The world of science is filled with questions, theories and discoveries. Middle school students have the kind of imagination that can lead to findings that spark additional interests in science and provide a sense of accomplishment. Middle school students, specifically eighth-grade students, study life science and physical science. Both disciplines have a vast array of experimental opportunities that can serve as great science fair project ideas.
The Affect of Clorox on Bacteria
Label four plastic sandwich bags A, B, C and D. Wipe the outside door handle of a public restroom with a cotton swab. Make sure to wipe the entire door handle. Place the cotton swab in the plastic bag labeled A and add the location where the sample was taken. Repeat these steps in three different locations for samples B, C and D.
Label four agar-filled petri dishes A, B, C and D bacteria sample and the test locations. Wipe the cotton swabs that correspond with the labeled petri dish across the agar to grow a colony of bacteria.
Return to the four door handles used to collect bacteria samples and clean them with Clorox wipes. Wipe a cotton swab on the door handles and place the swabs in sandwich bags labeled A, B, C and D Clorox samples and the test locations. Label four agar-filled petri dishes A, B, C and D Clorox samples and the locations. Wipe the cotton swabs that correspond with the labeled petri dish across the agar.
Compare the initial bacteria growth with the results of the swabs after the door handles were cleaned with the Clorox wipes.
Temperature's Affect on Bacteria Growth
Label four plastic sandwich bags A, B, C and D. Wipe cotton swabs on the insides of your mouth. Place one swab in each bag. Label four petri dishes A, B, C and D and fill each with agar. Wipe one swab on the agar in the same direction and over the entire inside of each dish. Leave the petri dishes four hours to allow the bacteria colony to grow.
Place petri dish A at room temperature, petri dish B in the freezer at a temperature of less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit, petri dish C in the refrigerator at a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and petri dish D in an area with a temperature of 80 degrees.
Compare the bacteria growth of each petri dish after five hours, 10 hours and 24 hours. Document which dish(es) had continual bacteria growth.
Dissolution Rate of Lactase Pills
Label three 500 mL beakers 10 stirs, 20 stirs and 30 stirs. Fill each beaker with 250 mL of water at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Place one lactase pill in each beaker. Stir the lactase pill based on the beaker label 10, 20 or 30 stirs. Observe whether the pill dissolved or not in each beaker. Repeat the experiment three times.
The Affect of Soil Moisture on Radish Seed Growth
Label four flowerpots of the same size A, B, C and D. Fill each flowerpot three-quarters full of soil. Add five radish seeds to each pot. Every day, pour 2 cups of water in flowerpot A, 4 cups in flowerpot B, 6 cups in flowerpot C and no water in flowerpot D.
Compare the growth rate of each plant daily and record the height in a data table. At the end of two weeks, determine whether the amount of water increased or decreased the ability of the plant to grow.
About the Author
Based in Virginia, Kevin M. Jackson has been writing professionally since 2003. He is the author of the books "Life Lessons for My Sons" and "When GOD Speaks." Jackson holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Savannah State University and a Master of Arts in urban education from Norfolk State University.