GRADE LEVEL: 10th
CITY/STATE: Madison, IL USA
AWARDS:1st Place in High School, Outstanding in Illinois Regional, 2nd Place in American Chemical Society
The purpose of my bio-rusting science fair projects experiment is to determine the effect of various organic bacteria on the rate of the iron oxidation process.
I began my experiment by using steel wool to rub off any coating on the iron nails. Next I cleaned the glass jars and lids with antibacterial soap and placed them in boiling water for five minutes. I then removed the jars with cooking tongs and allowed them to cool in a clean dry place for five minutes.
After that I filled one jar with 100 mL of boiled water at a temperature of 70 degrees Celsium. Next another jar was filled with 100 ML of pond water. I filled the rest of the jars with l00mL of boiled water that had been allowed to cool to about 60 degrees Celsius.
I then weighed out, separately, 7 grams of damp soil, bread yeast, and plain active culture yogurt. I placed the soil, bread yeast, and yogurt in separate jars, already containing the boiled water. Then placed two clean iron nails into each of he jars, and sealed them with lids.
A gram scale was used to weigh each jar and record their weights. Together, the jars were placed in a naturally light room. A timer was set for 30 minutes and when the timer went off I checked the nails for any sign of rust, and continued to check them frequently.
I recorded in a log book which nails showed the first sign of rust and continued to record my observations for one week.At the end of one week, I made my final observations.
I weighed the jars individually to see if there was a significant weight change. After data was collected, I disposed of the contents in a safe manner. I then cleaned the jars and repeated each of the foregoing 18 steps to ensure the accuracy of my data.
I concluded that there was a significant difference between the amount of rust occurring on the nails in the jars containing pond water, soil, and the control, versus the jars with yeast and yogurt. The jars containing yeast and yogurt had no rust accumulation at all, while the control jar had an evenly distributed layer of rust covering the nails and the bottom of the jar. The jar containing pond water had an uneven distribution of rust, and the soil jar had a thick layer of rust covering the nails.
I believe the fermenting bacteria in the yeast and yogurt had a negative effect on the rust process because the bacteria present were producing carbon dioxide, not oxygen, like the pond bacteria Therefore, there was a greater amount of reactant in the soil and pond water jars.
The Bio-rusting Science Fair Projects experiment was presented at the Illinois Junior Academy of Science.
The IJAS only requires three sections in their science fair project abstracts, but the The ISEF (grand daddy of all science fairs) requires five sections. So, be sure to check to see what the guidelines are for your particular science fair.
More biochemistry science fair projects, display boards and abstracts will be added like the bio-rusting science fair projects abstracts as students contribute their projects.