Science fair projects are an annual affair and your skills count a lot in your final reports. This time you have been assigned with the task of demonstrating fire science fair projects at the exhibition and you are looking for topics that would truly be awe inspiring. Use of fire is highly pronounced in laboratories and experiments that involve handling fire are performed carefully to avoid the common mishaps that take place in science laboratories.
Fire is used for heating samples, reacting chemicals, melting chemical compounds, combustion, sterilization and for preparing a wide range of mixtures, solvents and solutions. Its use holds a significant position in every discipline of science and almost all experiments in some way or the other, use fire for completion. So let's catch up some fire science fair project ideas.
It's one of the most interesting science experiments at the elementary level where you need to identity different elements on the basis of the color generated by their flame. Every metal generates a characteristic flame, through which they are identified. The flame emitted by them is visible to the naked eye and is produced when the heat of fire excites the metal ions. To set up this experiment you need a Bunsen burner, a wire loop and the samples. Light up the burner and heat a small amount of the sample near the flame by fixing it in the wire loop.
You will gradually observe that each element has a specific color of flame, which is clearly visible since it comes under the wavelength of visible spectrum. The metals that are commonly used for flame test are sodium, barium, potassium, copper, lithium, strontium, lead and calcium. You can form a table and write down the color and physical properties of the flame. While testing the metals, make sure that the flame emitted from the Bunsen burner burns in blue color.
Combustion of Wood
Combustion of wood is a thermal energy experiment that could be performed by using different types of woods. For example, take wooden sticks of oak, maple and birch. You will also require a Logger Pro, temperature probe and three vessels to conduct this experiment. You can either use a barbecue rack for burning the wood or ignite them on ground. The experiment is set up in the following way. First organize the wooden sticks in three different zones meant for each type of wood.
Cover it with the burner stand and place the beaker on top of the stand. Fill the beakers with water and insert the temperature probe into the beaker. The apparatus is then connected with the Logger Pro for taking the readings. Ignite fire and note down the temperature from the thermometer. The wood that generates maximum temperature has the highest combustion energy. This thermal energy experiment is an excellent practical work for high school students that can be showcased at science fair projects.
Candle making is not only an interesting project work but you can simultaneously find out different properties associated with the color of wax, burning time and its dependency on temperature. Observing such changes becomes easier once you have lighted the candles. So how would you make a candle? You can make molds of different shapes (circle, elongated, square, etc) with a cardboard. Melt beeswax in separate containers and add water colors to form a colorful emulsion.
While the beeswax gets melted you can insert the wicks into the molds. Now pour the melted wax into each mold to make candles of different sizes and colors. Light up the candles for observing their burning property and its relation with the color and the surrounding temperature. You can note down the observations in a systematic way in your practical record book and compile them perfectly for presenting in your science fair.
- Which common materials (e.g., paper, foam, cloth, vinyl) produce the worst smoke/air pollution when burned?
- Testing the flammability of common household fabrics.
- The effect of wildfire ash on the environment.
- Test the effects of fire on the mineral content of soil.
- Prove that burning trash is a good alternative to landfills.
- Examine the effects of flame retardant chemicals on growing plants or on animals, such as insects or aquarium fish.
- Determine what material, when commonly burned, gives off the most black carbon particulates.
- Investigate the colors produced when different chemicals are burned.
From the explanation provided in the content above, the fact that fire is an integral part of these experiments is very clear. Be a little extra cautious while handling fire and do it under the guidance of your teacher if you are performing the experiments for the first time. Read the safety precautions mentioned in the protocol and then start the experiment. With proper explanation and diagrams, frame a project that will be appreciated by all.