Doing a science fair project can be very daunting, especially for a child who’s never done one before. To help out the burgeoning biologist (or parent of a biologist-to-be), here we’ll explore some great biology-based science fair project ideas provided by Science Buddies. And since deadlines for many fairs are quickly approaching, we’ll focus on project ideas that don’t take more than a few days to complete.
Science Buddies is a non-profit involved in K-12 science and engineering education with an amazing library of 1000+ freely available science project ideas (though I might be biased since I’m a scientist/writer at Science Buddies). While here we’ll highlight project ideas that are suitable for the middle school audience, science project ideas ranging the entire K-12 spectrum are available through Science Buddies. (We previously highlighted the many stem cell-related science fair project ideas that are available through Science Buddies.)
The following science fair project ideas are great for middle school students who want to do a biology-based project and have a looming deadline for the fair. (I’ve actually tested and/or written several of these project ideas.) They’re arranged by interest area.
Human Biology & Health
- Are Your Eyes Playing Tricks on You? Discover the Science Behind Afterimages!
- Heart Rate Recovery Times
- Measuring Your Taste Threshold
Mammalian Biology & Zoology
- Dog Toys: What Makes One a Favorite or a Flop to Fido?
- Huddle & Cuddle: How Puppies Keep Warm
- Paw Preference in Pets
- Predators and Prey: How Do Cats Respond to Bird Sound Recordings?
- Butterfly Wings: Using Nature to Learn About Flight
- What is Home Sweet Home to a Bug?
- Caffeine and Heart Rate: A Pharmacological Study Using Daphnia magna
- Ask a Cricket, ‘What is the Temperature?’
- How Do Roots Grow When the Direction of Gravity Changes?
- Reveal the Red: Exploring the Chemistry of Red Flower Pigments
- Yeast Reproduction in Sugar Substitutes
- The End Zone: Measuring Antimicrobial Effectiveness with Zones of Inhibition
Genetics & Genomics
- Are Fingerprint Patterns Inherited?
- Pedigree Analysis: A Family Tree of Traits
- From Genes to Genetic Diseases: What Kinds of Mutations Matter?
- Calcium Carbonate to the Rescue! How Antacids Relieve Heartburn
- I Love Ice Cream, But It Doesn’t Love Me: Understanding Lactose Intolerance
- The Skinny on Moisturizers: Which Works Best to Keep Skin Moist? (Note: This project takes a few weeks, so only pick it if deadlines allow!)
Chemistry & Biochemistry
- Enzyme-Catalyzed Reactions – What Affects Their Rates
- From Dull to Dazzling: Using Pennies to Test how pH Affects Copper Corrosion
- How to Make the Boldest, Brightest Tie-Dye!
- Candy Chromatography: What Makes Those Colors?
If you want more personalized recommendations for science fair project ideas, check out Science Buddies’ Topic Selection Wizard, which helps students pick the right project for them by having them take a short survey about their interests and hobbies.
For further reading:
- Science Buddies’ website at ScienceBuddies.org
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