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Emma Heffernan

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Does anyone know of an original science fair project?

My 14 year old son has wanted to become a scientist since before I can remember. An opportunity has come up for him to enter into a science fair but I need some ideas.

It would be the first science fair he has entered into so it doesn't matter if he wins or not, just the participation I believe would be a good experience for him.

There is no better place to ask than the TED community, all ideas would really be appreciated.

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    Mar 8 2012: He could do a small-scale agricultural experiment. Plants such as beansprouts grow quite quickly. He could see how any number of variables affects the growth of the plant. Ex: amount of light, water, type of soil, etc. I did a similar experiment in 6th grade.

    Most importantly, he should be interested in whatever he tests and be curious about the results. Designing the experiment, creating proper controls, etc is a very good learning process.
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      Mar 8 2012: Hi Kevin, How did your project go? I'd need something that would grow near the salt water if you have any suggestions. We've tried an onion and sunflower seeds but both failed and I guess it is because we are too close to the ocean.
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        Mar 9 2012: I remember we used some alaskan bean plant that grew quite fast and measured its main stalk height, the variable you measure could be something else though. If your local soil isn't sufficient for the growth of the plant you choose, you can always just buy some soil from a gardening store.

        I'm not sure of a quickly germinating plant that would suit your local soil offhand though. I really know next to nothing about plant biology.

        Try getting into contact with local gardeners in your community if you can to help you in the process. I must emphasize that your child's curiosity should guide the experiment though.

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