Archive for November, 2009

Branches of Science for Science Projects

Science is at work all around us. The various branches of science that you can use for a science experiment are Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. Biology is the science of the living things. The subject is further demarcated into Zoology or the study of animals. You can derive that from the use of the word “zoo” in the name of the science branch.

Botany or the study of plants is the other branch of Biology. You can base your science project on what you observed about plants and animals around you. This would mean that you used Biology as the base of your project. Biologists are also responsible for cutting edge technology such as genetically modified plants and animal clones. Remember the sheep Dolly?

With Chemistry you have two main branches. Organic Chemistry which deals with carbon based chemical compounds and Inorganic Chemistry which deals with all other sorts of chemical compounds. However my favorite is Physics. There are many different branches in Physics. If you study the movement of heavenly bodies in the starry sky above it is Astrophysics.

If you study tiny molecules and atoms which are so small that they cant be seen by the naked eye, you are studying Atomic Physics. As you can see the scope of the subject is really vast from the minuscule to the magnificent. From pure theory to pure practical, you can do a lot with the many sub branches of Physics. Here’s one example that you can use as a science project.

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Be Specific About Your Project Idea

One of the most common pitfalls of starting with a science project is that you are not specific enough about exactly what it is that you wish to do. When you decide to plant trees in your garden, do you say to yourself  “I’ll plant a few fruit trees in my garden” or “I’ll plant one banana tree in the rear garden, one orange tree in the area below my bedroom window and one apricot tree near the gate”?

See what I’m getting at? If you know you what you want you can get it faster. Suppose you went to buy tree saplings and at the nursery the gardener asked you what plant you wanted how would you respond? If you were not specific about the trees you wanted before you went to buy them, you would waste time.

You would look at what all was available and wonder what would look good in the garden at home. Naturally you would still get the same trees you wanted, but the process would take much longer. This is because in the first instance you were not specific about exactly what you wanted.

It is the same with any science project that you may undertake. The more specific you are the easier it is for you to implement your idea and make the project. This is why you must have an eye for details. When you get a fledgling idea, whet it out for all the details that you can think of. That way you will save time at a later date. Besides the project will flow faster as well.

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Choose your Science Project Topic

One of the easiest ways to learn more about how things around us work is by experimenting with them. What do you do when you get a new toy? You try to see what it can do. What do the buttons on it make it do? Does it have flashing lights? Can it make interesting sounds? As you explore your toy you learn all that it is capable of.

Learning about science is a similar process. You hear about a scientific principle or fact. May be something as simple as the principle of heat. Do you take it for granted when your Mom tells you that the cup of milk is hot? No you don’t. You will immediately touch the cup to check just how hot it is. That’s part of the scientific exploration of the principle of heat.

Next you check if the temperature has gone down by blowing on the milk in the cup. If the steam that emerges is not too hot, you will venture forth to take a little sip of the milk.  If that sip seems cool enough, the next sip will be bigger. In this way the hot cup of milk has been consumed without blistering your toungue.

Picking a science project topic is also similar. You go with little steps along the way till you get a good idea. Then you choose the right path to go down with that idea. And then bit by bit your science project comes to life. So start off with any ideas you have and explore them to see just how they work out for you.

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Science Fair Projects for Elementary School

The key to winning a science fair project is innovation. Get creative with your science project. Don’t get stuck in a rut and above all don’t copy any one else. Think of a science project for elementary school and the most common one that comes to mind is the baking soda volcano. While I have nothing against this science project, I must say that it has been done so many times over that as a judge it is very boring to see an entry like that.

So think of different concepts that you would like to explore. Remember there is a potential science project in just about everything around you. If you like plants and flowers you can make a project out of them. Collecting dried leaves of various types and pasting them in a copy would give you a herbarium.  Or if you prefer a more interactive project why not experiment on two plants of the same sort?

Take the seeds of one particular type of flower or vegetable. Then split them up into half. Use the first set in a regular pot with no special additives. This will become your control group. Then use the second set of seeds with a healthy mix of fertilizers. Now record all the details of growth of the seedlings in both pots. Quite likely the data that you collect will work itself into an impressive science project.

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The BTC – An interesting science project

Oil is essential to our way of life. It is also a highly limited resource. This is why it is so much sought after. That is also why you have the BTC pipeline. BTC is an acronym for Baku, Tbilisi and Ceyhan. The pipeline starts at the Caspian sea near Baku which is the capital of Azerbaijan. Then it passes through Georgia, the capital of which is Tbilisi and ends up on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey at the city of Ceyhan.

The BTC travels through three countries and joins two seas. It is said to be 1,768 km long, which makes it the second largest oil pipeline in the world. Which is the largest? The Russian one Druzbha is the largest one in the world. Yet given that the BTC consists of over 150,000 segments of steel of about 12 m length each, it is a phenomenal thing.

Naturally the pipeline would be too vulnerable if it ran all the way through three countries on the surface, so large portions of the BTC are underground. Usually it is situated at a depth of ten meters from the surface. Oil flows through the pipe continuously so keeping it in good working order is a huge task.

This can also make an interesting idea for a science project. Why not construct a model replica of an oil pipe placed over the map to denote the BTC? You can scale it down to a size that you can manage. The display board could give all the statistics of the BTC. It would make a spectacular science fair project. Why not give it a shot?

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The Air We Breathe: A Science Project

The composition of the air we breathe is no longer the same as it was at the turn of the last century. That’s to the advance of technology and science we have at our disposal a number of gadgets that constantly change the composition of the air that we breathe. Be it the pollution from vehicles of the CFCs from aerosol sprays, we add pollution to the air each day.

Air is essential for us to live, and still we have no qualms about making it unfit to breathe by continuing our mindless polluting activities on a daily basis. The University of Maryland recently conducted some research on the sky worldwide. The scientists concluded that the sky has darkened over the world thanks to the soot particles and aerosols present in the air.

The one exception was the sky over Europe. The visibility in Europe is said to have increased since the 1980s and the sky is actually lighter here than over the rest of the world. This is attributed to the strict anti-pollution laws that Europe adheres to. The emissions tested here were found to have far less pollutants than those over the sky of the USA.

The air we breathe is precious. It is also a limited resource. Maybe its time that we got a bit more serious about saving the environment for future generations. That  is also a great idea for a science fair project. The green message is a compelling one and highly relevant to the world today. Think of how you can make it an interesting science project.

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