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Author Topic: Science fair project  (Read 4673 times)

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Offline Dave Wendell

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Science fair project
« on: September 18, 2008, 10:47:11 AM »
My daughter is looking for science fair ideas, and I am out of them.  Two years ago she did a project on Germination of Black Walnut seeds using different periods of cold stratification and won Best of fair.  Last year she did a project on Juglone toxicity to different plants.  She needs some ideas.  I am hoping with all your minds we can come up with something.  She enjoys horticulture, and would like an idea for a project conceerning nuts or nut trees .  I have a small Black Walnut orchard so an idea concerning Black Walnuts would be welcome, but any good idea would be welcome.  She is a Freshman in high school this year so guage your idea based on her age.
Thanks in advance
Dave Wendell

Offline beenthere

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Re: Science fair project
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2008, 12:58:59 PM »
Welcome to the forum.

Not sure if the following ideas fit her interests, but do involve wood.

Get a cross-section of a log such as ash or oak, or any other that the growth rings show up well.

Then, put together short descriptions of various things or events that the tree rings tell...age of tree, rate of growth, possible reasons for varying width of growth rings, composition of cells that make up the growth rings, cambium layer where the cells are created are a few ideas.

Also, can point out past events that took place when that tree was laying down new rings. Older the tree, the more events can be highlighted.

Expanding to more tree species to point out differences in cell structure is possible too.

These ideas aren't anything too fancy, but they may lead to more in-depth thinking and more clever ideas.

As the wood cracks from drying fresh-cut sections, the explanation of drying the wood can be explained.

There are ways to show the different densities of wood by floating cubes (like 1") of wood blocks in water.

 :)
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline Don P

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Re: Science fair project
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2008, 03:34:47 PM »
There might be some ideas here;
http://legacy.ncsu.edu/WPS202/syllabus.html

There is also a publication at the FPL website on classroom demonstrations.. anyone got a link? Otherwise hit their mailbox.
This is the general pubs list;
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/document-lists/1-publication-list.html

The wood handbook there has good background reading if you need to flesh out anything;
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/fplgtr113.htm

Then there's always saving the planet, figure out how to turn cellulose to glucose  :)

A report on the research on re-establishing the American Chesnut might be interesting as well

Of course we want a preview  ;D
A laborer works with his hands
A craftsman uses his brain and his hands
An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Offline WDH

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Re: Science fair project
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2008, 04:43:53 PM »
Dave,

Walnut sawdust is supposed to be detrimental for plant growth, and it is bad for horses.  Maybe she could experiment with sawdust from various wood species as part of a growth medium to determine if the plant growth in the potting soil containing walnut sawdust is different than the growth using other common sawdust.  This would relate to the suitability of sawdust from different species as a compost source.

She could use the subject of composting to gather a great deal of background material.

She could also do a compost experiment using a base source of waste to which she adds varying amounts of black walnut material.  Could use sawdust, hulls, leaves, bark, etc. to see if walnut behaves badly as a source of compost. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Don P

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Re: Science fair project
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2008, 07:59:06 PM »
That sounds too close to her juglone topic  :)

This is one paper I found with some classroom demonstrations, there's some good ones in there. I seem to remember another one though  ???
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplmisc/pa900.pdf
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Offline Cedarman

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Re: Science fair project
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2008, 07:02:10 AM »
I have heard reports that ERC sawdust repels certain insects.  There is some literature out there on that.  I sell some sawdust to a fellow in Texas that resells small quantities for people to put around their plants to repel certain insects.  I will be happy to provide a big bag of sawdust in exchange for a paper onthe results.    Also, what effects will the sawdust have on the plants?  Since there are antifungal properties in ERC, will it help keep fungal diseases from affecting plants?
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline Dave Wendell

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Re: Science fair project
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2008, 12:50:09 PM »
Thanks for putting your minds to work.  I am at work and will get my daughter to look these suggestions over and let you know how we decide.  Again thanks for your thoughts.
Dave

Offline mdvaden

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Re: Science fair project
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2008, 02:56:33 PM »
Welcome to the forum.

Not sure if the following ideas fit her interests, but do involve wood.

Get a cross-section of a log such as ash or oak, or any other that the growth rings show up well.

Then, put together short descriptions of various things or events that the tree rings tell...age of tree, rate of growth, possible reasons for varying width of growth rings, composition of cells that make up the growth rings, cambium layer where the cells are created are a few ideas.

...

 :)

I find that suggestion particularly useful.

Most towns have several tree services that could give samples.

Multiple cross cuts would be handy.

In my album online, I have a cross cut plum, showing how the 10" or so diameter central stem is pinched or included between limbs that should have been cut, causing it's tissue to funnel down to a mere 3" diameter point of attachement that is only seen in a dissection cross cut.

Cross cutting a sunburn damaged alder, shows tissue enveloping, progression of decay, as well as age, past vigour, and potentially how many years ago the sunburned occured.

A simple cross cut can show years, vigour, and even where a prior pruning cut was enveloped, and how long ago the cut was made, and how many years it took to encase that pruning cut entirely with tissue. I should probably start saving more of these myself.

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Science fair project
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2008, 08:08:58 PM »
BMW used to use walnut shells in some sort of sand blast set up for taking the carbon out of cylinders and off of valves.  I don't think the took any thing apart.
So, abrasive properties of walnut shells?
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM


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