A number of science fair projects can be completed within the span of 30 minutes. Although your chances of winning are enhanced if you properly prepare a science fair project over a course of days or weeks, sometimes you are left with no other option. When carrying out quick projects, always ensure you have time for safety and correct use of all equipment.
One example of a biology project that you can complete in 10 minutes involves inflating a balloon with carbon dioxide by mixing yeast with sugar. Take a small, clean plastic bottle, such as a used soda bottle, and insert a packet of dried yeast. Fill the bottle one-quarter with warm tap water and add 1 tsp. of sugar. Quickly cover the bottle's neck with a balloon, forming an air tight seal, and shake the contents of the bottle to facilitate a reaction. To add some showmanship to your science fair stall, attempt to explain the reaction in your experiment before the balloon is fully inflated.
Some of the most impressive science fair topics are those that go off with a bang. You will need to conduct this experiment outdoors. All you require to complete this project is a 2-liter unopened bottle of diet soda. Before the panel of judges, unpack a whole pack of Mentos and open the diet soda bottle. Shake the diet soda bottle, but be careful not to spill any of its contents. Insert all of the unpacked Mentos and place your homemade volcano well clear of any spectators. Stand back and explain the violent chemical reaction that occurs as your volcano erupts.
If you're looking for an audience participation physics project that will impress the judges at the science fair, you can conduct an experiment to investigate how static electricity can be used to separate mixtures. To complete the experiment, you will require a scale that weighs grams, a plastic comb, a wool cloth and a range of different granulated substances, such as:
- copper sulphate
Measure out 10 g of each substance and place it in a zip lock bag. Create mixtures of controlled amounts of each substance, such as oregano and copper sulphate, and have a fellow student rub the comb on the wool cloth for about 10 seconds before passing the comb over the substances and seeing if the static separates them. Weigh and record the different substances that are attracted and assess how effective this method is for separation.
To perform this straightforward and quick earth science project, you will need two plastic bottles that are the same size, such as empty soda bottles, some water and two ice cubes. Fill one-quarter of each of the bottles, one with cold tap water and one with hot. Place an ice cube so it is wedged in the neck of each of the bottles and observe the results -- while fog will form in the bottle with hot water, nothing will happen in the cold water bottle. Explain to your stall visitors the difference between advection and ground fog.
About the Author
I have been involved in coaching and administration of youth soccer with the Herts FA for several years. I have many years experience with the technical side and equipment of soccer, cricket, rugby, snooker and poker. I studied the health and fitness and dietary side of competitive sport while at University. Currently, I am not ready for on-camera opportunities, but this could change with access to training and equipment.