6th Grade Science Fair Project Ideas
Trapping the Flies.
Here are some ideas for 6th grade science fair projects on flying insects.
How sensitive flies to the food smell? Could we possibly measure their
sense of smell? What are flies food preferences?
Do all the flies like the same food? What else but food we could use as the insect attractants?
You can study food habits of other insects such as wasps, bees or beetles. If you want you can build your project around similarities and differences in their diets.
Any of questions above can be developed into the good projects with results that you can measure, reproduce and use for the project extension.
First of all you'll need a few effective fly traps. There are many suggested constructions. You can look them up here. Or here.Let's check which fresh food is the most attractive for the flies. You'll need:
- 4 fly traps,
- 3 food samples.
Try to use a piece of fresh meat, a piece of fresh fish and a small amount of honey as bait. You can try any other fresh food you like. put bait in 3 traps and leave one empty as a control. Leave bait in the same place outside for the whole day. Count the amount of flies in the traps. Are they all of the same species? Now you can try the same experiment with a spoiled food. Try to find a sample of food which will attract the biggest amount of insects.
If you have a backyard you can now study if flies prefer to live in certain places of it. Put the same amount of the best flies bait in the trap and set the traps in the different parts of the backyard. Put one in the house. Count the amount of flies you caught.
Place traps outside for a certain period of time during the day and you can build a graph of flies daily activity.
Water in the Fruits.
Which fruit contains the biggest percentage of water? In this 6th grade science fair project you'll find the driest and the wettest fruit you can get in local grocery store.
- Fruit samples.
- Kitchen scales or laboratory scales.
The more fruit samples you try the better. You'll need 20-30 grams of fruits for each sample. Kitchen scales sensitivity is pretty low and you'll get significant error if your sample weight is less than that. If you have access to the laboratory scales which can sense milligrams you can use smaller sample, experiment will be complete faster and you'll get more precise results.
Weight ~20-30 grams of fruit. Make a small square foil chamber. Dice fruit into the chamber, try to make small pieces. Try not to loose any juice. Repeat the same procedure with the other fruit samples.
Put samples in the oven, setup low temperature (less then 100oC) and leave for a few hours. When samples are completely dry measure their weight. Subtract the weight of the foil. Calculate percentage of the water contained in the fruits.
The plants and the Rooting Hormone.
The ability to root is different in different species. You could put a stick into the wet sand and grow a willow tree, but for capricious roses you have to keep the conditions precisely, just to root one cutting out of ten. To solve this problem some gardeners are using commercial rooting hormone to root stubborn plant cuttings.
Are commercial rooting hormone really effective?
You are about to find it in this 6th grade science fair project.
- 30 plastic cups.
- 30 fresh cuttings.
- rooting hormone that you can buy in the garden shop.
- willow water.
It is known that willow tree has plenty of natural substances for successful root incubation. In this project you can compare rooting effect of willow water on cuttings with other substances. It is easy to make willow water: Soak this year's willow shoots in water for 24 hours, and use this water for rooting.
Prepare 3 groups of cups, 10 cups in each group. Fill first group with the water - that will be control group. Put rooting hormone solution in second group. Check directions on its package for the right concentration. Fill the third group with willow water. Put cups away from the direct sunlight.
Check every day how rooting process going. It may take two-three weeks. Add some water from time to time to keep water level constant.
You could add even more groups of cuttings and put it in a solutions of substances that you think could promote rooting process. You can also compare it with effectiveness of aspirin and fungicide. Honey is good substitute for commercial fungicide, so you can compare its effect on rooting too. Just remember to keep concentration of the substance rather low. If YOUR substance does promote rooting, you can try another experiment with different concentrations.
You could compare cuttings of a different plants species on their rooting abilities as well.
Vitamin C Half Life.
How fast vitamin C is degrading in boiling water? Learn how to use vitamin C titration method to complete this project.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are our main source of vitamin C. However cooking will decrease amount of this vitamin or will completely destroy it.
- Tablet of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) of known concentration.
- Bethadine or other Iodine solution.
- Potato or corn starch.
- Eye dropper (pipette).
- Glasses, pan, stove.
This experiment requires work with boiling water, so be careful or get adults involved.
- Dissolve one tablet of vitamin C in 1 liter of pure water. Calculate vitamin C concentration.
- Put 20 ml of vitamin C solution in a glass, add half teaspoon of starch.
- Add Iodine solution - one drop at a time. Count the drops and stir the solution. When starch will turn blue, write down Iodine drops number. This procedure called titration
Now you know how much Iodine you need to react with known amount of vitamin C in the solution.
All you need now is to boil the rest of your solution and take samples from the boiling liquid each minute. Put samples in individual glasses and repeat titration.
Record the results and make a conclusion. See detaled description of this vitamin C science project.
The Color of the Light and the Solar Panel Output.
Does solar panel produce the same output from different components of the light? Which part of the spectrum produce the most electricity in the solar cells?
- solar cell
- Put the prizm in the beam of the sunlight. Make sure you know how to produce spectrum from the white solar light. Find a prism orientation that produces the best rainbow and fasten prism in this position. You may want to use blue tack or plasticine or maybe you can find some better way to keep prism in place.
- Make a small square opening in the cardboard so that only one component of a spectrum would pass.
- Connect voltmeter to the solar cell and attach cardboard with the opening to it.
- Position the solar cell so that red part of the spectrum hits the opening in the cardboard. Read the current value from the voltmeter.
- Read values from a green and blue parts of the spectrum.
- Repeat procedure several times.
- Build a graph using your results.