Great Science Fair Ideas for High School Students

Semester grades in science classes often hang in the balance of a good science project.  A combination of the right topic, the right research, good writing skills, and determination will make the difference in these key projects.  While only the student can furnish the last two items, the first two can be offered as help to the student.  Here are several topics for award-winning science fair topics.  Research prompts are also included with each topic.

Bacteria growth and practical applications

This experiment, while actually quite easy to conduct, provides great and far-reaching ramifications and lends itself to easy research.  The student needs only to simply grow several bacteria cultures in nutrient agar filled petri dishes.  Photographs should then be taken of the dishes, and placed on the science board. 

The experiment can be redone several different ways, including, but not limited to, comparing bacteria growth from swabs obtained from surfaces before and after disinfection, comparing bacteria growth in petri dishes made from different homemade nutrient agars, i.e., chicken broth vs. beef broth, and comparing the growth of bacteria in several different common, high-traffic surfaces.

Research should be done on the nature and make-up of bacteria, and the history of antibiotics and disinfectants.  Virulence factors also make a fascinating addition to the paper, and should be diligently studied.  This topic is ideal for Biology students, especially those interested in pursuing Pharmacy studies.

Comparing the speed with which multiple non-prescription pain relievers dissolve

Another perfect experiment for students interested in going into the wonderful field of pharmacy (and also medical studies as a whole), the experiment, once again, is simple to conduct, yet quite profound.  One simply needs to acquire several different relievers, i.e., generic acetaminophen, ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Tylenol, etc.  The mix of generic and brand name medications is critical.  Also include several types of aspirin. 

To conduct the experiment, simply record the amount of time each pill takes to dissolve in the same amount of liquid.  Repeat the experiment with different liquids and different temperatures, and record the results in a chart.  This will result in a large, professional looking chart filled with solid data.

Research should be done on the history of pain relievers, both natural and synthetic.  Of course, there are a host of websites devoted to the topic, so finding quality information should not be a problem for the diligent student.  In short, this topic is quite a good one, however, the final result will depend on the amount of research done by the student.