a fairly comphrehensive cumulative research topic idea bank n.
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A FAIRLY COMPHREHENSIVE CUMULATIVE RESEARCH TOPIC IDEA BANK. RATIONALE FOR ORGANIZATION. These topics are merely “seeds” that can help your research topic to “bloom” and “grow” in your mind. Your original twist on the topic is most important.

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rationale for organization

These topics are merely “seeds” that can help your research topic to “bloom” and “grow” in your mind. Your original twist on the topic is most important.

Rarely will you undertake the topic you initially chose, however, it is a starting place. It is crucial that you get started, read lots of scientific literature, then brain storm with somehow who can be helpful.


Sometimes the grouping is not perfect so make sure you review other groupings to insure you have a full perspective of what is possible. And there may be some repeats.

strategies for selecting a topic how can you quickly select a research topic
STRATEGIES FOR SELECTING A TOPICHow can you quickly select a research topic?

These are some proven ways:

1. Go through the data bank of topics or use others to share what they have done.

2. Turn to an adult such as your parents, neighbors, place of worship, or personal medical professionals such as your veterinarian or physician AND BRAINSTORM.

3. Community businesses and/or medical facilities can provide guidance. Overland Park has an inordinate number of medical facilities. By just driving around, you will be impressed with the shear number of resources for a research topic. 4. Other: your textbook, online sources, library resources, and special organizations. Refer to the ppt. entitled: Honors Biology 1 Student Science Research Project for web addresses.

table of contents


botany plants
  • Leaves – sizes, shapes, colors at different levels.
  • Is moss growing more often on the north side of trees true?
  • Comparison of lima bean growth using distilled vs fertilizer solution.
  • Levels of carbon dioxide on the rate of (Genus, species) growth.
  • The effects on growth rates of (Genus, species) through pH (choose special values) of mineral water.
  • Effects on plant height of (Genus, species) by using dissolved, powders eggshells of (which chickens?).
  • The effect of (name/types) composts on growth rates of (Genus, species).
  • A comparative study of the effects on (named grass) using rain water, distilled water, mineral water, and tap water.
  • Comparative germination rates of (names of seeds).
  • Correlation of seed size and average growth heights.
  • Effect of 12 volts on lima bean growth rates.
  • The use of (name the plant or lichens) as bioindicators of ozone 1.
  • How to identify ozone injury of (name that crop, native plant, or plantlike organism).
botany plants cont
  • Effect of sunlight angles on leaf angles on mixed Gerbera Daisies.
  • Salinity concentrations and the effects on the growth rates of Kentucky Blue Grass.
  • Type of soil (name soil types) and the effects on plant (name plants) growth rates.
  • Saline concentrations and germination rates of beans (name bean type).
  • Does microwaving soil affect the growth rates of (name plants)?
  • Effects of artificial light and natural light on the growth rates and maximum heights of Kentucky Blue Grass.
  • Artificial light intensities and the growth rate of (name plants).
  • Hydroponically grown tomatoes taste better than those grown in potting soil?
  • Hydroponics is the way to alleviate world hunger.
  • The effect of acid rain on the growth of (name the plant).
  • Comparative study of (name common corn plants) vs (name common wheat plant).
  • Oxygen production of high lipid Scenedesmusdimorphous, green algae, for use in biofuels and environmental applications.
  • Temperature variations and the effect on plant growth (name specific plants).
botany plants cont1
  • Effects of temperature differences on carbon dioxide levels and growth germination rates of alfalfa seeds.
  • A study of carbon dioxide uptake by Crassula argentea.
  • A study of the exposure by 5 common household chemical contaminants in water used for (name the plant) growth rates.
  • The effect of nitrate levels on the grow rate of spirogyra.
  • Chloroplast fusion of unrelated plant species (name two) through asexual fusion.
  • Magnetic levels and the growth rate of chives.
  • The effect of desiccation on cell sizes.
  • The total biomass of the vegetation of (Johnson County, Kansas, SMESL).
  • Has the invasive species kutzu established itself in the greater KC area?
  • The effect of smoke on the early stages of plant growth (name a specific plant).
  • Biomass from lawn cuttings a practical source for biofuel production?
  • Cellular respiration and carbon dioxide output comparison of (name the 2-4 plants).
  • The effect of soil pH on the solubility of phosphorous.
botanical like organisms yeast
Botanical-like organisms/yeast
  • Yeast have been one of the most studied organism because they are small, inexpensive, and grow quickly. There are innumerable sites which address yeast experiments.
  • http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/category109.html
  • http://www.juliantrubin.com/fairprojects/botany/fungi.html
  • http://www.super-science-fair-projects.com/food/yeast-science-fair-experiments.html
  • Google “yeast science fair experiments” and many more will be found.
chemistry or biochemistry
  • Carbon dioxide levels human breath vs plant emissions.
  • Sublimation of dry ice on various surfaces, or using other substances such as oil.
  • The chemistry of permanent markers comparing permanency rates of chosen colors.
  • Levels of carbon dioxide variations comparisons between empty. classroom and a full classroom of students.
  • The pH levels of soil under 10 Eastern pine trees vs those under 10 white oaks.
  • Sampling and analysis of pharmaceutical contaminants of local streams.
  • Copper sulfate levels and the effects on sustainability of 3 algae species.
  • Optimization of sugar yield through acid-based hydrolysis.
  • Correlative study of water quality factors in Indian Creek.
  • Air pollutants given off by 10 common lawn mowers.
  • 10 surprising sources of methane in the regional environment.
  • Toxic chemicals permeating the air schoolchildren breathe (EPA based).
  • Comparative properties of dry ice vs liquid nitrogen.
  • Plasticizers for soluble polyvinyl alcohol: mixing lipphilicitic dyes with different surfactant value.
  • Viscosity values of different common substances such as syrups, catsup, and cold oil.
  • Sensitivity of flame ionization detectors in a gas chromatograph as the voltage was increased.
  • Dissolution comparison of aspirin, tylenol, and other pain relievers in simulated stomach environs.
  • Boiling points of various motor oils.
human body
  • Peripheral vision ability of color sensitivity.
  • Comparative effects of (one genre) music on heart rates, breathing rates, and/or blood pressure levels of 14 year old females to males.
  • Effects of meditation on physical performance of freshmen male athletes.
  • Comparative reflex measurements of freshmen boys vs girls.
  • Pets and blood pressure rates of adults vs freshmen.
  • Electromagnetic levels of various cell phones and the effect on systolic and diastolic readings (blood pressure) on freshmen males vs females.
  • Comparative study of musculoskeletal flexibility levels of males vs female HB 1 students.
  • Effects of different liquids (name them) on dental enamel.
  • Searching for Occult Blood on Non-Medical Surfaces within a “Clean” Operating Room.
  • Correlation of weight of a freshmen female and the ability to do(name exercise).
human body cont
HUMAN BODY (cont.)
  • Reaction time and the motivation of the human mind.
  • Heart rate and calorie burning differences for 14-16 year olds.
  • Effects of jumping jacks on the blood pressure of 15-18 year old males vs females.
  • Accuracy of peripheral vision comparing blue and brown-eyed middle school students.
  • Comparative study of “energy” drink consumption effects on. performance.
  • Effects of music on running speed with freshmen girls.
  • Gender differences in balancing periods using the lifting of the left leg.
  • The effect of chewing gum on the temperature of the masseter muscle (jaw muscle).
  • The effect of being physically fit on heart rate and/or breathing rate recovery time.
  • The effect of watching fish in an aquarium and heart and breathing rates (and BP?).
  • The effect of petting dogs and/or cats and heart and breathing rates (and BP?)
  • The effect of calcium methanearsonate on Lumbricusterrestris (earthworms)
  • How toxic are cosmetics??
human body cont1
HUMAN BODY (cont.)
  • The effect of chlorpromazine upon hemagglutination, hemolysis, and shape of Rh+ erythrocytes.
  • The effect of physical exercise on the hematological composition of mammalian blood.
  • The effect of a magnetic field on a circadian rhythm of the human eye.
  • The blood volume rate change before and during exercise.
  • Platelet function (clotting time) influenced by antihistamines.
  • Comparative study of temperature between the right and left ears of 10 babies, 10 teenagers, and 10 older adults.
  • The effect of nitric oxide on cell lysis of human epithelial cells.
  • The use of biofeedback as a preventative to asthma attacks.
  • Does stress vs relaxed state cause an EKG pattern to change?
human body cont2
Human Body (cont.)
  • The effect of being physically fit on heart rate recovery time.
  • The effect of playing (a musical instrument) and the heart and breathing rates, as well as blood pressure.
  • The effect of memory retention and memory retention.
  • Comparison of mitochondrial DNA Base sequences as evidence of evolutionary relationships.
  • Comparative study of resting heart rates of 12-15 year olds and adults between 30 and 50 years old.
  • Is the standard temperature of 98.6 degrees correct for humans?
  • The role of surgical face masks in preventing airborne/droplet infections.
  • How effective are over-the-counter face masks in filtering out pollen, or dust particles.
  • The effect of music temp and pulse rates of elementary students.
  • The correlation of font size and reading speed (memory detention).
microbiology biotechnology
  • Comparison of microbial levels of bacterial growth within 5 household environs after using various household cleaners.
  • Fecal coliform levels within (named bodies of water) above and below the Johnson County sewage treatment facility.
  • Bacterial present on the surfaces of organic and nonorganic navel oranges (or other vegetables or fruits).
  • Assessment of levels of bacteria present versus the distance from a “lid up” toilet.
  • Presence of bacteria on 5 handles in 10 homes.
  • DNA Onion Extraction vs from Strawberries.
  • Comparative bacterial levels of 10 human vs 10 dogs mouths.
  • Amount of bacteria in ice from 5 samples of 2 fast food restaurants.
  • Microbial contamination in diesel fuel
microbiology biotechnology cont
  • The effects of hydrostatic pressure on the microbiology of meat products.
  • Rhizospheres Pseudomonas Bacteria as biocontrol agents for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation and phytopathogenic fungi suppression.
  • Ampicillin resistance in E. coli
  • What temperature is optimal for bacterial growth of from common surfaces?
  • Which of the following “dirty” surfaces: bathroom toilet bowls, computer key boards, cell phone buttons, and front door stoops consistently have the highest bacterial levels?
  • Comparative study of the amount of bacteria growth between antibacterial and bacterial products?
  • The effect of microwave radiation from on the growth of bacteria.
  • How effective are antibacterial soaps on bacterial growth on (name the surface) over time?
  • Differentiating bacterial growth within the household environment.
microbiology biotechnology cont1
  • The antibiotic effects of grapefruit seed extract on Streptococcus pyogenes.
  • A study of green, black, and white tea on the growth rate of bacteria from common surfaces.
  • Bacterial growth inhibitors of 5 common spices.
  • Beverage analysis and millipore assessment for highest quality and flavor outcomes.


miscellaneous cont
  • Rate of dissolution of chicken bones in 5% hydrogen peroxide (store bought) and tap water.
  • The rate of drag based on boat hull types.
  • Filtering rates effect comparing fiberglass and pleated types of furnace filters.
  • How scientifically accurate are the predictions of horoscopes?
  • Rate of mold growth on cheddar cheese contained in 3, 10, and 12 ounce jars.
  • Preferred sweet liquids by Harvester ants.
  • Erosion rates comparisons of loam soil versus clay soil.
  • Strength comparisons of 5 types of bridge trusses in upholding weights suspended from them.
  • The most effective acoustical foam.
  • The affects of the increased consumption of sucrose and high glycemic, refined carbs on the Mus musculus growth rates and navigating a maze behavior.
miscellaneous cont1
  • Pesticide levels (state concentration levels) and the killing rates of bait shop crickets (name Genus species).
  • Absorption rates of motor oil and gasoline as liquid pollutants comparing two types of soils (name soils).
  • The effectiveness of sand and gravel filters of oily solutions.
  • The effects on adhesives exposed to thermal and cryogenic temperatures on the rolling and pulling friction.
  • Heart rate of 10 adults correlated to caloric intake over 3 weeks.
  • The difference between amount of pressure sustained at the ends of the chicken eggs vs the “sides.”
  • The growth rate of guppies (or tadpoles) by pH value effects.
  • Levels of bacteria present in a pet’s dish water comparing dogs who chew on bones and those who do not.
  • Accuracy of 3 television meteorologists over a 4-week period.
miscellaneous cont2
  • Verbal reactions of female freshmen to the obvious depression symptoms of a classmate.
  • Effects of the color of lettering (or paper) in high school sophomores on memory.
  • The effects of liquid nitrogen on the electrical resistance of 5 different metal wires of #4 gauge.
  • Comparative water temperatures of water containers and solar panels.
  • Which fabrics are the best insulators?
  • The best temperature during which carbon dioxide is released from a carbonated beverage (state which types).
  • Effects of phosphate levels on Elodea growth.
  • Total visible percentage of the Moon’s surface over its 29-day cycle.
  • Does reduced fat products have fewer calories than standard products?
  • The effect of ultraviolet light on tardigrades.
  • Ant behavior (using temperature, sugar sources, light, soil, biorhythms)
miscellaneous cont3
  • The solubilzation of C60 and its effects on phospholipid membranes.
  • A comparative study of the filtering effect of various glass and water types of ultraviolet light using Baker’s yeast.
  • Asphyxiation due to carbon dioxide (from dry ice) vapor and liquid nitrogen vapor on crickets in confined spaces.
  • Comparative study of dust mite and alternaria concentrations in household dust samples.
  • The makeup of air borne particulate matter.
  • Chromatography separation rate differences in various colors of sharpie or vis-à-vis pens.
  • A study of the effects on the properties of slinkies using cryogenic temperatures.
  • Can a crinoid fossil be used as an accurate index fossil to determine Paleozoic Era life?
  • Scotch tape emits X-rays when peeling it off its roll in a vacuum tube!
  • Heat loss at various school locations (home, business…)
  • Growth of fish and tank size- is this true?
miscellaneous cont4
  • Can variable stars be used to determine the distance to nearby galaxies?
  • A correlation of sound intensity and blood pressure, heart rates, and breathing rates.
  • Safe removal of crude oil from the primary feathers of Anser domesticus using selected skin care products.
  • An investigation of temperature-dependent sex determination, development, and growth of Anolis carolinensis(reptile).
  • The critical temperature of a YBCO superconductor.
  • Polyhydroxybutyrate: a polymer produced and degraded by bacteria.
  • The use of thymosin to enhance the lymphocyte production in mice.
  • The effects of various intensities of UV-C light on survival frequency of HA2 yeast cells.
  • Frog-killing fungus seeps into the skin (white-nosed fungus of bats).
  • The surface science of and the importance of adherence of paint applications.
  • What are the levels of oxygen in orange juice found in plastic containers with lids and without lids?
  • Surfaces interface of plastics and (name the chemical- tomato juice, soft drinks,….)
miscellaneous cont5
  • Pneumatic boundary layer control improvements on airfoil behavior.
  • Do more propeller blades equal more electrical energy output? Or does changing blade angles increase electrical energy output?
  • The application of high Tc superconductors and levitation properties or Fabrication of high temperature superconductors involving yttrium, barium and copper oxides.
  • Honeycomb ergonomic keyboard design for physically challenged children.
  • The effect of cold temperatures on battery longevity.
  • The effect of soil temperature and biodegradation of biodegradable materials.
  • Micrometeorology measurement differences compared to general readings found on online.
  • Fluctuations of solar radiation levels and the amount of electromagnetic radiation reaching the surface of the earth.
  • The average albedo levels of various local surfaces.
  • Wind speed difference at different distances from the school.
miscellaneous cont6
  • Carbon monoxide levels before and during the departure traffic after dismissal at South High.
  • Coating detector for low emissivity glass.
  • Comparative study of electromagnetic emission levels within the home, school computer lab, and in an electronic section of a store.
  • Sound proofing quality of selected wall materials: drywall, wood, and glass.
  • Correlation of high pressure vs low pressure system and human behavior.
  • The decomposition rates of CD-1 knockout mice in diverse substance.
  • Do mind-control exercises along with meditation and goal setting help students resist cravings and impulsive behavior.
  • The effects of temperature on the voltage efficiency of solar cells.
  • Verbal reactions of female freshmen to obvious depression symptoms of a classmate.
  • Comparative study of the effect of liquid nitrogen cooling on the brittleness of various metal wires.
  • Aerodynamic design which improves airfoil life and fuel usage
  • Horse height vs stride length.
water quality
  • Comparing nitrate, phosphate, and pH levels in drinking water from (various sites).
  • Levels of nitrates and phosphates levels in runoff water from residential lawns vs commercial lawns.
  • Nitrate levels of (water source) and the relationship of Caddis fly (bioindicator) numbers.
  • Effects of air temperature on oxygen, nitrate, pH, and phosphate levels of 3 sites in Indian Creek.
  • Comparison of phosphate, nitrate and fecal levels from 3 samples of Johnson County vs Jackson County streams.
  • The correlation of turbidity and air temperature on water temperature at 10 centimeters below the surface of Indian Creek water.
  • Conductivity levels of various streams (name streams) before and after heavy rains.
  • Comparative study of the effect of ink color (paper color) and reading speed (or memory retention….)
water quality cont
  • Water quality of runoff water over concrete, turf grass, and native vegetation.
  • Aluminum 27 and Iron 57 contamination in Indian Creek and two different location compared to tap water.
  • The effects of effluent water from the Johnson County waste water treatment plant on the fecal coliform levels of Indian Creek.
  • Estimation of point source and nonpoint source phosphorus loading of SMESL pond.
some other sources also see student science research project
Some other sources:(also see Student Science Research Project)
  • http://gslc.genetics.utah.edu/students.html
  • http://www.terimore.com/
  • http://www.terimore.com/science-fair-projects/popular-science-fair-project.htm
  • http://chemistry.about.com/od/demonstrationsexperiments/u/scienceprojects.htm
  • http://homeworkspot.com/sciencefair/
  • http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/homeworkhelp/a/blscproindex.htm
challenges and attributes per topic group

PLANTS – if they do not grow, you will have to start over. Plants often take more time especially if you are trying to attain great heights. A strategy

might be to measure

the germination or an early phase. But have little paperwork/forms to fill out and can be done at home!


will usually take equipment and chemicals and safety precautions are a must. There are more forms to fill out if the chemicals are considered to be hazardous. Students really feel like scientists working with chemicals.

challenges and attributes per topic group cont


This is usually the most popular topic area, however, due to insuring safety, this topic area has the most forms to fill out.

You will have to involve no fewer than 15 people.


Researching microbes is an area that requires following strict procedures, filling out special forms, and devising measuring techniques. This area is also a favorite to research.

challenges and attributes per topic group cont1

MISCELLANEOUS – because of the great range of topics which fall under this grouping, each one will have special considerations especially forms to be filled out. This group offers the widest variety of topics.

WATER QUALITY – will involve the outdoors which can be a challenge especially if you are counting on rainfall. This area will probably involve

chemicals and equipment which you will have to check out, be responsible for, and need to return in a timely manner.