. The effects of temperature changes on bacteria count coming soon*
151. Microbial antagonism coming soon*
161. Reaction of planaria to pH, light and temperature conditions [Exp]
162. Reaction of paramecia to pH, light and temperature conditions [Exp]
171. Plant tropisms and growth hormones [Exp*]
181. Transpiration rates for different plants and conditions coming soon*
191. Sugar level in plant sap at different times and dates [Exp]
211. A study of territoriality in mice [Exp*]
221. A study of the cleaning habits of mice [Exp*]
251. Learning and perception in animals and humans
261. Studies of memory span and memory retention [Exp]
271. Age versus learning ability [Exp]
281. A study of the relation between physical exercise and learning ability
291. Is audio or visual information better remembered
292. Dominance of Brain Hemispheres [Exp]
301. The effect of bleaching and dyeing on hair [Exp]
311. A study of the percentage of DNA (by weight) in different species [Exp]
321. Factors affecting the enzyme's activity rates [Exp]
341. Factors affecting seed germination (e.g. soil temperature, pH) [Exp]
361. Factors affecting flowering [Exp]
391. Factors affecting Nodule Formation in Legumes [Exp]
401. Can household compounds (e.g. tea) be used to promote good health in plants [Exp]
411. Effects of cigarette smoke on the growth of plants [Exp]
421. The effects of water impurities on plant growth [Exp]
431. The effects of phosphates on aquatic plants [Exp]
451. The effect of excess salinity on plants [Exp]
501. The effects of electromagnetic fields on plants [Exp]
541. The effects of X-Ray and other radiation on plants [Exp]
551. The effect of music of varying types and duration on plants [Exp]
561. Organic fertilizer versus chemical Fertilizer [Exp]
582. Toxicity of nicotine [Exp]
601. A study of stimuli that attract mosquitoes [Exp]
611. The factors affecting the rate at which a cricket chirps [Exp]
631. A study of diffusion through cell membranes [Exp*]
641. Growing plants and animals by cloning
651. Regeneration in sponges, Paramecia, Planaria, etc.
701. Salivary Amylase and Starch Digestion [Exp*]
702. Study and experiment with Milk
703. Do green plants need light to produce starch?
704. Comparison of the Effects of Inorganic Catalysts and Enzymes on Peroxide Decomposition [Exp]
707. Heat Content of Snack Foods (Food Energy) [Exp]
708. Solubility and the Percent of Oil in Peanuts
710. Carbon Dioxide and living things
801. Homeopathy principles, facts and fictions
101 - Is there a relation between sunspot cycles and earthquakes?
104 - Exploring methods of controlling erosion [Exp]
106 - A study of fluorescence and phosphorescence as a tool for geologists
109 - Study of air tides: phases of the moon versus barometric pressure
110 - Effects of weather on human emotions
112 - The factors affecting ice patterns on glass
113 - Study of the relation between wind direction and temperature inversions
120 - Rate of cooling and the size of crystals
103 - Study of adaptations of city flora to smog
105 - The effects of crowding (with the same or other species) on a certain plant [Exp]
106 - Annual variations in the ecology of a body of water
107 - A study of a shoreline
110 - A study of the relation between vegetation and insects
116 - A study of air purification methods
117 - Efficient methods of breaking down crude oil in seawater
118 - Experimenting with microbial degradation of petroleum
119 - Experimenting with biodegradability
121 - Find an ink that would decompose for recycling paper
122 - Using solar energy to purify polluted or salt water
123 - Yeast: A Filtration Agent for Heavy Metals?