No announcement yet.

science fair project...hehe

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • science fair project...hehe

    not too advanced, but...i need to do a science fair project for school, and i figure i'd like to do something relating to corals
    at first i was thinking about doing something about dendro's or aposymbiotic corals, or coral spawning or something, but then i realized that is waaay beyond my level
    anyway, i was hoping some of you might be able to help me think of some project ideas.


  • #2
    Why don't you simply do one on The Sustainability of Coral Farming. There is a lot of info and pics available online, and you could do small simple tanks to show the techniques of farming...pick something simple, like Aiptasia ;-). Just kidding. You could do zoanthids, shrooms, etc. in a tank to show live, and maybe an SPS skeleton as a prop to show how easy they are fragmented and glued to plugs.

    You could show it as a viable replacement for the aquarium industry, as well as being environmentally friendly for repopulating damaged reefs.
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day...teach a man to fish and he'll sit in the boat and drink beer all day.


    • #3
      hmm, thats a good idea...never thought of it that way , ill have to think about it some more.

      aiptasia would be pretty easy to do; since i already have a large parent stock :lol:



      • #4
        anymore ideas?


        • #5
          Greetings All !

          Originally posted by Detritivore
          anymore ideas?
          Oh noooo ... not science fairs ... hehe ... ... :destroy:

          A few organizational questions ... What grade level? ... Through what subject/class? ... When is the project due? ... What are the science fair dates? ... School or district level? ... Who are the judges? ... Public or private school? ... If public, what district? ... What kinds of paperwork/information has been given to you so far? ... Is the Science Department "serious" about this, or are they doing it because the administration wants/expects them to do it?

          A few conceptual questions ... Are you doing this for the grade, or something more? ... What budget, both money and time, are you working with? ... Do you have access to any specialized technology and/or resources (... digital camera, chemical probes ... does a parent work for a biotechnology company ...)? ... What resources (if any) are available from the school? ... Do you want to play to win?

          Typically, "higher" level organisms are more difficult to work with ... they require more time to "react" to whatever variable manipulation you're investigating, they cost more to maintain, and there may be some rigorous ethical/procedural guidelines which must be adhered to. If you're going to be exploring the behavior/response of a marine organism, I would suggest working with stuff like macroalgae, or zooplankton.

          Physical parameters are both easier, and more "difficult" to work with, i.e., physical things generally happen more quickly, cost less to experiment with, and are more directly measurable than live specimens/populations ... but you'll be limited by your technology (... results from a Salifert test kit vs. results from a spectrophotometer ...).

          Some random, "general topic/title" project ideas ...
          The Effect of Temperature on Rotifer Reproduction Cycles ...
          The Effect of Different Light Sources on Macroalgae Growth ...
          The Effect of Different Diets on Pacific White Shrimp PL10 Growth Rates ...
          The Effect of CaOH2 on the Accumulation of PO4 in Marine Microcosms ...
          The Effect of Macroalgae on Dissolved O2 Concentrations in Marine Microcosms ...

          ... but without knowing what interests YOU, these kinds of suggestions are only marginally useful ... at best ...

          ... What do YOU want to do? ... ...

          Make some decisions about what you're doing ... SOON.

          Keep in mind what is "do-able", given resources and time.

          Select something which FASCINATES you ... as much as possible. A boring project is just that, and the results will show it. The flip-side is also true ... a project which engages you is just that, and the results will show it.

          Looking forward to hearing your response and more information.

          JMO ... HTH
          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
          Hunter S. Thompson


          • #6
            Greetings All !

            Originally posted by Detritivore
            anymore ideas?
            One more concept ... the "question" you settle upon is CRITICAL. Stay away from a "topic" investigation ... it is the equivalent of science project "black death."

            Selecting a simple, direct question ... with measureable and observable potential answers ... is FUNDAMENTAL to any successful science project. It is the difference between starting on your own 20 yard line vs. starting with 1st and goal on your opponent's 9 yard line.

            JMO ... HTH
            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
            Hunter S. Thompson


            • #7
              Greetings All !

              Some more stuff which may, or may not, be of use to you ... sorry for the rant. Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away ... I was once a high school science teacher.

              Go figure ... ...

              If you do an advanced google search using the phrase "science fair", you'll get something around 3,730,000 hits. Most of the web pages returned will involve either elementary school education ... not for you ... or will be from folks who want to sell you things related to science fair projects ... which may or may not be for you. A little time investment in "research" will prove VERY useful as you get started ... IME, FWIW.

              Some links which I hope will be useful to you:

              (1) A good, "middle of the road", high school level set of information site:

              PEI Science Awareness and Technology Site

              6 Steps to Doing a Science Fair Project

              Their steps are ...

              Coming Up With an Idea

              Your Hypothesis and Researching Your Topic

              The Scientific Method and Writing Your Report

              Results and Observations

              Displaying Your Results

              Evaluating and Judging
              (*Note: This part varies widely depending upon the organizers of the fair)

              (2) A little bit more advanced description of the same kind of stuff:

              Science Fair Projects 13.01
              How to Do a Science Project

              (3) If you want to communicate with educators, researchers, and other students regarding science fair projects, these may be useful to you:

              Society for Amateur Scientists

              Science Fair Idea Exchange

              IPL: Science Fair Project Resource Guide

              (4) If you decide that you want to use live specimens, and you want to employ the same guidelines that the big kids use:

              Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 4th Edition

              Originally posted by Marc Daniels
              You could show it as a viable replacement for the aquarium industry, as well as being environmentally friendly for repopulating damaged reefs.
              Marc makes a really good point ... the mariculture/aquaculture industry literally ABOUNDS with opportunities for basic student explorations and research. The only "rub" with focusing on corals ... other than money ... is the time involved. If you're limited to a 6 month timeframe, I'd suggest that you need to get started NOW.

              Originally posted by Detritovore
              ... aiptasia would be pretty easy to do; since i already have a large parent stock :lol: ...
              It turns out that Aiptasia experiments could be very applicable. They reproduce quickly, respond to the manipulation of environmental variables quickly, they're hardy, they're cheap to maintain, they're easy to take pictures of (documentation ... sorry about the dangling preposition ... this is an example of how NOT to do sentence structure in your project report ...), they don't require any specialized toys/appartatus to investigate and quantify, and they're a topic of perpetual interest. The development of procedures to maximize Aiptasia propagation and growth in the laboratory might be an excellent project ... supplemented with tangents involving what makes them grow fastest/best, and what eradicates them fastest/best ... could prove to be an excellent project realm.

              Just some thoughts ... I'll be quiet now ...

              Last edited by mesocosm; 11-13-2005, 03:37 PM.
              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
              Hunter S. Thompson


              • #8
                ok, that is a lot of stuff not sure how the school has everything worked out, but its for a private school, and i can basically do whatever i want. i'm in 9th grade, if that helps... as far as budget goes, i'd say...unlimited afterall, what are parents for? just kidding,hehe, i think i'll have quite some resources, since this is all in the name of parents are really big on education (hope they arent reading this)...i have done a few projects before, the last one i did was in 7th grade, which was about freshwater planarians and sulfuric stuff...i had to write a paper about their regeneration and what-not...probably have forgotten most of it by now, hehe...anyway, theres some background.

                heres the BIG problem: i am reaaally limited on time. i've got like 3 months max. not too helpful....

                for marine macroalgae...isnt Caulerpa taxifolia (and other macros)banned in california? i've already got marine macro in my tank, but probably not enough to make use of. now aiptasia, on the other hand....

                i also thought about doing somethin bout PO4 and sandbeds, with all the barebottom talk going around...however, i probably dont have enuff time for that...

                my parents dont do biotechnical stuff...aerospace is his specialty..not to helpful either, hehe...

                anyway, forgive my grammatical errors, LOL... i should have only three periods in my ellipsis and spaces depending where you look...



                • #9
                  I think you should setup 3 tanks, say 10-20 gallons and keep some type of soft coral in them. have one side of each tank be high light and the other side low light. make sure you keep all the tanks the same way. choose whatever coral you have available to make replicates (frags) of, preferrably soft corals because they will show changes quickly and they will be more tolerant of light changes. This will allow you to employ a little statistical analysis. compare how the corals look after a couple weeks, seems about long enough for corals to show obvious morphological and physiological changes.
                  whatever you do you have to start with a hypothesis and go about testing it, even if you prove yourself wrong that is important too. The best experiment will offer conclusive results one way or the other.

                  If you pick a hypothesis, we'll do our best to help you design an experiment for it.
                  Jake Adams
                  Reef Builders


                  • #10
                    im workin on it

                    for the soft coral thing...that would be something along the lines of "does light intensity affect the morphology and physiology of _______sp. soft coral?" or "how do _________sp. soft corals respond to varying light intensities?"...something like that right? just trying to get my brain workin


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Detritivore
                      "does light intensity affect the morphology and physiology of _______sp. soft coral?"
                      this hypothesis will give you definitive results because it is a yes no answer. You might want to ask yourself several ways that the coral could change, ie color, expansion, branching density, polyp density. The combination of responses from these characteristics will paint an interesting picture of how the coral is trying to acclimate to its new environment. You really want to use at least 3 separate systems, and 3 different lineages of (more or less) the same coral. I say more or less because even with one color combination of a common species, you have many other differences that obviously are not the same coral, pink birdnest being a great example.

                      I am not sure how deep you want to get with this for a science fair project. If you want some statistically significant data, for meaningful scientific interpretation, you will need 3 samples, of 3 strains, in 2 treatments, in 3 tanks. multiply that out and you get a total of 54 samples to measure. Keep in mind you may lose some corals so if you do 5 samples per strain you're up to 90 corals. it sounds daunting but if it is properly thought out, it can be rather simple, be very rewarding and meaningful for the scientific and aquaristic community.
                      Jake Adams
                      Reef Builders


                      • #12
                        sounds like an interesting would you calculate polyp density? something like polyps per sq. inch? also, i would think that i'd need a more definitive way to measure light a PAR or quantum meter, correct?


                        • #13
                          also, the lights would need to be of similar spectrum, in order to get the colors right...same flow...same distance from lights...same distance from walls of aquarium...away from ambient sunlight...same temp...same salinity...same pH...same ORP...same oxygen content...same ca and KH...same mag,po4,si...boy this is getting i reallly need to get that deep?


                          • #14
                            gary, CaoH2 is calcium hydroxide aka kalk right?


                            • #15
                              check this out, i found it using scirus (thanks gary!):


                              he seems to be focusing more on the zoox density and protein content though...

                              as for the coral propagation topic, i am having a hard time figuring out a good question for it...the best that i could come up with was: "can corals be propagated in captivity?" obviously, i need to spend more time thinkgindg