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Unusual science fair projects for kids

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Here is a list of unusual science fair projects for teens and kids.

Unusual science fair projects for kids have run the gamut from "What is the chemical makeup of body odor?" to "Why did pirates wear eye patches?" In the latter, it is theorized they wore eye patches because they were constantly going below deck and to save time, they wanted one eye already adjusted to darkness.

In the vast realm of science, there is an ideal project for every inquisitive mind. Discover resources and ideas to assist in creating the ideal science fair project for kids.

Unusual Science Fair Projects for Kids

Of the science fair project ideas listed below, most have ready-to-use science fair kits or science tools available for purchase via the Internet.

  • Test Einstein's relativity theory
  • Experiment with DNA by extracting it in your kitchen from items like leaves, bananas, apples or flowers
  • Take the solar system's magnetic pulse
  • Build a haze monitor to test air pollution
  • Describe how museums preserve plants
  • Compare the components of commercial fertilizer with organic compost
  • Analyze the chemical makeup of grocery store vegetables versus organic farm vegetables
  • Build a small wind generator
  • Create a solar panel that is affordable for low income persons
  • If you live near an airport or military facility, test a lettuce leaf for components of jet fuel it may have absorbed from the soil
  • Create a study of the spectrum of light
  • Get a soil test kit and analyze the soil in your yard, the neighbor's yard and the school yard
  • List the components of a seed required for germination or document the life cycle of a seed
  • If you live near a large hog, cattle or agricultural farm, analyze the water in nearby creeks
  • Describe how to hand pollinate a zucchini
  • Analyze the honey bee "dance" and explore how this insect uses its dance to communicate locations to other bees
  • Tell what is used to preserve a dead body and how it works

This list should get your creative thoughts flowing, but if you still need more help, check out Science Fair Ideas and 100+ project ideas from Discovery Channel in the reference section below. Stores that sell science school supplies are an excellent source of inspiration for science fair projects.

Award Winning Science Projects

Have you ever wondered what type of projects win the top awards in international science competitions? To give you an idea, here are the three major awards from Intel's 2010 Science Talent Search:

  • A software navigation system to help improve space travel through the solar system. Erika deBenedictis (18) of Albuquerque, New Mexico won $100,000 and first place with this project which helps astronauts locate easier transit routes through space. It has the potential to make space travel less hazardous, less time consuming and less costly.

  • A system to recognize and understand digital images garnered second place and a prize of $75,000. David Liu (18) of Saratoga, California entered this research, which is already being used to examine aerial images for hazards and buried pipe lines.

  • A math project on Deligne categories, which creates a setting for studying algebraic structures. Akhiel Mathew (18) of Madison, New Jersey took home third prize and $50,000 with his innovative math project.

International Science Fairs

If you have a top-notch entry, don't stop at winning your local school science fair. Many aspiring scientists progress to county, regional, state and international competitions. There is great incentive to do so, as you see in the prizes recounted above. In addition to notoriety, many science fairs offer college scholarships, internships and a variety of other incentives to winners. Here are the two most well-known international competitions:

  • The European Union (EU) sponsors the EU Contest for Young Scientists. Held in a different country every year, participants come not only from the EU but also from associated countries, including the United States, China, Russia and Switzerland.

  • The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) is the largest annual competition based in the United States. According to Science Service, the organizer of ISEF, from 10 to 15 percent of student participants file patents on projects entered in this world-renowned science fair.

100+ project ideas from Discovery Channel
Society for Science&The Public

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