ScienzFair™ Ideas
Environmental Science

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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.


•    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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