Science Fair Project Ideas

Science fair project ideas: The environmental effects on animal migration

When you think of animals that migrate, which species first come to mind?  Canadian geese, mallard ducks, and the arctic tern are all examples of animals that fly to warmer climates when the seasons change.  Salmon fish will migrate from the ocean water to freshwater to spawn while both Caribou and Reindeer herds will migrate by land.  Monarch butterflies can even travel an amazing 2000 miles!  What we do to our environment may have impact on these migratory patterns and we must always try to minimize impact to ensure the animal’s safety.

For animals who migrate by air; birds, bats, butterflies and moths. and bugs. you may choose to show how dangerous wind turbines may be to these animals.  By erecting a model of a wind turbine farm and showing certain precautions that we should be taking to protect these animals from colliding into the turbine’s fan blades.  Showing your audience how radar may be used to send signals to alert the animals to change course can be demonstrated with a diagram.  Or suggesting that the wind farms not operate during certain times of the year is also another solution.  Do your research and learn how actual wind turbine companies are fighting this problem.

What about our rivers and oceans?  How can you show your audience the impact that we could potentially have on migrating whales, fish, crabs, dolphins and even eels?  Any practice that alters the natural course of a river may be harmful to certain species.  Mining companies and oil drilling companies must hire professional engineers who help to make sure this doesn’t happen.  Another important issue is reclamation.  This means putting the land back to the state it was before you started the mining or drilling.  As a science project you could show the evolution of the oil industry and how it has changed to consider the environment today.  This is a huge topic and it would be best to narrow it down to a very specific topic such as how to clean up an oil spill.  You could test certain household detergents and determine which work best, if any, to dissolve motor oil. 

As our cities grow larger, the land around becomes smaller and animals are pushed further back to accommodate for human population growth.  It is important to have protected reserve areas for animals.  As a project you could show how certain fences protect migrating herds from entering potentially dangerous areas.  Also study the laws for those protected areas.  Can you walk with boots or drive heavy vehicles on protected delicate grasslands?  How can we ensure that new species are not introduced to areas that may disrupt or kill native species to that area?  Design a project showing the rules for your own protected “fantasy” park and why you chose them to protect the animals you have in your sanctuary.  Be creative when choosing your native plant and animal species.  This may be the only time where you may see an elephant and polar bear sharing the same pond.