ScienzFair™ Ideas - CHEMISTRY
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pH Testing

•    Can we make a pH indicator from Red Cabbage?
        Preparing pH paper.

•    Are flowers suitable as a natural pH indicator?

•   What is the pH of common household items?

•    How do living tissues react to changes in pH?


•    What is the density of water?  Does it change with temperature? How?

•    Compare the density of common household substances and provide a
        visual demonstration of the comparison.  

•    What factors affect the bouyancy of cans of soda pop?

•     Does the salt in ocean water affect bouyancy?

•    Demonstrate that the density of CO2 is greater than air.

Testing for Substances

•    Can we test for the presence of vitamin C?

•    What relative levels of vitamin C are in different citrus fruits?

•    Does sunlight affect the amount of vitamin C in orange juice?

•    What percentage of a vitamin C tablet is really the active ingredient?

•   Compare the calories in common foods such as various types of nuts,
        marshmallows, etc.  

•    Which soft drink has the highest level of caffeine content?

•    How much caffeine is contained in a tea bag?

•    Which brand of instant coffee has the most caffeine?

•    Which decaffeination method results in the most flavorful coffee?

•    Compare the amount of protein in different brands of milk.

•    Which foods eaten at school are the most nutritious?

•    How can we test for the presence of starch?  

•    Compare the amount of starch in assorted vegetables.

•    Which soft drinks contain the most sugar?

•    Are antacids effective in counteracting acid indigestion and heartburn?
•    Which antacid tablet has the most active ingredient
•    Which over-the-counter antacid is best at neutralizing stomach acid?

•    Which hair coloring product has the greatest amount of lead acetate?

•    What percentage of a chicken eggshell is composed of calcium carbonate?    
        Compare this percentage to that of other birds.     

Phase Changes - Freezing/Boiling

•    Will an ice cube melt faster in fresh water or salt water?  

•    Does shape affect how fast an ice cube will melt?

•    Does salt affect the freezing point of water? Do other substances such as
        Vinegar, Coke, Sugar and Milk affect the freezing point of water?

•    Does salt affect the boiling point of water?

•    Does the starting temperature of water affect how long it will take to freeze?

•    When water freezes does it expand or contract?  Why?

•    Why are most ice cubes cloudy and white, and how can you make clear ones?

•    What are the differences between ice cubes made of tap water and ice cubes
        made of distilled water?

•     How do different liquids (water, fruit juices, soft drinks, etc.) affect the
        sublimation of dry ice (CO2)?

•     Does air temperature affect the speed of sublimation for dry ice?

•    What happens when mothballs are heated?

Surface Tension

•    Can a metal object float on the surface of water?

•    Compare the surface tension of various household liquids.

•    How does the addition of different nutrients affect the strength of bubbles?


•    Does the composition of a soap solution have an effect on its surface tension?

•    Does soap and water remove grease better than just water alone?

•    Can we find out how much phosphorus is in the detergent we use?

•    Which tile cleaner is the best at removing shower stall soap scum?

•    Which window cleaner removes stains best?

•    Research and demonstrate the fundamentals of soapmaking and explain how
        soaps remove dirt and grease.

•    Is it possible to make soap at home as good as what is bought in the store?

•    What effect do common household detergents have on JELLO?

•    Which brand of detergent is the best stain remover?

•    Which type of fabric is cleaned best by a selected brand of wash powder?

•    Which cleaner is best for removing stains from cotton cloth?

•    Will dry cleaning solutions remove stains better than regular detergents?

•    Which brand of carpet cleaner is best for removing multiple stains?

•    Which toothpaste substance works best to whiten teeth?

•    Determine which common kitchen substances will clean pennies the best.

•    What is the effect of soap on bubble baths?

•    Which household solution will decompose an apple the quickest?

•    Can you produce methane or other fuels from rotting vegetation?

•    Which common household substance is most corrosive for zinc?

•    What is the effect of temperature on the corrosion of aluminum?

•    Which common metals will rust fastest in salt water?

•    What effect does water pH have on the rusting of nails?

•    What effects do chemical deicers have on automobies?

•    How can we prevent nails from rusting?  

•    What effects do common household acids have on different metals?

•    How effective are natural antioxidants in retarding soybean oil oxidation?


•     Does the color of a flame indicate its temperature?

•    Does the amount of available air affect how long a candle burns?

•    Can a burning candle determine the percentage of atmospheric oxygen?

•    Study the atmosphere and measure the percentage of oxygen in ambient air.

•    What elements are required to keep a fire going and how do fire extinguishers
        work to put out fires?  

•    Can you identify a metal by the flame color when it burns?

•    Which types of fabric are the most flammable?

•    How do fabric sprays affect flammability?


•    How does temperature affect the growth of crystals?

•    Will impurities affect the formation of crystals?

•    Will the presence of proteins affect the rate of crystalization?

•    What common household substances will crystallize?


•    Demonstrate how basic methods of paper chromatography will allow the
        identification of different writing pens.

•    Can paper chromatography be used to identify pigmentation in spinach?

•    Can paper chromatography determine the content of colored candy coatings?

•    In separating liquids which is best, distillation or paper chromatography?


•    How is colored glass made?

•    What effect does temperature have on the rate of a chemical reaction?

•   What is the realtionship between a substance's surface area and how
        reactive it is?  

•    Can a photosynthesis test be used to show which of two cactus plants was
        kept in darkness for 24 hours and which was kept in light?

•    Does temperature affect the pressure exerted by a gas?

•    How much CO2 is producted in a vinegar/baking soda reaction?

•    Demonstrate how to use CO2 to make a carbonated soft drink.

•    Would vegetable oils be a suitable replacement for diesel fuels?

•    Is it possible to remove the salt from ocean water so we can drink it?

•     Does sunlight affect the dyes used in colored paper? Does heat?

•    Can we determine if our tap water is hard or soft?

•    How does hardness of the water affect evaporation rate?

•     Which paints hold their color the best when exposed to the weather?

•    What effect does tempera paint have of various papers?

•    How does humidity affect human hair? Why does it have that affect?
•    Which is the effect of different shampoos on the tensile strength of hair?
•    How do natural substances affect human hair?

•    What is required to make homemade perfumes?

•    Compare rain and/or snow from different locations near your home for
        pollution. Determine if it is worse near larger cities and/or power plants.

•    Which household kitchen wrap is best to protect against seepage?

•    How do you make invisible ink? How can you read messages in invisible ink?

•     Explain the role of a catalyst and show how catalysts work.

•    What household substances can be used to make natural plastics?

•    What factors affect the rate of reaction between rennin and milk?

•     Compare the relative hardness of different types of nail polish.

•    What is the effect of swimming pool chlorine on bathing suit fabrics?

•    What factors affect how well a piece of cloth is dyed?

•   What effect does vinegar have on eggshells?  Why? Do other substances
        also have similar effects?

•    How well does a glucose solution move through the walls of  a chicken
        intestine and in which direction does it move the easiest?

•    Compare how rapidly chicken bones deteriorate when left in various
        household liquids such as vinegar, salt water, liquid detergent, etc.

•    Can a decalcified bone reabsorb calcium?

•    What effects do temperature changes have on chemoilluminescence?

•    Show how household vegetables and fruits can be used to generate electricity.
        (Also see our Electricity & Magnetism category)

•    Demonstrate how electricity can break down water into hydrogen & oxygen.

•    Demonstrate and compare homemade glues such as those made from milk
        or flour.  Which is stronger and most durable?

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