In recent years, DIY projects have grown in popularity, with a variety of projects available for students to choose from. The satisfaction and pleasure of completing a project by one’s own self may enhance self-esteem, and is a great source of recreation as well.
Science projects are a great method for high school students to enjoy while learning about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).They enable students to dive out of only textbook knowledge and experiment with things. Students are required to use skills they’ve acquired in a variety of areas when working on science projects. Reading, critical thinking, writing, mathematics, and computer science are just a few of the fields where these skills are useful.
Here are the top five most interesting science project ideas for students.
1. DNA Extraction From Your Own Cells
DNA (Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid) is the hereditary material of almost all living organisms. DNA contains all of the instructions required for growth, survival, and reproduction of an organism.
In this DIY Science Project, you will discover how to extract one’s own DNA at home with the help of some ordinary household materials and a few non-harmful chemicals.
Material needed to carry out this experiment are- About 500 ml water, Isopropyl Alcohol(rubbing alcohol), Dish-washing Liquid, Salt, Food coloring(dark colors are recommended) and three clear plastic cups.
- Fill a clear plastic cup with water and add 2 teaspoons of salt to it. Mix it gently.
- Gargle with the salt water for a minute. Spit the salt water to the same cup.
- When you gargle with salt water, a thin layer of cheek cells is removed. Your cheek cells are now in the cup.
- To the salt water you just spit out, slowly add about 1ml of clear dish-washing soap. The dish-washing soap will break the nuclei walls of cheek cells and this causes DNA to be released into the saline water.
- To another cup, add a teaspoon of ice-cold rubbing alcohol. Mix it with 3 drops of food coloring .
- Gently tilt the salt water cup and carefully pour this alcohol-coloring mixture into it in such a way that it forms a layer on top of the salt water. Wait for a few minutes.
- Isopropyl alcohol is insoluble in DNA and promotes the DNA clustering making it visible.
- After the process is finished, we can observe DNA filaments on the top layer of the solution and white clusters of DNA at the bottom of the cup after some time.
Here is a video tutorial which can help you with this experiment: Human DNA Extraction
2. Making Biodegradable Plastic
Plastic is used in a variety of items. Much of it is thrown away and ends up in landfills for thousands of years. Unlike regular plastic manufactured from petroleum, biodegradable plastic decomposes and becomes part of the soil. This project will explain you how to create biodegradable plastic in a simple way.
Following are the materials and equipment required to make the biodegradable plastic: Corn starch, water, and cooking oil are the main ingredients. Microwavable Container, Microwave and Spoon/ something to measure with are the other things you’ll need.
- Take 1 tablespoon corn starch, 1.5 tablespoon water, and 3–5 drops cooking oil.
- Combine all of the components in a mixing bowl to form a milky looking liquid. Once you’ve completed this, it’s ready to be microwaved.
- Place the mixture in the microwave and heat on high intensity for 25–30 seconds.
- The mixture should begin to bubble and become slightly transparent at this point. Keep a constant eye on the mixture during the procedure to make sure everything goes right.
- Take it out when it appears to get transparent.
- Allow it to cool slightly before handling it. Then knead the plastic until it is soft and can be molded, as if it were play-dough.
- You may now re-shape it into whatever shape you desire. Allow it to set and solidify for about 24 hours after it has been formed.
Food coloring may be used to color the biodegradable plastic. You may use it to make plant pots so that you can begin with indoor planting and then transfer them outdoors once they’ve grown.
Although the process is quite simple, here is a video which can help you- DIY Biodegradable Plastic
3. Nutrient Loss on Boiling Vegetables
Vegetables are a rich source of vitamin C, but a large proportion of it is lost when they are cooked in water. Boiling lowers the vitamin C concentration of a vegetable more than any other cooking process. When broccoli, spinach, and lettuce are cooked, they might lose up to 50% of their vitamin C content.
In this experiment, you will examine the presence of vitamin C in water before and after cooking carrots in it. If the cooking water contains a high percentage of vitamin C after the carrots have been cooked, you can infer that a lot of the nutrients have been lost during the cooking process.
Cornstarch and iodine can be used to check for the presence of vitamin C in the solution. The principle behind this experiment is that- When cornstarch and iodine are combined, the water turns blue, but when vitamin C is added to the solution, the mixture would become clear.
- To begin with, take a sample of the water before you start cooking your carrots and put it in a mixture of water, cornstarch, and iodine; it should stay blue.
- Carrots should be cooked until they become tender.
- After that, take a sample of the cooking water and pour it into the cornstarch-iodine solution.
Is it still blue or does it become clear?
Water-soluble vitamin-rich vegetables, particularly those high in vitamin C and the B vitamins, are more sensitive to boiling and nutritional loss. To reduce nutrient loss, dry cooking methods such as roasting, stir-frying, and grilling can be used.
Have a look at this video to find out how boiling in water affects the nutritional aspect of vegetables- Here
4. Dancing Spaghetti
Material Needed- A large beaker, a graduated cylinder of 100 mL capacity, vinegar, baking soda, water, and broken spaghetti are all required.
- Fill the beaker half with water, leaving space for the baking soda and vinegar to dissolve.
- Pour in two tablespoons of baking soda to the water and stir well.
- Place eight to ten broken spaghetti pieces in the beaker and wait for the spaghetti to settle to the bottom.
- After this, 100 mL vinegar has to be measured and poured into the beaker.
- A chemical reaction will occur, causing the spaghetti in the beaker to move.
Experiment with different ratios of water, vinegar, and baking soda.
Can you guess what causes the spaghetti to float in the first place? What is the reason for the spaghetti sinking?
Because the surface of the spaghetti noodles is rough, tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide gas are drawn to it. These bubbles significantly enhance the noodle’s volume while contributing very little to its mass. As a result, the noodle’s overall density decreases, causing it to be lifted upwards by the denser fluid surrounding it. This happens in accordance with the Archimedes’ Principle.
When the noodles reach the top, the bubbles burst when they come in contact with the air. The noodles become more thick and begin sinking. The density of the noodles again reduces as more bubbles cling to them, and they rise to the surface again. This process continues, and they appear to be dancing.
Here’s a video tutorial to guide your way through the experiment- Dancing Spaghetti.
5. Magic Cotton String
The magic cotton string science experiment shows students how to use a cotton string and table salt to lift an ice cube. All you need is- ice cubes, a cotton string, and table salt.
- Put the ice cube on a flat surface and place the cotton string over it.
- After this, sprinkle the ice cube with around 1/2 teaspoon of salt and wait for one to two minutes.
- Gently raise the cube by both sides of the thread. The tiny cotton thread will be able to lift the heavy ice cube.
Salt melts the surface of the ice cube, allowing the string to sink in and that is how this science magic trick works. As the temperature decreases, the ice cube begins to re-freeze, trapping the thread within the ice. Isn’t it simple and entertaining?
Here’s a video which will help you better understand the concepts behind this experiment: Ice Cube Experiment
Whether you aspire to be a future environmentalist, neurologist, engineer, or something else, science projects are always fun. They teach valuable skills and also you can carry them out at home easily. Go through the above mentioned projects and get your hands-on them. Get involved now. Happy Experimenting!