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Need A Blue Ribbon Idea for a Science Project Worthy Enough To Go To The Intel Compi.


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Starting off that broadly is a sure fire way you're not going to win.

 

You're better off thinking about what topics you like and trying to find a lab nearby that will take on a high school kid for a summer.

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You know what might be a hot topic for you? Zeolites. We have just scratched the surface of what this class of material is capable of. I have thought that there was a science fair project somewhere in that stuff for some years.

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You know what might be a hot topic for you? Zeolites. We have just scratched the surface of what this class of material is capable of. I have thought that there was a science fair project somewhere in that stuff for some years.

 

I'm guesssing he wanted something more related to immunology or micro, hence the forum he put it in...

 

but it's still a really wide topic.

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i would reccomend doing it something that has to do with alternative oils to power cars. make like a car that runs on a new form of fuel or create your own version or plans of a hydrogen fuel cell

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You can try bioassays...but then they're pretty easy so...they're not exactly blue ribbon...we bagged fifth place at our school's intel fair with that kind of investigatory project though..

 

If you want an easy project try organic/herbal alternatives to antibiotics such as tetracycline or cloramphenicol.

 

Another common experiment done by my classmates were tests on lowering blood glucose level (diabetes, etc) and testing the effect of sapponins, flavonoids etc on mice.

 

Ok I'll try to list down the winning intel projects from our school so far... the general topics anyway.

 

Biodegradable Plastics (Won International in Philadelphia I think)

Automatic Rain Alarm of some sort (Not sure if it was an Intel comp, but they won in Japan)

Coconut Oil Separation with the use of Papane?

Biodiesel (Won School Eliminations vied for Regional Elims...)

Lowering the Blood Glucose Level of Mice through intake of Euphorbia extract

Bioassay on Pseudomonas with the use of Pomelo Extract as alternative to Antibiotics

Styroshell LandMat (styrofoam+seashells for land mat used in landfills to prevent seapage)

 

These are just examples to give you an idea.

 

I've thought on studying plant viruses once but my school doesn't have the necessary equips...

 

What about coming up with a broad spectrum antibiotic that can kill both gram+/gram- bacteria?

 

There are lots of ideas out there. Take your pick.

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I wanted to do research on garlic. I read somewhere that garlic itself is a really good antibiotic. I read that the antibiotic properties of garlic are a direct result of the allicin produced from raw, crushed garlic. Some people have reported that even blood from a garlic eater can itself kill bacteria! Reading this has inspired me to do an experiment on the effect of the blood of a garlic eater on bacteria. I will eat garlic on a daily basis to provide enough garlic in my blood circulation and take a sample of my blood to see the effect of my blood on bacteria. What do you guys think about this experiment. I really like this experiment. Is this experiment good enough to make it to the intel competition? I also like the experiment on organic/herbal alternatives to antibiotics such as tetracycline or cloramphenicol. I would I conduct this experiment? One last thing, I can't do expeiments on vertebrates like mice.

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Hey raihan - that sounds like an interesting start. The intel competition like unusual experiments like that. Now what you want to do, is proffesionalize it. Email proffesors at your local university about your idea. Find people who are doing research along similiar lines, and see if they'll let you perhaps borrow equipment, or adapt your ideas for their purposes. Or inquire your interest in doing research along these lines. Whatever you do, try and get into a lab.

 

I notice you live in Flushings. So, you're going to want to try some CUNY schools perhaps. Also, look at Hofstra and perhaps Stony Brook (my school :) if you don't think it's too far away. Or, you can look to the west, perhaps at NYU, or a school like that.

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Now what you want to do, is proffesionalize it. Email proffesors at your local university about your idea. Find people who are doing research along similiar lines, and see if they'll let you perhaps borrow equipment, or adapt your ideas for their purposes. Or inquire your interest in doing research along these lines. Whatever you do, try and get into a lab.

 

I am sorry I didn't mention earlier. I am only a junior in Bayside High School. However, one of my research teacher has a Ph. D in microbiology, so maybe I should talk to her. Also how do I find people who are doing research along similar lines and will those people want a high school junior to help them with their research. I would love to come to your school Stony Brooks or Hofstra or NYU. My only question is what steps do I take to get a lab at such a university.

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You have to find a prof. first who's willing to take you on. Browse the departments at universities, and find out what the proffesers are doing there. You have to convince the prof. that they need a high school kid. It's good PR, basically, and chances are, a prof. that's willing to let a high school kid work in their lab, it's going to be a good prof. to work with.

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With respect to your garlic idea, the best would be to actually isolate the "activity", that is implicate a compound. This would be a big project and you would have to find a prof. with expertise in column chromatagraphy, HPLC, and NMR, access to such equipment, and willingness to train you.

You would develop an assay to screen the "activity" various extracts, starting with solubility (i.e. methonol soluble compounds vs. h2o soluble). Once you found your fraction with "activity", you would then initiate the identification process.

 

These techniques are often utilized within the "pharmacognosy", "fitochemistry"or "natural pharmacology" fields. Most of these studies are conducted in either in big pharma and in academic settings within latin american/european countries, however there are a few academic labs in the US that do such undertaking, ususally housed within the dept. of chemistry in those universities.

 

The use of just "whole" garlic in your experiment wouldn't be sufficient for the intel comp.

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whoa. If you follow what the guys here are telling you, you're really going into the intel comps! :D

 

The key really is to have a very good research design. Intel has guidelines posted in their website and they usually give this out to participating schools, too. Just make sure you follow the guidelines.

 

Why can't you test on vertebrates? I think intel allows those kind of studies. But they have special guidelines for that. The bacterial assays are easier to comply with.

 

scicop is right. Using "whole" garlic alone won't ensure you with a ticket to intel. Modify...what's the word? umm..innovate your idea into a more comprehensive form. Create a research design, follow the rules, use standards and remember to always quantify. Use quantitative analysis (it's more reliable) and test your data with the appropriate statistics.

 

Intel will judge greatly on the development of your research paper so make sure you have the necessary data, and obtain the skills of making a good paper. Asking for professional help is a very good idea.

 

To the labs you go!

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If you have finally found a topic you like...hit the books and read on it. You have to know everything that there is to know about your study. Judges ask the hardest questions, you better be prepared to explain your study. And make sure you make a good paper..a really good paper, one that's strong and holds all the necessary information. Because it's what made my past project a failure. I had to almost start over. My paper was weak and had a lot of holes in it...and it was not only the paper..my study was weak as well. So take it from experience...you have to know everything about your study or else...the judge will take you down. You don't want to say the million "If only...I shoud've..."'s....take care and I hope you succeed! May the good wind blow your way! ;)

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Some people have reported that even blood from a garlic eater can itself kill bacteria! Reading this has inspired me to do an experiment on the effect of the blood of a garlic eater on bacteria. I will eat garlic on a daily basis to provide enough garlic in my blood circulation and take a sample of my blood to see the effect of my blood on bacteria. What do you guys think about this experiment?

For this experiment, can I conduct the experiment with the use of the whole garlic, or would it be insufficient for the intel competition? From research that I have recently done I learned that the antibiotic properties of Garlic come from the compound allicin found in garlic.

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For this experiment, can I conduct the experiment with the use of the whole garlic, or would it be insufficient for the intel competition? From research that I have recently done I learned that the antibiotic properties of Garlic come from the compound allicin found in garlic.

 

Still insufficient. Its not the way its done. As ecoli said you would have to get a purified compound/"activity", and perhaps elucidate its structure.

 

I think you're barking up the wrong tree with the garlic idea. You're not the first to investigate the topic, as many have gone down your path. Big pharma is really pushing their natural product development for new compounds, so you're pretty much a little fish in a big big big pond.

 

The intel comp is looking for novel thinking/novel approach not just novel findings. You need to think of a problem a really nice way to eludicate a solution. I don't know how much time you have but read scientific magazines such as science and nature. Although the questions the papers address can be answered by a number of conventional techniques, they are highly differentiated by the approach the scientist use to address the question.

 

For example, controlling gene expression in cells (in vitro) has had its caveats due to efficiency/proper control. Its been observed that gold particles of less than 15nm in diameter are readily enter cells, although the mechanism has not been elucidated. Last week in science magazine, scientist, figured out that they could attach anti-sence DNA to the gold particles and knock-down gene expression (in vitro) at almost 100 percent efficiency (number of cells with observed phenotype). So, its already been known that antisence DNA can attenuate gene expression, and gold particles at that diameter enter cells, and delivery has been a problem for scientist, so these dudes put two and two together and bam!! an elegant set of experiments to help put forth a probable way to circumvent the problem! So basically building on knowledge we already have, but doing in a smart manner!

 

Try taking that approach. Identify a problem, take what is known, generate a hyp, and test it!

 

Welcome to the world of science! This is what being a scientist is all about..elegant ways to investigate a question/problem!

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on more thing....in order to succeed in science...you HAVE to be CREATIVE!!

 

When I was in grad school, my Ph.D. mentor said to me the following:

 

"To be a scientist, you have to be more than a technician, a technician is not a scientist, rather a scientist is also an ARTIST, A philosopher, a writer, AS WELL AS a great technician"

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After reading the last couple of replies I learned that it is probably useless doing experiments on herbal alternatives to antibiotic if I want to be a finalist for intel, since pharmaceutical companies are already doing such research. I will just be repeating their experiments. I guess I have to do more research for experiments I can conduct that is creative and somewhat related to the medical field. If anyone finds an interesting topic or experiment or research good enough for intel, I would really apreciate it if you could inform me. Thanks again for your responses. I learned a lot.

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It's not that the garlic idea is bad. But it would be difficult because you're actually competing with pharmaceutical companies. What would bag you an intel prize is if you discovered something the pharma companies have not discovered yet, or beat them to it.

But then somebody mentioned little fishes and big ponds a few posts back and well it can't be denied that you're the little fish. They've got the research backing and funds, you're still out there looking for labs and profs to help you out.

But when it comes down to it, it won't matter much whether you have funding or not when you have a very good research design. You just have to be creative, and not only that, you also have to be resourceful. That's what budding scientists without funding need!:D

And well you really can't use the whole garlic thing because there would be just too many factors involved. Unless you only eat garlic the whole day, and no other fluids. Plus there's the metabolism, every person varies in his rate of metabolism. Then you'll have to control the activities of the specimen, etc. So the whole garlic thing is actually quite complicated compared to what ecoli suggested on extracting pure allicin. (garlic? umm..allum sativum right?)

Is allicin a phenol, a sapponin, a flavonoid or something else?

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well ever since I went back to square 1, I have come up with no topics good enough for the intel competition. The only idea I could come up with is the effect of second hand smoke on rats. I am so desperate for a good topic for intel. I would really apreciate if you guys could tell me about a good research experiment related to medical field. Right now I am totally clueless. Also if you guys could tell me about websites that contain good research topics, I would really apreciate it.

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I'm telling you, man. You have to find a professor to work with.

Yeah, its true I need a professor, but my topic of garlic sucks though. I need a better, more creative topic to research. After I found that topic, I could work with a professor.

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Yeah, I agree with Alice. You pretty much have an infinite number of small research topics that haven't been done before. However, for Intel, they require a mentor working on something related to that topic. Since not many faculty members are willing to spend time on high school students, I advise you to try to find a mentor working on something you're interested in and work out your project from there.

 

If you had a good idea in mind, I'd advise you to jump for it, and fit the mentor around that, but you seem fairly noncommital at the moment.

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