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Science Fair Project experiments using test tubes

You can do many different science fair projects and science experiments using test tubes. Following are some of the project ideas:

1. Need an easy science fair project? Do a project to determine if the processing of food produces gas. Take fresh, canned, and frozen veggies and ground them up. Mix with vinegar and place them in test tubes. Then find out what happens! Place a balloon over the tube and measure the gas in the balloon.

2. You may need a science fair project related to chemical reactions, corrosion or rusting. This is a good project idea. Your main question will be: How do different liquids affect a nail? As your experiment, place a few nail (or screws) in a few test tubes and use household liquids such as vinegar, rubbing alcohol, water, etc. to see how the different liquids change the nails. Determine which substances change the nail the most and why.

3. Effects of soda on teeth. Get teeth from your dentist and place them in test tubes with different sodas. (Ex. Diet coke, Coke, 7-Up, and water as the control). How do the different sodas affect the teeth? What chemicals and substances exist in these sodas that affect the teeth in different ways? This is a science project idea related to health for younger students.

4. Which type of food molds the fastest when placed in the same place? If you have learned about mold and other fungi, this can be a good science project for you. Place small pieces of different foods from around your house (banana, bread, cheese, etc.) in separate test tubes. Observe what happens and which molds the fastest. Be certain the environment and climate does not vary for the different test tubes.

5. Can DNA from an onion survive separated from other cell components? Research this topic and place a DNA strand into a test tube to dry. Time how long the DNA lives, if at all. This is a complement to the DNA extraction science fair project suggested in ScienceProject.com. You must determine if long DNA molecules decompose and break to smaller pieces while out of the cell. 

6. Is yeast alive? Research and find information on yeast. Buy yeast at the grocery store. Add warm water to each test tube. Then add sugar to only two of the test tubes. Next carefully add yeast to each test tube. Cover the opening of the test tube with a balloon and record what happens. This is an Interesting science project idea because the produced gas will be collected in a balloon.

7. Different methods of plant propagation can be used in Science projects related to botany and biology. Take a piece of plant (stem, root, leaf, or bud) and place it in a test tube. Take care of it and do research to find ways to help it successfully grow. Observe what happens and how long it takes for each plant to completely grow.

8. What happens to sugar when it is heated? This is a science fair project idea about the effect of heat on sugar or other organic material. Put some sugar in a test tube and use a test tube clamp to hold the tube over an open flame. Observe what happens. You may repeat this experiment with paper, wood, starch and other organic material (produced from plants or animals).

9. What happens to salt when it is heated? This is a science fair project idea about the effect of heat on sugar or other inorganic material. Put some salt in a test tube and use a test tube clamp to hold the tube over an open flame (i.e. glass alcohol burner). Observe what happens. Repeat this experiment with baking soda and other household substances. Compare the results.

10. Find different metal pieces around your home and observe what happens when they are heated. Put a small piece of metal in the test tube and use a test tube clamp to hold the tube over an open flame (i.e. glass alcohol burner). Observe what happens.

11. What happens to various liquids when placed out for a certain period of time? Pour some milk, water, juice, soda, etc. in test tubes and leave the test tubes in the same location. Observe what happens. What causes some liquids to change faster than others? This is a good science project related to health and biology.

12. Can you boil water without melting ice? This is a good science project about heat exchange and heat transfer for those who are interested in physics. Research and find information on this topic. If you put water and ice in the same test tube, can you boil the water without melting the ice?

13. Are there some foods you thought were sugar-free that have sugar? Place a piece of food in each test tube and then pour 30 ml of Benedict’s solution over the food. Hold test tubes one at a time over a burner, using test tube tongs. The presence of sugar will turn the solution to orange. This is a science fair project idea related to organic chemistry. 

14. What liquid soaps or hard-surface cleaners separate water and oil the best? Pour some water and salad oil to a few test tubes. Shake each very well and then pour a soap or hard-surface cleaner into the test tube. View which separates the oil and water the quickest. (This is a Science Project idea related to surface tension and intermolecular forces in liquids.)

15. Erupt a test tube volcano. Find information on how to make a volcano erupt, then make a homemade volcano in a test tube! Volcano Science project is a display project.

16. Test the speed of “flow” for two different oils (synthetic oil and regular motor oil) changes at different temperatures. Each oil will be in a sealed test tube. Design your own experiment to show how different temperatures affect the flow-ability of each oil. This is a science project idea related to viscosity.

17. How does temperature affect bacterial growth? This is a science fair project idea related to biology. First gather information about bacteria growth. Then place milk in a few separate test tubes. Keep each test tube at a different temperature. Use methylene blue (indicator dye) to determine the presence of bacteria in the milk. Then determine how temperature affects bacterial growth.

18. Use n-acetyl cysteine (NAC-found in the vitamin section) to preserve the bright red color in some fall leaves. Grind up leaves in a little water with and without a pinch of NAC (put it in before grinding), pour the red liquid into a test tube, cap them and watch the difference in how long it takes the liquid to turn brown. Try other antioxidants. Do they work as well? If not, why? What is the effect of temperature? What is the red color anyway? Will NAC protect whole leaves?

19. Does temperature affect the growth of plants? This is a good science project idea related to plant growth. Place a small plant or flower seed into a test tube. Add appropriate water and nutrients. (Make sure this stays constant.) Place the different test tubes at different temperatures. Does the temperature in the room or environment affect how well and fast the plant grows?

20. Do plants grow bigger if watered with milk or water? Students as young as 3rd grade and as old as 8th grade may want to try this as their science fair project. Put two small plants in two different test tubes. Give one water and the other milk. Observe what happens and record which plant will grow bigger. Be sure to keep all other variables (climate, light, location) constant.

21. Does warm water freeze faster than cool water? Take two test tubes and place cool water in one and warn water in the other. Put both in a freezer and observe which freezes faster. Be sure to keep an eye on both every few minutes to really see which one is freezing the quickest. If you are selecting this as your science fair project, you may get a surprising result.

22. What materials dissolve in water? (This is another good chemistry related science project idea.) Place a few different test tubes with the same amount of water. Then find household material and put them in the test tubes. (Example: salt, sugar, syrup, and coffee beans.) Observe which ones melt and which ones don’t. Research why these items did melt and the others did not. 

23. What dissolves better in water - salt or baking soda? Place some baking soda in one test tube filled with water and some salt in another, also filled with water. Keep the amount of salt and baking soda the same. Use a mixer or something similar to mix the water and substance. Which one dissolves better in water? This is a science project idea that can be completed in a few hours.

24. Does sugar prolong the life of cut flowers? Take two test tubes and fill them both with water. Mix a little sugar in one test tube, and leave the other (your control) with just plain water. Take the same type of cut flower and put one in each test tube. Observe if one grows better or stays alive longer. (Perfect Science Project idea in biology and botany)

25. Do plants grow bigger in soil or water? Take two test tubes and fill one with soil and the other with water. Place a similar or same plant in each. Over time, observe and find if the plants grow better in water or soil. You can even try both soil and water and observe the differences in plant growth. You may try this as your science project. You will need a warm lit room and 4 to 6 weeks time for this experiment.

26. Does baking soda lower the temperature of water? Place warm water in a few different test tubes. Record the temperature with a thermometer. Keep one aside as your control. Pour baking soda in another. You can even try pouring other common household material (salt, sugar, pepper) in various other test tubes. Record the temperature of the water after pouring the baking soda in the test tube. Also record the temperature of your control. Did baking soda lower the temperature of water? This is a good science project idea that can be completed in one day.

27. Will water with salt evaporate faster than water without salt? Pour water in two separate test tubes. Pour salt in one and not the other. Leave the test tubes out and observe them over time. Does the one with salt evaporate faster or slower? This is a very good science fair project idea for students who have about 2 to 4 weeks for their experiments. This project is also listed in ScienceProject.com.



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