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Getting the Idea!

Paintings & Violence: A Study on the Contents of Children's Paintings.
The Effects of Magnetic Fields on Mice in a T-Maze
Population Density Effects on Acheta Appetite
Effects of Tactile Stimulation on Short-Term Memory

Effect of Chlorinated Water on Stomata Turgor
Can Bioluminescence Be Regenerated from Dried Plankton?
Molar Solutions And Gel Cells
Which Brand of Detergent Depletes Oxygen in Water the Most?

Does Seed Size Correlate with Growth Rate?
Lima Bean Germination after Microwave Treatment
Effects of Gel Substitutes on Root Growth
Effect of Tip removal in Shoot Geotropism
Water Conservation Separation of Plant Pigmentsby Thin - Layer Chromatography
Plant Preferences of White Flies

Effects of High/Low Sound Frequencies on Echinoderm Embryos
Effect of Water Temperature on Sand Crabs

Which Carpet Fiber is the Most Energy Efficient?
Most Effective Tubing for a Solar Heater
Tennis Racquet Power vs. Tension

Golden Rectangle
Affects of Using Approximation of pi in Calculations
A Comprehensive Study of the Moebius Band

.......Where Do I Start ?

Selecting a question to which you want to know the answer. It is very important that you pick question that interests you and design a project that will give you recordable data/measurements for you to interpret.

What Are The Characteristics Of A Good Question ?

   1. The question should involve subject matter which is simple enough for you to understand.

   2. The question must be answerable as a result of an experiment.  A survey or a demonstration is not acceptable as a science fair project.

   3. The results of the experiment must be measurable.  Do not select a topic and an experiment that will not give you results that can both be easily and accurately measured.

   4. The question must be answered by an experiment that is possible for you to do. You must have the space, the time, equipment and so on to carry out the experiment.

   5. You must be able to repeat the experiment approximately 50 times and would be ideal for 100 trials.  This is necessary to establish reliable and valid information to base your results.  Only under "special" circumstances will under 50 trials be acceptable.

   6. Select a topic and a question that will produce useful information.


Air Particles in Pet and Non-Pet Homes
Relationship of Eye Dominance to Peripheral Vision
Calcium Blockers: Do They Affect Exercise Capability?
The Physiological Effects of Long Term Roller Coaster Riding and the 8th grader
Back packs and developing student’s backs

Responses of the Euglena Protist to Fullerene Synthesis:
Protective Coatings That Inhibit Oxidation Bacteriophage:
Paramecia:Responses to Electricity
Effects of Different Wavelengths on Growth of Aspergillus niger Bacteria

Comparing the Shelf Life of Milk
Effects of Coagulants on Water Classification
Effects of Temperature on Viscosity of Fluids

Can a Computer-Controlled Robot learn A Maze?
Creating a Machine-Language Computer
Simulation of Intelligent Robot Guidance in "C"
Distributed Processing on the Macintosh

Effects of Terracing on Erosion
Direct Variation in Frequency of Raindrop-Produced Bubbles

Baseball Physics: Which baseball position results in the most hits?
Batting Average Changes During Night vs. Day
Particulates Comparison of Waveforms of Digital Synthesizers vs.Real Instruments
Is It Possible to Predict How A "Sweet Spot" Sound Wave Looks?

Product Testing
Water Absorption in Eight Selected Hardwoods With and Without Sealants; Best Plywood for Homemade Skateboards;
Cotton, Linen, Wool: Which One Lasts Longer?;
Fire Resistance of Roofing Materials;
Shock Attenuation in Baseball Helmets.


Make your topic one that interests you. Research shows if you are interested in your subject, you will put more time and effort into it.Any topic can be considered! Baseball, soccer, food, roller coasters, health, computers, ecology, animals, chemistry...etc...etc!! All topics must be approved by your instructor before you start collecting information or start experimenting.

Be sure to complete the "Getting the Idea" document. Your teacher is looking for originality, relevance, and practicality' in your topic. Do Not get discouraged if many of your ideas are rejected at first- most students initially turn in ideas that are not science projects but are actually just demonstrations of known scientific principles which can be learned from books. Those ideas are not acceptable.

Once your idea IS approved, write your project question in your Science Project Log Composition Book, then follow the table of contents steps.

The following project titles were selected from many featured at Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fairs in past years. Perhaps they will suggest possible ideas for your project! Some of the topics were entered by JUNIOR DIVISION (Grades 7& 8) students and others were SENIOR DIVISION (Grades 9-12) entries. No group projects (2+ members) are eligible for consideration for the GSDSEF in the middle school. Partner projects are allowed at the high school level.

Also check out the following sources for ideas!
San Diego Science Fair:
California State Science Fair:
Science Buddies SF Guide
Lakewood Public Library Guide:

Some teachers or programs may NOT allow the following types of projects because either they violate State codes, are beyond the resources or capability of most students, or have been done so many times the teacher wishes the student to investigate other ideas.

1) Behavior of natural enemies when brought together in a closed space
2) Can student reading speed or math ability be affected by different lighting, music, or colors
3) Effects of different lights (colored or otherwise) on any living thing.
4) Effects of alcohols on any living thing.
5) Effects of polluted water on fish, etc.
6) Effects of music on plants, behavior and learning
7) Trying to see if fresh water animals will live in saltwater or vice versa.
Please!! No killing of animals, or “testing” of animals that in ANY WAY could injure is allowed. Fish will die in over polluted water... (well duh!!) so don’t EVEN consider it!!!
8) “Medical testing” ie: blood, etc, is not allowed!! Anything like this that could put the students in a health risk is not eligible .

Some projects sound “REAL” scientific... be sure to identify the REASON WHY you want to do this project. What problem are you trying to solve... Please don’t leave your teacher, peers and the science fair judges scratching their heads trying to figure out what the heck you’re trying to do, and why!!