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Science Fair Projects -- Pollution and the Environment!

Aug 18, 2007
You and your family, as well as neighbors and friends fill up garbage pails for the trash man to take away at least once every week. Some of us separate items like plastic, paper, cans and bottles for recycling. This is a fairly new concept and is going a long way to help the environment. Instead of clogging up the earth with this non biodegradable stuff, we recycle and use it over and over again.

But what about the other garbage that is not recycled; things like leftover food, wrappings, disposable diapers, and all the other products and materials that do not go into the recycle bin. Here is the basis for a good earth science project for science fair or just for general information purposes.

What you and your family do can make a difference. If everyone observed the best methods of helping to keep the environment clean, we will all go a long way towards being green. Garbage that is biodegradable is good for the environment. Garbage that is not biodegradable and is not recycled is very bad for the environment.

A "biodegradable" product has the ability to break down by biological means, into the raw materials of nature and disappear into the environment. These products can be solids biodegrading into the soil or liquids biodegrading into water. More good ideas for an earth science fair project or just for information.

In nature everything is biodegradable. Nature has perfected this system-we find new ways every day to screw it up.

The products we manufacture have been altered by industry in such a way that they are unrecognizable to the microorganisms and enzymes that return natural materials to their natural state. Instead of returning to the cycle of life, these products simply pollute and litter our land, air, and water. Look into this for an earth science project or for a science fair.

Leaves on trees are excellent examples of biodegradable products made in the spring, used by the plant for photosynthesis in the summer, and dropping to the ground in autumn, and assimilated into the soil to nourish the plant for the next season.

Soap is an organic product that is biodegradable. The soapy grey water from a single household may biodegrade easily in a backyard, however, if that soap went down a line that fed into a waterway with the soap used by a million residents that live along that waterway, there may be waves of soapsuds on the beaches, simply because more soap would be going into the waterway than it has microorganisms to biodegrade.

Here's how long it takes for some products to biodegrade:
Rags 1-5 months
Paper 2-5 months
Rope 3-14 months
Orange peel 6 months
Wool socks 1 to 5 years
Cigarettes 1 to 12 years
Leather shoes 25 to 40 years
Nylon fabric 30 to 40 years
Tin cans 50 to 100 years
Glass 1 million years
Plastic Forever

Try one of these interesting environment related science fair projects. You'll be surprised to learn what you can do about pollution.

Is solar energy really practical? Can this renewable energy source help get the planet back on track, and close the hole in the ozone layer?

Can the solar system turn a propeller? an you harness the energy of the solar system and get the sun to turn a propeller? Can be adapted to any grade.

Can I collect and store solar energy? You will attempt to use the sun to demonstrate just what solar energy can do. For lower grade levels.

What substance attracts and holds the most solar energy? All of you in the middle and lower grades who like to play in the sun will love this project. It's all about the sand and the water and other substances and how much sun they attract and hold.

What do people throw away? It's a garbage project! Learn how to sort, record, and calculate as you go through the trash. Great for elementary but offers lots of suggestions that could make this project very appropriate for middle school students as well.

Where in my neighborhood is it most polluted? This very enlightening project will help you to determine the most unpolluted area in your neighborhood. It will give you insights of how people are polluting the environment. Good for elementary grades.

How does environmentally friendly antifreeze perform compared to traditional antifreeze? Everyone should consider the impact of chemicals on our environment. In this experiment you can determine just how effective environmental antifreeze is! Great project for high school students.

How to set up an experiment in biogas (methane) production. Using organic wastes, a digester produces biogas that is similar to natural gas and can be used as a feasible energy alternative. This experiment will demonstrate the principals of a digester and the characteristics of biogas.

What are the effects of acid rain on seed germination and plant life? For all of you environmentalists who are aware that pollution is becoming a factor around the planet, here is a fascinating project that will enable you to really determine just what effect acid rain has on new plant life.
About the Author
Mort Barish is co-founder of Terimore Institute, Inc. Terimore provides hundreds of science fair projects with step-by-step guides for children in grades K-12 to help them learn more about science. Find fun, easy and award-winning science experiments at www.terimore.com!
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