Investigatory projects are often complex, but they do not have to be. Regardless of the field, an investigatory project is completed as soon as you have done some procedure to investigate a certain phenomenon and have reported your results. Thus, by being creative, you can create an interesting investigatory project or experiment with even the most basic of instruments.
Investigatory experiments in chemistry are traditionally difficult due to chemical equipment being unwieldy and expensive. However, using litmus paper you can create many interesting and easy investigatory projects. One example is testing water’s pH level over time. Test a glass of drinking water’s pH level and then leave that glass of water out to slowly evaporate. Continually test the water’s pH level throughout a period of time to determine how it changes as water evaporates.
While investigatory projects on computer hardware may require a high level of computer expertise, computer software offers many easy areas of investigation. Think of something you often use a computer for and ask a question about how you can make it better, worse, faster or slower. For example, you may have a habit of using a specific search engine. Ask yourself what would happen if you switched search engines. Make a list of a dozen searchable items and search for them on different search engines. Investigate the results. Report your findings as to which search engines yield the most results and which yield the most relevant results.
Many concepts in biology are difficult to observe and test. But with a microscope as your tool, you can investigate many things around you. Go out into your immediate environment and find things that may contain interesting organisms. Investigate items like patches of grass, the areas underneath rocks and birds’ nests. Use the microscope to see if you can discover often overlooked organisms, and report your findings.
An in-depth economic experiment or investigatory project may cost you money, however there are inexpensive options. One idea of an investigatory project in the field of economics is observing economic trends and seeing if you can use them for profit. For example, there is debate over whether the stock market is random or predictable. Use a certain criterion with which to predict a stock, such as popularity, initial price or location. Create a mock stock portfolio based on your criterion. At the same time, create a mock stock portfolio that includes only stocks chosen at random. Compare the stocks’ performance after a few weeks or months to investigate what happened.
- “The Complete Handbook for Science Fair Projects”; Julianne Bochinski; 1991
- “46 Science Fair Projects for the Evil Genius”; Bob Bonnet; 2008
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