We all know you can teach your dog a few tricks, but your dog can also teach you a thing or two about science. Man's best friend is actually a good source for a number of science fair project ideas. The projects range in difficulty: some simple enough for young children to try, while others provide an-in depth lesson for older children. Regardless of the difficulty level, dog-based science fair projects will provide a fun and captivating lesson for everyone to enjoy.
What Colors are Dogs Attracted To?
This is an easy project that involves dog treats and colored paper. Line up five sheets of red, green, blue, yellow, and purple colored paper and place a dog treat on each one. A dog should be waiting on a leash but out of sight of the paper and treats. Once the paper and treats are set up, the dog should be brought in front of the treats and released.
Stop the dog once it chooses the first treat to eat and have the dog removed to the waiting spot again. Replace the treat and rearrange the order of the colored paper. Release the dog again when you are ready. Repeat this at least five times to see if the dog is attracted to a particular color first.
Who Has the Cleaner Mouth: Dogs or Humans?
For this project, you will need two petri dishes, agar, cotton swabs and plastic wrap. First, prepare the petri dish by placing the agar inside (the agar will act as food for the bacteria to grow). Rub a cotton swab inside the mouth of a person and rub the swab in the petri dish. Cover the petri dish with plastic wrap. Repeat the same process with a dog.
You will only need to wait a few days to see the first visible signs of bacteria and mold. This is always an interesting project because the bacteria growth rates and the types of bacteria that grow inside a dog's and human's mouth are noticeably different. You can come up with an end date for the project and record how much bacteria is in each petri dish. The dirtier mouth will produce more bacteria.
Can a Dog's Saliva Kill Bacteria?
This is another project that involves dog saliva and a petri dish. The difference here is that you are trying to kill bacteria, not grow it. Prepare several petri dishes with agar and swab the mouth, nose and ears of a human subject. Place the samples in different petri dishes and cover the dishes with plastic wrap. Wait for a few days until you see some bacteria begin to grow.
Once you see noticeable signs of bacterial growth, collect samples of dog saliva and place them inside each petri dish. Again, watch each of the dishes over a period of days to see if the saliva inhibits the growth of bacteria. There should be a noticeable slowdown in bacterial growth rates.
- bouvier bernois image by Virginie Gomes from Fotolia.com