Education During Coronavirus

A Smithsonian magazine special report

Science | June 15, 2020

Seventy-Five Scientific Research Projects You Can Contribute to Online

From astrophysicists to entomologists, many researchers need the help of citizen scientists to sift through immense data collections

Citizen science (mobile)

Rachael Lallensack

Former Assistant Editor, Science and Innovation

If you find yourself tired of streaming services, reading the news or video-chatting with friends, maybe you should consider becoming a citizen scientist. Though it’s true that many field research projects are paused , hundreds of scientists need your help sifting through wildlife camera footage and images of galaxies far, far away, or reading through diaries and field notes from the past.

Plenty of these tools are free and easy enough for children to use. You can look around for projects yourself on Smithsonian Institution’s citizen science volunteer page , National Geographic ’s list of projects and ’s catalog of options. Zooniverse is a platform for online-exclusive projects , and Scistarter allows you to restrict your search with parameters, including projects you can do “on a walk,” “at night” or “on a lunch break.”

To save you some time, Smithsonian magazine has compiled a collection of dozens of projects you can take part in from home.

A blue heron caught on a trail cam.

American Wildlife

If being home has given you more time to look at wildlife in your own backyard, whether you live in the city or the country, consider expanding your view, by helping scientists identify creatures photographed by camera traps. Improved battery life, motion sensors, high-resolution and small lenses have made camera traps indispensable tools for conservation.These cameras capture thousands of images that provide researchers with more data about ecosystems than ever before.

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s eMammal platform , for example, asks users to identify animals for conservation projects around the country. Currently, eMammal is being used by the Woodland Park Zoo ’s Seattle Urban Carnivore Project, which studies how coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats and other animals coexist with people, and the Washington Wolverine Project, an effort to monitor wolverines in the face of climate change. Identify urban wildlife for the Chicago Wildlife Watch , or contribute to wilderness projects documenting North American biodiversity with The Wilds' Wildlife Watch in Ohio , Cedar Creek: Eyes on the Wild in Minnesota , Michigan ZoomIN , Western Montana Wildlife and Snapshot Wisconsin .

"Spend your time at home virtually exploring the Minnesota backwoods,” writes the lead researcher of the Cedar Creek: Eyes on the Wild project. “Help us understand deer dynamics, possum populations, bear behavior, and keep your eyes peeled for elusive wolves!"

A baby elephant stands between the legs of an adult elephant.

If being cooped up at home has you daydreaming about traveling, Snapshot Safari has six active animal identification projects. Try eyeing lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, elephants, giraffes, baobab trees and over 400 bird species from camera trap photos taken in South African nature reserves, including De Hoop Nature Reserve and Madikwe Game Reserve .

With South Sudan DiversityCam , researchers are using camera traps to study biodiversity in the dense tropical forests of southwestern South Sudan. Part of the Serenegeti Lion Project, Snapshot Serengeti needs the help of citizen scientists to classify millions of camera trap images of species traveling with the wildebeest migration.

Classify all kinds of monkeys with Chimp&See . Count, identify and track giraffes in northern Kenya . Watering holes host all kinds of wildlife, but that makes the locales hotspots for parasite transmission; Parasite Safari needs volunteers to help figure out which animals come in contact with each other and during what time of year.

Mount Taranaki in New Zealand is a volcanic peak rich in native vegetation, but native wildlife, like the North Island brown kiwi, whio/blue duck and seabirds, are now rare—driven out by introduced predators like wild goats, weasels, stoats, possums and rats. Estimate predator species compared to native wildlife with Taranaki Mounga by spotting species on camera trap images.

The Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) Instant Wild app has a dozen projects showcasing live images and videos of wildlife around the world. Look for bears, wolves and lynx in Croatia ; wildcats in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula ; otters in Hampshire, England ; and both black and white rhinos in the Lewa-Borana landscape in Kenya.

An image featuring marine life from Invader ID.

Under the Sea

Researchers use a variety of technologies to learn about marine life and inform conservation efforts. Take, for example, Beluga Bits , a research project focused on determining the sex, age and pod size of beluga whales visiting the Churchill River in northern Manitoba, Canada. With a bit of training, volunteers can learn how to differentiate between a calf, a subadult (grey) or an adult (white)—and even identify individuals using scars or unique pigmentation—in underwater videos and images. Beluga Bits uses a “ beluga boat ,” which travels around the Churchill River estuary with a camera underneath it, to capture the footage and collect GPS data about the whales’ locations.

Many of these online projects are visual, but Manatee Chat needs citizen scientists who can train their ear to decipher manatee vocalizations. Researchers are hoping to learn what calls the marine mammals make and when—with enough practice you might even be able to recognize the distinct calls of individual animals.

Several groups are using drone footage to monitor seal populations. Seals spend most of their time in the water, but come ashore to breed. One group, Seal Watch , is analyzing time-lapse photography and drone images of seals in the British territory of South Georgia in the South Atlantic. A team in Antarctica captured images of Weddell seals every ten minutes while the seals were on land in spring to have their pups. The Weddell Seal Count project aims to find out what threats—like fishing and climate change—the seals face by monitoring changes in their population size. Likewise, the Año Nuevo Island - Animal Count asks volunteers to count elephant seals, sea lions, cormorants and more species on a remote research island off the coast of California.

With Floating Forests , you’ll sift through 40 years of satellite images of the ocean surface identifying kelp forests, which are foundational for marine ecosystems, providing shelter for shrimp, fish and sea urchins. A project based in southwest England, Seagrass Explorer , is investigating the decline of seagrass beds. Researchers are using baited cameras to spot commercial fish in these habitats as well as looking out for algae to study the health of these threatened ecosystems. Search for large sponges, starfish and cold-water corals on the deep seafloor in Sweden’s first marine park with the Koster seafloor observatory project.

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center needs your help spotting invasive species with Invader ID . Train your eye to spot groups of organisms, known as fouling communities, that live under docks and ship hulls, in an effort to clean up marine ecosystems.

If art history is more your speed, two Dutch art museums need volunteers to start “ fishing in the past ” by analyzing a collection of paintings dating from 1500 to 1700. Each painting features at least one fish, and an interdisciplinary research team of biologists and art historians wants you to identify the species of fish to make a clearer picture of the “role of ichthyology in the past.”

Pictured is a Zerene eurydice specimen, or California dogface butterfly, caught in 1951.

Interesting Insects

Notes from Nature is a digitization effort to make the vast resources in museums’ archives of plants and insects more accessible. Similarly, page through the University of California Berkeley’s butterfly collection on CalBug to help researchers classify these beautiful critters. The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology has already digitized about 300,000 records, but their collection exceeds 4 million bugs. You can hop in now and transcribe their grasshopper archives from the last century . Parasitic arthropods, like mosquitos and ticks, are known disease vectors; to better locate these critters, the Terrestrial Parasite Tracker project is working with 22 collections and institutions to digitize over 1.2 million specimens—and they’re 95 percent done . If you can tolerate mosquito buzzing for a prolonged period of time, the HumBug project needs volunteers to train its algorithm and develop real-time mosquito detection using acoustic monitoring devices. It’s for the greater good!

Pelicans coming in for landing on PELIcam.

For the Birders

Birdwatching is one of the most common forms of citizen science . Seeing birds in the wilderness is certainly awe-inspiring, but you can birdwatch from your backyard or while walking down the sidewalk in big cities, too. With Cornell University’s eBird app , you can contribute to bird science at any time, anywhere. (Just be sure to remain a safe distance from wildlife—and other humans, while we social distance ). If you have safe access to outdoor space—a backyard, perhaps—Cornell also has a NestWatch program for people to report observations of bird nests. Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center has a similar Neighborhood Nest Watch program as well.

Birdwatching is easy enough to do from any window, if you’re sheltering at home, but in case you lack a clear view, consider these online-only projects. Nest Quest currently has a robin database that needs volunteer transcribers to digitize their nest record cards.

You can also pitch in on a variety of efforts to categorize wildlife camera images of burrowing owls , pelicans , penguins (new data coming soon!), and sea birds . Watch nest cam footage of the northern bald ibis or greylag geese on NestCams to help researchers learn about breeding behavior.

Or record the coloration of gorgeous feathers across bird species for researchers at London’s Natural History Museum with Project Plumage .

A pressed Wister's coralroot below a letter and sketch of the flower found in Oct. 1937

Pretty Plants

If you’re out on a walk wondering what kind of plants are around you, consider downloading Leafsnap , an electronic field guide app developed by Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution. The app has several functions. First, it can be used to identify plants with its visual recognition software. Secondly, scientists can learn about the “ the ebb and flow of flora ” from geotagged images taken by app users.

What is older than the dinosaurs, survived three mass extinctions and still has a living relative today? Ginko trees! Researchers at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History are studying ginko trees and fossils to understand millions of years of plant evolution and climate change with the Fossil Atmospheres project . Using Zooniverse, volunteers will be trained to identify and count stomata, which are holes on a leaf’s surface where carbon dioxide passes through. By counting these holes, or quantifying the stomatal index, scientists can learn how the plants adapted to changing levels of carbon dioxide. These results will inform a field experiment conducted on living trees in which a scientist is adjusting the level of carbon dioxide for different groups.

Help digitize and categorize millions of botanical specimens from natural history museums, research institutions and herbaria across the country with the Notes from Nature Project . Did you know North America is home to a variety of beautiful orchid species? Lend botanists a handby typing handwritten labels on pressed specimens or recording their geographic and historic origins for the New York Botanical Garden’s archives. Likewise, the Southeastern U.S. Biodiversity project needs assistance labeling pressed poppies, sedums, valerians, violets and more. Groups in California , Arkansas , Florida , Texas and Oklahoma all invite citizen scientists to partake in similar tasks.

A group of Harvard computers and astronomers.

Historic Women in Astronomy

Become a transcriber for Project PHaEDRA and help researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics preserve the work of Harvard’s women “computers” who revolutionized astronomy in the 20th century. These women contributed more than 130 years of work documenting the night sky, cataloging stars, interpreting stellar spectra, counting galaxies, and measuring distances in space, according to the project description .

More than 2,500 notebooks need transcription on Project PhaEDRA - Star Notes . You could start with Annie Jump Cannon , for example. In 1901, Cannon designed a stellar classification system that astronomers still use today. Cecilia Payne discovered that stars are made primarily of hydrogen and helium and can be categorized by temperature. Two notebooks from Henrietta Swan Leavitt are currently in need of transcription. Leavitt, who was deaf, discovered the link between period and luminosity in Cepheid variables, or pulsating stars, which “led directly to the discovery that the Universe is expanding,” according to her bio on Star Notes .

Volunteers are also needed to transcribe some of these women computers’ notebooks that contain references to photographic glass plates . These plates were used to study space from the 1880s to the 1990s. For example, in 1890, Williamina Flemming discovered the Horsehead Nebula on one of these plates . With Star Notes, you can help bridge the gap between “modern scientific literature and 100 years of astronomical observations,” according to the project description . Star Notes also features the work of Cannon, Leavitt and Dorrit Hoffleit , who authored the fifth edition of the Bright Star Catalog, which features 9,110 of the brightest stars in the sky.

A microscopic image of white blood cells

Microscopic Musings

Electron microscopes have super-high resolution and magnification powers—and now, many can process images automatically, allowing teams to collect an immense amount of data. Francis Crick Institute’s Etch A Cell - Powerhouse Hunt project trains volunteers to spot and trace each cell’s mitochondria, a process called manual segmentation. Manual segmentation is a major bottleneck to completing biological research because using computer systems to complete the work is still fraught with errors and, without enough volunteers, doing this work takes a really long time.

For the Monkey Health Explorer project, researchers studying the social behavior of rhesus monkeys on the tiny island Cayo Santiago off the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico need volunteers to analyze the monkeys’ blood samples. Doing so will help the team understand which monkeys are sick and which are healthy, and how the animals’ health influences behavioral changes.

Using the Zooniverse’s app on a phone or tablet, you can become a “ Science Scribbler ” and assist researchers studying how Huntington disease may change a cell’s organelles. The team at the United Kingdom's national synchrotron , which is essentially a giant microscope that harnesses the power of electrons, has taken highly detailed X-ray images of the cells of Huntington’s patients and needs help identifying organelles, in an effort to see how the disease changes their structure.

Oxford University’s Comprehensive Resistance Prediction for Tuberculosis: an International Consortium—or CRyPTIC Project , for short, is seeking the aid of citizen scientists to study over 20,000 TB infection samples from around the world. CRyPTIC’s citizen science platform is called Bash the Bug . On the platform, volunteers will be trained to evaluate the effectiveness of antibiotics on a given sample. Each evaluation will be checked by a scientist for accuracy and then used to train a computer program, which may one day make this process much faster and less labor intensive.

12 images from the platform showcasing different galactic formations

Out of This World

If you’re interested in contributing to astronomy research from the comfort and safety of your sidewalk or backyard, check out Globe at Night . The project monitors light pollution by asking users to try spotting constellations in the night sky at designated times of the year . (For example, Northern Hemisphere dwellers should look for the Bootes and Hercules constellations from June 13 through June 22 and record the visibility in Globe at Night’s app or desktop report page .)

For the amateur astrophysicists out there, the opportunities to contribute to science are vast. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission is asking for volunteers to search for new objects at the edges of our solar system with the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project .

Galaxy Zoo on Zooniverse and its mobile app has operated online citizen science projects for the past decade. According to the project description, there are roughly one hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. Surprisingly, identifying different types of galaxies by their shape is rather easy. “If you're quick, you may even be the first person to see the galaxies you're asked to classify,” the team writes.

With Radio Galaxy Zoo: LOFAR , volunteers can help identify supermassive blackholes and star-forming galaxies. Galaxy Zoo: Clump Scout asks users to look for young, “clumpy” looking galaxies, which help astronomers understand galaxy evolution.

If current events on Earth have you looking to Mars, perhaps you’d be interested in checking out Planet Four and Planet Four: Terrains —both of which task users with searching and categorizing landscape formations on Mars’ southern hemisphere. You’ll scroll through images of the Martian surface looking for terrain types informally called “spiders,” “baby spiders,” “channel networks” and “swiss cheese.”

Gravitational waves are telltale ripples in spacetime, but they are notoriously difficult to measure. With Gravity Spy , citizen scientists sift through data from Laser Interferometer Gravitational­-Wave Observatory, or LIGO , detectors. When lasers beamed down 2.5-mile-long “arms” at these facilities in Livingston, Louisiana and Hanford, Washington are interrupted, a gravitational wave is detected. But the detectors are sensitive to “glitches” that, in models, look similar to the astrophysical signals scientists are looking for. Gravity Spy teaches citizen scientists how to identify fakes so researchers can get a better view of the real deal. This work will, in turn, train computer algorithms to do the same.

Similarly, the project Supernova Hunters needs volunteers to clear out the “bogus detections of supernovae,” allowing researchers to track the progression of actual supernovae. In Hubble Space Telescope images, you can search for asteroid tails with Hubble Asteroid Hunter . And with Planet Hunters TESS , which teaches users to identify planetary formations, you just “might be the first person to discover a planet around a nearby star in the Milky Way,” according to the project description.

Help astronomers refine prediction models for solar storms, which kick up dust that impacts spacecraft orbiting the sun, with Solar Stormwatch II. Thanks to the first iteration of the project, astronomers were able to publish seven papers with their findings.

With Mapping Historic Skies , identify constellations on gorgeous celestial maps of the sky covering a span of 600 years from the Adler Planetarium collection in Chicago. Similarly, help fill in the gaps of historic astronomy with Astronomy Rewind , a project that aims to “make a holistic map of images of the sky.”

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Rachael Lallensack

Rachael Lallensack | READ MORE

Rachael Lallensack is the former assistant web editor for science and innovation at Smithsonian .

Research at Home: Citizen Science

Citizen science projects can be a great way to take a dive into research anytime, anywhere..

You can participate in a citizen science project, analyze data from these projects for your own research, get ideas for your own spin-off research, or create your own citizen science project.

science research projects for students

Contribute to a Citizen Science Project

SciStarter is a globally acclaimed, online citizen science hub where more than 3,000 projects, events, and tools, searchable by location, topic, age level, etc, have been registered by individual project leaders or imported through partnerships with federal governments, NGOs, and universities.

With over 100 projects to choose from and no experience necessary, you can start classifying galaxies, finding kelp forests, or locating homes in rural Africa in minutes!

National Geographic

Did you know snapping mountain-top photos of smog and listening for frog calls can help scientists? Get engaged in these projects recommended by National Geographic!


Contribute to the Encyclopedia of Life, transcribe field notes of notable scientists, or contribute to climate research by analyzing ginkgo trees in these Smithsonian-sponsored projects!

Inventing Tomorrow

Check out these citizen science projects led by our friends at Inventing Tomorrow: Water Insights, Curio, ISeeChange

Foldit is a crowdsourcing computer game enabling you to help fight disease by contributing to protein folding research.

ISEF Abstracts on Citizen Science

Check out these ISEF projects in Earth and Environmental Sciences and Animal Sciences, two of the twenty-one Regeneron ISEF categories. See more ISEF abstracts by visiting the ISEF Project database .

Earth and Environmental Sciences

  • Studying Avian Biodiversity Changes after Wetland Restoration: A Novel Approach via Remote Sensing and Citizen Science
  • Quakify: A Low-Cost, Crowdsourced, Real-Time Solution to Earthquake Early Warning
  • An Innovative Crowdsourcing Approach to Monitoring Freshwater Bodies
  • Coral Grief: Machine Learning on Crowd-sourced Data to Highlight an Ecological Crisis

Animal Sciences

  • Developing Novel, Low-Cost Methods to Support Citizen Scientists in the Conservation of Bat Species
  • Hopping Down the Bunny Trail: Spatial Distribution of Lepus americanus Tracks
  • Fossil-Augmented Species Distribution Models Reveal the Shifted Baselines of California Avifauna under Climate Change

Society Blog Posts about Citizen Science

science research projects for students

Projects: STEM in the world. Solutions in your backyard

Start your own citizen science project, federal government toolkit for citizen science, cornell citizen science toolkit, citizen science projects that share their data, articles about citizen science.

Science News  and  Science News for Students are our award-winning publications that cover current advances across all STEM disciplines. We have gathered a collection of articles specifically on Citizen Science to further shed light on this topic and provide inspiration for student research projects.

Kids make great citizen scientists

Researchers are making important discoveries, thanks to help from people of all ages


science research projects for students

These women endured a winter in the high Arctic for citizen science

The two are spending nine months on Svalbard to collect data for climate scientists


science research projects for students

Getting on the citizen science train

If you have curiosity and a computer, you can participate in scientific projects


science research projects for students

An astrophysicist honors citizen scientists in the age of big data

The Crowd and the Cosmos examines the role of amateurs in science


science research projects for students

Citizen scientists spy on camel crickets

Hiding in dark basements and garages, these insects live across the United States

science research projects for students

Photographing wildflowers and other ways you can help fight climate change

Even nonscientists can take part in climate and conservation research

science research projects for students

Scooping poop for science

Finnish study enlists members of 4H for a study on cowpats

science research projects for students

Scientists seek bat detectives

You could help in an online research study by picking out bat calls

science research projects for students

What are your chances of acceptance?

Calculate for all schools, your chance of acceptance.

Duke University

Your chancing factors


science research projects for students

20 Science Research Competitions for High Schoolers

What’s covered:, why should you enter a science research competition, how do science research competitions affect my admissions chances.

Participation in science research competitions offers many benefits to students; for example, it can make them more competitive candidates for college admissions and provide them with valuable experience in a sought-after field. There’s a wide variety of science research competitions for high schoolers, including the high-profile contests listed below.

Entering a science research competition demonstrates that you take initiative and that you care about academics beyond the grades in your courses, both of which are qualities that colleges appreciate in prospective students.

Participation in competitions is a strong extracurricular activity, and successes—like making the finals or winning—can provide you with a chance to earn a scholarship, make your college application more attention-grabbing, or even open doors, such as laying the groundwork for a career in science research and helping you land an internship.

Win or lose, taking part in a science research competition allows you to explore an interest and learn about a fascinating field.

1. American Academy of Neurology – Neuroscience Research Prize

Grades: 9-12

Type: National

The AAN Neuroscience Research Prize competition challenges students to investigate problems regarding the brain or nervous system. The competition is only open to individual students—group projects are ineligible. Teachers are encouraged to provide guidance and support; however, they should allow students to demonstrate their own creativity. Winners and their projects are highlighted at the AAN Annual Meeting.

2. Envirothon

Type: State and National

Envirothon is North America’s largest environmental education competition, with more than 25,000 students participating in the multi-level competition each year. Student teams are first challenged at state-level competitions with the winners moving on to face top teams from across the globe at the annual international competition.

The international competition is a six-day event held in a different location each summer—for example, in an open range of the western U.S. one year, and at a Maritime coastal community of eastern Canada the next. The competition offers participants the chance to win thousands of dollars in scholarships.

3. Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)

Type: Local, Regional, and International

The Regeneron ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition—more than 1,800 high school students, representing more than 75 countries, regions, and territories, take part. Students showcase independent research and compete for roughly $8 million in awards across 21 categories .

This is not a group-based competition—individual students enroll in local school science fairs before advancing to upper-level competitions in hopes of reaching the national stage.

4. National Science Bowl

Hosted by the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., the National Science Bowl is a highly publicized competition that tests students’ knowledge in all areas of science and mathematics, including biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, energy, and math. Students compete in teams of four (plus an alternate) and have a teacher who serves as an advisor.

The National Science Bowl is one of the largest science competitions in the country—roughly 330,000 students have participated in it throughout its 32-year history.

5. National Science Olympiad

One of the nation’s premier STEM competitions, the National Science Olympiad is the pinnacle of achievement for the country’s top Science Olympiad teams. In 2022, the U.S. top 120 teams, plus a Global Ambassador Team from Japan (for a total of more than 2,000 students) squared off in a variety of events for the chance to be named the Science Olympiad National Champions.

Teams also compete annually for the opportunity to win prizes and scholarships, including a one-time $10,000 Science Olympiad Founders’ Scholarship. About 6,000 teams compete each year, beginning at the regional level in hopes of reaching the national competition.

6. Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS)

Established in 1942 and hosted by the Society for Science, the Regeneron Science Talent Search is considered the most prestigious high school science research competition in the nation. The competition tasks young scientists with presenting their original research before a panel of nationally recognized professional scientists.

Of the 1,800 entrants, 300 Regeneron STS scholars are selected—they and their schools are awarded $2,000 each. Forty finalists are then picked from the pool of scholars. They receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., where they compete for an additional $1.8 million in awards, with a top prize of $250,000.

7. Stockholm Junior Water Prize

Type: Regional, State, National, and International

In this competition, students from around the world seek to address the current and future water challenges facing the world. Competition for the Stockholm Junior Water Prize occurs on four levels: regional, state, national, and international.

  • Regional winners receive a certificate and a nomination to compete in the state competition.
  • State winners receive a medal and an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the national competition.
  • National winners receive a trophy, a $10,000 scholarship, and an all-expenses-paid trip to the international competition in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • International winners receive a crystal trophy and a $15,000 scholarship, along with a $5,000 award for their school.

In order to participate, students can begin to research and develop a practical project proposal either as an individual or with a group. To reach the national level, students must be nominated by a national organizer representing their country.

8. TOPSS Competition for High School Psychology Students

To participate in this competition, students must submit a video of up to 3 minutes that demonstrates an interest in and understanding of a topic in psychology that they think could benefit their local community and improve lives. Students must also utilize at least one peer-reviewed research study on their topic, and must include a closing slide citing their source(s). Up to three winners are chosen to receive a $300 scholarship.

9. Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) National Competition

Type: Regional and National

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium National Competition is one of the country’s longest-running STEM competitions—participants are required to submit and present scientific research papers and compete for military-sponsored undergraduate scholarships.

The JSHS national competition is the result of a collaborative effort between the Department of Defense and academic research institutes nationwide. It is designed to emulate a professional symposium. Research projects are organized into categories such as Environmental Science, Engineering and Technology, and Medicine and Health. After competing regionally, about 250 students are chosen to attend an annual symposium to showcase their work.

10. MIT THINK Scholars Program

In the fall of each year, interested students can enter project proposals into competition for selection from a group of undergraduate students at MIT. If selected, students will be able to carry out their project—receiving up to $1000 in funding to complete their research. They’ll also be invited to a four-day symposium at MIT the following year.

Finalists are guided with weekly mentorship and will have the opportunity to present their findings to MIT students and faculty at the end of the program.

11. Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision

Grades: K-12

In this competition, students compete in groups of 2-4 to select a technology and forecast how it will evolve over the next decade or beyond, while discussing the scientific achievements that will need to be made to get there.

Students will submit an abstract as well as a detailed description paper that is not to exceed 11 pages. In doing so, they will be entered into competition and considered for a number of financial awards, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., for the ExploraVision Awards Weekend. The competition is nationally recognized and is sponsored by Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association.

12. Conrad Challenge

Teams of 2-5 students are tasked with designing and detailing project proposals to tackle various problems categories such as Aerospace & Aviation, Health & Nutrition, Cyber-Technology & Security, and Energy & Environment. In doing so, they will identify problems in the world and come up with a feasible and innovative solution, working with judges and mentors along the way.

Finalists will be selected from the competing teams and invited to the Innovation Summit in Houston, where they will pitch their projects to judges and potentially receive numerous prizes and awards, ranging from scholarships to consulting services.

13. USA Biolympiad Competition

Type: National and International

Over the course of two years, students will undergo multiple rounds of testing that will eventually pinpoint twenty finalists to be selected for training in a residential program with the goal of representing the USA in the International Biology Olympiad. As such, this is one of the most prestigious and difficult competitions, not just in biology, but in all high school sciences. However, the experience is second to none, and is the ultimate test for students devoted to the future of biology.

14. Davidson Fellows Scholarship

While not exclusive to STEM, the Davidson Fellows program offers various major scholarships for students interested in careers in sciences. Listed as one of the “ 10 Biggest Scholarships in the World ,” this program requires students to submit a variety of components related to an independent research study with the broad goal of contributing positively to society through the advancement of science. Students will submit multiple essays as well as a video summary, and must include an additional visual model reporting their findings.

15. Destination Imagination

Type: Regional, State, National, International

Destination Imagination is another worldwide competition that includes a variety of subjects, but it specializes in science-based challenges. Students will form teams and choose from a list of different challenges to compete in in categories such as Technical, Scientific, and Engineering.

Students will solve these challenges and present their solutions in regional competitions. Regional winners will move on to statewide competitions before being invited to the Global Finals, where over 8,000 students from 28 states and 12 countries compete for awards. 150,000 students compete annually in the competition at some level.

16. Breakthrough Junior Challenge

For students looking for a more creatively inspired and unconventional competition, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge tasks students with creating a short two-minute video in which they explain and demonstrate a complex scientific concept.

Does that sound simple enough? Over 2,400 students from over 100 countries submitted videos in 2022, meaning there’s no shortage of competition here. Winning applicants will need to demonstrate immense creativity and understanding of complex scientific concepts, but rest assured—the prize is worth the difficulty.

The winner will receive a $250,000 scholarship for accredited colleges and universities, as well as a $100,000 grant to the winner’s school for the development of a science lab, and a $50,000 award to a teacher of the winner’s choosing.

17. Biotechnology Institute: BioGENEius Challenge

Students from across the country are invited to participate in the Biotechnology Institute’s BioGENEius Challenge, where they’ll be able to choose to complete a project in the Healthcare, Sustainability, or Environment categories. If accepted, students will need to complete an extensive research project and demonstrate results, and then compete in either local or a virtual “At-Large” competition, with other student competitors from around the world.

18. Genes in Space

Grades: 7-12

For students interested in the science of space and its overlap with our current understanding of the human genome, this competition combines these two worlds by tasking students with designing a DNA experiment that addresses challenges in space exploration and travel.

Students will submit a project proposal, and semifinalists will be selected to pitch their experiments in Seattle. After doing so, finalists will be selected to work with mentors and scientists from schools, such as Harvard and MIT, to design a real-life experiment. One finalist’s experiment will win the opportunity to be conducted at the International Space Station. The lucky winner will travel to the Kennedy Space Center to see the winning experiment’s launch!

19. Odyssey of the Mind

Students will form teams to compete in a variety of STEM-based challenges in this global problem-solving competition, culminating in a World Finals competition that takes place in East Lansing, Michigan.

Over 800 teams from 33 states and 15 countries compete each year in challenges ranging from designing vehicles to building small structures that can withstand hundreds of pounds. These challenges are designed to encourage creativity in the performative and presentational elements of competition.

20. U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad

Type: Regional, National, International

Students interested in Chemistry are able to participate in the USNCO, in which they’ll take rigorous exams to prove their skills in the Chemistry field. Top test-takers will be selected to attend a prestigious Study Camp, where they’ll compete for the chance to represent the U.S. at the International Chemistry Olympiad. Interested students can contact their Local Coordinator, who can be found through the program’s website.

The influence your participation in science research competitions can have on your college admissions varies—considerations such as how well you performed and the prestige of the event factor into how admissions officers view the competition. That being said, the four tiers of extracurricular activities provide a good general guide for understanding how colleges view your activities outside the classroom.

The most esteemed and well-known science research competitions are organized into Tiers 1 and 2. Extracurricular activities in these categories are extremely rare, demonstrate exceptional achievement, and hold considerable sway with admissions officers. Tiers 3 and 4 are reserved for more modest accomplishments—like winning a regional (rather than a national) competition—and carry less weight at colleges than their higher-tiered counterparts.

Generally, participation in a science research competition will be considered at least a Tier 2 activity. As stated before, this varies depending on the competition and your performance. For example, being a finalist or winner in something like the Regeneron Science Talent Search or the International Biology Olympiad—prestigious national and international competitions—is very likely to be considered a Tier 1 achievement.

However, lower-tiered extracurriculars are still valuable, as they show colleges a more well-rounded picture of you as a student, and highlight your desire to pursue your interests outside of school.

Curious how your participation in science research competitions affects your odds of college admissions? Collegevine can help. Our free chancing calculator uses factors like grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities—like science research competitions— to calculate your chances of getting into hundreds of colleges across the country! You can even use the information provided to identify where you can improve your college profile and ultimately bolster your odds of getting into your dream school.

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70 Best High School Science Fair Projects in Every Subject

Fire up the Bunsen burners!

Collage of high school science fair projects, including 3D printed cars and a DIY vacuum chamber

The cool thing about high school science fair projects is that kids are old enough to tackle some pretty amazing concepts. Some science experiments for high school are just advanced versions of simpler projects they did when they were younger, with detailed calculations or fewer instructions. Other projects involve fire, chemicals, or other materials they couldn’t use before.

Note: Some of these projects were written as classroom labs but can be adapted to become science fair projects too. Just consider variables that you can change up, like materials or other parameters. That changes a classroom activity into a true scientific method experiment!

To make it easier to find the right high school science fair project idea for you, we’ve rated all the projects by difficulty and the materials needed:


  • Easy: Low or no-prep experiments you can do pretty much anytime
  • Medium: These take a little more setup or a longer time to complete
  • Advanced: Experiments like these take a fairly big commitment of time or effort
  • Basic: Simple items you probably already have around the house
  • Medium: Items that you might not already have but are easy to get your hands on
  • Advanced: These require specialized or more expensive supplies to complete
  • Biology and Life Sciences High School Science Fair Projects

Chemistry High School Science Fair Projects

Physics high school science fair projects, engineering high school stem fair projects, biology and life science high school science fair projects.

Explore the living world with these biology science project ideas, learning more about plants, animals, the environment, and much more.

Extract DNA from an onion

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

You don’t need a lot of supplies to perform this experiment, but it’s impressive nonetheless. Turn this into a science fair project by trying it with other fruits and vegetables too.

Re-create Mendel’s pea plant experiment

Gregor Mendel’s pea plant experiments were some of the first to explore inherited traits and genetics. Try your own cross-pollination experiments with fast-growing plants like peas or beans.

Make plants move with light

By this age, kids know that many plants move toward sunlight, a process known as phototropism. So high school science fair projects on this topic need to introduce variables into the process, like covering seedling parts with different materials to see the effects.

Test the 5-second rule

We’d all like to know the answer to this one: Is it really safe to eat food you’ve dropped on the floor? Design and conduct an experiment to find out (although we think we might already know the answer).

Find out if color affects taste

Just how interlinked are all our senses? Does the sight of food affect how it tastes? Find out with a fun food science fair project like this one!

See the effects of antibiotics on bacteria

Test tubes containing various bacteria

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Advanced

Bacteria can be divided into two groups: gram-positive and gram-negative. In this experiment, students first determine the two groups, then try the effects of various antibiotics on them. You can get a gram stain kit , bacillus cereus and rhodospirillum rubrum cultures, and antibiotic discs from Home Science Tools.

Learn more: Antibiotics Project at Home Science Tools

Witness the carbon cycle in action

Test tubes filled with plants and green and blue liquid

Experiment with the effects of light on the carbon cycle. Make this science fair project even more interesting by adding some small aquatic animals like snails or fish into the mix.

Learn more: Carbon Cycle at Science Lessons That Rock

Look for cell mitosis in an onion

Cell mitosis (division) is actually easy to see in action when you look at onion root tips under a microscope. Students will be amazed to see science theory become science reality right before their eyes. Adapt this lab into a high school science fair project by applying the process to other organisms too.

Test the effects of disinfectants

Petri dish divided in half with bacteria and paper disks on the surface

Grow bacteria in a petri dish along with paper disks soaked in various antiseptics and disinfectants. You’ll be able to see which ones effectively inhibit bacteria growth.

Learn more: Effectiveness of Antiseptics and Disinfectants at Amy Brown Science

Pit hydroponics against soil

Growing vegetables without soil (hydroponics) is a popular trend, allowing people to garden just about anywhere.

More Life Sciences and Biology Science Fair Projects for High School

Use these questions and ideas to design your own experiment:

  • Explore ways to prevent soil erosion.
  • What are the most accurate methods of predicting various weather patterns?
  • Try out various fertilization methods to find the best and safest way to increase crop yield.
  • What’s the best way to prevent mold growth on food for long-term storage?
  • Does exposure to smoke or other air pollutants affect plant growth?
  • Compare the chemical and/or bacterial content of various water sources (bottled, tap, spring, well water, etc.).
  • Explore ways to clean up after an oil spill on land or water.
  • Conduct a wildlife field survey in a given area and compare it to results from previous surveys.
  • Find a new use for plastic bottles or bags to keep them out of landfills.
  • Devise a way to desalinate seawater and make it safe to drink.

Bunsen burners, beakers and test tubes, and the possibility of (controlled) explosions? No wonder chemistry is such a popular topic for high school science fair projects!

Break apart covalent bonds

Tub of water with battery leads in it

Break the covalent bond of H 2 O into H and O with this simple experiment. You only need simple supplies for this one. Turn it into a science fair project by changing up the variables—does the temperature of the water matter? What happens if you try this with other liquids?

Learn more: Covalent Bonds at Teaching Without Chairs

Measure the calories in various foods

Are the calorie counts on your favorite snacks accurate? Build your own calorimeter and find out! This kit from Home Science Tools has all the supplies you’ll need.

Detect latent fingerprints

Fingerprint divided into two, one half yellow and one half black

Forensic science is engrossing and can lead to important career opportunities too. Explore the chemistry needed to detect latent (invisible) fingerprints, just like they do for crime scenes!

Learn more: Fingerprints Project at Hub Pages

Use Alka-Seltzer to explore reaction rate

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Easy

Tweak this basic concept to create a variety of high school chemistry science fair projects. Change the temperature, surface area, pressure, and more to see how reaction rates change.

Determine whether sports drinks provide more electrolytes than OJ

Are those pricey sports drinks really worth it? Try this experiment to find out. You’ll need some special equipment for this one; buy a complete kit at Home Science Tools .

Turn flames into a rainbow

You’ll need to get your hands on a few different chemicals for this experiment, but the wow factor will make it worth the effort! Make it a science project by seeing if different materials, air temperature, or other factors change the results.

Discover the size of a mole

Supplies needed for mole experiment, included scale, salt, and chalk

The mole is a key concept in chemistry, so it’s important to ensure students really understand it. This experiment uses simple materials like salt and chalk to make an abstract concept more concrete. Make it a project by applying the same procedure to a variety of substances, or determining whether outside variables have an effect on the results.

Learn more: How Big Is a Mole? at Amy Brown Science

Cook up candy to learn mole and molecule calculations

Aluminum foil bowl filled with bubbling liquid over a bunsen burner

This edible experiment lets students make their own peppermint hard candy while they calculate mass, moles, molecules, and formula weights. Tweak the formulas to create different types of candy and make this into a sweet science fair project!

Learn more: Candy Chemistry at Dunigan Science on TpT

Make soap to understand saponification

Colorful soaps from saponification science experiments for high school

Take a closer look at an everyday item: soap! Use oils and other ingredients to make your own soap, learning about esters and saponification. Tinker with the formula to find one that fits a particular set of parameters.

Learn more: Saponification at Chemistry Solutions on TpT

Uncover the secrets of evaporation

Explore the factors that affect evaporation, then come up with ways to slow them down or speed them up for a simple science fair project.

Learn more: Evaporation at Science Projects

More Chemistry Science Fair Projects for High School

These questions and ideas can spark ideas for a unique experiment:

  • Compare the properties of sugar and artificial sweeteners.
  • Explore the impact of temperature, concentration, and seeding on crystal growth.
  • Test various antacids on the market to find the most effective product.
  • What is the optimum temperature for yeast production when baking bread from scratch?
  • Compare the vitamin C content of various fruits and vegetables.
  • How does temperature affect enzyme-catalyzed reactions?
  • Investigate the effects of pH on an acid-base chemical reaction.
  • Devise a new natural way to test pH levels (such as cabbage leaves).
  • What’s the best way to slow down metal oxidation (the form of rust)?
  • How do changes in ingredients and method affect the results of a baking recipe?

When you think of physics science projects for high school, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the classic build-a-bridge. But there are plenty of other ways for teens to get hands-on with physics concepts. Here are some to try.

Remove the air in a DIY vacuum chamber

DIY vacuum chamber made from a jar and large hypodermic needle

You can use a vacuum chamber to do lots of cool high school science fair projects, but a ready-made one can be expensive. Try this project to make your own with basic supplies.

Learn more: Vacuum Chamber at Instructables

Put together a mini Tesla coil

Looking for a simple but showy high school science fair project? Build your own mini Tesla coil and wow the crowd!

Boil water in a paper cup

Logic tells us we shouldn’t set a paper cup over a heat source, right? Yet it’s actually possible to boil water in a paper cup without burning the cup up! Learn about heat transfer and thermal conductivity with this experiment. Go deeper by trying other liquids like honey to see what happens.

Build a better light bulb

Emulate Edison and build your own simple light bulb. You can turn this into a science fair project by experimenting with different types of materials for filaments.

Measure the speed of light—with your microwave

Grab an egg and head to your microwave for this surprisingly simple experiment. By measuring the distance between cooked portions of egg whites, you’ll be able to calculate the wavelength of the microwaves in your oven and, in turn, the speed of light.

Generate a Lichtenberg figure

Lichtenberg figure generated on a sheet of Plexiglass

See electricity in action when you generate and capture a Lichtenberg figure with polyethylene sheets, wood, or even acrylic and toner. Change the electrical intensity and materials to see what types of patterns you can create.

Learn more: Lichtenberg Figure at Science Notes

Explore the power of friction with sticky note pads

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Basic

Ever try to pull a piece of paper out of the middle of a big stack? It’s harder than you think it would be! That’s due to the power of friction. In this experiment, students interleave the sheets of two sticky note pads, then measure how much weight it takes to pull them apart. The results are astonishing!

Build a cloud chamber to prove background radiation

Ready to dip your toe into particle physics? Learn about background radiation and build a cloud chamber to prove the existence of muons.

Measure the effect of temperature on resistance

A beaker with a tungsten rod, connected to a multimeter

This is a popular and classic science fair experiment in physics. You’ll need a few specialized supplies, but they’re pretty easy to find.

Learn more: Temperature and Resistance at Science Project

Launch the best bottle rocket

A basic bottle rocket is pretty easy to build, but it opens the door to lots of different science fair projects. Design a powerful launcher, alter the rocket so it flies higher or farther, or use only recycled materials for your flyer.

More Physics Science Fair Projects for High School

Design your own experiment in response to these questions and prompts.

  • Determine the most efficient solar panel design and placement.
  • What’s the best way to eliminate friction between two objects?
  • Explore the best methods of insulating an object against heat loss.
  • What effect does temperature have on batteries when stored for long periods of time?
  • Test the effects of magnets or electromagnetic fields on plants or other living organisms.
  • Determine the best angle and speed of a bat swing in baseball.
  • What’s the best way to soundproof an area or reduce noise produced by an item?
  • Explore methods for reducing air resistance in automotive design.
  • Use the concepts of torque and rotation to perfect a golf swing.
  • Compare the strength and durability of various building materials.

Many schools are changing up their science fairs to STEM fairs, to encourage students with an interest in engineering to participate. Many great engineering science fair projects start with a STEM challenge, like those shown here. Use these ideas to spark a full-blown project to build something new and amazing!

Solve a current environmental issue

A science fair project can also be an entry into the Slingshot Challenge . Students produce a 1-minute video with a solution to a current environmental problem (think: uniting creative waste reducers on social media or rehabilitating forests affected by fire) for the chance to receive up to $10,000 in funding.

Construct a model maglev train

Maglev model train built from magnets and wood craft sticks on green felt

Maglev trains may just be the future of mass transportation. Build a model at home, and explore ways to implement the technology on a wider basis.

Learn more: Maglev Model Train at Supermagnete

Design a more efficient wind turbine

Wind energy is renewable, making it a good solution for the fossil fuel problem. For a smart science fair project, experiment to find the most efficient wind turbine design for a given situation.

Re-create Da Vinci’s flying machine

Da Vinci flying machine built from a paper cup and other basic supplies

Da Vinci sketched several models of “flying machines” and hoped to soar through the sky. Do some research into his models and try to reconstruct one of your own.

Learn more: Da Vinci Flying Machine at Student Savvy

Design a heart-rate monitor

Smartwatches are ubiquitous these days, so pretty much anyone can wear a heart-rate monitor on their wrist. But do they work any better than one you can build yourself? Get the specialized items you need like the Arduino LilyPad Board on Amazon.

Race 3D printed cars

Simple 3-D printed race cars with vegetables strapped to them (Science Experiments for High School)

3D printers are a marvel of the modern era, and budding engineers should definitely learn to use them. Use Tinkercad or a similar program to design and print race cars that can support a defined weight, then see which can roll the fastest! (No 3D printer in your STEM lab? Check the local library. Many of them have 3D printers available for patrons to use.)

Learn more: 3D Printed Cars at Instructables

Grow veggies in a hydroponic garden

Vertical hydroponic garden made from PVC pipes and aluminum downspouts

Hydroponics is the gardening wave of the future, making it easy to grow plants anywhere with minimal soil required. For a science fair STEM engineering challenge, design and construct your own hydroponic garden capable of growing vegetables to feed a family. This model is just one possible option.

Learn more: Hydroponics at Instructables

Grab items with a mechanical claw

KiwiCo hydraulic claw kit (Science Experiments for High School)

Delve into robotics with this engineering project. This kit includes all the materials you need, with complete video instructions. Once you’ve built the basic structure, tinker around with the design to improve its strength, accuracy, or other traits.

Learn more: Hydraulic Claw at KiwiCo

Construct a crystal radio

Homemade crystal radio set (Science Experiments for High School)

Return to the good old days and build a radio from scratch. This makes a cool science fair project if you experiment with different types of materials for the antenna. It takes some specialized equipment, but fortunately, Home Science Tools has an all-in-one kit for this project.

Learn more: Crystal Radio at

Build a burglar alarm

Simple electronic burglar alarm with a cell phone

The challenge? Set up a system to alert you when someone has broken into your house or classroom. This can take any form students can dream up, and you can customize this STEM high school science experiment for multiple skill levels. Keep it simple with an alarm that makes a sound that can be heard from a specified distance. Or kick it up a notch and require the alarm system to send a notification to a cell phone, like the project at the link.

Learn more: Intruder Alarm at Instructables

Walk across a plastic bottle bridge

Students sitting on a large bridge made of plastic bottles

Balsa wood bridges are OK, but this plastic bottle bridge is really impressive! In fact, students can build all sorts of structures using the concept detailed at the link. It’s the ultimate upcycled STEM challenge!

Learn more: TrussFab Structures at Instructables

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Explore high school science fair projects in biology, chemistry, physics, engineering and more, from easy projects to advanced ideas.

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25 Research Opportunities for High School Students

  • Last modified 2023-12-11
  • Published on 2023-12-05

science research projects for students

1. Envirothon - NCF-Envirothon

Hosted by the National Conservation Foundation, this is one of the research opportunities that invites students from grades 9 – 12 (or ages 14-19) across the United States, Canada, and China to participate in solving environmental problems in the areas of aquatic ecology, forestry, soils, land use, wildlife, etc. Teams are made up of 5 students who are then given 6 hours to formulate a solution to a specific environmental problem and create an oral presentation. After 6 hours, students present their solutions.

2024 Topic: Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Future

Location: Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Geneva, New York)

Competition dates: July 28 – August 3, 2024

2. Research Science Institute

The RSI invites 100 high school juniors to participate in a five-week internship program at MIT. Students will experience the research cycle, read the most up to date literature in their field, draft and execute a detailed research plan, and deliver conference-style oral and written reports on their findings. Students will be paired with a mentor, take lessons for 1 week highlighting current research topics in biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, physics, and humanities. Then, they will start conducting guided research for 5 weeks. In the meantime, they will prepare papers and oral presentations at a level appropriate for an academic conference.

Application Deadline: December 13, 2023, 11:59 pm E.T

3. UCSC’s Science Summer Internship Program

University of California Santa Cruz has a summer-long (10 weeks) research internship program for high school students in STEM fields. High school students have the chance to receive one-on-one mentoring from UCSC faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers.

High school students who are interested in STEM fields and research are highly encouraged to participate in this program. Students participate in real and existing research projects at UCSC, not made-up projects.

Students are required to be at least 14 years of age on the program start date, and be currently enrolled in high school. Accepted students are normally from Bay Area high schools, but out-of-area students who have local housing are also encouraged to apply.The application will open on March 1, 2024, at 8 AM PDT and closes on March 31, 2024


The Zuckerman Institute’s Brain Research Apprenticeships in New York at Columbia (BRAINYAC) program is an NYC high school internship. The internship prepares today’s youth to become tomorrow’s scientists. Each student is matched with a Columbia neuroscientist– a mentor who guides the student through a research project. Interns come away from the experience with an enhanced understanding of how laboratory research leads to transformative discovery, exposure to a professional academic environment, and a stronger connection to science as a career. Applicants must reside in New York City, with preference given to students in upper Manhattan and South Bronx.

Application Deadline: October 2024.

5. The Johns Hopkins Internship in Brain Sciences (JHIBS)

JHIBS is an 8-week (in-person) or 5-week (virtual) summer program for high school juniors and seniors that helps them pursue a career in the neurological sciences. High school juniors and seniors from the Baltimore city and metro areas are allowed to apply. The internship is held at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Department of Neurology on the East Baltimore campus. Interns will participate in a research project guided by faculty, staff, and student mentors, as well as participate in clinical rotations with Johns Hopkins neurologists.

Application Deadline: December 1, 2023 – March 1, 2024

6. The Indiana University Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center Summer Research Program (SRP)

This program is designed to serve students from populations underrepresented in biomedical and clinical research during the summer after their senior year in high school. Selected participants will be paired with a research mentor. Research projects may involve laboratory-based research, computer-based database research, or clinical research. Students will learn about research methodology and will complete a project over the summer. They will present their findings during oral presentation sessions. High school students who are applying must have completed their senior year by the program’s start date.

Program Dates: Monday, June 5 – Friday, July 28

The application deadline is February 2024, but the program suggests students apply earlier due to rolling admission.

7. Stanford STEM to SHTEM Program

This program aims to provide high school students with exposure to cutting-edge research in an academic environment, and introduce them to the diversity of research topics pursued in engineering. Projects will be mentored by students, faculty, and staff of the Stanford Compression Forum and its affiliated organizations. Themes will span and combine the science of information and communication, engineering, the arts, linguistics, psychology, biology, neuroscience, computer science, technology, philosophy, and design, among other areas. High school students must be current high school juniors or seniors by the time of their application. The program is 8 weeks long, starting from June 13 to August 15, 2022.

Application Deadline: February 2024

8. Princeton University Laboratory Learning Program

The Laboratory Learning Program at Princeton University is a program for high school students that provides hands-on training in various scientific research fields such as biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, and engineering. The program offers students an opportunity to work with Princeton researchers and graduate students in state-of-the-art labs and research centers. For this year’s program, students can participate in engineering and natural science opportunities.

Application Deadline: February 15 to March 15, 2024

9. Boston University RISE (Research in Science and Engineering) Internship

Rising seniors will conduct research for 40 hours per week under the guidance of a faculty member, postdoctoral fellow, or graduate student mentor. Students have the opportunity to choose from multiple research fields– from astronomy, and chemistry to psychology and public health. In addition to research, students participate in weekly workshops that provide insight into the scientific process, research ethics, reading a research paper, making a poster, and networking in the scientific community.

Applicants must be rising seniors and US citizens or legal permanent residents

Program Fee: $5,570 (Commuter) or $8,558 (Residential)

Deadline: February 14, 2024

10. Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair

Hosted by the Society for Science, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair is an annual science fair in the United States. More than 1500 students from roughly 70 countries and territories compete in the fair for scholarships, tuition grants, internships, scientific field trips, and grand prizes.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Date: May 11-17, 2024

11. International BioGENEius Challenge

High school or home-schooled students from the United States and Canada are invited to participate in different challenges (local, national, and international). There are three challenges: The Global Healthcare Challenge, The Global Sustainability Challenge, and The Global Environment Challenge. All project submissions must utilize and apply biotechnology. Students must be enrolled in high school-level biology, or science-related courses at their high school or in their home-school curriculum to participate.

Date: Varies from state to state

12. National Science Bowl

Hosted by the Department of Energy, the National Science Bowl is a competitive science education and academic event for middle and high school students. Students are asked to solve scientific and mathematical problems in teams of four. Regional science bowl championship teams receive an all-expenses-paid trip to compete at the national event in Washington, D.C. in April.

National Finals Date: April 25 – 29, 2024

13. THINK Scholars Program

The THINK Scholars Program is a STEM program run by undergraduate students at MIT, sponsored by tech companies and educational organizations. High school students participating in the program must write a project proposal that, if accepted, they will work on for one semester. Projects can be completed by an individual or in a team of two during the Spring semester with a $1,000 budget.

Project Completion Date: June 2024

Deadline: January 1, 2024

14. United States Army’s eCybermission Competition

eCYBERMISSION is a virtual STEM competition for students in grades 6-9. Students are invited to participate in one of seven challenges – ‘alternative sources of energy’, ‘environment’, ‘food, health, and fitness’, ‘forces and motion’, ‘national security and safety’, ‘robotics’, or ‘technology’. Each team includes 2-4 students, who must choose one of two paths: Science – Asking a question/exploring a problem, or Engineering – Solving a problem. After identifying the problem, teams will apply scientific principles and methods to develop solutions.

Registration Deadline: February 28, 2024

15. Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

During the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, high school students from grades 9-12 can participate in competitions for various major disciplines including Environmental Science, Biomedical Sciences, Cell/Molecular Biology, Life Sciences, Medicine & Health/Behavioral Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Math and Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Physical Sciences, Chemistry, etc. Students are invited to compete in an affiliated JSHS regional symposium, and may win the opportunity to advance to the National JSHS. Participating students are required to write an original research paper 5-20 pages in length, and present their findings to a group of judges and peers.

National Event Date: April 12-15, 2023

16. New York University Applied Research Innovations in Science and Engineering (ARISE)

The ARISE program is a dynamic and opportunity-driven initiative offered by New York University (NYU), designed to immerse students in a comprehensive 7-week summer experience. The program provides participants with rigorous lab experience and mentorship from NYU’s esteemed research faculty. Students will be trained to do college-level research and will have the opportunity to present their research at the end of the program.

Eligibility: Students living in New York City completing 10th or 11th grade in June 2024

Application Deadline: March 1, 2024

Program Date: June 17 – August 9, 2024

17. National Science Olympiad

The National Science Olympiad is a national science competition for high school students. In teams of 15, students compete in various scientific fields, such as Forensics, Anatomy, Physiology, and more in three categories: Study, Build, and Lab. During the National tournament event, students can participate in social media contests, STEM Expo, and Science Olympiad $50K Founders’ Scholarships.

Exam Date: October 17, 2023 / November 21, 2023 / December 5, 2023

18. Davidson Fellows Scholarship

The Davidson Fellows Scholarship invites students under the age of 18 years old residing in the United States to participate. Categories include Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, and Outside the Box. Students may be in teams of no more than 2 people. To be considered, the project must be “an exceptionally creative application of existing knowledge, a new idea with high impact, an innovative solution with broad-range implications, an important advancement that can be replicated and built upon, an interdisciplinary discovery, or another demonstration of extraordinary accomplishment.”

19. TOPSS Competition for High School Psychology Students

Hosted by the American Psychological Association, the TOPSS Competition invites students to submit an essay of up to 1,500 words addressing the role of psychology in tackling societal systemic problems. Students should cite research from at least two peer-reviewed journal articles in their essays. Up to three students will receive $300 scholarships for their winning essays.

Deadline: April 10, 2023 

20. Scripps Research High School Internship

The Scripps Research High School Competition invites high school students from grades 9-12 to write a 1- to 2-page essay answering the following question: “What topic would you want to investigate/research and why?” Students are expected to know information about their topic of interest, have a hypothesis, and explain the results of their research. While showing an in-depth understanding of scientific research, students should also have clear and concisely written communication and proper citations of literature in their bibliography. The internship runs from June 3 – August 9, 2024, OR June 17 – August 23, 2024, or students can write specific dates on the application form (10 weeks).

Deadline: March 30, 2024

21. The Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program

SSRP (Summer Science Research Program) Scholars participate in a structured research experience led by trainees at the Rockefeller University. The program emulates the laboratory structure at Rockefeller, with one trainee serving as the team lead and scientist-mentors providing support. High school juniors and seniors will follow a weekly schedule to conduct research while attending elective scientific courses, guest lectures, and social events.

Program Date: Monday, June 24 – Thursday, August 8, 2024

Application Deadline: January 5, 2024

22. Careers in Science (CiS) Intern Program

Careers in Science is a comprehensive year-round internship and youth development program for high school students. As interns progress in the program, they have the chance to join project groups led by Academy researchers or partners. These small groups of students collaborate on science research or environmental action projects. Interns may also become members of the CiS Leadership Council and have the opportunity to receive personalized mentorship from experts at the Academy.

Eligibility: 9th or 10th-grade students in a San Francisco Public School who belong to underrepresented communities in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), including girls and students of color.

Deadline: February 2, 2024, through April 5, 2024.

23. Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy at City of Hope

This program seeks to find students possessing exceptional potential for performing biomedical research. Students will design and work on their own research projects in their specific areas of interest. In addition to research, students also communicate their results and findings to their peers and instructors during a weekly student seminar series. Students will produce a written report at the end of their project.

Eligibility: High school students who are at latest 16 years old before the internship begins

Program Date: June 5 – August 11, 2023

Application Deadline: March 16, 2023

24. SHTEM: Summer Internships for High Schoolers and Community College Students

This internship aims to give students an early introduction to research that crosses traditional boundaries. Participants will be divided into projects that will use their current interests and abilities while introducing them to new subjects. The projects will be supervised by students, faculty, and staff from the Stanford Compression Forum and its associated organizations. The themes will include a combination of information and communication science, engineering, arts, linguistics, psychology, biology, neuroscience, computer science, technology, philosophy, and design, among other fields.

Application Deadline: February 24, 2023

25. Research Opportunities with Aralia Research Program

The Aralia Research Program is designed to provide high school students with a unique opportunity to delve into the world of research, encouraging them to explore their interests in-depth and contribute meaningfully to their chosen fields. This unique program transcends disciplinary boundaries, extending its reach to every subject.

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Department of Biological Sciences

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Examples of Undergraduate Research Projects

Fall 2021 projects, previous projects.



Investigative Research Projects for Students in Science: The State of the Field and a Research Agenda

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  • Published: 16 March 2023
  • Volume 23 , pages 80–95, ( 2023 )

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  • Michael J. Reiss   ORCID: 1 ,
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  • Wilton Lodge   ORCID: 1  

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One of the ways in which students can be taught science is by doing science, the intention being to help students understand the nature, processes, and methods of science. Investigative research projects may be used in an attempt to reflect some aspects of science more authentically than other teaching and learning approaches, such as confirmatory practical activities and teacher demonstrations. In this article, we are interested in the affordances of investigative research projects where students, either individually or collaboratively, undertake original research. We provide a critical rather than a systematic review of the field. We begin by examining the literature on the aims of science education, and how science is taught in schools, before specifically turning to investigative research projects. We examine how such projects are typically undertaken before reviewing their aims and, in more detail, the consequences for students of undertaking such projects. We conclude that we need social science research studies that make explicit the possible benefits of investigative research projects in science. Such studies should have adequate control groups that look at the long-term consequences of such projects not only by collecting delayed data from participants, but by following them longitudinally to see whether such projects make any difference to participants’ subsequent education and career destinations. We also conclude that there is too often a tendency for investigative research projects for students in science to ignore the reasons why scientists work in particular areas and to assume that once a written report of the research has been authored, the work is done. We therefore, while being positive about the potential for investigative research projects, make specific recommendations as to how greater authenticity might result from students undertaking such projects.

L’une des façons d’enseigner les sciences aux étudiants est de leur faire faire des activités scientifiques, l’objectif étant de les aider à comprendre la nature, les processus et les méthodes de la science. On peut avoir recours à des projets de recherche et d’enquête afin de refléter plus fidèlement certains éléments relevant de la science qu’en utilisant d’autres approches d’enseignement et d’apprentissage, telles que les activités pratiques de confirmation et les démonstrations faites par l’enseignant. Dans cet article, nous nous intéressons aux possibilités offertes par les projets de recherche dans lesquels les étudiants, individuellement ou en collaboration, entreprennent des recherches novatrices. Nous proposons un examen critique du domaine plutôt que d’y porter un regard systématique. Nous commençons par examiner la documentation portant sur les objectifs de l’enseignement des sciences et la manière dont les sciences sont enseignées dans les écoles, avant de nous intéresser plus particulièrement aux projets de recherche et d’enquête. Nous analysons la manière dont ces projets sont généralement menés avant d’examiner leurs buts et d’évaluer de façon plus approfondie quelles sont les conséquences pour les élèves de réaliser de tels projets. Nous constatons que nous avons besoin d’études de recherche en sciences sociales qui rendent explicites les avantages potentiels des projets de recherche et d’enquête scientifiques. Ces études devraient comporter des groupes de contrôle adéquats qui examinent les conséquences à long terme de ces projets, non seulement en recueillant des données différées auprès des participants, mais aussi en suivant ceux-ci de manière longitudinale de façon à voir si ces projets font une quelconque différence dans l’éducation subséquente et les destinations professionnelles ultérieures des participants. Nous concluons également que les projets de recherche et d’enquête des étudiants en sciences ont trop souvent tendance à ignorer les raisons pour lesquelles les scientifiques travaillent dans des domaines particuliers et à supposer qu’une fois que le rapport de recherche a été rédigé, le travail est terminé. Par conséquent, tout en demeurant optimistes quant au potentiel que représentent les projets de recherche et d’enquête, nous formulons des recommandations particulières en ce qui a trait à la manière dont une plus grande authenticité pourrait résulter de la réalisation de tels projets par les étudiants.

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Many young people are interested in science but do not necessarily see themselves as able to become scientists (Archer & DeWitt, 2017 ; Archer et al., 2015 ). Others may not want to become scientists even though they may see themselves as succeeding in science (Gokpinar & Reiss, 2016 ). At the same time, in many countries, governments and industry want more young people to continue with science, primarily in the hope that they will go into science or science-related careers (including engineering and technology), but also because of the benefits to society that are presumed to flow from having a scientifically literate population. Making science more inclusive and accessible to everyone may need endeavours and support from across education, employers, and society (Royal Society, 2014 ; Institute of Physics, 2020 ).

However, getting more people to continue with science, once it is no longer compulsory, is only one purpose of school science (Mansfield & Reiss, 2020 ). Much of school science is focused on getting students to understand core content of science—things like the particulate theory of matter, and the causes of disease in humans and other organisms. Another strand in school science is on getting students to understand something of the practices of science, particularly through undertaking practical work. A further, recently emerging, position is that science education should help students to use their knowledge and critical understanding of the content and practices of science to strive for social and environmental justice (Sjöström & Eilks, 2018 ).

In this article, we are interested in the affordances of investigative research projects—discussed in more detail below but essentially pieces of work undertaken by students either individually or collaboratively in which they undertake original research. We provide a critical rather than a systematic review of the field and suggest how future research might be undertaken to explore in more detail the possible contribution of such projects. We begin by examining the literature on the aims of science education, and how science is taught in schools, before specifically turning to investigative research projects. We examine how such projects are typically undertaken before reviewing their aims and, in more detail, the consequences for students of undertaking such projects. We make recommendations as to how investigative research projects might more fruitfully be undertaken and conclude by proposing a research agenda.

Aims of Science Education

School science education typically aims to prepare some students to become scientists, while concurrently educating all students in science and about science (Claussen & Osborne, 2013 ; Hofstein & Lunetta, 2004 ; Osborne & Dillon, 2008 ). For example, in England, especially for older students, the current science National Curriculum for 5–16-year-olds is framed as providing a platform for future studies and careers in science for some students, and providing knowledge and skills so that all students can understand and engage with the natural world within their everyday lives (Department for Education, 2014 ). Accordingly, science education within the National Curriculum in England broadly aims to develop students’ scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding; develop students’ understanding of the nature, processes, and methods of science (aspects of ‘working scientifically’, including experimental, analytical, and other related skills); and ensure that students understand the relevance, uses, and implications of science within everyday life (Department for Education, 2014 ). Comparable aims are typically found in other countries (Coll & Taylor, 2012 ; Hollins & Reiss, 2016 ).

Science education often involves practical work, which is generally intended to help students gain conceptual understanding, practical and wider skills, and understanding of how science and scientists work (Abrahams & Reiss, 2017 ; Cukurova et al., 2015 ; Hodson, 1993 ; Millar, 1998 ). Essentially, the thinking behind much practical work is that students would learn about science by doing science. Practical work has often been orientated towards confirming and illustrating scientific knowledge, although it is increasingly orientated around reflecting the processes of investigation and inquiry used within the field of science, and providing understanding of the nature of science (Abrahams & Reiss, 2017 ; Hofstein & Lunetta, 2004 ).

In many countries, especially those with the resources to have school laboratories, practical work in science is undertaken at secondary level relatively frequently, although this is less the case with older students (Hamlyn et al., 2020 , 2017 ). Practical work is more frequent in schools within more advantaged regions (Hamlyn et al., 2020 ) and many students report that they would have preferred to do more practical work (Cerini et al., 2003 ; Hamlyn et al., 2020 ).

The impact of practical work remains less clear (Cukurova et al., 2015 ; Gatsby Charitable Foundation, 2017 ). Society broadly expects that students in any one country will experience practical work to similar extents, so it is unfeasible, for more than a handful of lessons (e.g. Shana & Abulibdeh, 2020 ), to apply experimental designs where some students undertake practical work while others do not. One study, where students were assigned to one of four different groups, concluded that while conventional practical work led to more student learning than did either watching videos or reading textbooks, it was no more effective than when students watched a teacher demonstration (Moore et al., 2020 ).

The study by Moore et al. ( 2020 ) illustrates an important point, namely, that students can acquire conceptual knowledge and theoretical understanding by ways other than engagement in practical work. Indeed, there are some countries where less practical work is undertaken than in others, yet students score well, on average, on international measures of attainment. Some, but relatively few, studies have focused on whether the extent of practical work, and/or whether practical work undertaken in particular ways, associates with any educational or other outcomes. There are some indications that more frequent practical work associates with benefits (Cukurova et al., 2015 ). For example, students in higher-performing secondary schools have reported that they undertake more frequent practical work than pupils in lower-performing schools, although this does not reflect the impact of practical work alone (Hamlyn et al., 2017 ). In a more recent study, Oliver et al. ( 2021a , b ), in their analysis of the science scores in the six Anglophone countries (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA) that participated in PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) 2015, found that “Of particular note is that the highest level of student achievement is associated with doing practical work in some lessons (rather than all or most) and this patterning is consistent across all six countries” (p. 35).

Students often appreciate and enjoy practical work in science (Hamlyn et al., 2020 ; National Foundation for Educational Research, 2011 ). Nevertheless, students do not necessarily understand the purposes of practical work, some feel that practical work may not necessarily be the best way to understand some aspects of science, and some highlight that practical work does not necessarily give them what they need for examinations (Abrahams & Reiss, 2012 ; Sharpe & Abrahams, 2020 ). Teachers have also spoken about the challenges of devising and delivering practical work, and often value practical work for being motivational for students rather than for helping them to understand science concepts (Gatsby Charitable Foundation, 2017 ; National Foundation for Educational Research, 2011 ).

Teaching Approaches

Educational research has examined how teaching and learning could best be undertaken. Many teaching and learning approaches have been found to associate with students’ learning outcomes, such as their achievement (Bennett et al., 2007 ; Furtak et al., 2012 ; Hattie et al., 2020 ; Savelsbergh et al., 2016 ; Schroeder et al., 2007 ) and interest (e.g. Chachashvili-Bolotin et al., 2016 ; Swarat et al., 2012 ), both in science and more generally. However, considering different teaching and learning approaches is complicated by terminology (where the definitions of terms can vary and/or terms can be applied in various ways) and wider aspects of generalisation (where it can be difficult to determine trends across studies undertaken in diverse ways across diverse contexts).

Inquiry-based approaches to teaching and learning generally involve students having more initiative to direct and undertake activities to develop their understanding (although not necessarily without guidance and support from teachers), such as working scientifically to devise and undertake investigations. However, it is important to emphasise that inquiry-based approaches do not necessitate practical work. Indeed, there are many subjects where no practical work takes place and yet students can undertake inquiries. In science, examples of non-practical-based inquiries that could fruitfully be undertaken collaboratively or individually and using the internet and/or libraries include the sort of research that students might undertake to investigate a socio-scientific issue. An example of such research includes what the effects of reintroducing an extinct or endangered species might be on an ecosystem, such as the reintroduction of the Eurasian beaver ( Castor fiber ) into the UK, or the barn owl ( Tyto alba ) into Canada. Inquiry-based learning in school science has often been found to associate with greater achievement (Furtak et al., 2012 ; Savelsbergh et al., 2016 ; Schroeder et al., 2007 ), though too much time spent on inquiry can result in reduced achievement (Oliver et al., 2021a ).

Allied to inquiry-based approaches is project-based learning. Here, students take initiative, manifest autonomy, and exercise responsibility for addressing an issue (often attempting to solve a problem) that usually results in an end product (such as a report or model), with teachers as facilitators and guides. The project occurs over a relatively long duration of time (Helle et al., 2006 ), to allow time for planning, revising, undertaking, and writing up the study. Project-based learning tends to associate positively with achievement (Chen & Yang, 2019 ).

Context-based approaches to teaching and learning use specific contexts and applications as starting points for the development of scientific ideas, rather than more traditional approaches that typically cover scientific ideas before moving on to consider their applications and contexts (Bennett et al., 2007 ). Context-based approaches have been found to be broadly equivalent to other teaching and learning approaches in developing students’ understanding, with some evidence for helping foster positive attitudes to science to a greater extent than traditional approaches (Bennett et al., 2007 ). Specifically relating learning to students’ experiences or context (referred to as ‘enhanced context strategies’) often associates positively with achievement (Schroeder et al., 2007 ). The literature on context-based approaches overlaps with that on the use of socio-scientific issues in science education, where students develop their scientific knowledge and understanding by considering complicated issues where science plays a role but on its own is not sufficient to produce solutions (e.g. Dawson, 2015 ; Zeidler & Sadler, 2008 ). To date, the literature on context-based approaches and/or socio-scientific issues has remained distinct from that on investigative research projects but, as we will argue below, there might be benefit in considering their intersection.

Various other teaching and learning approaches have been found to be beneficial in science, including collaborative work, computer-based work, and the provision of extra-curricular activities (Savelsbergh et al., 2016 ). Similarly, but specifically focusing on chemistry, various teaching and learning practices have been found to associate positively with academic outcomes, including (most strongly) collaborative learning and problem-based learning (Rahman & Lewis, 2019 ).

Most attention has focused on achievement-related outcomes. Nevertheless, inquiry-based learning, context-based learning, computer-based learning, collaborative learning, and extra-curricular activities have often also been found to associate positively with students’ interests and aspirations towards science (Savelsbergh et al., 2016 ). While many teaching and learning approaches associate with benefits, it remains difficult definitively to establish whether any particular approach is optimal and/or whether particular approaches are better than others. Teaching and learning time are limited, so applying a particular approach may mean not applying another approach.

Investigative Research Projects

Science education has often (implicitly or explicitly) been orientated around students learning science by doing science, intending to help students understand the nature, processes, and methods of science. An early critique of pedagogical approaches that saw students as scientists was provided by Driver ( 1983 ) who, while not dismissing the value of the approach, cautioned against over-enthusiastic adoption on the grounds that, unsurprisingly, school students, compared to actual scientists, manifest a range of misconceptions about how scientific research is undertaken. Contemporary recommendations for practical work include schools delivering frequent and varied practical activities (in at least half of all science lessons), and students also having the opportunity to undertake open-ended and extended investigative projects (Gatsby Charitable Foundation, 2017 ).

Investigative research projects may be intended to reflect some aspects of science more accurately or authentically than other teaching and learning approaches, such as confirmatory practical activities and teacher demonstrations. Nevertheless, authenticity in science and science education can be approached and/or defined in various ways (Braund & Reiss, 2006 ), and the issue raises wider questions such as whether only (adult) scientists can authentically experience science, and who determines what science is and what authentic experiences of science are (Kapon et al., 2018 ; Martin et al., 1990 ).

Although too tight a definition can be unhelpful, investigative research projects in science typically involve students determining a research question (where the outcome is unknown) and approaches to answer it, undertaking the investigation, analysing the data, and reporting the findings. The project may be undertaken alone or in groups, with support from teachers and/or others such as scientists and researchers (Bennett et al., 2018 ; Gatsby Charitable Foundation, 2017 ). Students may have varying degrees of autonomy—but then that is true of scientists too.

Independent research projects in science for students have often been framed around providing students with authentic experiences of scientific research and with the potential for wider benefits around scientific knowledge and skills, attitudes, and motivations around science, and ultimately helping science to become more inclusive and accessible to everyone (Bennett et al., 2018 ; Milner-Bolotin, 2012 ). Considered in review across numerous studies, independent research projects for secondary school students (aged 11–19) have often (but not necessarily always) resulted in benefits, including the following:

Acquisition of science-related knowledge (Burgin et al., 2012 ; Charney et al., 2007 ; Dijkstra & Goedhart, 2011 ; Houseal et al., 2014 ; Sousa-Silva et al., 2018 ; Ward et al., 2016 );

Enhancement of knowledge and/or skills around aspects of research and working scientifically (Bulte et al., 2006 ; Charney et al., 2007 ; Ebenezer et al., 2011 ; Etkina et al., 2003 ; Hsu & Espinoza, 2018 ; Ward et al., 2016 );

Greater confidence in undertaking various aspects of science, including applying knowledge and skills (Abraham, 2002 ; Carsten Conner et al., 2021 ; Hsu & Espinoza, 2018 ; Stake & Mares, 2001 , 2005 );

Aspirations towards science-related studies and/or careers (Abraham, 2002 ; Stake & Mares, 2001 ), although students in other studies have reported unchanged and already high aspirations towards science-related studies and/or careers (Burgin et al., 2015 , 2012 );

Subsequently entering science-related careers (Roberts & Wassersug, 2009 );

Development of science and/or research identities and/or identification as a scientist or researcher (Carsten Conner et al., 2021 ; Deemer et al., 2021 );

Feelings and experiences of real science and doing science (Barab & Hay, 2001 ; Burgin et al., 2015 ; Chapman & Feldman, 2017 );

Wider awareness and/or understanding of science, scientists, and/or positive attitudes towards science (Abraham, 2002 ; Houseal et al., 2014 ; Stake & Mares, 2005 );

Benefits akin to induction into scientific or research communities of practice (Carsten Conner et al., 2018 );

Development of wider personal, studying, and/or social skills, including working with others and independent work (Abraham, 2002 ; Moote, 2019 ; Moote et al., 2013 ; Sousa-Silva et al., 2018 ).

Positive experiences of projects and programmes are often conveyed by students (Dijkstra & Goedhart, 2011 ; Rushton et al., 2019 ; Williams et al., 2018 ). For example, students have reported appreciating the greater freedom and independence to discover things, and that they felt they were undertaking real experiments with a purpose, and a greater sense of meaning (Bulte et al., 2006 ).

Nevertheless, it remains difficult to determine the extent of generalisation from diverse research studies undertaken in various ways and across various contexts: benefits have been observed across studies involving different foci (determining what was measured and/or reported), projects for students, and contexts and countries. Essentially, each individual research study did not cover and/or evidence the whole range of benefits. Many benefits have been self-reported, and only some studies have considered changes over time (Moote, 2019 ; Moote et al., 2013 ).

Investigative science research projects for students are delivered in various ways. For example, some projects are undertaken through formal programmes that provide introductions and induction, learning modules, equipment, and the opportunity to present findings (Ward et al., 2016 ). Some programmes put a particular emphasis on the presentation and dissemination of findings (Bell et al., 2003 ; Ebenezer et al., 2011 ; Stake & Mares, 2005 ). Some projects are undertaken through schools (Ebenezer et al., 2011 ; Ward et al., 2016 ); others entail students working at universities, sometimes undertaking and/or assisting with existing projects (Bell et al., 2003 ; Burgin et al., 2015 , 2012 ; Charney et al., 2007 ; Stake & Mares, 2001 , 2005 ) or in competitions (e.g. Liao et al., 2017 ). While many projects are undertaken in laboratory settings, some are undertaken outdoors, in the field (Carsten Conner et al., 2018 ; Houseal et al., 2014 ; Young et al., 2020 ).

Primary School

While much of the school literature on investigative research projects in science concentrates on secondary or university students, some such projects are undertaken with students in primary school. These projects are often perceived as enjoyable and considered to benefit scientific skills and knowledge and/or confidence in doing science (Forbes & Skamp, 2019 ; Liljeström et al., 2013 ; Maiorca et al., 2021 ; Tyler-Wood et al., 2012 ). Such projects often help students feel that they are scientists and doing science (Forbes & Skamp, 2019 ; Reveles et al., 2004 ).

For example, one programme for primary school students in Australia intended students to develop and apply skills in thinking and working scientifically with support by scientist mentors over 10 weeks. It involved the students identifying areas of interest and testable questions within a wider scientific theme, collaboratively investigating their area of interest through collecting and analysing data, and then presenting their findings. Data on the programme’s outcomes were obtained through interviews with students and by studying the reports that they wrote (Forbes & Skamp, 2016 , 2019 ). Participating students said that they appreciated the autonomy and practical aspects, and enjoyed the experiences. The students showed developments in thinking scientifically and around the nature of science, where science often became seen as something that could be interesting, enjoyable, student-led, collaborative, creative, challenging, and a way to understand how things work within the world (Forbes & Skamp, 2019 ). The experiences of thinking and working scientifically, and aspects such as collaborative working and learning from each other, were broadly considered to help develop students’ scientific identities and include them within a scientific community of practice. Some students felt that they were doing authentic (‘real’) science, in contrast to some of their earlier or other experiences of science at school, which had not involved an emphasis on working scientifically and/or specific activities within working scientifically, such as collecting and analysing data (Forbes & Skamp, 2019 ).

CREST Awards

CREST Awards are intended to give young people (aged 5–19) in the UK the opportunity to explore real STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) projects, providing the experience of ‘being a scientist’ (British Science Association, 2018 ). The scheme has been running since the 1980s and some 30,000 Awards are given each year. They exist at three levels (Bronze, Silver, and Gold), reflecting the necessary time commitment and level of independence and originality expected. The Awards are presented as offering the potential for participants to experience the process of engaging in a project, and developing investigation, problem-solving, and communication skills. They are also presented as something that can contribute to further awards (such as Duke of Edinburgh Awards) and/or competition entries (such as The Big Bang Competition). CREST Gold Awards can be used to enhance applications to university and employment. At Gold level, arranging for a STEM professional in a field related to the student’s work to act as a mentor is recommended, though not formally required. CREST Awards are assessed by teachers and/or assessors from industry or academia, depending on the Award level.

Classes of secondary school students in Scotland undertaking CREST Awards projects appeared to show some benefits around motivational and studying strategies, but less clearly than would be ideal (Moote, 2019 ; Moote et al, 2013 ). Students undertaking CREST Silver Awards between 2010 and 2013 gained better qualifications at age 16 and were more likely to study science subjects for 16–19-year-olds than other comparable students (matched on prior attainment and certain personal characteristics), although the students may have differed on unmeasured aspects, such as attitudes and motivations towards science and studying (Stock Jones et al., 2016 ). A subsequent randomised controlled trial found that year 9 students (aged 13–14) undertaking CREST Silver Awards and other comparable students ultimately showed similar science test scores, attitudes towards school work, confidence in undertaking various aspects of life (not covering school work), attitudes towards science careers (inaccurately referred to as self-efficacy), and aspirations towards science careers (Husain et al., 2019 ). Nevertheless, teachers and students perceived benefits, including students acquiring transferable skills such as time management, problem-solving, and team working, and that science topics were made more interesting and relevant for students (Husain et al., 2019 ). Overall, it remains difficult to form any definitive conclusions about impacts, given the diverse scope of CREST Awards but limited research. For example, whether and/or how CREST Awards projects are independent of or integrated with curricula areas may determine the extent of (curricula-based) knowledge gains.

Nuffield Research Placements

Nuffield Research Placements involve students in the UK undertaking STEM research placements during the summer between years 12 and 13, and presenting their findings at a celebration event (Nuffield Foundation, 2020 ). The scheme has been running since 1996 and a little over 1000 students participate each year. The programme is variously framed as an opportunity for students to undertake real research and develop scientific and other skills, and an initiative to enhance access/inclusion and assist the progression of students into STEM studies at university (Cilauro & Paull, 2019 ; Nuffield Foundation, 2020 ).

The application process is competitive, and requires a personal statement where students explain their interest in completing the placement. Students need to be studying at least one STEM subject in year 12, be in full-time education at a state school (i.e. not a private school that requires fees), and have reached a certain academic level at year 11. The scheme historically aimed to support and prioritise students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and is now only available for students from disadvantaged backgrounds based on family income, living or having lived in care, and/or being the first person in their immediate family who will study in higher education (Nuffield Foundation, 2020 ).

There have been indications that students who undertake Nuffield Research Placements are, on average, more likely to enrol on STEM subjects at top (Russell Group) UK universities and complete a higher number of STEM qualifications for 16–19-year-olds than other students (Cilauro & Paull, 2019 ). Nevertheless, it remains difficult to isolate independent impacts of the placements, given that (for example) students commence their 16–19 education prior to the placements.

Following their Nuffield Research Placements, students have reported increased understanding of what STEM researchers do in their daily work and unchanging (already high) enjoyment of STEM and interest in STEM job opportunities (Bowes et al., 2017 ; Cilauro & Paull, 2019 ). Wider benefits have been attributed to the placement, including skills in writing reports, working independently, confidence in their own abilities in general, and team working (Bowes et al., 2017 ). Students also often report that they feel they have contributed to an authentic research study in an area of STEM in which they are interested (Bowes et al., 2021 ).

Institute for Research in Schools Projects

The Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) started in 2016 and has about 1000 or more participating students in the UK annually. It facilitates students to undertake a range of investigative research projects from a varied portfolio of options. For example, these projects have included CERN@School (Whyntie, 2016 ; Whyntie et al., 2015 , 2016 ), where students have been found to have positive experiences, developing research and data analysis skills, and developing wider skills such as collaboration and communication (Hatfield et al., 2019 ; Parker et al., 2019 ). Teachers who have facilitated projects for their students (Rushton & Reiss, 2019 ) report that the experiences produced personal and wider benefits around:

Appreciating the freedom to teach and engage in the research projects;

Connecting or reconnecting with science and research, including interest and enthusiasm (in science as well as teaching it) and with a role as a scientist, including being able to share past experiences or work as a scientist with students;

Collaborating with students and scientists, researchers, and others in different and/or new ways via doing research (including facilitating students and providing support);

Professional and skills development (refreshing/revitalising teaching and interest), including recognition by colleagues/others (strengthening recognition as a teacher/scientist, as having skills, as someone who provides opportunities/support for students).

The teachers felt that their students developed a range of specific and transferable benefits, including around research, communication, teamwork, planning, leadership, interest and enthusiasm, confidence, and awareness of the realities of science and science careers. Some benefits could follow and/or be enhanced by the topics that the students were studying, such as interest and enthusiasm linking with personal and wider/real-life relevance, for example, for topics like biodiversity (Rushton & Reiss, 2019 ).

Students in England who completed IRIS projects and presented their findings at conferences reported that the experiences were beneficial through developing skills (including communication, confidence, and managing anxiety); gaining awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the processes of research and careers in research; collaboration and sharing with students and teachers; developing networks and contacts; and doing something that may benefit their university applications (Rushton et al., 2019 ). Presenting and disseminating findings at conferences were considered to be inspirational and validating (including experiencing the impressive scientific and historical context of the conference venue), although also challenging, given limited time, competing demands, anxiety and nervousness, and uncertainty about how to engage with others and undertake networking (Rushton et al., 2019 ).

Although our principal interest is in investigative research projects in science at school, it is worth briefly surveying the literature on such projects at university level. This is because while such projects are rare at school level, normally resulting from special initiatives, there is a long tradition in a number of countries of investigative research projects in science being undertaken at university level, alongside other types of practical work.

Unsurprisingly, university science students typically report having little to no prior experience with authentic research, although they may have had laboratory or fieldwork experience on their pre-university courses (Cartrette & Melroe-Lehrman, 2012 ; John & Creighton, 2011 ). University students still perceive non-investigative-based laboratory work as meaningful experiences of scientific laboratory work, even if these might be less authentic experiences of (some aspects of) scientific research (Goodwin et al., 2021 ; Rowland et al., 2016 ).

Research experiences for university science students are often framed around providing students with authentic experiences of scientific research, with more explicit foci towards developing research skills and practices, developing conceptual understanding, conveying the nature of science, and fostering science identities (Linn et al., 2015 ). Considered in review across numerous studies, research experiences for university science students have often (but not necessarily always) resulted in benefits, including to research skills and practices and confidence in applying them, enhanced understanding of the reality of scientific research and careers, and higher likelihood of persisting or progressing within science education and/or careers (Linn et al., 2015 ).

For example, in one study, university students of science in England reported having no experience of ‘real’ research before undertaking a summer research placement programme (John & Creighton, 2011 ). After the programme, the majority of students agreed that they had discovered that they liked research and that they had gained an understanding of the everyday realities of research. Most of the students reported that their placement confirmed or increased their intentions towards postgraduate study and research careers (John & Creighton, 2011 ).

Implications and Future Directions

Investigative research projects in science have the potential for various benefits, given the findings from wider research into inquiry-based learning (Furtak et al., 2012 ; Savelsbergh et al., 2016 ; Schroeder et al., 2007 ), context-based learning (Bennett et al., 2007 ; Schroeder et al., 2007 ), and project-based learning (Chen & Yang, 2019 ). However, the potential for benefits involves broad generalisations, where inquiry-based learning (for example) covers a diverse range of approaches that may or may not be similar to those encountered within investigative research projects. Furthermore, we do not see investigative research projects as a universal panacea. It is, for example, unrealistic to expect that students can simultaneously learn scientific knowledge, learn about scientific practice, and engage skillfully and appropriately in aspects of scientific practice. Indeed, careful scaffolding from teachers is likely to be required for any, let alone all, of these benefits to result.

We are conscious that enabling students to undertake investigative research projects in science places particular burdens on teachers. Anecdotal evidence suggests that if teachers themselves have had a university education in which they undertook one or more such projects themselves (e.g. because they undertook a research masters or doctorate in science), they are more likely both to be enthused about the benefits of this way of working and to be able to help their students undertake research. It would be good to have this hypothesis investigated rigorously and, more importantly, to have data on effective professional development for teachers to help their students undertake investigative research projects in science. It is known that school teachers of science can benefit from undertaking small-scale research projects as professional development (e.g. Bevins et al., 2011 ; Koomen et al., 2014 ), but such studies do not seem rigorously to have followed individual teachers through into their subsequent day-to-day work with their students to determine the long-term consequences for the students.

Benefits accruing from investigative research projects are likely to be enhanced if there is an alignment between the form of the assessment and the intended outcomes of the investigative research project (cf. Molefe, 2011 ). The first author recalls how advanced level biology projects (for 16–18-year-olds) were assessed in England by one of the Examination Boards back in the 1980s. At the end of the course, each student who had submitted such a project had a 15-min viva with an external examiner. The mark scheme rewarded not only the sorts of things that any advanced level biology mark scheme would credit (use of literature, appropriate research design, care in data collection, thorough analysis, etc.) but originality too. There was therefore an emphasis on novel research. Indeed, occasionally students published sole- or co-authored accounts of their work in biology or biology education journals.

We mentioned above Driver’s ( 1983 ) caution about the extent to which it is realistic to envisage high school students undertaking investigative research projects that have more than superficial resemblance to those undertaken by actual scientists. Nevertheless, as the above review indicates, there is a strong strand within school science education of advocating the benefits of students designing and undertaking open-ended research projects (cf. Albone et al., 1995 ). Roth ( 1995 ) argued that for school science to be authentic, students need to:

(1) learn in contexts constituted in part by ill-defined problems; (2) experience uncertainties and ambiguities and the social nature of scientific work and knowledge; (3) learning is predicated on, and driven by, their current knowledge state; (4) experience themselves as parts of communities of inquiry in which knowledge, practices, resources and discourse are shared; (5) in these communities, members can draw on the expertise of more knowledgeable others whether they are peers, advisors or teachers. (p. 1)

Investigative research projects in science allow learners to learn about science by doing science, and therefore might help foster science identities. Science identities can involve someone recognising themselves and also being recognised by others as being a science person, and also with having various experiences, knowledge, and skills that are valued and recognised within the wider fields of science.

However, the evidence base, as indicated above and in the systematic review of practical independent research projects in high school science undertaken by Bennett et al. ( 2018 ), is still not robust. We need research studies that make explicit the putative benefits of investigative research projects in science, that have adequate control groups, and that look at the long-term consequences of such projects not only by collecting delayed data from participants (whether by surveys or interviews) but by following them longitudinally to see whether such projects make any difference to their subsequent education and career destinations. We also know very little about the significance of students’ home circumstances for their enthusiasm and capacity to undertake investigative research projects in science, though it seems likely that students with high science capital (DeWitt et al., 2016 ) are more likely to receive familial support in undertaking such projects (cf. Lissitsa & Chachashvili‐Bolotin, 2019 ).

We also need studies that consider more carefully what it is to engage in scientific practices. It is notable that the existing literature on investigative research projects for students in science makes no use of the literature on ethnographic studies of scientists at work—neither the foundational texts (e.g. Latour & Woolgar, 1979 ; Knorr-Cetina, 1983 ) nor more recent studies (e.g. Silvast et al., 2020 ). Too often there is a tendency for investigative research projects for students in science to ignore the reasons why scientists work in particular areas and to assume that once a written report of the research has been authored, the work is done. There can also be a somewhat simplistic belief that the sine qua non of an investigative research project is experimental science. Keen as we are on experimental science, there is more to being a scientist than undertaking experiments. For example, computer simulations (Winsberg, 2019 ) and other approaches that take advantage of advances in digital technologies are of increasing importance to the work of many scientists. It would be good to see such approaches reflected in more school student investigative projects (cf. Staacks et al., 2018 ).

More generally, greater authenticity would be likely to result if the following three issues were explicitly considered with students:

How should the particular focus of the research be identified? Students should be helped to realise that virtually all scientific research requires substantial funding. It may not be enough, therefore, for students to identify the focus for their work on the grounds of personal interest alone if they wish to understand how science is undertaken in reality. Here, such activities as participating in well-designed citizen science projects that still enable student autonomy (e.g. Curtis, 2018 ) can help.

Students should be encouraged, once their written report has been completed, to present it at a conference (as happens, for instance, with many IRIS projects) and to write it up for publication. Writing for publication is more feasible now that publication can be via blogs or on the internet, compared to the days when the only possible outlets were hard-copy journals or monographs.

What change in the world does the research wish to effect? Much student research in science seems implicitly to presume that science is neutral. The reality—back to funding again—is that most scientific research is undertaken with specific ends in mind (for instance, the development of medical treatments, the location of valuable mineral ores, the manufacture of new products for which desire can also be manufactured). It is not, of course, that we are calling for students unquestioningly to adopt the same values as those of professional scientists. Rather, we would encourage students to be enabled to reflect on such ends and values.

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Reiss, M.J., Sheldrake, R. & Lodge, W. Investigative Research Projects for Students in Science: The State of the Field and a Research Agenda. Can. J. Sci. Math. Techn. Educ. 23 , 80–95 (2023).

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Top Science Project Ideas & Topics for College Students

Top Science Project Ideas & Topics for College Students

A solid foundation in science education is the holistic development of students. Science projects are beneficial in captivating students’ interest in the subject among the different ways to spark their curiosity. 

The primary objective of science projects is to foster a culture of scientific inquiry and reasoning among students. These hands-on experiments serve as a conduit to teach students the art of observation, inquiry, prediction, hypothesis formulation, experimentation, analysis, and concluding – all integral components of the scientific method. 

Through this approach, students are nurtured in critical thinking and problem-solving skills , which hold significance within science and as crucial life skills. Moreover, such projects can spark a lifelong interest in science, potentially steering students toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ( STEM ).

Now, let’s explore easy and innovative science project ideas tailored for students, blending simplicity and education harmoniously.

College Science Projects Ideas and Topics

College science projects encompass a spectrum of intriguing ideas and topics that engage students in hands-on exploration and intellectual discovery. The canvas is broad and diversified, ranging from investigating the environmental consequences of microplastics to unravelling the mysteries of bioluminescence in nature. 

Each project beckons students to embark on a unique journey of discovery, innovation, and knowledge, contributing to the intricate tapestry of scientific advancement. 

Let’s explore different science project topics and ideas for students in diverse fields. 

Engineering Science Projects for College Students

Engineering science projects at the college level encompass a dynamic fusion of theoretical knowledge and hands-on application, aiming to solve real-world challenges using innovative solutions. These projects often require a multidisciplinary approach, integrating principles from various engineering fields to create tangible and impactful outcomes. 

Here, we present ten compelling project ideas that exemplify engineering science’s diversity and breadth of possibilities.

  • Renewable Energy Microgrid Design
  • Smart City IoT Solutions
  • Innovative Medical Device Development
  • Autonomous Vehicle Control System
  • Structural Health Monitoring System
  • Real-time Water Quality Management
  • Advanced Aerospace UAV Design
  • Biomechanically Optimised Prosthetics
  • Sustainable Building Design
  • Urban Transportation Innovation

College-level Science Project Ideas in Physics

College-level physics science projects allow students to delve into the fundamental principles that govern the universe. These projects encompass various topics, from classical mechanics to quantum phenomena. 

Students engage in theoretical exploration, experimentation, and data analysis, honing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Here, we present intriguing project ideas that exemplify the breadth and depth of possibilities within physics.

  • Pendulum Waves
  • Quantum Entanglement Demonstration
  • Fluid Dynamics and Vortex Formation
  • Optical Interference Patterns
  • Magnetic Levitation System
  • Resonance and Acoustic Standing Waves
  • Spectroscopy and Emission Lines
  • Chaos Theory and Double Pendulum
  • Photoelectric Effect Experiment
  • Electrostatics and Van de Graaff Generator

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College-level Science Project Ideas in Chemistry

College-level chemistry projects are experiments or demonstrations that explore the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter. They usually involve a research question, a literature review, a hypothesis, an experimental procedure, data collection, analysis, and interpretation. 

A few college-level chemistry project ideas are:

  • A permanent solution to environmental mercury contamination
  • Amyloid beta-peptide, free radical oxidative stress and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Atmospheric physical chemistry
  • Bioconjugates for chemical biology
  • How to make smart bomb fruits with product balls and fruit bombs
  • How to measure pH using different titration methods or vinegar method
  • How to make a lava lamp with oil, water, and food colouring
  • How to make a crystal garden with salt, water, and food colouring
  • How to colour fire with different metal salts

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College-level Science Project Ideas in Biology

College-level biology projects include a higher level of complexity and depth compared to their earlier counterparts. These projects challenge students’ understanding of biological concepts, enhance their research skills, and foster critical thinking. 

Here, we present a curated list of 10 college-level biology project ideas:

  • Discuss resistance in microbes. 
  • Discuss the human immune system and its relationship to microorganisms.
  • How does yeast work? What are its advantages and disadvantages?
  • Virions vs. viroids. What is the difference?
  • How does caffeine affect the heart rate of Daphnia?
  • How does temperature affect the germination of seeds?
  • How does light affect the growth of algae?
  • How does music affect the behaviour of plants?
  • How to extract DNA from strawberries?
  • How to make a model of a cell with household items

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College-level science project ideas in ai.

College-level artificial intelligence (AI) projects go beyond introductory concepts and delve into advanced AI techniques and applications. These projects typically involve integrating machine learning, deep learning, and data analysis to solve complex problems. 

These are some of the best college-level AI project ideas that span across the diverse domains within the field:

  • Autonomous Drone Navigation
  • Healthcare Diagnosis with Medical Imaging
  • Reinforcement Learning for Game AI
  • Natural Language Processing for Sentiment Analysis
  • Image Generation with Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs)
  • Fake News Detection and Fact-Checking
  • Music Generation with Recurrent Neural Networks
  • Autonomous Vehicle Simulation
  • Anomaly Detection in Financial Transactions
  • Predictive Maintenance for Industrial Equipment

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College-level Science Project Ideas in Deep Learning

College-level deep learning projects are designed to immerse students in the advanced and intricate world of neural networks, enabling them to tackle complex problems across various domains. 

These projects often entail developing and fine-tuning deep neural network designs, experimenting with cutting-edge methodologies, and applying deep learning to real-world applications. 

Here are the top 10 College-Level Deep Learning Project Ideas:

  • Object Detection in Autonomous Driving
  • Artificial Intelligence for Medical Image Analysis
  • Style Transfer and Art Generation
  • Language Translation with Sequence-to-Sequence Models
  • Deep Fake Detection
  • Music Generation with Variational Autoencoders (VAEs)
  • Text Generation with Transformers
  • Gesture Recognition for Sign Language
  • Emotion Recognition from Facial Expressions
  • Anomaly Detection in Time Series Data

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Tips for choosing the best and easy science project ideas and topics.

Choosing the best science project idea can be both exciting and challenging. Here are some tips to help you select the best and easiest topic:

  • Interest Alignment : Pick a topic that genuinely interests you. Your enthusiasm will drive your project’s success and make the process enjoyable.
  • Clarity and Scope : Ensure your project’s scope is manageable. Define a clear objective and focus on a specific aspect to avoid overwhelming complexity.
  • Available Resources : Consider the materials, equipment, and resources you can access. Opt for projects that align with what’s readily available.
  • Feasibility : Choose a project you can realistically complete within your timeline. Overambitious projects might lead to frustration.
  • Creativity : Add your unique twist to a familiar concept or explore a novel idea to stand out in your project’s execution.
  • Experimental Replication : Replicate classic experiments or studies for a solid foundation or modify them to explore new angles.
  • Ethical Considerations : Ensure your project adheres to ethical guidelines. Safety, environmental impact, and human subjects’ rights should be paramount.

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To sum up, college-level science projects in fields like AI and deep learning provide a unique opportunity for students to delve into cutting-edge technologies, develop practical skills, and foster innovation. These projects enhance students’ understanding of complex concepts and equip them with problem-solving abilities crucial for their academic and professional journey. 

For those seeking to further their expertise in AI and deep learning, upGrad offers an exceptional opportunity with the Master of Science in Machine Learning & AI program from Liverpool John Moores University. This program empowers individuals to dive deeper into these fields under the guidance of industry experts, paving the way for impactful contributions to the world of technology. 


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

By identifying a clear concept, gathering necessary materials, designing and building the science working model step by step, and testing its functionality. Detailed planning and careful execution ensure a successful and informative project presentation.

Beginners can explore easy science projects like making a volcano eruption using baking soda and vinegar, creating a rainbow in a glass, or testing the effects of different liquids on plant growth. These projects offer hands-on learning and are ideal for starting their scientific journey.

To present a science project effectively, practise clear and concise explanations, use visuals like posters or slides, engage the audience with interactive elements, highlight key findings, and confidently answer questions.

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Research Opportunities and Funding

• Look below to find summer and term-time Harvard research opportunities on campus and abroad. • For summer programs at other sites, see Summer Programs Away in the tab on the right. • For selected undergraduate science research opportunities at Harvard, see the Undergraduates: Open Research Positions & Projects  tab on the right.

  • Funding For Research at Harvard
  • Research Away Harvard Programs

Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (BCMP) Summer Scholars Program Brigham Research Institute Undergraduate Internships Broad Institute at Harvard Summer Program CARAT Cell Biology Research Scholars Program (CRSP) Center for Astrophysics Solar Research Experience for Undergraduates Program CURE, Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center DaRin Butz Research Internship Program on Biology of Plants and Climate Ernst Mayer Travel Grants in Animal Systematics E3 Evolution, Ecology and Environment REU Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program Harvard College Funding Sources Database Harvard College Research Program (HCRP) Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology Harvard Global Health Institute Funding for Independent Projects and Internships Harvard Global Health Institute Cordeiro Summer Research Fellowship Harvard Global Health Institute Domestic and Global Health Fellowships  Harvard Medical School Undergraduate Summer Internship in Systems Biology Harvard Multidisciplinary International Research Training (MIRT) Program Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology HST Summer Institute Harvard Origins of Life Initiative Harvard School of Public Health Summer Program in Biological Sciences Harvard School of Public Health Summer Program in Biostatistics & Computational Biology Harvard Stem Cell Institute Harvard Student Employment Office Harvard Summer Research Program in Kidney Medicine Harvard University Center for the Environment Undergraduate Fund Herchel Smith-Harvard Undergraduate Science Research Program (any science area) International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) McLean Hospital Mental Health Summer Research Program MCZ Grants-in-Aid for Undergraduate Research MGH Orthopedic Trauma Undergraduate Summer Program MGH Summer Research Trainee Program MGHfC Digestive Disease Summer Research Program Microbial Sciences Initiative Mind, Brain, Behavior Summer Thesis Award PRISE (any science or engineering area) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Summer Institute in Biomedical Informatics, HMS Summer Program in Epidemiology, HSPH STARS - Summer Training in Academic Research Training and Scholarship Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard Summer Research Program, Division of Newborn Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital Summer Undergraduate Research in Global Health (SURGH) Radcliffe Institute Research Partnership Program Ragon Institute Summer Program The Arnold Arboretum The Joey Hanzich Memorial Undergraduate Travel and Research Fellowship Undergraduate Research in Mathematics Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Oceanography Undergraduate Summer Immunology Program at Harvard Medical School Undergraduate Summer Research in Physics

Harvard College Funding Sources Database  - Database of both Harvard and outside funding sources for a variety of educational purposes, including research. Additional database:  

The  Harvard Student Employment Office  manages a Jobs Database , the Faculty Aide Program  and the Federal Work Study Program . All of these programs may offer student research assistant opportunities. The site also provides information about Job Search Resources  and Research Opportunities .

  CARAT  – CARAT (Common Application for Research and Travel) is used by all the major funding sources at Harvard.

Harvard College Research Program (HCRP)  – Summer (or term time) stipend. Applications from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships at 77 Dunster Street.

Deadlines:   Fall term funding: 12 noon (EST), Tuesday, September 14, 2021 Spring term funding: 12 noon (EST), Tuesday, February 1, 2022 Summer funding: 12 noon (EST), Tuesday, March 22, 2022  [TENTATIVE]

Late applications  will not  be accepted for term-time or summer cycles.

Conference funding: rolling application deadline

Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard

The Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard (SROH) program connects undergraduates interested in a PhD with first-class researchers working in the life and physical sciences, humanities, and social sciences. This program is offered through GSAS and the  Leadership Alliance .

During this 10-week program, SROH interns conduct research and participate in discussions with Cambridge-based Harvard faculty, build their presentation and research discussion skills, and take part in field trips with other Harvard summer programs. Students in the program live in Harvard housing and enjoy access to the outstanding resources of the university.

Note that we also have funding for students interested in  atmospheric sciences  as part of the NSF-supported International Partnership in Cirrus Studies project.  Please see for information on participating faculty. Research focuses on modeling and measurement of high-altitude clouds.

PRISE  – The Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) is a summer residential community of Harvard undergraduates conducting research in science or engineering. By the application deadline students must be progressing toward finding a lab or research group but do not need to have finalized their research group or project. Participants must be in residence and be active participants for the entire duration of this ten week program.

Deadline:  Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at 12:00 noon (EST)

Herchel Smith-Harvard Undergraduate Science Research Program  – Primarily directed toward students intending to pursue research-intensive concentrations and post-graduate study in the sciences. Undergraduate research either at Harvard or elsewhere, including internationally. Applications from the  Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships .

Deadline:  Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 12:00 noon (EST) via CARAT

Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program  -- The Amgen Scholars Program at Harvard is a 10-week faculty-mentored residential summer research program  in biotechnology for sophomores (with four quarters or three semesters of college experience), juniors, or non-graduating seniors (who are returning in the fall to continue undergraduate studies)

Deadline : Tuesday, February 1, 2022, 12 noon

Harvard Origins of Life Initiative

Research Grants:   Harvard undergraduates can apply for grants to support their research during the academic year.

Summer Undergraduate Program:  Summer Undergraduate Research Grants are available for undergraduates working in Origins member faculty  on Origins-related projects. Possible research areas include astronomy, astrophysics, chemical biology, geophysics, chemistry, genetics, and earth and planetary sciences. 

iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) team  - The iGEM team is a research experience targeted toward undergraduates interested in synthetic biology and biomolecular engineering. 

Mind, Brain, Behavior  – Summer Thesis Awards for rising seniors in the MBB track. Applications through MBB.

If interested, contact Shawn Harriman in March of your junior year.

Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) Internship Program (HIP) – for students interested in stem cell biology research. Students conduct research in labs affiliated with the HSCI. Accepted students are matched with a research laboratory group. or any college or university across the United States and internationally.  Harvard University will sponsor the visas for international students who are selected for this program.

Deadline:  Feb 7, 2022

Harvard Summer Research Program in Kidney Medicine (HSRPKM) - an introduction to nephrology (kidney medicine) for the undergraduates considering career paths spanning science and medicine. The Program includes nephrology divisions of four Harvard-affiliated hospitals – Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Boston’s Children’s Hospital (BCH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Deadline : check the program website:

BCMP Summer Scholars Program at Harvard University is organized by the The Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (BCMP) at Harvard Medical School. This 10-week program is open to both Harvard undergraduates and to students from other colleges and universities. Students must be authorized to work in the United States.

Deadline: contact program for details

Undergraduate Summer Immunology Program at Harvard Medical School  - a ten week summer research internship with a stipend. The program consists of laboratory research, lectures, and workshops and is open to Harvard undergraduates and students from other colleges and universities. Applicants must be eligible for employment in the US.

Deadline: contact program 

Microbial Sciences Initiative  - Summer research with Harvard Faculty. Email applications to  Dr. Karen Lachmayr .

Deadline:  contact program

Summer Undergraduate Research in Global Health (SURGH)  offers Harvard undergraduates the opportunity to research critical issues in global health under the direction of a Harvard faculty or affiliate mentor. Students in SURGH receive housing in the Harvard Undergraduate Research Village and a stipend for living expenses. The summer savings requirement is also provided for students who are on financial aid. Throughout the summer, participants in SURGH have the opportunity to interact with students in the other on-campus research programs. 

Domestic and Global Health Fellowships (DGHI)  offers Harvard undergraduates the opportunity to work in field-based and office-based internships in both US health policy and global health. Sites can be domestic or international. Students receive a stipend to cover travel expenses to and from their site, living expenses, and local transportation. Unfortunately DGHI cannot cover the summer savings requirement for students who are on financial aid. 

Harvard Global Health Institute Funding for Independent Projects and Internships

Funding for projects in the United States and abroad.

Deadline: contact program

The Joey Hanzich Memorial Undergraduate Travel and Research Fellowship  provides up to $5000 to a rising junior or rising senior enrolled in the Secondary Field in Global Health and Health Policy (or another field) who pursues a summer internship, project or research in health policy or global health, either in the United States or abroad.

Cordeiro Summer Research Fellowship Registered GHHP students may apply for a Cordeiro Summer Research Fellowship for the summer before their senior year. Each year 12 to 15 fellowships allow students to get a head start on their senior theses or research projects related to global health or health policy without incurring major costs to themselves.

Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology HST Summer Institute  - The HST Summer Institute offers hands-on research experience for undergraduates in two areas of study: Biomedical Informatics and Biomedical Optics . Participating institutions include the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Department of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School.

Deadline : contact program

MCZ Grants-in-Aid for Undergraduate Research  -The Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), the Harvard University Herbaria (HUH), and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University (AA) award small grants in support of faculty-supervised research by Harvard College undergraduates.

Deadlines:  contact program

Ernst Mayer Travel Grants in Animal Systematics

Proposals are reviewed two times a year. 

The Arnold Arboretum : Fellowships are available to support undergraduate research

  • Ashton Award for Student Research
  • Cunin / Sigal Research Award
  • Deland Award for Student Research
  • Shiu-Ying Hu Student/Postdoctoral Exchange Award
  • Summer Short Course in Organismic Plant Biology
  • Arnold Arboretum Genomics Initiative and Sequencing Award
  • Jewett Prize
  • Sargent Award for Visiting Scholars
  • Sinnott Award

Living Collections Fellowship  – Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Hunnewell Internships  – Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Summer Short Course in Organismic Plant Biology Harvard Forest Summer Research Program in Ecology  - The Harvard Forest Summer Research (REU) program is an intensive 11-week residential research and education experience at the Harvard Forest, a 3,700-acre outdoor laboratory and classroom in central Massachusetts. Students conduct research on the effects of natural and human disturbances on forest ecosystems, including global climate change, hurricanes, forest harvest, changing wildlife dynamics, and invasive species. The program includes a stipend, free housing, all meals, and the travel cost of one round trip to Harvard Forest. This program is open to not only Harvard undergraduates, but also students from all colleges and universities in the United States.

Harvard University Center for the Environment Undergraduate Fund  provides financial support for student research projects related to the environment. In the context of this program, 'environment' refers to understanding the relationships and balances of the natural and constructed world around us, with a particular emphasis on understanding how anthropogenic activities and policies affect the environment, including the intimate relationships between energy use and demand, environmental integrity and quality, human health, and climate change.  Two types of funding are available: 1) Funds for independent research (preference given to rising seniors seeking funds for senior honors thesis research) and 2) Research Assistantships (directed summer research experiences under Harvard faculty guidance). Award are intended to be applied towards living expenses (room, board), travel expenses related to research activities, and minor research expenses (for students doing independent research projects) for up to 10 weeks.  Awards are not intended to serve as a salary stipend for students. 

Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Oceanography : The Harvard Oceanography Committee has funding and fellowships for both term time and summer research. 

Harvard School of Public Health Summer Program in Biological Sciences -   This intensive 8 week laboratory-based biological research program is for undergraduates during the summer following their sophomore or junior years.

Additional programs at the HSPH:

  • Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program (SHURP)  – for undergraduate students outside of Harvard
  • Additional summer programs  – for undergraduate students outside of Harvard
  • Additional summer programs  – for undergraduate students at Harvard
  • Boston-based undergraduate students looking for coop or other research internship positions are encouraged to contact faculty members directly.

STARS - Summer Training in Academic Research Training and Scholarship  - provides underrepresented minority (URM) medical and undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in exciting basic, clinical and translational research projects during the summer at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS). Housing and stipend provided.

Radcliffe Institute Research Partnership Program  -- The Radcliffe Institute Research Partnership Program matches students with leading artists, scholars, scientists, and professionals. Radcliffe Fellows act as mentors and students provide research assistance, acquire valuable research skills, and participate in the Institute’s rich intellectual life.

Harvard School of Public Health Summer Program in Biostatistics & Computational Biology

The Summer Program is a relatively intensive 6-week program, during which qualified participants receive an interesting and enjoyable introduction to biostatistics, epidemiology, and public health research. This program is designed to expose undergraduates to the use of quantitative methods for biological, environmental, and medical research. 

MGH Summer Research Trainee Program

The goal of the MGH Summer Research Trainee Program (SRTP) is to inspire students who are underrepresented in medicine (URM) to consider careers in academic medicine by immersing them in cutting-edge research opportunities. Each summer, fifteen students are selected from a nationwide competition to join SRTP. Each student is assigned to a specific MGH laboratory, clinical site, health policy, or health services research area where they undertake an original research project under the mentorship and guidance of a Mass General Hospital (MGH) investigator. Assignments are carefully considered and are made with the student's research and career interests in mind. In addition to this unique research experience, students will gain knowledge through weekly didactic seminars, both at the MGH and at Harvard Medical School, attend career development workshops and networking event, and have opportunities for clinical shadowing.

Application deadline:  contact program

MGHfC Digestive Disease Summer Research Program

Massachusetts General Hospital for Children (MGHfC) Digestive Disease Summer Research Program provides support for 10 students at the undergraduate or medical school level. Each student will be matched with a research mentor to perform an independent research project focused on digestive diseases over a 10-week period during the summer months within a laboratory or collaborating laboratory of the MGHfC. MGHfC collaborating laboratories at MGH possess unique expertise in engineering and computational sciences in support of various projects centered on digestive disease research. 

Contact: Bryan P. Hurley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor & Program Director, Mucosal Immunology & Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School,  [email protected] ,

Broad Institute at Harvard Summer Program

Broad Summer Research Program BSRP is a nine-week undergraduate research program designed for students with an interest in genomics and a commitment to research. Students spend the summer in a laboratory at the Broad Institute, engaged in rigorous scientific research under the guidance of experienced scientists and engineers. Underrepresented minority students enrolled in a four-year college are eligible to apply.

Broad Summer Scholars Program BSSP invites a small number of exceptional and mature high school students with a keen interest in science to spend six weeks at the Broad Institute, working side-by-side with scientists in the lab on cutting-edge research. Rising seniors who live within commuting distance to the Broad Institute are eligible to apply.

DaRin Butz Research Internship Program   The program gives undergraduates in the life sciences a unique opportunity to experience research from start to finish while gaining training and connections among scientific colleagues. DaRin Butz Interns will not only conduct research, but will also develop their project with their advisors and be guided through the process of sharing their research through written reports and oral presentations, an important component of scientific research.

MGH Orthopedic Trauma Undergraduate Summer Program

The Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Service provides number of undergraduate opportunities:

Orthopedic Internship

This internship is for undergraduate and graduate/medical students who are looking for exposure to Orthopaedic clinical and basic research.

Orthopedic Trauma Undergraduate Summer Internship

Our program is intended for undergraduates interested in healthcare careers. Our interns are introduced to the hospital experience through orthopedic research and observation.

Women's Sports Medicine Summer Internship Program

Learn more about this month long internship open to medical and premedical students.

Summer Research Program, Division of Newborn Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital

Summer Student Research Program sponsored by the Harvard Program in Neonatology, an academic program which includes Boston Children's Hospital (BCH) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). The objective of the Summer Student Research Program is to provide motivated students with an intensive laboratory and clinical research experience under the guidance of Faculty and Fellow mentors from the Academic Program. The Summer Program experience includes:

Brigham Research Institute Undergraduate Internships

The internship programs hosted by the Brigham Research Institute provides undergraduate students with a focused and challenging summer research experience in a cutting-edge science laboratory. Interns will have the opportunity to obtain a research training experience in a laboratory or research setting at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Deadlines: check program website

Undergraduate Summer Research in Physics

Undergraduate Research in Mathematics

CURE, Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center

The CURE program introduces scientifically curious high school and college students from groups currently underrepresented in the sciences to the world of cancer research. Students are placed in laboratories and research environments at the seven DF/HCC member institutions: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as research environments at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Ragon Institute Summer Program

The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard brings together scientists and engineers from diverse fields to better understand the immune system and support human health. 

Deadline: check program website

Harvard Medical School Undergraduate Summer Internship in Systems Biology

The Undergraduate Summer Internship is our headline program enabling undergraduate students to collaborate with our researchers, as well as their own peers, through Harvard's Quantitative Biology Initiative and the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. ​Participants work in our labs, gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art tools, learn cutting-edge scientific techniques in our dynamic research environment. Students interested in pursuing a PhD or MD/PhD, and students from under-represented minorities or disadvantaged backgrounds, are especially encouraged to apply.  

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS)  Research Experience for Undergraduates  (REU) is a 10-week program that introduces undergraduates to bioengineering, materials research, nanoscience, and engineering while providing a coordinated, educational, and dynamic research community that inspires them to seek a graduate degree. 

Center for Astrophysics Solar Research Experience for Undergraduates Program

Scientists from the Solar and Stellar X-Ray Group (SSXG) and the Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Group (SSP) at the  Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics  (CfA) host undergraduate students from around the US. Please visit the  website for more information .

E3 Evolution, Ecology and Environment REU

We are seeking rising sophomores, juniors and seniors majoring in the life sciences who would like to join a new Research Experience for Undergraduates program based in the  Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB)  at Harvard University. Members of the program will enjoy cutting edge research experiences within the context of a strong mentorship community made up of faculty, graduate students, and peers. In addition, members will participate in a professional development program that is aimed at preparing students for the graduate school application process, building confidence to succeed in graduate school, and exploring long-term career opportunities. These professional development activities will include attendance of the annual  Leadership Alliance National Symposium  (LANS) research and mentoring conference. The E3 REU is part of a larger umbrella program, hosted by the Harvard GSAS  Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard (SROH) .

Program website: 

Harvard Multidisciplinary International Research Training (MIRT) Program

The 10-week  Systems Biology Summer Internship Program  enables interns to work on research projects spanning many scientific fields, including systems biology, biophysics, bioinformatics, genomics, applied mathematics, and computation. 

McLean Hospital Mental Health Summer Research Program

This competitive program seeks to  engage scientific curiosity ,  create research opportunities , and  promote academic success in mental health fields  for promising young  Black, Indigenous and underrepresented People of Color (BIPOC) interested in science .  We had our first, very successful MMHRSP last summer, and applications are now open for next summer. MMHRSP is an intensive, 10-week, full-time mental health/neuroscience research experience at McLean Hospital. McLean is the primary psychiatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and is located in Belmont, MA ( ).  Chosen Fellows will receive a $7,000 stipend for the 10-week program.

Cell Biology Research Scholars Program (CRSP)

The Cell Biology Research Scholars Program  provides a 10-week full-time research opportunity to undergraduate students with a passion for scientific discovery and fundamental biology. Students will be hosted by faculty investigators to work on cutting-edge research projects and participate in training workshops and mentoring activities in preparation for a productive scientific research career.

Summer Institute in Biomedical Informatics , now entering its 15th year, is a 9-week full-time extensive research opportunity with a curriculum including didactic lectures, clinical case studies, a mentored research project, and presentation of findings. 

The  Summer Program in Epidemiology  at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is an intensive 5-week program that integrates mathematics and quantitative methods to provide students with an understanding of the skills and processes necessary to pursue a career in public health. 

Biodiversity of Hispaniola Booth Fund Fellowship Cognitive Neurosciences at the University of Trento, Italy Darwin and the Origins of Evolutionary Biology, Oxford, England David Rockefeller International Experience Grant Harvard-Bangalore Science Initiative Harvard Summer School Study Abroad in the Sciences HCRP Herchel Smith-Harvard Undergraduate Science Research Program International Summer Undergraduate Research in Global Health (I-SURGH) RIKEN Center for Allergy and Immunology, Japan RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan Rosenkrantz Travel Grants Study Abroad in Paris, France The Office of Career Services (OCS) awards Undergraduate Research in Engineering and Applied Sciences Undergraduate Research in Mathematics Undergraduate Summer Research in Physics Weissman International Internship

Harvard Summer School Study Abroad in the Sciences

In 2015 Harvard Summer School Science Study Abroad programs will be offered in the Dominican Republic, England, Italy, France, and Japan. See below for links to information on each of these programs.

Darwin and the Origins of Evolutionary Biology  - Oxford, England.

Prerequisites:  None. Apply through Harvard Summer School.

Information:   Andrew Berry

RIKEN Center for Allergy and Immunology  - Yokohama, Japan.

Laboratory research in immunology. Students will also receive some Japanese language training. Apply through Harvard Summer School.

Accepted students may apply to the  Reischauser Institute  for scholarships to help defray the costs of the program.

RIKEN Brain Science Institute  – Laboratory Research in Neurobiology, Tokyo, Japan.

Prerequisites:  Neurobiology of Behavior (MCB 80) or Animal Behavior (OEB 50); laboratory experience preferred but not required. Apply through Harvard Summer School.

Biodiversity of Hispaniola  - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  This six-week course covers basic prinicples of ecology, evolution, and island biogeography in the context of the diversity of habitats and organisms on the island of Hispaniola.

Prerequisites:  course work in biology

Information:   Brian Farrell  

Cognitive Neurosciences at the University of Trento  - Trento, Italy

This eight-week program at the University of Trento, Italy, organized by the Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative, provides students a unique opportunity to study the mind/brain. Taught by leaders in the fields of neuroscience and cognitive science, the program includes daily, hands-on, laboratory sessions (e.g., neuroimaging demos) and Italian language classes, all while surrounded by the breathtaking Italian Alps.

Information:   Alfonso Caramazza

Study Abroad in Paris, France

Biology and the evolution of Paris as a Smart City.

Information:  Robert Lue

  • Bangalore, India;  The Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research  (JNCASR)
  • National Centre of Biological Sciences  (NCBS)
  • The Indian Institute of Science  (IISc) 

Note:  This is not a Harvard Summer School Program. 

Prerequisites:  Introductory coursework in basic biology, chemistry, physics, and math.

Information:   Venkatesh N. Murthy  or   Ryan Draft

International Summer Undergraduate Research in Global Health (I-SURGH)  I-SURGH offers Harvard undergraduates the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge global health research in an international setting. Students in I-SURGH receive a stipend to cover travel costs to and from their site, living expenses, and local transportation. Unfortunately Harvard Global Health Institute cannot cover the summer savings requirement for I-SURGH students who are on financial aid.  Once accepted to their site, participants in I-SURGH meet with a Harvard faculty member to develop a project that falls within the research agenda of the site. Throughout the summer, students work with a local mentor who supervises their daily work. While all returning Harvard College undergraduates are eligible to apply for an I-SURGH placement, preference is given to sophomores and juniors. 

The Office of Career Services (OCS) awards funding for research abroad, including both Harvard Summer School Study Abroad and non-Harvard International programs.  The  David Rockefeller International Experience Grant , which is a need-based grant aimed at students who have not previously received Harvard international funding, supports many of these awards. Award amounts vary. The purpose of the grant is to afford all students the opportunity to take part in a significant international experience, regardless of financial background. See the  Office of Career Services Summer Funding webpage  for more information.

Herchel Smith-Harvard Undergraduate Science Research Program  – Primarily directed toward students intending to pursue research-intensive concentrations and post-graduate study in the sciences. Undergraduate research either at Harvard or elsewhere, including internationally. Applications from the  Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships .

Harvard College Research Program (HCRP) – Summer stipend that can be applied towards travel expenses. Applications from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships at 77 Dunster Street.

Weissman International Internship  – Research abroad for returning Harvard undergraduates. Average award ~$4000. More information and applications available through OCS.

Deadline:   See the  Office of Careers Summer Funding webpage

Booth Fund Fellowship  - For seniors to engage in a program of travel, study, research or observation that will further expand and challenge an existing interest in a particular field. 

Rosenkrantz Travel Grants

This grant program is exclusively for concentrators in History and Science.  It allows motivated rising juniors  (who have completed sophomore tutorial) and who are concentrating in history and science to devise a short but meaningful plan of travel and academic discovery in the United States or abroad. This grant program may serve as the first stage of research towards a senior thesis or junior research paper, but there is no requirement that it do so. The only requirement is a sincere passion for adventure and exploration, and a willingness to prepare well for the experience.

Please visit the Department of Physics webpage for more information:

Please visit the Harvard Mathematics Department webpage for more information:

Undergraduate Research in Engineering and Applied Sciences

Please visit SEAS website for more information:

David Rockefeller International Experience Grant The David Rockefeller International Experience Grants were established in 2009 by David Rockefeller SB ’36, LLD ’69 to give students the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of the world beyond the U.S. or their home country, and to learn about other countries and peoples by spending time immersed in another culture. The purpose of the grant is to afford all students the opportunity to take part in a significant international experience, regardless of financial constraints.

A significant international experience may consist of:

  • summer study abroad programs
  • internships and service projects
  • research assistantships (under the direction of a principle investigator)
  • experiential learning projects.
  • Harvard-affiliated Labs
  • Undergraduates: Open Research Positions & Projects
  • Harvard Wintersession & Winter Recess
  • Summer Programs Away
  • Underrepresented Minority Fellowships
  • Post-Bac Job Listings
  • Post-Bac Resources
  • Transportation for Researchers
  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities (HUROS) Fair
  • Undergraduate Research Spotlight
  • Resume Template & Proposal Tips
  • Lab Citizenship
  • Research Ethics and Lab Safety
  • Conference Presentation Grants
  • Research Advising - Contact Us!

12 Chemistry Research and Passion Project Ideas For High School Students

science research projects for students

By Alex Yang

Graduate student at Southern Methodist University

8 minute read

Chemistry is much more than just a subject taught in classrooms, it's also the science that explains the world at the molecular level. For students with an interest in experimentation, the elements that make up our universe, and a desire to dive deeper into careers like nutrition, medicine, environmental science, or energy, creating a chemistry passion project can be a valuable journey. A unique aspect of a chemistry passion project is that it has the flexibility to be more research oriented, or more hands-on and experimental.

In this article, we’ll dive into chemistry research and passion project ideas that you can either try to execute on your own or use as inspiration for a project you design. We’ll also cover how you can decide which project or topic to focus on, and navigate the diverse range of ideas within the field of chemistry.

Finding Your Chemistry Passion Project Focus

There are many different directions you can take with your chemistry passion project, so first it’s important to sit down and think through what specific topics within chemistry you’re interested in. Maybe you’re more interested in the medical side of chemistry, or perhaps you’re intrigued by the environmental science applications of chemistry. If you find yourself in that position, great! You can choose to dive deeper into any of those interests. 

After you’ve found some initial passion project ideas , the easiest step from there is just to Google or YouTube those topics and start learning more about them. You’ll find that as you start to conduct preliminary research into a few ideas, one will start to stand out to you more.

12 Chemistry Passion Project Ideas

1. what's in my water .

Most water contains heavy metal ions such as copper, iron, and zinc. Not all metal ions are bad but at high concentrations they can be unsafe. In this project you could collect water samples within your community and measure the metal ion levels such as ferric and ferrous water. Research techniques for how to accurately measure metal ion levels in water. In this project, you’ll learn more analytical chemistry techniques and explore a question relevant to public health.

Idea by chemistry research mentor Grace

2. Ocean acidification 

As the world moves towards global warming, we are seeing increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This constantly shifts the equilibrium of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the ocean, forming an acidic compound that results in lowering the pH of the ocean gradually. This can have detrimental effects on organisms that live there. This project could be used to do a deeper dive into the acidification rate of the ocean and examine potential impacts to specific organisms living in the ocean.

Idea by chemistry research mentor Janson

3. Metals for life 

If asked about metals important to life, chances are iron and calcium would first come to mind, as they are important parts of our blood and bones. There are many more metals that are needed for essential biological functions, however. In this project you will dive into scientific literature to learn about different life metals, find out what their roles are in biology, and learn what kind of life forms need them. You will also learn about the newest addition to the life metals - the lanthanides. Then, choose one life metal and review two recent scientific articles involving your metal of choice. Finally, generate a description of the metal's function in biology. Your creativity is the limit as to how you show the importance of metals for life.

Idea by chemistry research mentor Nathan

4. Sustainable chemical production 

Most chemicals in our world today are produced with petrochemical feedstocks (e.g., oil, natural gas). Research and discuss the possibility for replacing the petrochemical feedstock with a renewable one, such as biomass. What are the current realistic options? Which chemicals can be (and are already) produced with renewable feedstocks and which chemicals will be more difficult or require more research to produce sustainably?

Idea by chemistry research mentor James

5. Sleep medication: a bottle of lies or a bottle of dreams? 

There are many drugs and other substances (such as melatonin) that are prescribed to people that have issues sleeping. However many of these medications have mixed efficacy and it is unknown exactly what they do. This project could revolve around investigating a currently known drug/ substance (e.g., Ambien, melatonin), and researching how the drug affects the brain and its efficacy. You could also investigate potential future sleep therapies that could have better results than the current sleep drug market. Another potential route is developing a survey to determine how well these drugs are helping people sleep.

Idea by chemistry research mentor Sean

6. All about rubber

Polymers are some of the most relevant and impactful materials for everyday life, and the basis of all polymer science lies in understanding the structure-property relationships present in these macromolecules. In this project, you will gain a better understanding of the chemical and mechanical properties of rubber, an extremely familiar yet remarkably unique polymeric material. Through either hands-on experimentation or an in-depth literature review, you will research the chemical structure of rubber in order to understand the effect of temperature and vulcanization on its mechanical behavior. 

Idea by chemistry research mentor Sarah

7. Battery storage 

Batteries are proving to be a great way to store large amounts of energy from intermittent renewable sources. This project could involve researching current battery technologies and showing through graphs or some other visual representation of how much battery storage a city (or state/province) would need to run 100% off of renewable sources.

Idea by chemistry research mentor Landon

8. Designing a chemical production process 

In this project, a student will work on designing a chemical production process for a chemical. They would research the chemical reaction, learn about the critical research and engineering decisions that go into engineering a process, and propose a design for a more efficient manufacturing route.

Idea by chemistry research mentor Lucas

9. Water absorbent polymers for home gardening 

You'll conduct experiments and/or conduct surveys to determine what commercially-available water absorbent polymers are useful and cost-effective for home gardeners and write a research paper summarizing your results. You'll dive into polymer and agriculture science while also learning core research skills.

10. Why do some people respond differently to diabetes treatments?

Approximately 37 million Americans have diabetes . However, the response to diabetes treatment can be variable as a result of the many mutations. Using published literature and online databases, identify the most common type 2 diabetes medications and the genetic mutations that cause differential responses to these medications.

Idea by chemistry research mentor Geralle

11. Understanding novel non-opioid pain therapies 

Opioids, though very effective in managing specific pain states, are extremely dangerous and can often lead to overdose. The dual chronic pain and opioid epidemic outline the need for novel, non-opioid therapies to treat pain. In this project, you can look to understand more about current opioid shortcomings, the landscape of emerging pain therapies, and the future of pain management in the United States.

Idea by chemistry research mentor David

12. Is nuclear energy worth pursuing? 

The world faces a climate crisis, one in which immediate and drastic action is needed. Promising technologies such as nuclear power have faced public opposition and regulatory hurdles for years. Explore whether it is technically viable (i.e., is it better than other energy generation techniques?) and practically acceptable (i.e., is it safe and what are the long-term consequences?) to pursue nuclear energy.

Idea by chemistry research mentor Uday

How to Showcase Your Chemistry Passion Project

After you’ve put in all the hard work of researching and learning new skills, it’s also equally important to decide how you want to showcase your project . You can see that in many of the project ideas above, there is a clear topic of focus but the final product of the project is open-ended. You could try to publish a research paper, create a podcast or video, or even create an informative blog or website. You’ll find that although many project ideas may feel like they should culminate in a paper, many actually lend themselves well to another form of showcasing. Try to be creative and showcase your work in a way that feels authentic to you!

Examples of Chemistry Passion Projects Completed by Polygence Students

There are several chemistry passion projects created by Polygence students that we want to highlight and show for inspiration! 

Nicolette was able to explore how diseases like typhoid, malaria, and COVID-19 are cured using African herbal remedies and why the field is declining, culminating in a research paper and blog post. 

Natasha’s project explored how the inclusion of specific enzymes in sunscreen can help people with UV-induced skin diseases. Natasha’s project was presented in the form of a review paper.

Want to start a project of your own?

Click below to get matched with one of our expert mentors who can help take your project off the ground!

In this article, we covered how to find a chemistry passion project that interests you and shared 12 different research and passion project ideas from our extensive network of research mentors. Of course, these are just a few of many different potential chemistry project ideas, and we encourage you to be curious and explore chemistry project ideas beyond this list.

If you’re interested in pursuing a chemistry passion project, Polygence’s programs are a great place to start and learn from excellent mentors.

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Do Your Own Research Through Polygence

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8 Must-Have NASA Resources for Science Teachers in 2024

No one can bring the excitement of Earth and space science to the classroom like NASA! 

Launch your lessons to the next level with these eight essential resources for K-12 teachers:

A classroom photo with seated children focused on their teacher standing at the front of the room. The walls are filled with colorful projects, artwork and decorations.

Experience the Total Solar Eclipse 

Whether you’re on or off the path of totality ( find out here !), we’ve put together this guide to help you explore live and virtual opportunities from NASA’s Science Activation Program for safely enjoying the eclipse and even contributing as a volunteer to do NASA Eclipse science.

An Out-of-this-world Biology Project

Growing Beyond Earth® (GBE) is a classroom-based citizen science project for middle and high school students about growing plants in space. Curricular materials and resources help you introduce your students to space plant biology and prepare them to participate in the program, through which students have the opportunity to present their findings to NASA Researchers. Materials in English and Spanish .

Interact with Real Cosmic Data and Imagery

Data Stories are interactives for high school students that showcase new science imagery and data for a variety of out of this world topics. Ideas for exploration and scientific highlights are included with every story through accompanying video and text.

Adaptive Learning and Creative Tools from Infiniscope

Empowering educators to develop next-generation, digital, adaptive learning experiences, Infiniscope provides free content and creative tools to educators who want to personalize learning for their middle and high school students. Join their network and get started here .  

STEM Literacy through the Lens of NASA 

NASA eClips provides educators with standards-based videos, educator guides, engineering design packets, and student opportunities for students in grades 3 to 12 . Offerings cover a wide variety of topics that include energy, the Moon, clouds, sound, and more!

All Learners can be Scientists and Engineers

NASA missions are a perfect way to bring together science and engineering. In PLANETS units , learners in grades 3-8 engineer technologies like optical filters and use them to answer scientific questions like "Where was water on Mars?" Activities emphasize NASA planetary science and engineering and are designed to empower all learners and show that they can be scientists and engineers. 

Standards-Aligned Digital Resources for Grades K-12

Engage K–12 students with phenomena and science practices with this collection of supplementary digital media resources from GBH aligned with key NGSS Earth, space, and physical science disciplinary core ideas. To ensure that science content is accessible for all students, supports are included for students with disabilities or who are English learners.

Kids Explore Earth and Space with NASA!

NASA’s Space Place helps upper-elementary-aged kids learn space and Earth science through fun games, hands-on activities, art challenges, informative articles, and engaging short videos. With material in both English and Spanish and resources for teachers and parents , NASA Space Place has something for everyone. 

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Want to explore even more resources? NASA’s Science Activation (SciAct) program offers Learning and Educational Activities and Resources from NASA Science that invite learners of all ages to participate!

science research projects for students

During the 2024 solar eclipse, Texans will aid a national research effort to study the sun

Editor’s note: This story is part of The Dallas Morning News’ coverage of the 2024 total solar eclipse. For more, visit .

DALLAS -- On a sunny February day at Dallas’ Frontiers of Flight Museum , a cluster of students lifted telescope equipment out of a bulky briefcase. A sticker on the case read: “stand back — we’re going to science!”

Using a compass and a spool of green thread for alignment, the students fastened their telescope on top of a tripod with the sun framed in view.

On April 8, they’ll set up the telescope again, this time on a riverbank 140 miles south of Dallas. They’ll be capturing images of the total solar eclipse , when the moon will appear to completely block the sun, causing a brief period of darkness called totality.

Their work will contribute to a national research project called the Citizen Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse 2024 experiment, or CATE 2024. Led by the Southwest Research Institute, and funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA, the project will task crews of volunteers with handling 35 telescopes along the U.S. path of totality, with four in North Texas.

Citizen science efforts like this one will take place across the country during the eclipse, and are designed to bring scientific research out of the ivory tower.

“An understanding of science is good for everybody,” said Amir Caspi, an astrophysicist at the Southwest Research Institute who is leading this year’s project. “Breaking down that disconnect between scientists and everybody else is really important.”

Studying the sun

The Citizen CATE project aims to broaden scientists’ understanding of the star that guides our existence on Earth.

“The sun is basically the reason that everything’s alive,” Caspi said. “But it’s also the reason that everything could be dead.”

The sun has a complex magnetic field that can get stressed or tangled, leading to solar flares and storms that may disrupt power grids, obscure GPS signals and cause satellites to go offline.

To predict these solar events, researchers want to gain a better understanding of the sun’s magnetic field. One way they do so is by studying the corona, the sun’s hot outer atmosphere where charged electrons bounce along magnetic field lines.

A total solar eclipse offers a rare opportunity to glimpse the corona with the naked eye during totality. The corona can get as hot as 2 million degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s not as bright as the surface of the sun, which we see during the day.

This year’s CATE project evolves the original 2017 experiment by measuring polarization: the direction that sunlight waves “wave” as they scatter in the corona. Analyzing polarization data can help scientists learn about the corona’s 3D structure.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to watch the sun’s corona change,” said Pat Reiff, an astronomy professor at Rice University who is overseeing several Texas CATE teams.

Breaking barriers to science

The North Texas CATE teams are a mix of students, teachers, community members and retirees. Learners young and old will work together to capture the sun’s corona at four sites along the eclipse’s path.

Jo Lin Gowing, a mechanical engineering professor at LeTourneau University, found out about the project from a university chat server. She saw a solar eclipse in college and thought the CATE project would be a great way for her students to learn and interact with the broader scientific community.

“People need to know what’s going on in the world around them,” she said.

The CATE project is one of many citizen science projects getting communities involved with eclipse research.

Students and faculty at Western Kentucky University have designed an app called SunSketcher that will allow users to take images of the eclipse that will be used to measure the shape of the sun. Eclipse Megamovie , organized by researchers from Sonoma State University and UC Berkeley, is soliciting eclipse images to study the movements of hot plasma bursts called solar jets.

Such projects give anyone the opportunity to be a scientist without needing to buy expensive equipment. The telescope, camera and hardware each CATE team will use to collect the data cost about $8,000.

After the eclipse, the telescopes will stay with local communities to let the learning continue. . The CATE project will disseminate educational plans so that learners at Kemp High School, LeTourneau University and the Frontiers of Flight Museum can use the equipment to look at stars and planets.

Parker Jones, a junior at Kemp High School, heard about the CATE project from her robotics teacher. Her team’s telescope site is in a field south of Dallas near a cemetery and a peach farm.

On April 8, they’ll need to build it without in-person help from the CATE organizers — all while hoping clouds don’t cover the sun entirely.

“It seems like it would be stressful in the moment, having to get it right,” she said, “and knowing that other people will be looking forward to what you produce.”

Jones has always loved space and is looking forward to collecting data on eclipse day. She’s excited to witness a celestial event not just as a student, but as a scientist.

Adithi Ramakrishnan is a science reporting fellow at The Dallas Morning News. Her fellowship is supported by the University of Texas at Dallas. The News makes all editorial decisions.

©2024 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Billy House and Katy Kiser of Kemp High School, set up a telescope during a training session that members of the North Texas CATE team will be setting up to study the sun during the April 8 total solar eclipse, photographed here on Feb. 3, 2024, at Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas.

The Summer Cohort Regular Application Deadline I is April 14, 2024.  

Click here to apply.


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25+ Research Ideas in Computer Science for High School Students

As a high school student, you may be wondering how to take your interest in computer science to the next level. One way to do so is by pursuing a research project. By conducting research in computer science, you can deepen your understanding of this field, gain valuable skills, and make a contribution to the broader community. With more colleges going test-optional, a great research project will also help you stand out in an authentic way!

Research experience can help you develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. These skills are valuable not only in computer science but also in many other fields. Moreover, research experience can be a valuable asset when applying to college or for scholarships, as it demonstrates your intellectual curiosity and commitment to learning.

Ambitious high school students who are selected for the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs work on a research area of their interest and receive 1-1 mentorship by top Ph.D. scholars. Below, we share some of the research ideas that have been proposed by our research mentors – we hope they inspire you!

Topic 1: Generative AI

Tools such as ChatGPT,, StableDiffusion and NeuralText have taken the world by storm. But this is just one major application of what AI is capable of accomplishing. These are deep learning-based models , a field of computer science that is inspired by the structure of the human brain and tries to build systems that can learn! AI is a vast field with substantial overlaps with machine learning , with multiple intersections with disciplines such as medicine, art, and other STEM subjects. You could pick any of the following topics (as an example) on which to base your research.

1. Research on how to use AI systems to create tools that augment human skills. For example, how to use AI to create detailed templates for websites, apps, and all sorts of technical and non-technical documentation

2. Research on how to create multi-modal systems. For example, use AI to create a chatbot that can allow users Q&A capabilities on the contents of a podcast series, a television show, and a very diverse range of content.

3. Research on how to use AI to create tools that can do automated checks for quality and ease of understanding for student essays and other natural language tasks. This can help students quickly improve their writing skills by improving the feedback mechanism.

4. Develop a computer vision system to monitor wildlife populations in a specific region.

5. Investigate the use of computer vision in detecting and diagnosing medical conditions from medical images.

6. Extracting fashion trends (or insert any other observable here) from public street scene data (i.e. Google Street View, dash cam datasets, etc.)

Ideas by a Lumiere Mentor from Cornell University.

Topic 2: Data Science

As a budding computer scientist, you must have studied the importance of sound, accurate data that can be used by computer systems for multiple uses. A good example of data science used in education is tools that help calculate your chances of admission to a particular college. By collecting a small amount of data from you, and by comparing it with a much larger database that has been refined and updated regularly, these tools effectively use data science to calculate acceptance rates for students in a matter of seconds.

Another area is Natural Language Processing, or NLP, for short, aims to understand and improve machines' ability to understand and interpret human language. Be it the auto-moderation of content on Reddit, or developing more helpful, intuitive chatbots, you can pick any research idea that you're interested in.

You could pick one of the following, or related questions to study, that come under the umbrella of data science.

7. Develop a predictive model to forecast traffic congestion in your city.

8. Analyze the relationship between social media usage and mental health outcomes in a specific demographic.

9. Investigate the use of data analytics in reducing energy consumption in commercial buildings.

10. Develop a chatbot that can answer questions about a specific topic or domain, such as healthcare or sports.

11. Learn the different machine learning and natural language processing methods to categorize text (e.g. Amazon reviews) as positive or negative.

12. Investigate the use of natural language processing techniques in sentiment analysis of social media data.

Ideas by a Lumiere Mentor from the University of California, Irvine.

Topic 3: Robotics

A perfect research area if you're interested in both engineering and computer science , robotics is a vast field with multiple real-world applications. Robotics as a research area is a lot more hands-on than the other topics covered in this blog, so it's a good idea to make a note of all the possible tools, guides, time, and space that you may need for the following ideas. You can also pitch some of these ideas to your school if equipped with a robotics lab so that you can conduct your research in the safety of your school, and also receive guidance from your teachers!

13. Design and build a robot that can perform a specific task, such as picking up and stacking blocks.

14. Investigate the use of robots in medicine, such as high-precision surgical robots.

15. Develop algorithms to enable a robot to navigate and interact with an unfamiliar environment.

Ideas by a Lumiere Mentor from University College London.

Topic 4: Ethics in computer science

With the rapid development of technology, ethics has become a significant area of study. Ethical principles and moral values in computer science can relate to the design, development, use, and impact of computer systems and technology. It involves analyzing the potential ethical implications of new technologies and considering how they may affect individuals, society, and the environment. Some of the key ethical issues in computer science include privacy, security, fairness, accountability, transparency, and responsibility. If this sounds interesting, you could consider the following topics:

16. Investigate fairness in machine learning. There is growing concern about the potential for machine learning algorithms to perpetuate and amplify biases in data. Research in this area could explore ways to ensure that machine learning models are fair and do not discriminate against certain groups of people.

17. Study the energy consumption and carbon footprint of machine learning can have significant environmental impacts. Research in this area could explore ways to make machine learning more energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable.

18. Conduct Privacy Impact Assessments for a variety of tools for identifying and evaluating the privacy risks associated with a particular technology or system.

Topic 5: Game Development

According to statistics, the number of gamers worldwide is expected to hit 3.32 billion by 2024. This leaves an enormous demand for innovation and research in the field of game design, an exciting field of research. You could explore the field from multiple viewpoints, such as backend game development, analysis of various games, user targeting, as well as using AI to build and improve gaming models. If you're a gamer, or someone interested in game design, pursuing ideas like the one below can be a great starting point for your research -

19. Design and build a serious game that teaches users about a specific topic, such as renewable energy or financial literacy.

20. Analyze the impact of different game mechanics on player engagement and enjoyment.

21. Develop an AI-powered game that can adjust difficulty based on player skill level.

Topic 6: Cybersecurity

According to past research, there are over 2,200 attacks each day which breaks down to nearly 1 cyberattack every 39 seconds. In a world where digital privacy is of utmost importance, research in the field of cybersecurity deals with improving security in online platforms, spotting malware and potential attacks, and protecting databases and systems from malware and cybercrime is an excellent, relevant area of research. Here are a few ideas you could explore -

22. Investigate the use of blockchain technology in enhancing cybersecurity in a specific industry or application.

23. Apply ML to solve real-world security challenges, detect malware, and build solutions to safeguard critical infrastructure.

24. Analyze the effectiveness of different biometric authentication methods in enhancing cybersecurity.

Ideas by Lumiere Mentor from Columbia University

Topic 7: Human-Computer Interaction

Human-Computer Interaction, or HCI, is a growing field in the world of research. As a high school student, tapping into the various applications of HCI-based research can be a fruitful path for further research in college. You can delve into fields such as medicine, marketing, and even design using tools developed using concepts in HCI. Here are a few research ideas that you could pick -

25. Research the use of color in user interfaces and how it affects user experience.

26. Investigate the use of machine learning in predicting and improving user satisfaction with a specific software application.

27. Develop a system to allow individuals with mobility impairments to control computers and mobile devices using eye tracking.

28. Use tools like WAVE or WebAIM to evaluate the accessibility of different websites

Topic 8: Computer Networks

Computer networks refer to the communication channels that allow multiple computers and other devices to connect and communicate with each other. An advantage of conducting research in the field of computer networks is that these networks span from local, regional, and other small-scale networks to global networks. This gives you a great amount of flexibility while scoping out your research, enabling you to study a particular region that is accessible to you and is achievable in terms of time, resources, and complexity. Here are a few ideas -

29. Investigate the use of software-defined networking in enhancing network security and performance.

30. Develop a network traffic classification system to detect and block malicious traffic.

31. Analyze the effectiveness of different network topology designs in reducing network latency and congestion.

Topic 9: Cryptography

Cryptography is the practice of secure communication in the presence of third parties or adversaries. It uses mathematical algorithms and protocols to transform plain text into a form that is unintelligible to unauthorized users - the process known as encryption.

Cryptography has grown in uses - starting from securing communication over the internet, protecting sensitive information like passwords and financial transactions, and securing digital signatures and certificates.

32. Investigating side-channel attacks that exploit weaknesses in the physical implementation of cryptographic systems.

33. Research techniques that can enable secure and private machine learning using cryptographic methods.

Additional topics:

IoT: How can networked devices help us enrich human lives?

Computational Modeling: Using CS to model and study complex systems using math, physics, and computer science. Used for everything from weather forecasts, flight simulators, earthquake prediction, etc.

Parallel and distributed systems: Research into algorithms, operating systems and computer architectures built to operate in a highly parallelized manner and take advantage of large clusters of computing devices to perform highly specialized tasks. Used in data centers, supercomputers and by all major web-scale platforms like Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc.

UI/UX Design: Research into using design to improve all kinds of applications

Social Network Analysis: Exploring social structures through network and graph theory. Was used during COVID to make apps that can alert people about potential vectors of disease – be they places, events or people.

Optimization Techniques: optimization problems are common in all engineering disciplines, as well as AI and Machine Learning. Many of the common algorithms to solve them have been inspired by natural phenomena such as foraging behavior of ants or how birds naturally seem to be able to form large swarms that don’t crash into each other. This is a rich area of research that can help with innumerable problems across the disciplines.

Experimental Design: Research into the design and implementation of experimental procedures. Used in everything from Ai and Machine learning, to medicine, sociology, and most social and natural sciences.

Autonomous vehicle: Research into technical and non-technical aspects (user adoption, driver behavior) of self-driving cars

Augmented and Artificial Reality systems: Research into integrating AR to enhance and enrich everyday human experience. Augmenting gaming or augmented learning, for example.

Customized Hardware Research: Modern applications run on customized hardware. AI systems have their own architecture; crypto, its own. Modern systems have decoders built into your CPU, and this allows for highly compressed high quality video streams to play in real-time. Customized hardware is becoming increasingly critical for next-gen applications, from both a performance and an efficiency lens.

Database Systems: Research in the algorithms, systems, and architecture of database systems to enable effective storage, retrieval and usage of data of different types (text, image, sensor, streaming, etc) and sizes (small to petabytes)

Programming languages: Research into how computing languages translate human thought into machine code, and how the design of the language can significantly modify the kind of tools and applications that can be built in that language.

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology: Research into how computational methods can be applied to biological data such as cell populations, genetic sequences, to make predictions/discovery. Interdisciplinary field involving biology, modeling and simulation, and analytical methods.

If you're looking for a real-world internship that can help boost your resume while applying to college, we recommend Ladder Internships!

Ladder Internships  is a selective program equipping students with virtual internship experiences at startups and nonprofits around the world!  

The startups range across a variety of industries, and each student can select which field they would most love to deep dive into. This is also a great opportunity for students to explore areas they think they might be interested in, and better understand professional career opportunities in those areas.

The startups are based all across the world, with the majority being in the United States, Asia and then Europe and the UK. 

The fields include technology, machine learning and AI, finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, healthcare and medicine, media and journalism and more.

You can explore all the options here on their application form . As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project that is of genuine need to the startup they are working with, and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding you through the internship and helping you navigate the startup environment. 

Cost : $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Location:   Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application deadline:  April 16 and May 14

Program dates:  8 weeks, June to August

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates and gap year students!

Additionally, you can also work on independent research in AI, through Veritas AI's Fellowship Program!

Veritas AI focuses on providing high school students who are passionate about the field of AI a suitable environment to explore their interests. The programs include collaborative learning, project development, and 1-on-1 mentorship.  

These programs are designed and run by Harvard graduate students and alumni and you can expect a great, fulfilling educational experience. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of Python or are recommended to complete the AI scholars program before pursuing the fellowship. 

The   AI Fellowship  program will have students pursue their own independent AI research project. Students work on their own individual research projects over a period of 12-15 weeks and can opt to combine AI with any other field of interest. In the past, students have worked on research papers in the field of AI & medicine, AI & finance, AI & environmental science, AI & education, and more! You can find examples of previous projects   here . 

Location : Virtual

$1,790 for the 10-week AI Scholars program

$4,900 for the 12-15 week AI Fellowship 

$4,700 for both

Need-based financial aid is available. You can apply   here . 

Application deadline : On a rolling basis. Applications for fall cohort have closed September 3, 2023. 

Program dates : Various according to the cohort

Program selectivity : Moderately selective

Eligibility : Ambitious high school students located anywhere in the world. AI Fellowship applicants should either have completed the AI Scholars program or exhibit past experience with AI concepts or Python.

Application Requirements: Online application form, answers to a few questions pertaining to the students background & coding experience, math courses, and areas of interest. 

Additionally, you can check out some summer programs that offer courses in computer science such as the Lumiere Scholars Program !

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.

Image source: Stock image

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Qss 82 one-quarter research projects, winter 2024.


(Top) Adin McAuliffe and Diana Bates (Bottom) Alexandra Ma and Armon Lotfi


(Top) Keren Luo and Eleanor Sullivan (Bottom) Ella von Baeyer and Emma Elsbecker


(Top) Keso Kakachia and Leina Sato (Bottom) Ryan Sorkin and Sam Williams


(Top) Sherry Dong and Alex Witheiler (Bottom) Adm Budin and Street Roberts


(Top) Catherine Grimes and Emma Wolfe (Bottom) Bernardo Garzo


(Top) Luca Caviezel and Josephine Kim (Bottom) Sabin Hart

On Monday, March 6, students majoring and minoring in  Quantitative Social Science  (QSS) presented posters from one-quarter research projects carried out in  QSS 82 . In Winter 2024, this project course was taught by   Assistant Professor  Elsa Voytas  and Senior Lecturer  Robert Cooper .  All told, there were 22 posters across two sections of QSS 82.

The QSS 82 joint poster session provided an opportunity for QSS seniors to display results from their projects. Throughout the quarter, each student worked hard to devise a research question, develop theoretical expectations, and test those expectations using statistical techniques. Students selected their own topics, and their choices represented a diverse range of relevant social science themes, all of which were explored with quantitative data.

This year, topics ranged from the effects of pollution on domestic violence incidents to the role parental support plays in student long-term career aspirations.  Among other things, they covered the effects on pitcher performance of Major League Baseball's pitch clock change and the impact of facial symmetry on contestant success on NBC's The Voice . One student in QSS 82 investigated shifts in real estate prices in the sun belt before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, while another examined song chart success as a function of release dates. The diversity of topics in QSS 82 represents a key strength of the QSS program.

BPC Nursing Student Completes Undergraduate Science Research

science research projects for students

MOUNT VERNON – Brewton-Parker College (BPC) Junior nursing major, Yanique O’Connor had the opportunity to perform a summer undergraduate research project at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando during the summer of 2023. Dr. Sampyo Hong, Professor of Physical Sciences, was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation in 2020 and was able to select BPC students to participate in summer undergraduate research funded by the grant.

As a nursing major, O’Connor initially hesitated to take on a research project in the natural sciences. However, she was honored to be offered the opportunity and intrigued by the subject. To prepare herself for the experience, she enrolled in the Introduction to Nanoscience course taught by Dr. Hong. Although the concepts were unlike anything she had ever studied, the course helped ease her anxiety about the upcoming summer and increased her excitement for the project.

The undergraduate research performed by students like O’Connor is an excellent opportunity to gain science education, inspiration, personal, and professional development. Through this program, students experience hands-on learning, practical research skills, increased interest, and expanded professional references. Both the students and the college benefit from this research through sound science education and improved graduation and retention rates.

During O’Connor’s time at UFC, she participated in the investigation of the “Surface Acidity Modulation of Pt/CeO2 Single Atom Catalysts (SACs) for Methanol Decomposition.” Kailong Ye, a graduate student and a leading investigator on the project, guided O’Connor through the research. Methanol Decomposition is a valuable and significant process that enables the conversion of methanol into CO and hydrogen gas. O’Connor observed that various industries, including transportation, can benefit from this process by aiding the global search for clean energy alternatives.

O’Connor was involved in the preparation of four different Pt/CeO2 catalysts, of which the catalysts provide catalytic activity, making them effective for use in the decomposition of methanol. In her end-of-the-semester report, O’Connor explained that the catalysts were prepared through the Incipient Wetness Method (IWI), involving the incorporation of a liquid phase in the form of a catalyst precursor into a solid porous material, referred to as the support. Further testing consisted of Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (DRIFTS) to measure the analytical representation of the surface characteristics and chemical activity of materials. O’Connor explained that the measurements taken through DRIFTS “can be analyzed to reveal mechanisms such as the active sites on the surface of the catalysts, which is useful in improving the performance of the catalysts.”

O’Connor shared her thoughts on the research: “This experience was extremely enlightening, and I am grateful to have received such an opportunity. As a result of my participation in this research project, I was exposed to a whole new field of study and got to learn about some very interesting scientific concepts. All the support and aid that I received from the faculty at both UCF and BPC helped to make the experience a memorable one.”

In response to O’Connor’s involvement in the project, Dr. Hong stated, “The research project she [Yanique O’Connor] participated in involved state-of-the-art nanoscience experiments. She made important contributions to the projects. I am very proud of her. She did a great job. I’m sure this experience will be a valuable asset in her career journey.” Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college south of Macon and north of Jacksonville, FL. As a comprehensive Georgia Baptist institution, Brewton-Parker College provides liberal arts and professional programs in a learning community of shared Christian values. Through the application of biblical truth in scholarship and a co-curricular focus on character, servant leadership, and cultural engagement, the college strives to provide a transformational experience that equips the whole student for lifelong learning and service in Christ.

Visit Brewton-Parker College online at

science research projects for students

Physical Address 201 David-Eliza Fountain Circle Mount Vernon, GA 30445

Mailing Address P. O. Box 197 Mount Vernon, GA 30445

912-583-2241 |  1-800-342-1087

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Joanna phillips-mock, student enrichment director.

Joanna Phillips-Mock is a proud third generation Baron, both as a student and a staff member.

Beginning her teaching career in Middle Georgia in 1995, Mrs. Mock worked with a state funded program that served some of the most disadvantaged special needs students within the local school districts. She ultimately moved into leadership positions within the organization, serving and training others in multiple initiatives. She enjoys working with students of all ages to recognize and to achieve their greatest potential.

Mrs. Mock holds a Bachelor’s degree from Brewton-Parker College, a Master's degree in Education with a concentration in Behavior Disorders, and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration from Georgia College and State University. She resides in Ailey, Georgia, with her husband Don, their son Tye Lewis, her mother Carol Joyce, and multiple fur babies. She enjoys traveling, gardening, camping, and attending concerts.

Candace Lilford

Profeessional tutor.

Candace Lilford graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Generalism in 2021 from Anderson University and with her master’s degree in English Literature in 2023 from the University of Alabama. She presently serves as Professional Tutor for the Student Enrichment Center while also teaching sections of ENG 101 and 102. 

As part of her two-year master's program, Ms. Lilford taught sections of ENG 101 and 102, while also serving as teaching assistant for British Literature Survey courses and volunteering in the university’s Writing Center. Ms Lilford has also presented papers at the Hudson Strode Conference and the South Eastern Christian and Literature Conference as well as working on various theatrical productions.

Born in North Carolina of South African descent, Ms. Lilford has lived in Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, and Trinidad before settling in Mount Vernon with her family in 2016, where she attended Brewton-Parker College as a dual enrollment student. She presently resides in Mount Vernon with her family and spends her free time watching old TV shows.

Linda Armstrong

Academic advising and career specialist.

Linda Armstrong earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice Technology from Southeastern Technical College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Walden University. Throughout her career, Linda has worked with diverse populations, including at-risk youth and families and youth in crisis because of mental health and other issues. Her empathetic nature has made her an effective advocate for those in need. In addition to her professional work, Linda is also is committed to volunteerism. She has dedicated countless hours as a youth mentor, and to teaching about her faith at various Christian organizations. She believes in the power of positivity and its ability to transform not only her life but also the lives of others.

"If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully." ~ Maya Angelou

Willie Ford

Greetings, Baron Nation!

It's truly a joy to be back in a place that has shaped me so profoundly. I'm Willie Ford, a proud 2022 graduate of historic Brewton-Parker College, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a Minor in Education. Following my graduation, I embarked on a journey in education, teaching Special Education within the Vidalia City School District. In addition to my role as an educator, I had the privilege of serving as the Unit Director at the J.D. Rabun Boys and Girls Club. All the while, I was honored to pastor at the esteemed New Hope Baptist Church of Rhine, Georgia. With God's grace, I managed these responsibilities, and now, I'm thrilled and ready to contribute to the welfare of our students, aiming to inspire through service.

Dusty Arnold

Mental health counselor.

Dusty Arnold  is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst as well as a BPC alumnus. He has years of experience working with a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, grief, and challenges related to Autism. He specializes in behavior-related interventions that can help college students build on their strengths to set achievable goals while also learning how to deal with the thoughts and feelings that sometimes get in the way. He incorporates Biblical values and evidence-based treatments to meet students wherever they happen to be on their journey to spiritual and psychological health. 

Carl Anthony "Tony" Wardlaw

Assistant student enrichment director & student success coach.

Carl Anthony “Tony” Wardlaw – For over 25 years, Dr. Wardlaw has worked in leadership, counseling, and pastoring. Beginning with working in middle management for a manufacturing company in Douglas, GA, Dr. Wardlaw has also worked in the academic, nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Additionally, he served over 7 years in the United States Military as a Military Intelligence Officer before resigning his commission as a Captain in the Army.

Currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Student Enrichment Center, Student Success Coach, and Adjunct Faculty at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, GA, he also serves as the Pastor of The Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Dublin, GA.

As a member of the renowned International Gospel Singing Group, The Wardlaw Brothers, Dr. Wardlaw has traveled all over the nation and abroad ministering and singing the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Dr. Wardlaw has served as a consultant for various agencies and has worked as a Fatherhood Coordinator and G.E.D. instructor within the Technical College System of Georgia and participates in local and national civic and philanthropic work.

Dr. Wardlaw holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business from the University of Georgia, two master's degrees from Troy University (Master of Science in Clinical Counseling and Psychology and Master of Education in Counseling), and a Doctorate in Education from Argosy University in Organizational Leadership. Dr. Wardlaw is a Lifetime Silver Member of The NAACP and a member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He is happily married to the former Mrs. Stephanie Scott. They have 3 Children; Chambria, Marc, and Carleigh.

Innovation and inclusivity in action: Vanderbilt’s AI Showcase highlights data-driven solutions for real-world challenges

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Mar 21, 2024, 12:12 PM

Vanderbilt University’s AI Showcase, a recent event hosted by the Data Science Institute, highlighted the remarkable convergence of innovation, inclusivity and practical problem-solving through student-led data science projects. The showcase, structured like a research fair, hosted an array of student presentations, each competing for a part of a $1,700 prize pool. “Students throughout the university are embracing generative AI to breathe life into their ideas. They’re solving difficult problems and actively forging a future that aligns with their values for a world where every voice is heard and valued,” said Charreau Bell, senior data scientist and director of the undergraduate minor in data science.

First-place winner Liv Lockwood, a junior majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in data science, demonstrated values-based innovation with her “ASL Translator.” Lockwood explained, “in a nutshell, my project teaches people how to communicate sentences, phrases and names in American Sign Language quickly and easily by communicating with a friendly chatbot. Not only does the tool teach communication, but also explains the history and importance of Deaf culture and history while teaching you.” Lockwood said her inspiration for the project came in part from her younger brother, through whom she has spent considerable time interacting with the special needs and education community. She also acknowledged the support she received from Jesse Spencer-Smith, her professor for Introduction to Generative AI. Lockwood credits generative AI with helping her realize her vision without significant hard coding skills and reports that she was delighted to help demonstrate that “if time and resources are given to technological developments in the education community and to promoting tools for inclusivity, we can rapidly increase how comprehensive our world is.”

Shalini Thinakaran, also a junior, majoring in computer science and Latin American studies, also minoring in data science, captured second place with “AI for All,” a project that she says “was about centering marginalized identities in AI.” Thinakaran says she set out to “fine-tune a machine learning model using literature that has shaped our understanding of power dynamics in society. Examples include works from people like Angela Davis, James Baldwin and Audre Lorde. By focusing on readings that emphasize the unjust ways in which marginalized communities are affected, we can begin to create technologies that serve  all  of us.”

The event also featured other AI-driven innovations, such as advanced educational tools, medical diagnostic applications, and platforms for emotional well-being. These diverse projects collectively highlighted the broad spectrum of data science applications in practical problem-solving. Third place went to Daniel Han, who graduated in December 2023 with a degree in mathematics and minors in data science, psychology and scientific computing, for his “NarrativeNet AI.” His project applied AI in understanding social networks through narrative data, offering innovative ways to decipher complex social structures. Notably, one winner’s project fulfilled the university’s Immersion Vanderbilt requirement, which ensures that all undergraduates engage in one or more experiential learning activities related to research, internships, study abroad, community and civic engagement, innovation and design, or creative arts.

science research projects for students

The AI Showcase was a testament to the power of combining data science with innovative thinking and a commitment to inclusivity. It not only demonstrated the students’ technical skills learned through data science courses, but also their dedication to using their skills for the greater good, preparing them to be forward-thinking problem-solvers in a technologically evolving world.

The Data Science Institute hosts a variety of events to educate the Vanderbilt community about AI. Join them for an AI Training Day   on Custom Models on March 5 at the VU Student Life Center. This daylong, hybrid event combines comprehensive insights into the development of new AI models with a focus on the practicalities of custom model training to equip researchers, educators and practitioners to navigate the rapidly evolving AI landscape. .

Keep Reading

Vanderbilt extends leadership in generative AI

Vanderbilt extends leadership in generative AI

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Vanderbilt celebrates Generative AI Seed Grant awardees

Jules White appointed to senior advisor role in Office of the Chancellor

Jules White appointed to senior advisor role in Office of the Chancellor

Explore story topics.

  • AI Showcase
  • AI Training Day
  • American Sign Language
  • artificial intelligence
  • Charreau Bell
  • data science
  • Data Science Institute

science research projects for students

School of Engineering and Materials Science

Undergraduate research posters win prizes at ilf.

18 March 2024

Winner Sarina Mathew (Year 4 MBBS & Intercalated BSc)

Students from across the School of Engineering and Materials Science, including the Queen Mary Centre for Undergraduate Research (QMCUR), third year BEng students, and the Intercalated BSc in Bioengineering presented their research projects at the Industrial Liaison Forum on 6th March 2024. All students engaged in lively discussion with our academics and external visitors, and received excellent feedback from our judges and industrial collaborators.

QMCUR is a hub of innovation, exploration and academic excellence dedicated to championing undergraduate research endeavours. The Centre aims to foster a culture of curiosity, grassroots research, and discovery, empowering students to delve into real-world challenges, generate meaningful insights, and shape a future with broader perspectives.

Intercalated BSc students study aspects of biomechanics, biomaterials, computational methods in medicine, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, medical imaging and rehabilitation technologies, and apply their knowledge of engineering and materials-based technologies within the clinical environment. The research project accounts for 50% of the final mark and its highly likely the work will contribute to a publication.

The BEng research project has been designed to be a linked design project where students will work individually and as a group to integrate core disciplinary concepts to produce the detailed design of a part of a product or process. Students will bring their individual components together to develop a complex component or process, and need to think creatively to produce an effective design that meets a specification and minimises the cost and environmental impact.

In a 2-hour event, one QMCUR student, Jake Seah, was selected for a prize for the quality and enthusiasm of his presentation on addressing the accessibility issue of the organ-on-a-chip technology, and Intercalated student, Sarina Mathew, was selected for a prize for the quality and enthusiasm of her presentation on incorporating semiconducting materials in silicone so as to produce a flexible substrate to use in light addressable electrochemistry.

Over 20 projects were displayed at the Final Year Student Project Showcase in the morning, where a fantastic selection of posters, table displays and videos were presented by our BEng students. The enthusiasm of the presenting students was noted by our industrial collaborators.

The three winning BEng final year projects were:

Project A6: Digital Additive Manufacturing as an Innovative Materials and Process Advancement;

Project B1: Light-based 3D Printing of Precision Implants Project R1: Design and Development of a Myoelectric Prosthetic Hand with Tactile Sensing and Haptic Feedback


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    A compilation of science project ideas is presented here, offering diverse options for students to explore. These ideas cover a wide range of scientific topics and can serve as inspiration for innovative projects. By engaging in these projects, students can not only deepen their understanding of scientific concepts but also develop their research and analytical skills.

  16. Examples of Undergraduate Research Projects

    Examples of Undergraduate Research Projects Fall 2021 Projects. Student Research Proposal; Whitney Brown: Characterizing the role of FOXP3 in ccRCC: Ziche Chen: Intereations between LANA and Super-enhancers: Anna Eberwein: Synaptic Dysfunction in the Drosophila Niemann Pick Type C Disease Model:

  17. Investigative Research Projects for Students in Science: The State of

    Independent research projects in science for students have often been framed around providing students with authentic experiences of scientific research and with the potential for wider benefits around scientific knowledge and skills, attitudes, and motivations around science, and ultimately helping science to become more inclusive and ...

  18. Top Science Project Ideas & Topics for College Students

    These projects challenge students' understanding of biological concepts, enhance their research skills, and foster critical thinking. Here, we present a curated list of 10 college-level biology project ideas: Discuss resistance in microbes. Discuss the human immune system and its relationship to microorganisms.

  19. Research Opportunities and Funding

    PRISE - The Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) is a summer residential community of Harvard undergraduates conducting research in science or engineering.By the application deadline students must be progressing toward finding a lab or research group but do not need to have finalized their research group or project.

  20. 12 Chemistry Research and Passion Project Ideas

    Idea by chemistry research mentor Lucas. 9. Water absorbent polymers for home gardening. You'll conduct experiments and/or conduct surveys to determine what commercially-available water absorbent polymers are useful and cost-effective for home gardeners and write a research paper summarizing your results.

  21. 100 Science Topics for Research Papers

    Science papers are interesting to write and easy to research because there are so many current and reputable journals online. Start by browsing through the STEM research topics below, which are written in the form of prompts. Then, look at some of the linked articles at the end for further ideas.

  22. Examples of Student Research Projects

    Research Proposals including Research Plans ; Coming Up With a Research Question; Getting Ethics Approval; Struggling with a Literature Review; Qualitative, Quantitative or Mixed-Methods ; Data Collection; Working with Primary Data ; Using the Internet for Research; Data Management; Writing Up Your Research ; Preparing for the Research Project

  23. 8 Must-Have NASA Resources for Science Teachers in 2024

    Growing Beyond Earth® (GBE) is a classroom-based citizen science project for middle and high school students about growing plants in space. Curricular materials and resources help you introduce your students to space plant biology and prepare them to participate in the program, through which students have the opportunity to present their ...

  24. During the 2024 solar eclipse, Texans will aid a national research

    The CATE project is one of many citizen science projects getting communities involved with eclipse research. Students and faculty at Western Kentucky University have designed an app called ...

  25. 25+ Research Ideas in Computer Science for High School Students

    This can help students quickly improve their writing skills by improving the feedback mechanism. 4. Develop a computer vision system to monitor wildlife populations in a specific region. 5. Investigate the use of computer vision in detecting and diagnosing medical conditions from medical images. 6.

  26. QSS 82 One-Quarter Research Projects, Winter 2024

    On Monday, March 6, students majoring and minoring in Quantitative Social Science (QSS) presented posters from one-quarter research projects carried out in QSS 82.In Winter 2024, this project course was taught by Assistant Professor Elsa Voytas and Senior Lecturer Robert Cooper.. All told, there were 22 posters across two sections of QSS 82.

  27. Zeal for Medical Science on Display at Annual Soma Weiss Research Day

    Students also learn to conduct research that pushes medical science ahead, whether in basic research, clinical or translational science, or the compassionate and just delivery of health care. On March 12, 70 MD students mentored by HMS faculty presented the results of their projects at the 84th annual Soma Weiss Student Research Day.

  28. BPC Nursing Student Completes Undergraduate Science Research

    BPC Nursing Student Completes Undergraduate Science Research MOUNT VERNON - Brewton-Parker College (BPC) Junior nursing major, Yanique O'Connor had the opportunity to perform a summer undergraduate research project at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando during the summer of 2023. Dr. Sampyo Hong, Professor of Physical Sciences, was awarded a grant from the

  29. Innovation and inclusivity in action: Vanderbilt's AI Showcase

    Vanderbilt University's AI Showcase, a recent event hosted by the Data Science Institute, highlighted the remarkable convergence of innovation, inclusivity and practical problem-solving through ...

  30. Undergraduate Students' research project posters win prizes at ILF

    Students from across the School of Engineering and Materials Science, including the Queen Mary Centre for Undergraduate Research (QMCUR), third year BEng students, and the Intercalated BSc in Bioengineering presented their research projects at the Industrial Liaison Forum on 6th March 2024. All students engaged in lively discussion with our academics and external visitors, and received ...