ScienzFair™ Ideas
Environmental Science

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Remember that these project ideas and outlines are meant to help you complete your own science fair project. But it is DISHONEST and UNETHICAL to copy someone else's project work samples and submit them as if they were your own. That's called plagiarism and it's a fast way to get a failing grade. It's okay to do the same project as someone else, or review what others have done so you can make your project better, but DO NOT COPY and pretend it's your project. Someone is sure to spot the plagiarism!!
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Water Pollution

•    What effects do phosphate detergents have on the oxgen level of local ponds?

•    What is the effect of pollution on aquatic life?

•    Is water pollution higher in urban or rural creeks?

•    Do chemical fertilizers contribute to the growth of lake algae?

•    Examine and compare different methods of water purification and filtration.

•    Can magnetism be used to remove minerals from "hard" water?

•    Research and demonstrate methods of pasteurizing or purifying water using
        only sunlight as the source of heat.

•    Is there a relationship between well water contamination and animal pens?

•    What is the effect of an oil spill on marine life?
•    Is it possible recover the oil from an ocean spill?       

•    Examine how various pollutants (animal wastes, fertilizers, phosphates, acids)
        affect the growth of bacteria and/or algae in bodies of water.

•    Compare the buffer capacity of local water sources and a means of measuring
        the relative pollution levels of those bodies of water.

•    Take water samples from several different locations in your area and test
        them for pH and fertilizer/sewage contamination.

•    How effective is lettuce as a bioassay medium for determining the
        toxicity of water contaminants?  

•     What effect does water turbidity have on dissolved oxygen?

•     What are the effects of biodegradable wastes on dissolved oxygen?

Air Pollution

•    Is local air pollution getting worse, or is it improving?  

•     Examine and compare different methods of air purification and filtering.

•    From which direction does our area receive the most particulate air pollution?

•    Compare the type and quantity of airborn particles at various sites near you.

•    Does carbon dioxide contribute to warming in a closed environment?

•    What aerosols are in the air and does air quality affect asthma rates?

•     Does methane contribute to warming in a closed environment?

•     Determine if plants make adaptations to compensate for air pollution.

•    Research and experiment with different plants to see if any of them can be
        used as an indicator of air pollution.

Soil Pollution/Control

•    What are the effects on plant life when detergents are added to the soil?

•     Examine and compare the biodegradability of different soap powders.

•    How long will weed-killing herbicides contaminate the soil?
        (This may end up being a long-term project)

•     How does the rate of rainfall affect soil erosion?  Demonstrate.

•    Compare the effects of Polyacrylamide vs. Polyacrylate on soil erosion.

•    Which method works best to control soil erosion?

Environmental Pollution

•    Which type of antifreeze is safest for the environment?

•     Which types of paper decompose the most rapidly when buried?

•     Which types of cloth decompose the most rapidly when buried?

•     Can food scraps and waste quickly and economically be turned into compost?

•    What is the role of heat and microbes in composting?  

•     What effect would an oil spill have on plant life?

•    Does a student's grade level have a bearing on their knowledge of pollution?

•    Demonstrate how paper can be recycled and paper made at home..

Global Warming/Pollution

•    What effect does Carbon Dioxide have on global warming?

•    Compare the CO2 levels from different gas sources to determine their
        effect on global warming.

•    Demonstrate the greenhouse effect by measuring the temperature
        within a light trap (box covered with glass or plastic).

•     Where does methane come from and how does it affect global warming?

•    Do older students know more about deforestation than younger students?

•    What are the causes of acid rain? Can we duplicate acid rain in the lab?

•    What effect does acid rain have on plant life?

•    Research methods of determining past climate conditions, and prepare a
        demonstration relating past climates in your local area to the tree rings shown
        in a recently cut down tree.

Miscellaneous

•    Is trash incineration a viable alternative to landfills?

•    Does the pH of rainwater vary from place to place in our community?

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