High school science fair projects can be on any number of topics, depending upon the science course being taken. In the high school years students are allowed to take more advanced biology, chemistry, Earth Science and in some cases, rudimentary physics and astronomy courses. With this diversity, projects can be designed that even are cross disciplinary, like combining physics and astronomy to design a project that could answer problems faced by space travelers, for example. A few ideas for high school level science projects follow:
o Experts are saying that global warming could be the cause of the disappearance of many of the world’s fields of glaciers in the next 50 years. What evidence is there that these changes are already occurring? Why is there a debate among scientists that global warming may or not be occurring? Do you think this debate may be financially or politically motivated? What effects will global warming have on the planet if it is happening? How do scientists that do not believe in global warming explain the discrepancies? Show both sides of the argument so that the average American can be better educated on how it affects everyone’s daily life, especially if something isn’t done soon.
o High school science fair projects involving “going green” are highly popular. Biodiesal fuels seem to be the next answer when it comes to finding a solution to the current oil crisis. What constitutes a “biofuel”? How is it manufactured and from what? Are these sources considered renewable? If so, why? How does the use of a biofuel affect CO2 emissions? Are biofuels as efficient as the fossil-fuels now being used? What adaptations are needed for a vehicle to utilize a biofuel?
o President Obama signed legislation in June of 2009 that will be providing incentives through the Department of Energy to businesses and individual homeowners that install small solar or wind-powered generators. He is hoping that these smaller generators will hook into the local utility grids to provide more wattage that can be purchased by other users. What exactly constitutes a solar generator? What constitutes a wind generator? How will these benefit the local power utility? Are there regions of the country that would be better suited to one type of generation system over the other? How would the individual installing the small system determine this? Is the savings to energy consumers projected between the years 2012 and 2042 realistic? Why or why not?
o There is a huge debate raging over the use of genetically modified foods. What constitutes an engineered food? What are some of the dangers that some scientists believe that genetically altered foods could pose? Why do some farmers fear the planting of genetically altered crops near those that are not? Do you feel this concern is justified or not? If so, what can be done about it? Provide a sheet that can be presented to the average citizen to educate them on the subject, and who to contact to voice objections to.