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Science Fair Project Ideas?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by graduationxday, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Okay, so! I'm in 10th grade. I go to Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School in Alabama. Lots of people don't know what an IB school is but its pretty much AP classes on steroids haha. Its really difficult and we learn a lot and so on.

    Anyway, every year we have to do a science fair project. Not like a little baking soda volcano or anything, but for real research and/or experiments that will potentially benefit society. Obviously, few ever get to that level, but some are of importance. I would like to do a project this year that is of importance to the herpetology world. I wanted to last year, and was going to (some of you may remember me having a thread on it.. hognose venom and its toxicity) but it didn't work out because the boy who was my partner decided he wanted to do it by himself. His research was really quite interesting though. He surveyed quite a few western hognose breeders (his dad, my history teacher, is one) and asked about being bitten and what their reactions were and such. He found that if a person has allergies to wasps or bees, they will more likely have a bad reaction to a hoggie bite. I'm not sure of the exact numbers and research, but I could get it if anyone is interested.

    But yeah, that's an example of what I'd like to do. Something significant. It has to be good, anyway, for my chemistry teacher to approve it. They're really big about good projects at IB. The kids at my school are the kids who never had to study in elementary or middle school, and always made straight A's. Now, we're having to struggle to maintain anything above D's, and we're utterly proud of our B's.

    I was researching venom and I learned a lot, but I also learned I can't really do much in that area that isn't being done. Or at least I couldn't think of anything. It doesn't have to pertain to venom especially, but that's definitely and interesting subject.

    The reason I would like to do my project on reptiles is that I am planning on doing this for the rest of my life. I want to go to college for biology, getting a PhD. I want to do herpetological research all the time. That'd be great. It's definitely my dream. I would love to be a herp vet, as my full time job, researching on the side. The idea of a reptile rescue facility sounds good too. But the point is, I want to get started. I research all the time, just learning things that is already known. But I want to add to this information somehow, or realize something in it that hasn't been realized before. I don't know how to explain it really, what I want to do. I mean, I don't know what I want to do for the project at all except that I want it to include reptiles. Heck, it could be trying to figure out ways to better get ride of mites and such. I don't mind. It could even be inverts... They're neat little critters too :]

    I've hit a road block here, and I can think of absolutely nothing.
    Any ideas or help or simply getting a direction established would be amazing. Herpcenter is, of course, the place I come to when I have any reptile questions. So, once again, I am coming here for science fair help.

    Thanks!
    -Lauren
     
  2. Orca

    Orca Elite Member

    I can't think of anything off the top of my head now, but I'll keep it in the back of my mind if I come up with an idea. Does your school have access to online databases where you can search for articles in peer-reviewed journals? You could also search on those, if you can, with some key words and get ideas.
     
  3. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Yes we do, its AVL, Alabama Virtual Library. I'm planning on searching there after I get some kind of idea of what to do. My only idea was squished when I did the venom research haha.
    Thanks though! Let me know if you think of anything!
    My computer at home is totally messed up. I'm at my mom's work on a computer now. I won't be able to be here again until monday though. I may be able to go to a library to get internet before then, but I'm not sure.
    I just figured I'd warn you and anyone else who replies that it may take me a while to get back to you after I get off. I wanted you guys to know that I wasn't just going to leave you hanging haha.

    But yeah, searching through them is a good way to get ideas. I was looking through here too, to see if there were any conversations about anything interesting. It's just a whole lot to sort through :p

    Okay I have to leave now, but I'll get back on as soon as I can.
    Any replies are helpful you guys!
    Thanks again :]
    Byebye!
     
  4. LovetheBaruu

    LovetheBaruu Subscribed User Premium Member

    I have a couple of ideas that will help to educate, but you may not be able to discover anything new...
    Set up two bins of feeders (crickets vs Dubias) and list the requirements for breeding/ feeding. Explain how what you feed the insects impacts the nutrition of the reptile. Compare the nutritional value of the two types of feeders.
    Another option may be to choose two reptiles - one who requires UVB and one who does not. Explain the effects of UVB and what happens if it is not provided to the reptile who requires it. Also, compare the reptiles and explain why some do not seem to require UVB.
     
  5. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    Maybe you could explain why some lizards have ZZ and WW chromosomes while others have XX and XY like humans.

    The subject is "parthenogenesis".

    This was discussed in the monitor forums here.

    http://www.herpcenter.com/monitors/25775-females-importance-
    providing-proper-nesting.html

    If you can explain why some species of lizard produce only females through parthenogenesis while other species produce only males,...

    That is something that I would seriously like to know!

    And for the curve, I am not 100% convinced That a male can be born out of parthenogenesis!

    Go ahead and wrap your brain around that! LOL I know you can do it!!! Don't you pay any mind that your from Alabama! hehe
     
  6. katie41586

    katie41586 Elite Member

    You coud Do some more research on the benefits of uvb/uv rays on reptiles. Test specific brands versus others.
     
  7. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    How about the materials used for substrate or hides - and which type work better in different environments. By work better, I mean which ones don't get a bacteria build-up or mold, etc. Variables could be heat, light, humidity or the type of substrate. Independent variable is amount of bacteria/mold that is produced. We are drawing a blank on the control - you can't use one type of critter - because obviously you can't place them in different environments. I forget - do you need a control?

    Although, comparing the UVB bulbs and their UVB output is a good idea -- we are always looking for the best bulb (which I know, everyone says is the mega-ray).

    That's what the 16 year old came up with -- its been a while since I had to do those...;)
     
  8. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Ohhhh yay all this is incredibly helpful. I think the substrate idea is the best so far. I have a five page paper due on the topic Thursday morning... Eh, this is getting very last minute. I hate that.
    I'm reading about the parthogenisis now. I'm not allowed to work with anything that has a spine unless I'm working under someone, so I don't know if I could really do anything to test that.
    Explaining something that is already known won't work out though. And the UVB output testing is pretty much known as it is.
    So, as of now, the substrate idea is the best. And it will be helpful to society... well herping society, but still, society :p
    Hmm. Maybe I could even figure out some kind of synthetic material that's good for substrate...
    Thanks a ton you guys!
    If anyone comes up with any more ideas, let me know.
    This is so helpful. Thanks again for all the input :D
     
  9. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    haha I went to an IB school for a year (and did really well) but we moved and I ended up in retardsville Twice! (I went to 4 different high schools! haha) I wish I could have stayed. :(
    Anyways, I would be interested (actually thought about trying to do it for my thesis, but it looks like I will be researching Beluga ecology instead! :D) in salmonella. How to reduce and prevent salmonella levels in the feces, what causes it or leads to an increase, how frequently it is spread to humans who have reptile pets, etc. On MegaRay's site they claim that probiotics (that they sell) have been shown to eliminate salmonella...
    Whatever you pick, good luck!

    Oh! another idea is to research HOW and WHY temperature leads do different gender in some species (like crested geckos). :)
     
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    How about growth and reproduction rate in feeders insects being affected by temperatures or the composition of the culture medium.
    With as fast as mealworms grow and reproduce you could use them.
     
  11. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    I like the salmonella idea... That would be easier to write a five page paper on too haha.
    My mom has a hard enough time letting me raise my reptiles.. I don't know how she'll like the idea of breeding feeders.
    Both of those ideas are good though. And they are easier to write about...
    I would have to use reptiles if I wanted to research salmonella in feces.. And I can't, unless I'm working under someone who is certified.
    So, I think the feeder idea wins for now. I'm going to go ask my mom... Haha. Since it's for school she will probably let me. Ah yay! I'm glad I have something that I can use now.
    Thanks so much everyone!

    From what I've heard some IB schools are more or less difficult than others. My school has been ranked in the top 5 in the nation for two or three years, if I'm not mistaken. How cool is that? Haha, I love the education I'm getting. It's definately preparation. I've learned more in my freshman year than I ever did before. And I remember it! Which is great. It makes me want to try harder. And I'm realizing my college options and all the different fields I can work in. I love it so much. Except the stress level. Pft. I thought I'd broken out in hives, but I just got back from the doctor and it's actually a nickel allergy. I wouldn't have been surprised if it was hives though...

    But anyway, thank you guys so much.



    Okay now I'm revising this yet again. I am going to do a project with both the lesser waxworm (Achroia grisella) and the greater waxworm (Galleria mellonella). Set up different substrates, temps, humidities, etc. Measure lifespans at the different specifics. It will be much simpler than testing a bunch of different feeders.
    Can my bearded dragons and RES eat waxworms?
    I don't want to kill the moths when I'm done with the project. So maybe if I feed all the worms to my babies, I could keep the moths until they died.. How would I keep them from reproducing? Make the temps lower, I'm guessing, but I would like some input
     
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The reason I recommended meal worms is they are small, easily bred and, the beetles do not fly! So they are virtually escape proof. A simple covered plastic shoe box is all you need.
     

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