Biology projects are aimed at teaching or highlighting biological facts through hands on experience and can be a valuable tool for teachers, and a means of learning for a student. The level or grade of the participants is the start for determining the simplicity or complexity of “Biology Science Fair Projects”.
These projects can either be as still models or working models, the main principle being to highlight a biological fact or to show a living thing’s dependence / interdependence on other factors such as environment, chemicals, external physical properties, etc. Some examples of still models may be in the form of charts or a skeleton to demonstrate the parts of the body, while working models present a live demonstration of the topic.
# 1. Phototropism:
One of the most elegant and fascinating among lower grade projects is the experiment to demonstrate Phototropism. Phototropism is the phenomenon of green plants to bend towards light. Charles Darwin first made this discovery and demonstrated this by his experiment to show how grass seedlings bend towards light.
The items required for this project are a pot with a sunflower plant and table lamp or a light source near the plant. The sunflower plant should be in a pot that is at least 15 inches deep. Place the light source approximately 10-12 inches away from the plant and slightly above the level of the plant.
It may be noticed that the sunflower will turn towards the light. Even if the pot has be readjusted or rotated around, the plant will readjust itself to face the light.
Similar is the case if the plant is kept near the window where the window in broad daylight is the light source. Sunlight is the source of energy for photosynthesis and hence green plants will automatically turn towards the light.
# 2. Sweet or Salty: What do ants prefer best?
This is a presentation of ant facts and should be done in a safe corner where the project may be presented at the fair without viewers being threatened or harmed. If this is being done at ground level, the items you will require are two sheets of foil, a cookie which is adequately sweet and a salt biscuit or food containing salt. Place the sweet cookie and the salty item on a sheet of foil each, and place it on the ground. If there are ants in the surrounding, it will be noticed that a stream of ants will tend towards the foil with the sweet cookie on it more than it would to the foil with the salty item.
# 3. Germination
This experiment is to highlight how seed bearing plants grow from seeds. Things you will require are a serving tray or a deep plate, soil to cover a height of at least half an inch to an inch on the tray, a handful of mustard seeds and water.
Level the soil on the tray or plate. Adequately water the soil so as not to flood it but to moisten it enough. Plant the mustard seeds in the soil randomly or in order just below the upper level of the soil. An easier way would be to level some of the sand on the tray, sprinkle the mustard seeds, lightly cover it with more soil and then moisten the whole apparatus with water.
It will be observed that within two to three days, the seeds will germinate and sprout into new mustard saplings. This is an apt way for students to learn the process of seed germination. Reports may be written up through specific time periods about different traits such as dates of observation, height of the saplings / young plant / older plant, etc.
Living things respond to stimuli almost voluntarily (known a reflex to stimuli) and this may be understood from a simple presentation of the plant Mimosa pudica. Display a bunch of this plant growing in a box filled with adequately moist soil. It may be observed that upon touch, the leaves of this plant curl up or fold in as a response to touch.
A similar experiment may be demonstrated by hitting the funny bone of your elbow. The funny bone which is actually the ulnar nerve triggers a reflex action upon touch. The same may be noticed when the knee is hit with a rubber hammer and the leg jerks forward as an automatic response to touch.