There are a lot of reasons to encourage students to participate in science fairs.
Science fairs develop critical thinking skills. Just like Modern Biology, Inc.’s complete experimental kits, science fairs require students to identify a question or a problem, come up with a hypothesis about it, and design an experiment to test their hypothesis. In the process, they develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Science fairs give students an opportunity to think creatively as they work through an algorithm of their own design. This process gives them a justifiable boost to self-esteem and builds their confidence for tackling problems in real life.
Science fairs give students a chance to practice their communication skills. They will have to communicate their thought process, their experimental process, and their findings on their posters. They will have to explain their thought processes to judges.
Like lab activities from Modern Biology, Inc., science fairs afford new opportunities for experiencing the scientific method firsthand. Science fairs help student participants develop a lifelong habit of scientific thinking.
What are some great ideas for your students’ participation in a science fair?
The best biology-related projects put an intuitive twist on a simple concept. Consider these five starting points.
Consider tissue printing. The project could involve using different types of bionics to see which one produces the most realistic tissue model. The project could also involve testing different printing techniques, such as layer-by-layer printing or continuous printing, to see which method produces the best results.
A tissue printing project could also involve analyzing the tissue model to determine its structural and functional properties. This could involve using various techniques, such as microscopy or biochemical assays, to examine the tissue model in detail.
Or find out whether there is a relationship between sickle cell trait and exercise performance. Measure changes in heart rate in students after exercise. Then see if sickle cell genes moderate performance. Give your student an opportunity to show their understanding of experiment design by explaining how they chose a sample size with enough statistical power to confirm a conclusion.
Find out whether music has an effect on plant physiology, using the same equipment used in the study of the effects of temperature on cell respiration. See if different kinds of music affect plant physiology in different ways, and whether temperature, humidity, and growing medium present confounding effects.
Or consider the applications of an introduction to electrophoresis. Electrophoresis is a technique used to separate charged molecules, such as proteins or nucleic acids, based on their size and charge. It can be used in a science fair experiment to examine the composition of a sample or to identify specific molecules within a sample.
Here are four ideas for science fair projects involving electrophoresis:
- Separating and identifying the components of a mixture: Students could use electrophoresis to separate the components of a mixture, such as proteins or DNA fragments, and identify the different molecules present. They could use electrophoresis to detect surprising impurities in products teenagers use every day, such as skin care products, candy, snacks, or toothpaste.
- Examining the effect of a mutation on the structure of a protein: Students could use electrophoresis to compare the structure of a wild-type protein with a mutant version of the protein and observe any differences in size or charge. Generate a project around the theme of “Tracking Down the Amazing Mutant ….:
- Analyzing the purity of a protein sample: Students could use electrophoresis to determine the purity of a protein sample and identify any contaminants present. Apply this technique to products with an “eww” factor.
- Examining the effect of a chemical treatment on the structure of a protein: Students can use electrophoresis to compare the structure of a protein before and after it has been treated with a chemical, such as a denaturant, and observe any changes in size or charge. Apply this knowledge to explain why some common product goes bad.
Modern Biology, Inc. isn’t just a terrific way to simplify lab work. It is also the source of everything your students need for science fair projects. Contact us today for more information.