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Thread: Science Fair Ideas!

  1. #11

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    I love science fairs too. Right now I'm designing my yearlong project for my "biotechnology senior tech. lab" that involves the effect of differing ratios of auxins and cytokinins on drosera capensis tissue culture growth. Do you have access to column chromatography, sds-page, or gel electrophoresis? Those offer lots of ideas as do organisms such as fruit flies (drosophila melanogaster), flatworms (planaria), and daphnia.

    Just a side note, my teacher told us today that several biotech. firms will be donating a refurbished DNA sequencer to our school (TJHSST)!

  2. #12
    Californian in DC DrWurm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
    Ah, good old Sandwich!

    Nice idea, about the water-following. While I had realized that the light sensors could be replace and redirected to produce different behaviors, I had not thought of the water-following behavior.

    BTW, Science fair projects are more than 50% show, IMO. It's about 80% show, 10% science, and 10% looking presentable (communicative skills - very important - are part of the "show" category, lol).

    My specialization isn't far from Sandwich (analog circuitry). I've been building walking robots and solar-powered, light-seeking little robots for the past few science fairs. Efficient solar circuits and walking efficiencies of different robots were my past projects (nothing big); now I'm looking to wow the judges with something a bit more complex and sizeable. I'm thinking an autonomous walking robot with several behaviors based on analog integration of light, sound, and touch responses.
    BEAM bots then? I have that book too

  3. #13
    Jimmy's Avatar
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    Right on the money, DrWurm! Although this will be several layers of Nv and Nu neurons...a little more complex than what I'm used to, or what you normally see on the nets. Of course, if I can get all the connections figured out in time.

    I'm still waiting for Mark Tilden to publish some of his most personal work - and I'd love to get my hands on some of his hextiles!

    Tbone: Wow, congrats on the new equipment!

    New Mexico Tech (about two hours from my town) has a forensics program...I've seen a DNA machine in person, but I'm not quite sure how extensive their equipment is, nor what their usage policies are. I'll have to look into the column chromatography, sds-page, and gel electrophoresis - I may put two and two together about what they can do. It'd be cool if they could compare DNA of different Nepenthes - that would get some real data for how they evolved, and which are truly closely related. I'm sure it would be no trouble to contact the forensics department at NMT. Thanks for the ideas!

    My personal ideas for fruit flies (so far): effects of electromagnetic radiation from TV's, selective breeding for long-or short-lived flies...

    Ideas for planaria: effects of electric stimulation, regeneration patterns...

    Ideas for daphnia: effects of drugs and pollutants in their water, selective breeding for light/dark sensitivity...

    Ideas for mosquito larvae: effects of pesticides, smoke, oil, and water pH on development...

    Feel free to add to these - they are just initial thoughts.

    On a side note: NM Science fairs happen to be heavy on nature-oriented projects, so I try to stick to mechanical/nonliving projects. But now that there's potential for a really big, really scientific experiments, I'm thinking that plants and insects may make it into the agenda!
    "I'm just a scientist without the proper documentation."

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