You did a biology project
if you ever counted fly's legs.
Well, maybe it's not as simple as that. We only mentioned flies because of the famous Aristotle anecdote. Believe it or not, but for many centuries it was common scientific knowledge that flies have 8 legs. It looks like there was neither hobby scientists nor science fairs and no one bothered to do a biology project on the subject and prove that the great man was wrong...
OK. Let's get to the point. We divided all available biology projects by main subject and by common methods or hypothesis used in certain type of experiments. Scroll down and then follow the link to the information on the actual projects.
This group of projects gives plant seeds a hard time. Their goal is to test how different environment conditions affect seed germination or survival rate. Usually you wet, dry, soak them in salt, put them in the fridge, you name it. Then you check if (and how fast) they grow or not. But the idea is to make sure that all, but one condition are the same then check, measure and write down what's happening. This projects are pretty easy and do not require any special equipment. You can make them a little more exciting if you find some interesting hypothesis to test.
This projects are similar to germination. Here you'll check plant reaction to the different variables of the environment. It's a little more complicated because germination projects require more space and more materials and you may need some specific equipment (for example hydroponics equipment).More Botany Projects and Ideas:
- Simplest plant cloning
- Up and Down - transport of organic substances in the plants
- Mushroom's fingerprints
- Apical Domination in plants
- Water in plants.
- Killer plants (how plants can control each other with natural herbicides)
- How rooting hormones affect the plants
In a way insects are magical creatures. They are one of the few groups of animals on the Earth who undergo such a dramatic changes during their life cycle. We're talking about insects with full metamorphosis, such are butterflies, flies, dragonflies and many others.
They are fascinating subjects for an amateur scientist. Even description and comparison of a lifecycles of the insects with full and simple (or no) metamorphosis would make great science project. But then again you can vary number of conditions for larvae and chrysalises and study how that will affect them.
Monarch butterfly development page.
Toxins, Repellents, Attractants.
This group of projects researches how certain chemical substance affects some model animal or group of animals. Usually such animals are used to monitor water pollutions, study insects behavior etc. This projects can be very simple or pretty complex depending on approach. They may or may not require special equipment.
Projects in this group are mostly observational. Anatomy research can be done on insects, birds, fish and microscopic invertebrates you can find in a pond water or collect in a tidal zone if you live by the sea.
More Zoology Projects and Ideas:
- Does magnetic field affect regeneration?
- How can you measure insect's metabolism rate (possible inderect methods)
- Biodiversity in your backyard.
In normal life we use extraction all the time. For example you're extracting caffeine and tannins making a cup of tea in the morning (it's not very efficient extraction but extraction nonetheless). Roasting meat you're "extracting" some fat even though it's not your goal.
In science you use extraction when you need to study certain features of isolated chemical compound. For example you extract pure DNA to study it's properties or gene structure.Or you may want to extract plant pigments to explore their composition.
This group of projects study some common extraction methods employed by real scientists.
Chromatography.This is another powerful method commonly used in modern biology. In Greek it's name means "color writing". The word was introduced by Russian professor Michail Tsvet who's surname means "color" in Russian. His first chromatography experiments were done on colorful plant pigments in 1901. He divided them in chalk column, proving that apparent green leaf color actually is a mixture of many substances.
Leaf pigments are a good subject for simple chromatography and we'll play with them too. Thin layer chromatography of the black marker ink is the detailed example of the cromatography expariment setup for an easy science project. As simplyfied version you can try a paper chromatography.More Biochemistry Projects and Ideas
- Study enzymes in modern detergents
- Bromelain fights Gelatin and wins.
- Properties of membranes.
- Protein and salt.
Experiments with yeasts.
Yeasts are safe and commonly used single cell fungi. Yeasts are one of the very important model organism in microbiology and molecular genetics. Remarkably yeasts can live with and without oxygen being both aerobic and anaerobic organism. Simple experiments study
- yeasts aerobic and anaerobic metabolism
- various environmental conditions and their effect on yeasts
- genetics transformation (with aid of commercially availabe scientific kits)
One good thing about microbiology is that you do not need a microscope to do a lot of microbiology experiments. Using basic microbiology methods you can study bacterial contamination of the surfaces, air, soil, etc. It's possible to calculate how many bacterias live in an environment. You can also grow and compare microscopic algae from the different sources or study microscopic fungi.
There are endless possibilities for very cool experiments.
However working with microscopic flora and fauna you should always remember that there is always possibility that you got pathogen bacteria/mold/algae in your petri dish. All microbiological experiments should be conducted under adult supervision and using reasonable safety precautions.
Direct observation of microscopic plants/animals
If you already own or considering buying a microscope you are in very good position. There are endless subjects for observation/life cycle studies and anatomy studies of single cell or simple multicellular animals!
More Microbiology Projects and Ideas
- How sunlight affects different microscopic organisms
- Finding effective bacterial growth inhibitor
- How many mold species are in your household (backyard)
- Slime molds