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High School Biology Experiment Ideas

High School Biology Experiment Ideas

One Day Science Fair Project Ideas

High school level biology covers all aspects of biology, including animals, plant life and humans. That should mean it’s easy to come up with a science fair project or a classroom research project, but the amount of topics sometimes makes it even harder. When you first start researching, you’ll find thousands of ideas and it’s difficult to decide which one is best for your situation. Provided that you know what you want to do and what your teacher or judges are looking for, it’s easy to come up with a great biology experiment.

Effects on Plants

Test the effects of different substances on plants. Place plants from the same source in pots of the same size, then use different types of materials. You can test different types of potting soil against regular dirt or use the same type of potting soil and test other substances. Water the plants with different types of bottled water and tap water from your home and other homes or add a small amount of vinegar and other liquids to see how the plants react to those substances. Observe the effects of the different substances on the plants and measure how quickly each plant grows in comparison to the others.

Water Bottles

Test the amount of germs and toxins found when you refill a water bottle. Start by taking a sample swab from the outside lip of the bottle and looking at the water under a microscope for any bacteria or impurities. Then drink from the bottle as you otherwise would and test the bottle each time you refill it with extra water. Student athletes can even use the same plastic water bottles they carry with them to practice every day. Each time, you'll want to swab the inside lip of the bottle and look at the swab under a microscope. Identify any bacteria or toxins by looking at the examples found in your textbook.

Public Germs

You might be surprised when you check different public areas for germs. Take swabs at public bathrooms, in your classroom, on the door handles at stores and even books at the public library. Look at the swabs under a microscope and see what types of germs you find. Then offer a comparison of the germs and explain your findings. Discuss which germs are harmful and what levels of germs you found.

Do a biology experiment focusing on how the hair reacts to different types of products. Test shampoos, conditioners, hair gels, hair sprays and other products. Look for residue left behind by the product, but take a few sample hairs before you begin. Check the consistency and health of the sample hairs under a microscope and compare those results against hairs after using the products. Observe any changes you notice in the look or feel of your hair, as well. Then look for signs that the hair has become more damaged or healthier since you used the product. You’ll need to narrow it down to just a few products, but if you have more time, use one product for several days before switching to another.

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About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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Awesome STEM Projects for High School Biology (From 30 min to 2 Weeks!)

high school projects biology

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When choosing a STEM activity for your high school Biology students, it can be a fine line between fun and corny. You’ll want to ensure you are meeting NGSS standards, but you also want your students to be engaged, informed, and most importantly, to have fun.

To help you achieve this goal, we have pulled together some ideas for  STEM projects for high school biology that we have used with students that were a success – organized by how much time you may be trying to fill.

Related post: Biology Science Fair Projects for 10th Grade

Here’s how you can get your students engaged in Biology while meeting the goals of your curriculum and NGSS.

I Only Have 30 Minutes for the STEM Project!

If you only have 30 minutes for an activity, you’ll want that activity to really “wow” your students. So how about making it a hands-on lab with minimal setup or cleanup?

Our favorite is a Genetics activity that students really go crazy over where they discover what a SuperTaster is, and whether or not they carry the SuperTaster Gene. This activity leads to discussions about the Survival of the Fittest, Punnett Squares, and family pedigrees.

Here’s how it’s done: Students are given 4 small paper tabs (one at a time) containing either Control, PTC, Sodium Benzoate, and Thiourea. Each student should keep track of what each tastes like on a chart, as well as how it tastes for the entire class. Some students may find the paper’s taste strong (very bitter!) or like nothing at all. Hilarity ensues in the Genetics lab. You can purchase your own Supe rTaster Genetics Lab Kit and have fun with Genetics!

I Have 3 Days for the Biology Project

If you have three days to run your Biology project, we’ve found it’s best to start telling a story that carries students from day to day and gets them excited about what could happen tomorrow.

What’s more exciting than a mystery? By teaching students about Forensics, methods in Forensic Science such as Fingerprinting (fingerprint your students!), DNA, and PCR, your students will discover how scientists use Forensics in the real world. 

On Day 2, have your students figure out what type of fingerprints they all have, and make a class chart (this is important for Day 3). They should also learn how to read DNA Electrophoresis Bands, and practice with a worksheet . 

On Day 3, before class, you will need to contact one of your students ahead of time (in each class) and ask them to help you by providing clues for a mystery. Tell them that they have been chosen to be the “guilty” student, but they can’t give it away no matter what. They will provide you with:

Strategically place each of the clues around the room and before the students come in, remove something obvious from the room like the flag and the like. In our class, we removed a beloved taxidermied duck.

Tell the students that one of their classmates is suspected to have stolen this item, but you need their help to figure out who. See if they can find the clues and guess who the guilty person is. They will need to compare the fingerprint to their class list to narrow it down, compare the hair sample to others in the class under a microscope, and look at the shoe print compared to all of the shoes students are wearing.

I’ve also had a surprise DNA sample as a tie-breaker to throw into the mix that lists multiple students in the class and they need to compare it to the known sample at the scene. In the past, students have really gotten into this, and have even turned the activity into a full-court trial with expert witnesses.

Have fun with it – the kids might surprise you!

Ooh, I Have a 4th Day for my STEM Project in High School Biology!

Awesome, you are in for a treat!

You and your students should take what you started with Forensics a step farther and extract DNA from your own human cheek cells.   The process for this can be a little tricky and the experiment is a little finicky, but when it works, it’ll be AMAZING!

human cheek cells

We’ve done this with mixed results and can attest that when they say your Ethanol needs to be cold, they aren’t kidding. It needs to be on ice the whole time! Also, you know your students. If you have students who aren’t the best at following directions exactly, then the strawberry or banana DNA extraction might be for you since they are a little more forgiving.

Think of the awe and admiration your students will have for you when you show them their DNA. Go for it, you amazing science wizard!

I Have 2 Weeks for this High School Biology Project! 

The best way that we’ve seen to get students to really remember content, is by making a movie about it. Not just any movie, but a stop motion animation video. Using iMovie, it’s really easy to make these, so hopefully, your students have iPads or iPhones.

If you haven’t made a stop motion animation video in iMovie before, there are lots of tutorials out there. But the basics are to make sure in iMovie after you drop your photos, get rid of Ken Burns Effect on all images, delete fade between pictures, and shorten all of the transitions in between pictures to the shortest time possible by selecting and dragging smaller.

If you can’t figure it out, don’t worry, your students will teach you. With our students, we’ve made stop motion videos on topics ranging from Protein Synthesis to Mitosis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can i get materials for these stem activities.

That varies depending on the activity. It also depends on where your school orders supplies for science. Carolina Biological Supply , Fisher Scientific , and even Amazon all have great Biology supplies at good prices.

These STEM activities are awesome! How can I find more like these?

There are so many amazing things to do out there. For more great resources, try going to SciStarter to find a Citizen Science project for your students. There are also some content-specific full curriculum resources such as this fantastic Climate Change Curriculum from Stanford University.

My school doesn’t have a lab or a very big budget. How can I do cool Biology projects without spending much money?

We’ve been there. In a deep ocean lesson, we have taught students about the decomposition of marine organisms on the seafloor by having them make a “slimy whale goo”. It was just cornstarch, water, and green food coloring, but they LOVED it. Doing any science, including Biology doesn’t have to cost a ton of money, it’s all about being creative. We have students draw… a lot. We also utilize full class projects, breaking up student tasks toward one goal which minimizes the total amount of needed materials!

high school projects biology

Mark is the driving force behind STEM Geek. With 20 years of experience in chemistry education and research, and 3 willing children as guinea pigs, Mark has a passion for inspiring kids and adults to combine fun and learning with STEM Toys!

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Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers

We Are Teachers

55 Best Science Experiments for High School Labs and Science Fairs

Fire up the Bunsen burners!

WeAreTeachers Staff

The cool thing about high school science experiments and 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.

Many of these science experiments for high school are intended for classroom labs, but most 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 lab into a true scientific method experiment!

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

Biology Experiments for High School

When it comes to biology, science experiments for high school students usually bring dissection to mind. But there are plenty of other useful labs and hands-on projects for teens to try. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Mash potatoes to learn about catalase

Three test tubes in a red holder, filled with a white substance

Catalase is found in nearly all living cells, protecting them from oxidative damage. Try this lab to isolate catalase from potatoes using hydrogen peroxide.

Learn more: Potato Catalase/Practical Biology

2. Extract DNA from a strawberry

Collage of steps to extract DNA from a strawberry (Science Experiments for High School)

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.

Learn more: Strawberry DNA/Numbers to Neurons

3. Re-create Mendel’s pea plant experiment

Pea plants growing in white square containers on a lab table

Gregor Mendel’s pea plant experiments were some of the first to explore inherited traits and genetics. Re-create his cross-pollination experiments with a variety of pea plants you’ve grown yourself.

Learn more: Mendel’s Pea Plants/Love to Know

4. Make plants move with light

Diagram of plant seedlings moving toward light affected by different variables (Science Experiments for High School)

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

Learn more: Phototropism/Science Buddies

5. Test the five-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).

6. Taste foods to find your threshold for sour, sweet, and bitter

Human tongue with an arrow pointing to the papillae

The sense of taste is fascinating—what some people think is delicious, others just can’t stand. Try this experiment to test subjects’ taste perceptions and thresholds using a series of diluted solutions.

Learn more: Taste Threshold/Science Buddies

7. Complete a field survey

Students examining the water in a ditch in a green field (Science Experiments for High School)

Teaching students to conduct field surveys opens up the possibility of lots of different science experiments for high school. Show them how to observe an area over time, record their findings, and analyze the results.

Learn more: Field Survey/Love to Know

8. See the effects of antibiotics on bacteria

Test tubes containing various bacteria

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 rodospirillum rubrum cultures, and antibiotic discs from Home Science Tools.

Learn more: Antibiotics Project/Home Science Tools

9. Witness the carbon cycle in action

Test tubes filled with plants and green and blue liquid

We know that plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, right? Well, this experiment helps you prove that and see the effect light has on the process.

Learn more: Carbon Cycle/Science Lessons That Rock

10. 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.

11. 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: Antiseptics and Disinfectants/Amy Brown Science

12. Investigate the efficacy of types of fertilizer

How to choose the fertilizer that will make plants grow the fastest.

Let’s spice things up in the botanical kitchen! Mix up some “recipes” for your students’ plants by experimenting with different types of fertilizer and see which one they devour the most.

Learn more: Best Fertilizer/

13. Explore the impact of genetic modification on seeds

Competition between crops and weeds and introduction of genetically modified seeds

Let’s go green and see what happens when we pit our crops against some weeds! Will genetically modified plants come out on top or will the weeds reign supreme? Let’s find out in this exciting biotech and plant challenge!

Learn more: Genetically Modified Seeds/Science Buddies

Chemistry Experiments for High School

Perhaps no class is better suited to science experiments for high school kids than chemistry. Bunsen burners, beakers and test tubes, and the possibility of (controlled) explosions? Students will love it!

14. Watch a beating heart made of gallium

Blob of gallium with the image of a beating heart and the periodic table symbol for gallium

This is one of those science demos that’s so cool to see in action. An electrochemical reaction causes a blob of liquid metal to oscillate like a beating heart!

Learn more: Gallium Demo/Science Notes

15. 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.

Learn more: Covalent Bonds/Teaching Without Chairs

16. Measure the calories in various foods

Collage of steps for measuring calories with a homemade calorimeter (Science Experiments for High School)

How do scientists determine the number of calories in your favorite foods? Build your own calorimeter and find out! This kit from Home Science Tools has all the supplies you’ll need.

Learn more: DIY Calorimeter/Science Buddies

17. 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/HubPages

18. Use Alka-Seltzer to explore reaction rate

Collage of reaction rate experiment steps (Science Experiments for High School)

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

Learn more: Reaction Rate/Numbers to Neurons

19. Determine whether sports drinks provide more electrolytes than OJ

Open circuit equipment for testing for electrolytes (Science Experiments for High School)

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 .

Learn more: Electrolytes Experiment/Science Buddies

20. Extract bismuth from Pepto-Bismol

Piece of bismuth extracted from Pepto Bismol

Bismuth is a really cool metal with a rainbow sheen. It’s also an ingredient in Pepto-Bismol, and by carefully following the procedures at the link, you can isolate a chunk of this amazing heavy metal.

Learn more: Extracting Bismuth/Popular Science

21. 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! (Click through to the YouTube link for an explanation of how this one works.)

22. Test and sort elements

Students using electrical circuits to test items in a petri dish (Science Experiments for High School)

Elements in the periodic table are grouped by metals, nonmetals, and metalloids. But how do chemists determine where each element belongs? This ready-to-go science kit contains the materials you need to experiment and find out.

Learn more: Metals, Nonmetals, and Metalloids/Ward’s Science

23. 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.

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

24. 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. Sweet!

Learn more: Candy Chemistry/Dunigan Science TpT

25. Make soap to understand saponification

Colorful soaps from saponification science experiments for high school

Take a closer look at an everyday item: soap! Students use oils and other ingredients to make their own soap, learning about esters and saponification.

Learn more: Saponification/Chemistry Solutions TpT

26. Uncover the secrets of evaporation

This systematic and classic example of changing one variable at a time by creating several mini-projects will have your high schoolers engaged in a high-level review of the classic scientific method.

Learn more: Evaporation/Science Projects

27. Investigate the principles of pyrotechnics

Explore how fireworks work - a high school chemistry experiment.

Let’s dive into the explosive world of fireworks and discover the colorful secrets behind these dazzling pyrotechnic displays! Your students will be ecstatic to use party poppers (and sparklers, if you’re feeling really daring) to explore the science behind fireworks.

Learn more: How Fireworks Work/Royal Society of Chemistry

Physics Experiments for High School

When you think of physics science experiments 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.

28. 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 experiments, but a ready-made one can be expensive. Try this project to make your own with basic supplies.

Learn more: Vacuum Chamber/Instructables

29. 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!

30. 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.

31. Blast music using magnets

A paper speaker built from magnets, cardboard, and a paper plate

We spend a lot of time telling teens to turn down their music, so they’ll appreciate the chance to turn it up for once! Using strong magnets and an amplifier (both available on Amazon), plus a few other supplies, they’ll build a speaker and measure how the magnets affect the volume.

Learn more: Paper Speaker/Science Buddies

32. Construct a 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.

33. Measure the speed of light—with your microwave

Student measuring the distance between holes in cooked egg whites (High School Science Experiments)

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.

Learn more: Microwave Speed of Light/Science Buddies

34. Generate a Lichtenberg figure

Lichtenberg figure generated on a sheet of Plexiglassd in

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/Science Notes

35. Build your own Newton’s Cradle

Student swinging the right ball on a DIY Newton's Cradle made of popsicle sticks and marbles

Newton’s Cradle demonstrates the concept of momentum—and it’s really fun to play with! Challenge students to design and build their own, experimenting with different materials or changing up the number of balls to see how it affects momentum.

Learn more: How To Make a Simple Newton’s Cradle/Babble Dabble Do

36. Explore the power of friction with sticky note pads

A wood platform holding a weight suspended by chains from two sticky note pads interleaved together (Science Experiments for High School)

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!

Learn more: Sticky Notes Friction/Science Buddies

37. Bounce balls to explore stored energy and energy transfer

Colorful rubber balls bouncing against a white background

Learn about potential and kinetic energy by bouncing balls and measuring their heights on each rebound. This is one of those classic physics science experiments for high school that students are sure to enjoy!

Learn more: Rebound Experiment/Science Buddies

38. Build a cloud chamber to prove background radiation

A cloud chamber constructed of a plastic container, cookie sheet, and dry ice, and

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

Learn more: Background Radiation/Science Buddies

39. Slide into kinetic friction

Measure the effect of friction on different surfaces.

Students will investigate kinetic friction and its effects on the speed of a rolling object by giving the objects a little push and watching them fly, on surfaces both smooth and rough. Stay tuned to see which texture wins the race!

Learn more: Effect of Friction on Objects in Motion/Science Buddies

40. Harness the power of air drag

Design and test parachutes to study air drag.

Who can make the slowest descent? Students will use the power of drag to create a design that takes its sweet time falling to the ground. They’ll be encouraged to tinker and tweak until they have the ultimate sky-sailing machine.

Learn more: Science World and Scientific American

41. Magnetize a motor

5 high school physics science projects with magnets.

Magnets lend themselves as a helpful material in many a science experiment. Your students will explore the properties of magnetism with any one of these five experiments using magnets. They’ll even learn the basics of Fleming’s left-hand rule.

Learn more: Simple Electric Motor/School Science Experiments

42. Explore interference and diffraction

Explore interference and diffraction using CDs.

Investigate the physics of light and optics using CDs and DVDs. Though both of these optical objects might be quickly becoming a thing of the past, your students can utilize their diffraction patterns to explore the science behind optics.

Learn more: Science Buddies

Engineering Experiments for High School

Engineering involves the hands-on application of multiple types of science. Teens with an interest in designing and building will especially enjoy these STEM challenge science experiments for high school. They’re all terrific for science fairs too.

43. 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/Student Savvy

44. Peer into an infinity mirror

Rectangular and circular mirrors with lights reflecting into the distance (Science Experiments for High School)

Optical illusions are mesmerizing, but they also help teach kids about a variety of science concepts. Design and build a mirror that seems to reflect lights on and on forever. The supplies are basic, but the impact is major!

Learn more: Infinity Mirror/Science Buddies

45. Design a heart-rate monitor

DIY heart rate monitor made from blue fabric and a red heart

Smartwatches are ubiquitous these days, so pretty much anyone can wear a heart-rate monitor on their wrist. But can you build your own? It takes some specialized supplies, but they’re not hard to track down. You can buy items like an Arduino LilyPad Board on Amazon.

Learn more: Heart Rate Monitor/Science Buddies

46. 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/Instructables

47. Launch a model rocket

Model rockets built from water bottles and other supplies

Bottle rockets are another one of those classic science experiments for high school classes, and for good reason! The engineering involved in designing and launching a rocket capable of carrying a specified payload involves the practical application of all sorts of concepts. Plus, it’s fun!

Learn more: Bottle Rockets/Science Buddies

48. 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 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/Instructables

49. 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.

Learn more: Hydraulic Claw/KiwiCo

50. Play volleyball with machines

Challenge your students to design and build machines that will volley a Ping-Pong ball back and forth, using only basic materials. They can even compare their results to those from students around the world!

Learn more: Volleyball Challenge/Science Buddies

51. 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/SciToys

52. 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/Instructables

53. 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/Instructables

54. Unleash the power of geothermal energy

How to use heat as a source of renewable energy.

This experiment is all about tapping into the fiery fury deep underground within the Earth and harnessing it for clean, renewable power. It will definitely spark your students’ interest and exploration of geothermal energy.

Learn more: Geothermal Energy/Science Buddies

55. Construct a Rube Goldberg machine

In this activity, students will unleash their creativity as they design and build their very own contraptions that perform a simple task in the most complicated way possible. Your students will be using the engineering design process, problem-solving skills, and teamwork to create truly unique machines.

Learn more: Design and Build a Rube Goldberg/Teach Engineering

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Whether you're a student looking for a science fair idea or a teacher seeking new science experiments for high school labs, find them here!

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high school projects biology

Biology Research Projects for High School Students: 20 Ideas To Try This Summer

high school projects biology

By János Perczel

Co-founder of Polygence, PhD from MIT

15 minute read

biology research project

Biology and biomedical research are two of the most popular academic disciplines among high schoolers. If you’re someone who’s interested in those fields and you’re looking for research opportunities this summer, you’ve come to the right place! With the study of biology, not only can you gain a better understanding of the natural world, but your research can have practical applications in fields like medicine, agriculture, and environmental science. Whether you’re just starting out in your exploration of biology, have taken a biology class in school, or you’re looking to do some advanced research to submit to your state’s science fair, we have level-appropriate ideas for you!

With a variety of topics like cancer treatment, genetics, neurodegenerative diseases, and marine life, we’ve got you covered. Here is a curated list of 20 different research project ideas to get those creative juices flowing. If you’re hungry for more, head over to our comprehensive Project Ideas database here and browse over 2800 more ideas!  

Research YOUR fave areas of Biology and Medicine

Polygence pairs you with an expert mentor in to create a passion project around biology and medicine. Together, you work to create a high quality research project that is uniquely your own. We also offer options to explore multiple topics, or to showcase your final product!

high school projects biology

Human Body Project Ideas

Rate of cognitive decline in different elevations.

Oxygen partial pressure decreases with altitude, challenging blood oxygenation which may affect brain function. If you’ve ever felt some altitude sickness, then this is exactly what’s happening. This is because the atmospheric pressure decreases at higher elevations, leading to a decrease in the partial pressures of the gasses in the air, including oxygen. And of course, oxygen is needed for us to function. What is the effect on brain health/ cognition in sudden increased elevation: say, climbing Mount Everest? Does chronic exposure to high elevations increase the likelihood of dementia? In this project, a meta-analysis of published works examining the effects of altitude on cognition would be conducted.

Idea by mentor Alyssa

Building a Blood Vessel

Use online graphics to illustrate how a blood vessel forms. Blood vessels are structures that carry blood and are responsible for transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. There are three main types of blood vessels: arteries, veins, and capillaries. For this project, complete a literature search to understand what is known about blood vessel growth. Then, utilize this information to generate a graphic with no words to demonstrate how the vasculature (network of blood vessels) forms. The goal of this project is to explain science without using text and therefore make it more available to a larger community.

Idea by mentor Natalie

Examining the bacterial profile of various households

As of late, bacterial microbiomes have been a huge and interesting topic in the field of bacteriology as they play an important role in human health. Bacterial microbiomes are communities of bacteria that live on or outside organisms. They’re found in various parts of the human body, and help us to digest food and regulate our immune system. In this project, you will seek to understand how skin microbiomes can differ between different  individuals of different households. This project will require making different bacterial media that can be made at home selecting for various microorganisms. If you’re new to preparing bacterial media, check out this resource here!

Idea by mentor Hamilton

Regulation of Circadian Clocks

Sleep is known to be governed by two distinct processes: a circadian clock that aligns sleep and wakefulness to the solar day and the sleep homeostat that encodes for sleep debt as a compensatory mechanism against sleep loss. You’ve most likely heard about circadian rhythm and our body’s internal clock, and circadian regulation of sleep is a fundamental process that allows animals to anticipate sleepiness or wakefulness consistently every day. These mechanisms can be regulated in multiple ways: at the gene, protein, gene, and clock neuronal level. In this project, we will focus on 1) how to efficiently digest primary and review articles to compile and condense information, 2) investigate how circadian clocks are regulated at these different genetic levels, and 3) try to effectively summarize the information we've gathered. We can present this information in a variety of ways, and what the final product looks like is up to you.

Idea by mentor Oscar

The Biology of Aging

Aging is the number one risk factor for a variety of diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and loss of hearing/sight. We are only now beginning to truly understand the process of aging and have even started to uncover ways that we could stop, or potentially reverse, the effects of aging. What are the hallmarks/signs of aging? How do researchers study 'aging'? How does human lifespan and aging compare to the rest of the animal kingdom? Is it possible to stop or reverse the effects of aging? What advancements are being made related to this? We could explore these questions or brainstorm others you might have about the biology of aging.

Idea by mentor Emily

Animals, Plants, and Nature Project Ideas

How genetically engineered mosquitoes are reducing rates of vector-borne diseases such as zika.

Many countries are already releasing millions of genetically engineered mosquitoes into the wild every week. These mosquitoes have been modified to reduce their ability to transmit disease-causing pathogens like dengue fever, Zika, and malaria, and are sent into the wild to mate with disease-carrying mosquitoes. However, this is still controversial as some people are concerned about the unintended consequences on the environment. What could be the potential pros and cons for this? The project will mainly focus on doing meta analysis of articles and watching informative videos to understand how/why genetically engineered mosquitoes can be used to reduce rates of different diseases. Students will have the chance to use critical thinking and do in-depth research on genetic engineering techniques, how scientists determine breeding rates and number of insects released, and epidemiology of different bloodborne diseases.

Idea by mentor Vanessa

Efficacy of Marine Protected Areas

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are areas of ocean or coastal waters that are set aside for the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. These areas are established by governments, NGOs, or other organizations, and they can take different forms, from fully protected "no-take" zones to areas with regulated fishing or other activities. Marine protected areas have the potential to guide sustainable resource management and protect biodiversity, but have a host of reasons for why they are not currently effective. Explore reasons for why MPAs may not be effective. Then develop a framework for mapping, modeling, and implementing an effective Marine Protected Area.

Bioinspiration: Do animals hold the answers?

Can the toxins produced by frogs help us fight antibiotic resistant bacteria strains? How can understanding how lizards and newts regrow their limbs help us improve wound treatment? Why do tilapia skins help with burns? Discover the role of animals in the development of modern medicine as well as its potential. Are there any ethical concerns with these developments and findings? If so, what are they and do they matter? Share your findings in a research proposal, article, or presentation.

Idea by mentor Cheyenne

How Climate Change Can Affect Future Distributions of Rare Species

Climate change, such as global warming and longer drought, can threaten the existence of some of the rarest plants on earth. It is important to understand how future suitable habitats will change for these rare species so that we can target our conservation efforts in specific areas. In this project, you will identify a rare species that you like (it can be animals, plants, or fungi!), and gather the data online on its current occurrences. Then you will learn how to perform species distribution modeling to map its current and future suitable habitat areas. To get you started on learning species distribution modeling, check out this Youtube resource here. The changes in the amount or location of future suitable habitats can significantly affect the destiny of a rare species. By doing this project, you will not only learn skills in data analyses but also become the best ambassador for this rare species that you love. 

Idea by mentor Yingtong

A Reef’s Best Frenemies

Coral reefs are in global decline. A primary cause of this is "coral bleaching" which results in the white reefs we often see in the news. Coral bleaching is actually the breakdown in the partnership between the coral animal and tiny, symbiotic algae that live within its cells. Corals and algae have a variety of thermal tolerances which are likely decided by genetic and environmental factors. However, despite how important this relationship is, it's currently very poorly understood. This project would review existing literature on the symbiotic partnernship and try to identify factors that predict bleaching and thermal resilience.

Idea by mentor Carly

Dive in to BioMed NOW!

Register to get paired with one of our expert mentors and to get started on exploring your passions today! You have agency in setting up your schedule for this research. Dive in now!

Sitting girl reading a book in the field

Diseases and Treatments Project Ideas

The understanding of a new and upcoming treatment: immunotherapy.

Immunotherapies have been growing in the past few years as alternative treatments for many types of cancer. These treatments work by boosting the patient's immune system to fight the disease, however it is not always effective. There are many types of immunotherapies with various nuances, but they all work to attack specific cells that are causing the disease. For this project, pick one of a few types of immunotherapy and deeply understand the mechanism of action and what is the current effectiveness against the cancer it treats.

Idea by mentor Hannah

Exploring The Cancer Genome Atlas data 

There has been an explosion of publicly available data for cancer. The Cancer Genome Atlas was a research program with the purpose of creating a comprehensive catalog of genomic and molecular information about different types of cancer, with the aim of improving our understanding of the disease and developing new treatments. The dataset has been used to identify new cancer subtypes, develop diagnostic tests, and discover potential targets for new cancer therapies. Explore the implications and impact of The Cancer Genome Atlas data, and why it’s become so important.

Idea by mentor Hersh

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Physiological Benefits of Fasting-induced Autophagy

Autophagy, meaning "self-eating", is a cellular process where damaged or unwanted components are disposed. Autophagy has been linked to various diseased pathologies, including cancer and heart disease. Fasting or specific dietary lifestyles may induce levels of autophagy in the human body. In this project, we will perform and systematic review and meta-analysis of fasting or diet-induced autophagy and its benefits on the body. You will gain skills in 1) searching and reviewing primary literature, 2) computational skills for performing data analysis (R language), and 3) writing your scientific findings.

Idea by mentor Jose 

The Amyloid Hypothesis: Sifting through the controversy

For many years, scientists have thought that amyloid beta was the protein responsible for a patient developing Alzheimer's Disease symptoms. This "Amyloid Hypothesis" is now being questioned in light of current clinical data. Recently, drugs have been developed that reduce amyloid beta in patients. Surprisingly, the drugs worked in reducing amyloid beta, but it did not result in the slowing of disease pathology. Does this mean that the amyloid hypothesis is incorrect? Is amyloid beta less important in the progression of disease then what we once thought? This research project aims to explore the issues with the amyloid hypothesis and to assess where we stand in our understanding of amyloid beta's contribution to Alzheimer’s.

Idea by mentor Patrick

How do vaccines work?

During the COVID pandemic, vaccines have been all over the news! But how do they actually work? What’s the science behind them? Through this project, you will explore how vaccines work and the history of science behind vaccine development. While the final product of the projectwill be up to you, the ultimate goal of this project is for you to be a true public health advocate for vaccines and to be able to communicate why vaccines are so important in a way that the general public can understand.

Idea by mentor Helen

Sleep Disruption Profiles in Various Mouse Models of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been studied for decades but we are no closer to understanding the mechanisms of the disease. Because of the vast number of researchers studying AD, there are numerous models used to study the disease. All these models have different sleep profiles, phenotypes, disease onsets, sex differences etc. Therefore, in this project we will compile a document based on extensive literature review about the various models there are. We will focus on sleep profiles in these animals with an emphasis on male and female differences. This information is valuable because it is important to know which model is best to use to answer your scientific questions and there is a lot of criticism (by other scientists) that can be brought on by the model chosen so you need to be able to justify your choice. This project will also introduce you to the world of AD research and some of the gaps in knowledge in the field.

Idea by mentor Shenee

Rethinking The Treatment Of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases affect millions of people worldwide. They are conditions that affect the nervous system, particularly the brain and spinal cord, and examples include Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. While billions of dollars have been spent trying to find treatments for the disease, very few drugs and therapies have had a meaningful impact on slowing down disease progression. This is often because by the time someone is diagnosed with a disease, it has progressed too far for a treatment to have a substantial effect. Some recent approaches to treatment have turned to looking for early indications of the disease (termed "biomarkers") that can occur before the onset of symptoms. By diagnosing disease and beginning treatment before symptoms arise, these treatments could have a more profound effect in slowing down the progression of disease. Students could review the recent progress being made on identifying biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, and either write a paper or even record a podcast on their findings!

Idea by mentor David

Genetics Project Ideas

Height and genetics: nature or nurture.

How much do your genes determine your height? How much do nutrition and environmental factors play a role? What gene variants are implicated in height differences and what is the role of epigenetics? Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype that occur without changes to the underlying DNA sequence. These changes can be influenced by diet and lifestyle. We will access and analyze an open dataset on twins to estimate the correlation between monozygotic twins (who have the exact same DNA) and height. You will learn to use R to open a dataset, analyze data with statistical methods such the student’s t-test, and display your data as graphs and charts. Finally, you will learn how to make a research presentation on height and genetics, describe the research methods, and present the data in a compelling and thorough way.

Idea by mentor Adeoluwa

The World of Personalized Medicine

Similar to our fingerprints, our genetic code is also unique to each individual person. Our genetic code is what determines our hair color, height, eye color, skin tone...just about everything! For those that develop diseases such as cancer, their genetic code found inside the malignant cells that comprise a tumor may also be unique to them or to certain groups of people with similar mutations (the drivers of disease). So why is it that we treat each person the same way even though the genetic drivers of that disease may be disparate? The world of Personalized Medicine is new and exciting and looks to circumvent this problem. Personalized Medicine (also known as precision medicine) uses the genetic code of a patients disease to guide treatment options that prove to be highly efficacious. Together, lets write a review on a disease of your choice that could benefit from Personalized Medicine based on current literature and research.

Idea by mentor Somer

General Biology Project Ideas

Teach a biology concept two ways: to your fellow students and to the general public.

One of the best ways to learn is to teach. Choose a biological concept that interests you and prepare a lesson and or demo on it. The format should be a video recording of yourself teaching (a la Khan Academy or a Zoom class), but the other details are up to you. Consider incorporating a demonstration (e.g. how can you use items from your kitchen to illustrate properties of mixtures?) or animation (e.g. to illustrate molecular motion). Also consider how you will check that your students understand the concept(s) and/or skill(s) you have taught them. Prepare and record two versions of your lesson: one intended for your peers and one for the general public. How will the versions differ to reflect these different audiences? You will learn what it's like to teach, gain a much greater understanding of your chosen concept(s)/skill(s), and learn how to communicate science to different audiences.

Idea by mentor Alexa

Once you’ve picked a project idea, check out some of our resources to help you progress with your project! Whether you’re stuck on how to cite sources , how to come up with a great thesis statement , or how to showcase your work once it’s finished , we’ve created blog posts to help you out. If you’re interested in doing one of the biology research projects with the help of an amazing mentor at Polygence, apply now ! If you would like some help with coming up with your own idea, book a complimentary consultation call with our admissions team here !

Biology Science Fair Project Ideas

Hill Street Studios / DigitalVision / Getty Images

How to Find Science Project Ideas

Plant project ideas, human body project ideas, animal project ideas, researching your science project ideas.

Science fair projects give you the opportunity to experience science and biology through hands-on activities . In order to ensure that you have a great biology project, it is important that you first understand biology and the scientific method . Simply put, biology is the study of life. Life is all around us which means that there are enormous possibilities when considering a biology science project. We use the scientific method as a means of studying science and biology. Scientific inquiry starts with an observation followed by the formulation of a question about what has been observed. Then comes designing a scientific experiment to answer the question posed.

So where do you get ideas for biology science fair projects? The answer is from almost anywhere. The key is to start with a question that you would like to find an answer to and use the scientific method  to help you answer it. When choosing a science fair project topic , make sure that you select a topic that you are interested in. Then narrow this topic down to a specific question.

Below you will find science fair project ideas primarily related to biology. Remember that these samples are meant to give direction and ideas. It is important that you do the work yourself and not just copy the material. Also, be sure that you know all of the rules and regulations for your particular science fair before you begin your project.

Plants are important to life as we know it. They provide everything from food, clothing, and shelter to medicine and fuel. Plant projects are popular because plants are abundant, inexpensive, and relatively easy to study during experimentation. These experiments allow you to learn about plant processes and environmental factors that impact plant life.

If you have ever wondered how the body works or about all the biological processes that keep the body functioning, then you should consider a science project on the human body. These projects allow you to gain a better knowledge of how the body functions and also provide insight into human behavior.

Animal science projects allow us to understand various aspects of animal life. They provide information about animal anatomy, behavior, and even provide insight into human biological processes. Before deciding to do an animal project, be sure that you get permission and avoid animal cruelty. Some science fairs do not allow animal experiments, while others have strict regulations for animal usage.

After you have come up with an idea and topic for your science project, you must research your topic. Research involves finding out everything you can about the scientific principles involved with your project idea. There are several resources available for researching your science fair project. Some of these include your local library, science books and magazines, internet science news sources, and teachers or educators. The most helpful thing that you can do when researching for your project is to take excellent notes.

It is important that keep track of all the resources used in your research as these source materials will be required for listing in the bibliography for your science fair project report.

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high school projects biology

4 Biology Project Ideas for High School Students

Biology Projects are great teaching tools educators can use to boost student interest in the subject and spark classroom participation.

Testing plants and gravity

Testing root growth in relationship to gravity is a fun and simple idea. To do this, students need to cut a strip of paper towel approximately one inch wide. Then, they lay pinto beans on the strip and roll it up. Next, moisten the strip and tape it to a square of cardboard, placing the entire thing in a zip top bag. Finally, place it in a warm window and observe over time and look for roots and stems to sprout.

Once the roots and stems sprout, students will notice that the sprouts point up and the roots point down. After making this observation, students should turn the bag so the plant is growing sideways, then upside down, continuing to observe root growth with these changes

Fruit flies and tea

Tea is often offered as a healthful drink, but which tea is the most healthful? This project tries to answer that. To set up the fruit fly and tea experiment, students must create a mixture of tea and fruit fly food. This works best when students choose four different teas to test four different groups of flies. A fifth group — the control group — will receive fruit fly food with plain water. The tea should be brewed by seeping a tea bag in three tablespoons of boiling water for a set period of time. Then, it should be mixed with fruit fly food.

Once the food is prepared, it should be added to five separate vials. Then, each vial receives 10 adult fruit flies. Every day, the fruit flies that remain alive should be removed and transferred to a new vial that contains the same tea and food mixture. This should be repeated until all fruit flies have died. The student can then determine which food/tea mixture provided the greatest longevity to the flies.

Cleaning oil off birds

When birds are coated with oil after an oil spill, their life is at risk. This project will test a variety of solvents to determine which is the best to use in this situation. It uses feathers, not live birds, to make this determination.

The experiment begins with weighing several sets of feathers, then dipping bird feathers in oil. After the feathers are dipped, they are weighed again. This shows the weight of the oil on the feathers and serves as the means of measuring the effectiveness of the solvents.

Once they are all dipped and weighed, the feathers are washed in a range of cleaners, with one group remaining unwashed to serve as a control. After washing, the feathers are weighed yet again. This should indicate which solvent is the most effective, as the feathers washed in it will show the most oil weight loss.

Vitamin C and colds

Vitamin C is often offered as a solution to help prevent the common cold. This simple experiment helps determine if there is much fact to this common bit of advice. The student selects two groups of willing participants, preferably people who do not live in the same house. One group will agree to take a vitamin C tablet daily for a month, while the second will agree not to. All will record any cold symptoms they experience during that month.

At the end of the month, the groups will switch. After a second month, the data can be collected and analyzed to determine if taking vitamin C made a difference in cold symptoms.

Each of these biology project ideas tackles a different aspect of the subject, including botany, environmental science, human biology and zoology. They all provide an interesting way to present important biology ideas to students in a way that encourages inquiry.

You may also like to read

20 Fun and Interesting Biology Experiments for High School 

Jennifer is a prolific writer with over 10 years of experience in online writing. She enjoys creating quotes and poems.

Learn about our Editorial Policy .

Unlike science in middle school, high school biology is a hands-on endeavor. Experiments are a standard part of biology courses, whether they are part of a controlled laboratory class, science fair, or individual student projects. Explore a few fascinating high school biology experiments; and discover ideas for simple and easy biology experiments to incorporate into your curriculum.

Examples of Biology Experiments for High School

Whether you are looking for a science fair project or need to create a project for a class assignment, there are numerous biology projects for teens.

Frog Dissection

Dissecting a frog is a quintessential part of high school biology. If possible, try to get both female and male specimens for your class so students can see the eggs and compare the insides to the male frog.

Flower Dissection

High schoolers can get a bit squirmy about frog dissection. Have a flower dissection instead. The teens can find and label the female and male parts of the flower. It can be fun for high schoolers to check out flower intricacies under a microscope.

Diversity Among Plant Samples

Another simple biology experiment involves going into your natural environment, such as a local park, to observe diversity among plant samples. To make the experiment more detailed, students can rub collected samples on filter paper to observe which plants present which colors . Teens can work to find out why certain plants present certain colors.


It can be enlightening to show kids how phototropism affects plants. They can set up an experiment by using different materials to affect light. They can see how affecting the light affects the growth of the plant.

Water From Common Sources

Water is everywhere. Unfortunately, water contains numerous elements too. A great experiment is collecting water samples from various sources and viewing them under a microscope. Students can then compare their results and attempt to postulate why a given water source would present more organisms than another would.

Yeast Experiment

Another experiment involves taking a piece of bread to monitor the molds that grow over a period of two weeks.

Taste Perception

Everyone has their own taste. Literally! Some people like sour things while others like sweet. Find out if everyone perceives taste the same way and has the same threshold for taste by doing an in-class experiment.

Disinfectant Effectiveness

Ever wonder how effective hand sanitizer is at killing bacteria? Test it! Grow bacteria in a Petri dish along with paper soaked in peroxide, white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, etc. Find out how each one of them works to inhibit bacteria growth.

Pea Plant Genetics

Students can recreate Mendel's genetic pea plant experiments . By growing pea plants and comparing their phenotypes, students can determine each parent plant's genotype.

Examining Fingerprints

Fingerprints are pretty amazing features on the human body. Not only can you use them to open your phone, but each one is unique . Put your fingerprint on paper and examine the different aspects of the lines and arches on your fingers. Compare fingerprints among everyone in class.

Comparing Animal and Plant Cells

To better understand animal and plant cells, students can compare cells from their cheeks to cells from an onion. Just stain the cells with iodine or another dye to better see the cell structures under a microscope.

Creating a DNA model is a great way to help students understand the structure and function of DNA in genetics. Students can use candy, string, and toothpicks to develop a fairly realistic model of the double helix structure.

Water Bottle Germs

Many people refill their water bottles in high school. But do they add germs or bacteria to the bottle? Is refilling a disposable water bottle safe? Have students take swabs of the water bottles they use and look for bacteria around the lid or on the bottle.

Testing Hair

Teens use a lot of hair products. But do they truly work? Have teens in your class take a few samples of their hair. See what happens to the hair when common hair products are added.

Water Cycle

Understanding the water cycle isn't hard. But teens can look at it firsthand by creating a water cycle experiment. Just have them fill a baggie with water and tape it to a window. They will watch evaporation, condensation, and precipitation in action.

Closed Ecosystem Bottle

It can be hard for students to imagine something having its own ecosystem. However, you can use a plastic bottle to create a closed ecosystem.

Field Survey Biology Experiment

This experiment is great because it is cheap, easy, and you can do it in a variety of areas around your school or send students home with it. The goal is to observe the surrounding area over time and monitor the samples that you collect.

Materials You'll Need

For this experiment, you need to grab:

Observation Instructions

Take note that you will observe your area for several months, so choose an area that is easy to re-mark or where you can leave the markings up, so you return to the same designated area each time.

Sampling and Classroom Instructions

Bring the research back into the classroom by following these instructions.

Teacher tip: Set up stations in the classroom for viewing, dissecting, drawing, testing pH, etc. This will allow students some choice in how they proceed with examining their specimens.

Testing for Bacteria

Have students see where the most bacteria are lurking. This experiment is great if you want a lab that has guaranteed results. There is always some kind of bacteria lurking somewhere, just waiting to grow in a student's Petri dish.

These are the materials you are going to need to have on hand.

Material notes : You can also purchase sterile Petri dishes and agar separately; however, it is much more likely students will contaminate the plate before they swab.

Preparing Your Petri Dishes

Prepping your Petri dishes is an essential part of the experiment.

Collecting Samples

Have students bring their unopened sterile swabs and closed Petri dishes to the site. Carefully, they should:

Hint: Sometimes, it's helpful to tape the Petri dish shut so that the Petri dish doesn't accidentally lose its lid.

Evaluating Results

Now that you've swabbed the areas, it's all about the results.

The Effect of Light on Growth

In this lab, students investigate how light affects plant growth. Students may use any plants, but cress will grow more quickly, so your students can get results faster.

Gather up your materials.


With your materials at the ready, it's time to start your experiment.

Planaria Regeneration

In this lab, students watch the rate at which planaria regenerates and test whether how you cut the planaria makes a difference as to how they grow back.

To conduct this experiment, you want to grab.

Setup Instructions

Getting the setup right is half the battle when it comes to creating fun and interesting biology experiments for high schoolers.

Scientific Method and High School Biology Experiments

Much of high school biology is focused on instilling the elements of science in students. The scientific method is one of these main focuses. The method prompts participants in science to be investigators and to come up with a guess about what will happen in a given experiment, called a hypothesis. The point of the experiment is then to either prove the hypothesis correct through the experiment or prove it incorrect. This prompts teens to get involved in the scientific method while teaching other scientific skills, such as:

As much fun as biology experiments can be, there is an educational component spearheading the experiment.

Fun and Interesting High School Biology Experiments

For teens, high school biology can be fun. Finding the right experiment can help biology pop off the page and become more than just another required course of study. Who knows? Perhaps your student will even be prompted to enter a science fair or a career rooted in science?


71+ Biology Final Project Ideas For Biology Students (2023)

Biology Final Project Ideas

If you are a biology student and want to know biology final project ideas, you do not need to worry because you are at the right place. In this blog, we will discuss 71+ biology final project ideas from beginners to advanced levels. However, biology final project ideas can be exciting and challenging because they require students to apply their knowledge of biological concepts and theories to the real world. 

Here are some of the best biology final project ideas for beginners to advance level students that you must try in 2023. But before this, let us discuss the meaning of biology and the branches of biology.

On the other hand, if you face any difficulty in any type of assignment/homework, then do not worry you can get the best microbiology assignment help from us at an affordable price. You can also check nursing project topics .

An Quick Overview Of Biology

Table of Contents

In this section, we will talk about the definition of the famous USA-born author, he is a popular science writer who specializes in various topics of biology, such as heredity, evolution and parasites. Moreover, we will also discuss the meaning of biology.

Definition of Biology 

Meaning of biology.

Biology is the scientific study of life and living organisms. It is a branch of science focusing on the structure, function, evolution, and interactions of living things at all levels, from molecules and cells to organisms and ecosystems. 

Biology includes various fields, including genetics, physiology, ecology, evolution, microbiology, and biochemistry. 

By studying biology, scientists can gain knowledge of the fundamental principles that control life and apply this knowledge to address a wide range of scientific, environmental, and medical challenges.

Branches Of Biology

There are 3 main branches of biology that students have studied in their biology subject.

high school projects biology


Things That Students Must Have Before Starting Biology Projects

Here are some things that students must have before starting biology projects:

Biology Final Project Ideas From Beginners To Advance Level For 2023

Here are some of the best biology final project ideas for biology students. You can choose a project according to your knowledge level.

27+ Biology Final Project Ideas For Beginners-Level Students

Here are some project ideas that beginner-level students must try in 2023 : 

23+ Biology Final Project Ideas For Intermediate-Level Students

Here are some project ideas that intermediate-level students must try in 2023 : 

15+ Biology Final Project Ideas For Advance-Level Students

Here are some project ideas that advance-level students must try in 2023 : 

Ways To Make Biology Projects Efficiently

There are many ways to make a biology project efficient. Here are some tips to consider:

1. Plan Your Project In Advance

Start planning your project in advance to ensure you have enough time to complete all the necessary research and experimentation.

2. Choose The Topic In That You Efficient

Select a topic that you find interesting and relevant to your field of study, as this will help to keep you motivated and engaged throughout the project.

3. Research The Topic In Detail

Collect information from credible sources, such as scientific journals , textbooks, and reputable websites, to ensure your project is well informed and up-to-date.

4. Organized The Content

Keep detailed notes and records of your research and experimentation to ensure you can easily reference and analyze your findings later.

5. Use Appropriate Methods

Choose appropriate methods and techniques for your project’s data and make sure they are ethical and scientifically used.

6. Analyze Data Properly

Use appropriate statistical methods to analyze and interpret your data, ensuring your results are accurate and reliable.

7. Use Clear And Simple Language

Use clear and simple language when writing your project report or creating your presentation, ensuring that your ideas are easy to understand and communicate effectively.

8. Take Feedback from Your Professor

Ask your professor for feedback and guidance throughout the project, as this can help you identify improvement areas and refine your work.

This is the end of this post, which is about the final biology project ideas. However, in this post, we explain more than 71+ biology final project ideas for biology students. Biology subjects offer a broad range of topics on that students make projects. 

There are 3 branches of biology that we have discussed in this blog. Firstly, students should select the branch of biology and the topic for the project. Then they have to follow the above mention steps that we discussed under Ways To Make Biology Projects Efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1. list some high school biology final project ideas..

Here is the list of high school biology final project ideas :  1. Plant growth with different fertilizers. 2. Natural vs. commercial insect repellents. 3. Local bird behavior and ecology. 4. Pollution impact on aquatic ecosystems. 5. Exercise and heart rate variability.

Q2. List some ap biology final project ideas.

Here is the list of ap biology final project ideas :  1. Investigating genetic diversity in a local population. 2. Exploring the effects of different wavelengths of light on photosynthesis. 3. Studying the impact of environmental factors on gene expression. 4. Analyzing the biomechanics of human movement. 5. Investigating the ecological interactions of a particular species in an ecosystem.

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Science Projects > Science Fair Projects > Biology Science Fair Projects  

Biology Science Fair Projects

A biology science fair project may help your entry stand out in the minds of judges.

Why? One reason is because they’re less common than other projects. Another reason is that under most conditions, biology projects cannot be rushed. Judges may note that when they see your planning log, notebook, or other records.

Getting Started

For tips on performing your experiment and presenting your project, see our free science fair guide.  Browse our Science Fair Kits category for more project ideas and easy-to-use products.

Types of Biology Science Fair Projects

-Bacteria -Botany -Human Body & Anatomy -Insect -Soil, Water, Acid Rain and the Environment -Zoology

Use petri dishes and agar to grow bacteria.

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Human Body & Anatomy :

What do insects eat?

Soil , Water , Acid Rain, and the Environment:

Science Fair Regulations

Most science fairs have regulations regarding the use of living material, especially bacteria, animals, and humans. You may need to get advance approval for your project, so check your fair’s guidelines before beginning! You can go here to find the rules for ISEF-affiliated science fairs.

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Welcome! Read other Biology / Life Science articles or explore our the rest of the Homeschool Hub which consists of over 650 free science articles!

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Home Science Tools offers a wide variety of biology products and kits. Shop for all your biology teaching needs: kits, dissection supplies, petri dishes & more.

Your Complete Field Guide to Dissection

Your Complete Field Guide to Dissection

If you’re looking for a way to make biology fun and memorable for your student, look no further than dissection! This complete field guide to dissection will explain everything needed to make dissection labs an enjoyable learning experience for your kids.

Snowstorm in a Boiling Flask Density Project

Snowstorm in a Boiling Flask Density Project

You know the mesmerizing feeling of watching the snow fall during a snowstorm? With this project, you can make your own snowstorm in a flask using an adaptation from the lava lamp science experiment! It’s a perfect project for any winter day.

Thanksgiving Family Genetics Activity

Thanksgiving Family Genetics Activity

This Turkey Family Genetics activity is a fun way to teach your student about inheriting different traits and spark a lively conversation about why we look the way that we do.

Thanksgiving Science Projects eBook

Thanksgiving Science Projects eBook

Fun & Easy Science Activities Your Kids Will Love!

Homeschool Science Dissection Kits

Homeschool Science Dissection Kits

Homeschool science dissection kits are an important part of a homeschool science curriculum. But, many parents often get caught up in thinking that high school science labs need to be hard. Not so! There are many homeschool science dissection kits that are available...


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This high school senior's science project could one day save lives

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The Resilience of Sino-Russian High-Tech Cooperation

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Editor’s Note: This is the fourth article in a series on Sino-Russian defense cooperation organized by the Center for a New American Security. Be sure to read to the first , second , and third articles in the series.

This month, Russian security services announced the arrest of the president of the St. Petersburg Arctic Social Sciences Academy, who was accused of passing classified submarine detection information to Chinese intelligence. While Russia and China are signing joint agreements to develop high-tech research centers and initiatives, the outlook is more complex beneath the surface. As Washington reorients its strategy and posture for great-power competition, the high-tech partnership between Moscow and Beijing could be a force multiplier for both countries, if these efforts deliver on their promises.

These trends reflect the result of mutual interests and alignment of technological imperatives, which have contributed to the expansion of high-tech efforts between the two countries. There continue to be reasons for skepticism about the actual results and long-term trajectory of this evolving partnership, just as there are reasons for concern that elements of this effort may succeed. The current changes in the global innovation landscape and geopolitical environment have created an important strategic opportunity for China and Russia to counter and undercut American hegemony, including in the realm on issues of norms and global governance. As China and Russia continue to pursue such research collaborations, the United States should continue to evaluate the prospects and potential implications.

Drivers of Technological Collaboration

The strategic partnership between China and Russia has deepened in response to an alignment of interests and security concerns. The designation of both countries as great-power competitors in U.S. strategy has contributed to a great degree of collaboration, reinforcing these trends. U.S. policy has imposed economic pressures, from sanctions against Russia to the trade war with China, and technological impediments, including export controls, that create constraints and further motivation for expanded cooperation. From the Chinese government’s perspective, the strengthening of this “strategic partnership” is intended “for the sake of global stability and confidence.”

American observers have often viewed this evolving partnership with skepticism as to its potential viability. Sino-Russian relations have been complex and often contested throughout their history, replete with mistrust and a degree of resentment, especially after their Cold War split. Yet, since the post-1991 reconciliation between Moscow and Beijing, competition and confrontation with the United States has often taken precedence, especially in recent years. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, “It’s mutual interest — and not money — that really counts” for China-Russia cooperation in AI.

Certainly, mutual interests matter, but so does money. China’s market and resources have outpaced Russia, while Russia has certain technical expertise that China still lacks. Their respective comparative advantages are therefore complementary. “We can use our best qualities, expanding our technological potential and competitiveness,” in the words of China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, while Putin has emphasized Russian advantages in “mathematics and everything related to it.”

An Agenda for Cooperation

2020 was already intended to be the start of a new phase of innovation cooperation, as evidenced by multiple bilateral efforts. Chinese and Russian leaders recognize emerging technologies as critical to both countries’ economic development in order to achieve a competitive advantage relative to the United States. In this moment of pandemic-initiated global economic disruption, the digital economy is seen as vital to stimulate future growth. China and Russia have been discussing key projects and developing a roadmap for the “Year of Russian-Chinese Scientific, Technical and Innovation Cooperation,” scheduled to occur in 2020 and 2021. In late December 2019, Putin signed a decree about this “year of innovation cooperation,” which was initially intended to include 800 events.

This new effort will build upon a range of prior initiatives that have included tech parks, joint ventures, and research partnerships. For instance, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang mentioned in December 2019 that plans for future cooperation would include information and communication tech, as well as AI and the “Internet of Things.” To underscore this cooperation, in June 2020, China’s ambassador to Russia, Zhang Hanhui, remarked that for this initiative, both countries will strengthen scientific and technical cooperation in public health and biosafety, emphasizing developments in big data, AI, and cloud computing. While the novel coronavirus pandemic has disrupted what was intended to be an ambitious agenda, these activities have adapted and may be further adjusted.

Beyond this agenda, the degree to which this partnership will mature remains to be seen. To date, cooperation has been guided primarily by regular meetings and engagement between China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and Russia’s Ministry of Science and Higher Education, which have sought to identify priorities and facilitate the linkage of projects. Cooperation between the Chinese and Russian Academies of Sciences, including in biotechnology and neuroscience, is an important element of this partnership. For this year of innovation cooperation, their joint activities involve bilateral academic seminars that will address topics such as space optics and ongoing science and technology exchanges. There has also been Chinese participation in the heavy ion superconducting synchrotron project in Russia, which has relevance to advances in the basic science and potential medical applications.

Chinese companies have also expanded their activities within Russia, especially Chinese technology behemoth Huawei. For instance, in March 2020, Huawei opened a research lab specializing in AI at Russia’s Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, which will offer young Russian scientists paid internships. In early 2020, Huawei also announced its plans to open the Huawei Academy of Information and Communication Technologies at Russia’s Kabardino-Balkarian State University. In fact, this company is the most visible and committed foreign investor in Russia’s developing AI ecosystem. In June 2020, Huawei pledged to help develop this ecosystem via three pathways: by strengthening cooperation with Russian partners in developing joint AI innovations based on the Huawei OpenLab innovation laboratory in Moscow, training Russian developers based on the global Ascend Developer Community, and developing academic AI technology courses, while expanding its circle of Russian universities where this training will be carried out. This is one of many efforts by the Chinese company to take advantage of Russian universities’ desire to develop world-class programs and research.

Progress and Results

The future of Sino-Russian scientific and technological cooperation is full of promise, or at least that is what senior officials from both countries claim in their portrayals of the partnership. There are already examples of apparent successes, such as the joint development of a fast-neutron reactor and collaboration on a wide-body long-range jet . At the same time, joint research and co-authorship between China and Russia has taken time to mature, largely due to practical obstacles, such as language barriers. By contrast, there has been greater integration and more extensive collaboration between American and Chinese technological ecosystems, yet that engagement is at risk of disruption due to the security debate over Huawei’s role in the United States.

While China and Russia still have access to other options and opportunities for research collaboration, their focus nonetheless has shifted towards creating joint platforms to combine capabilities and to facilitate the transfer and sharing of technologies. For example, in April 2020, the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the National Natural Science Foundation of China initiated a joint competition for the best fundamental research projects in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology, among other disciplines.

Certain aspects of Sino-Russian technological collaboration will likely possess dual-use applications. For example, according to one licensing project run by the Russian Ministry of Defense-managed ERA Techno City, “the [initiative] will involve the use of monitoring ongoing research and development in foreign countries in order to identify advanced technical solutions that can be applied in the development of weapons and special equipment.” In that particular case, there is special Ministry of Defense interest in Chinese-made electronics components with potential military and security applications.

For China and Russia, aviation and aerospace are promising avenues for joint development. During the Sino-Russian Engineering Technology Forum, convened in Xiamen in November 2019, agreements were signed for 15 projects, involving total investment of nearly $1.1 billion, including in the fields of aviation and aerospace. The forum itself covered topics that included space debris mitigation, lunar exploration, and unmanned aerial vehicles technologies and applications.

Impediments and Imbalances

Not all aspects of technological engagements between China and Russia have been positive. The glowing accounts of Sino-Russian technology partnerships in official statements are belied by issues of intellectual property theft, fraud, and corruption. In October 2019, the deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces was accused of supplying Chinese equipment to his military, swapping out Chinese labels for Russian ones to claim they were made in Russia, according to an ongoing investigation . As a result, charges of fraud were brought against the head of the technical acquisition department tasked with improving the Russian Armed Forces’ command-and-control system. And the June 2020 spying incident involving Chinese intelligence actors and one of Russia’s top Arctic scientists could potentially complicate future cooperation in the Arctic. While the effect of these incidents is difficult to estimate, such episodes may complicate and undermine cooperation.

Certain fundamental asymmetries between China and Russia may also constrain their partnership in the long term. In particular, Chinese investments in scientific and technological developments dwarf what Russia is able to dedicate to similar efforts. From a Russian perspective, this dynamic increases the importance of cooperation with China. Speaking in November 2019, the president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Sergeev, indicated that cooperation should be organized to ensure both sides “be equal participants in research.” He described the Russian contribution to the partnership as “the scientific intelligence and creativity, interesting ideas for setting up and interpreting experiments.” Presently, Russian scientists are seeking to improve their capacity to commercialize scientific knowledge, including maintaining control of intellectual property, learning from China’s approach.

Whereas the Soviet Union rendered important contributions to the initial development of science in China, today’s dynamic is reversed, as China becomes an important contributor to the future of science in Russia, which now has less to offer China. Despite the potential benefits of Russian “scientific and methodological” guidance, this reversal could undermine the partnership’s equality and balance in ways that could raise issues of pride or even a degree of resentment, as Russia seeks to leverage complementarities without becoming too much the junior and lesser partner. Increasingly, Russian officials are sounding the alarm at the growing gap in AI research and development that developed between Russia and China. For instance, German Klimenko, co-chairman of Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, recently reflected,

Previously, the Chinese visited us and studied, analyzed our developments in AI. There were discussions [in Russia] about how to stay in this leadership position. Now we are talking about the fact that we are either in the twenty, or even among the 60 leading countries [developing AI] in this field. How did it happen with our great potential?

This concern is echoed by other official statistics: As of late 2019, Russia generated 38 times fewer scientific patents than China and 16 times fewer than the United States. Russia itself recognizes that the “low level of attractiveness of Russian science as a field is due to the lack of an effective system for stimulating scientific and scientific-technical activity in the country.” Meanwhile, beyond this partnership, China has also prioritized expanding scientific collaboration pursuant to its Belt and Road Initiative , particularly with European countries, diversifying options for gaining access to foreign technologies.

Not lost on Moscow is the scale of China’s big investments in Russian high-tech industry. In June 2020, Huawei indicated that despite the ongoing global pandemic, it is still ready to offer the Russian information and communications market its own unique technological capabilities, the development of joint hardware and software solutions with Russian suppliers, as well as the organization of joint production. The Chinese behemoth will also continue to invest in local Russian research and development, develop a partner ecosystem and educational programs, thereby claiming to render a significant and lasting contribution to the development of the Russian high-tech industry. Despite Russian willingness to accept such generous investment, Moscow can’t offer a compatible investment effort into China at this point, making this growing high-tech relationship highly lopsided in Beijing’s favor. If the current trends hold, China could be in a more favorable position in continuing its quest to become a nation at the epicenter of global innovation, including leveraging a range of scientific and technological partnerships worldwide, especially under the aegis of the One Belt, One Road initiative.

Conclusions and Implications

In the years to come, Chinese and Russian scientific and technological cooperation will likely continue to deepen and progress. However, the actual results and efficacy of this partnership remain to be seen and could be undermined by divergences in priorities and perspectives. Ultimately, this “comprehensive strategic cooperation and partnership” is not a true alliance , but rather influenced by mutual concerns and benefits that are contingent upon present circumstances and geopolitics. This distinction of “partners, not allies” will continually influence future bilateral relations between China and Russia, even as geopolitical alignment remains a powerful impetus to deepen their partnership for the foreseeable future.

Nonetheless, for the United States, and for its allies and partners, a closer Russian-Chinese partnership could threaten national interests and security. U.S. attempts to isolate and constrain the progress of China and Russia in dual-use and military-relevant technologies, through measures such as export controls and sanctions, could be undermined by this partnership. This trend of authoritarian innovation has involved parallels in the use of emerging technologies, such as AI, for purposes of coercion and censorship. These developments also raise urgent concerns about the impact of today’s technological transformations on the future trajectories of democratic and authoritarian governance respectively. Of unique concern going forward is that governments in traditionally open, democratic societies are starting to implement technologies and practices for tracking and monitoring populations in an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic — tactics that used to be more unique to China.

At the same time, China and Russia have sought to sustain and explore options to continue scientific cooperation with the United States. There has even been overt messaging from the Russian government on the benefits of bilateral scientific cooperation as a potential facilitator for improved U.S.-Russian relations and possible counterbalance to Russia’s growing dependence on China. As then-Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev articulated in October 2019,

I would be lying if I said that [scientific cooperation] would destroy sanctions, break the wall of misunderstanding, and we will communicate easily and naturally [with the Americans]. This will not happen. But there is no doubt that science can contribute to this process.

Despite the backdrop of U.S.-Chinese friction on trade and tech issues, Beijing has continued to declare and signal its openness to scientific collaboration. At least for the time being, the United States remains the primary center of gravity, even in a world in which innovation is globalized and increasingly international in character.

Going forward, the U.S. government should continue to monitor these trends and create better metrics to analyze the Sino-Russian high-tech partnership. For instance, improvements in open-source intelligence should be re-evaluated, including the revision to decommission the Open Source Enterprise in June 2019. The United States should continue to adapt mechanisms to improve the protection of American technologies and innovation, including through introducing and adapting safeguards, such as export controls and best practices on screening for research partnerships, to mitigate the risks of intellectual property theft or exploitation of openness in science and technology.

As today’s strategic competition is systemic in character, the U.S. government and the American high-tech ecosystem should promulgate norms and ethical frameworks that are consistent with liberal values and democratic governance to provide guidance for the development and employment of today’s emerging tech. The United States, along with allies, partners, and concerned democracies worldwide, should mount a more coordinated response to Russian and Chinese promotion of alternative frameworks for technology governance on the world stage, which also demands progress on norms at home. Ultimately, Sino-Russian high-tech cooperation may prove resilient, but reasons remain for skepticism that both countries will manage to deliver on their extensive agendas. At the same time, the U.S. government should explore options for limited and carefully calibrated scientific collaboration with both China and Russia. Even at the height of the Cold War, the United States pursued scientific exchanges and cooperation with the Soviet Union, recognizing the potential impact of such “science diplomacy.” Today, there may be benefits for American diplomacy to include limited scientific engagement with China and Russia on subjects of mutual interest and concern, such as global public health.

Samuel Bendett is an analyst with the Center for Naval Analyses’ Russia Studies program. He is also an adjunct senior fellow with the Technology and National Security program at the Center for a New American Security.

Elsa Kania is an adjunct senior fellow with the Technology and National Security program at the Center for a New American Security. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in Harvard University’s Department of Government. 

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This high school senior's science project could one day save lives

Abē R. Levine

Teen mental health as diagnosed by AI.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 9-8-8, or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Text messages, Instagram posts and TikTok profiles. Parents often caution their kids against sharing too much information online, weary about how all that data gets used. But one Texas high schooler wants to use that digital footprint to save lives.

Siddhu Pachipala is a senior at The Woodlands College Park High School, in a suburb outside Houston. He's been thinking about psychology since seventh grade, when he read Thinking, Fast and Slow by psychologist Daniel Kahneman.

Concerned about teen suicide, Pachipala saw a role for artificial intelligence in detecting risk before it's too late. In his view, it takes too long to get kids help when they're suffering.

Early warning signs of suicide , like persistent feelings of hopelessness, changes in mood and sleep patterns, are often missed by loved ones. "So it's hard to get people spotted," says Pachipala.

For a local science fair, he designed an app that uses AI to scan text for signs of suicide risk. He thinks it could, someday, help replace outdated methods of diagnosis.

"Our writing patterns can reflect what we're thinking, but it hasn't really been extended to this extent," he said.

The app won him national recognition, a trip to D.C., and a speech on behalf of his peers . It's one of many efforts under way to use AI to help young people with their mental health and to better identify when they're at risk.

Experts point out that this kind of AI, called natural language processing, has been around since the mid-1990s . And, it's not a panacea. "Machine learning is helping us get better. As we get more and more data, we're able to improve the system," says Matt Nock, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, who studies self-harm in young people. "But chat bots aren't going to be the silver bullet."

Colorado-based psychologist Nathaan Demers, who oversees mental health websites and apps, says that personalized tools like Pachipala's could help fill a void. "When you walk into CVS, there's that blood pressure cuff," Demers said. "And maybe that's the first time that someone realizes, 'Oh, I have high blood pressure. I had no idea.' "

He hasn't seen Pachipala's app but theorizes that innovations like his raise self-awareness about underlying mental health issues that might otherwise go unrecognized.

Building SuiSensor

Pachipala set himself to designing an app that someone could download to take a self-assessment of their suicide risk. They could use their results to advocate for their care needs and get connected with providers. After many late nights spent coding, he had SuiSensor .

high school projects biology

Siddhu Pachipala Chris Ayers Photography/Society for Science hide caption

Using sample data from a medical study, based on journal entries by adults, Pachipala said SuiSensor predicted suicide risk with 98% accuracy. Although it was only a prototype, the app could also generate a contact list of local clinicians.

In the fall of his senior year of high school, Pachipala entered his research into the Regeneron Science Talent Search , an 81-year-old national science and math competition.

There, panels of judges grilled him on his knowledge of psychology and general science with questions like: "Explain how pasta boils. ... OK, now let's say we brought that into space. What happens now?" Pachipala recalled. "You walked out of those panels and you were battered and bruised, but, like, better for it."

He placed ninth overall at the competition and took home a $50,000 prize.

The judges found that , "His work suggests that the semantics in an individual's writing could be correlated with their psychological health and risk of suicide." While the app is not currently downloadable, Pachipala hopes that, as an undergraduate at MIT, he can continue working on it.

"I think we don't do that enough: trying to address [suicide intervention] from an innovation perspective," he said. "I think that we've stuck to the status quo for a long time."

Current AI mental health applications

How does his invention fit into broader efforts to use AI in mental health? Experts note that there are many such efforts underway, and Matt Nock, for one, expressed concerns about false alarms. He applies machine learning to electronic health records to identify people who are at risk for suicide.

"The majority of our predictions are false positives," he said. "Is there a cost there? Does it do harm to tell someone that they're at risk of suicide when really they're not?"

And data privacy expert Elizabeth Laird has concerns about implementing such approaches in schools in particular, given the lack of research. She directs the Equity in Civic Technology Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT).

While acknowledging that "we have a mental health crisis and we should be doing whatever we can to prevent students from harming themselves," she remains skeptical about the lack of "independent evidence that these tools do that."

All this attention on AI comes as youth suicide rates (and risk) are on the rise. Although there's a lag in the data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth and young adults ages 10 to 24 in the U.S.

Efforts like Pachipala's fit into a broad range of AI-backed tools available to track youth mental health, accessible to clinicians and nonprofessionals alike. Some schools are using activity monitoring software that scans devices for warning signs of a student doing harm to themselves or others. One concern though, is that once these red flags surface, that information can be used to discipline students rather than support them, "and that that discipline falls along racial lines," Laird said.

Make space, listen, offer hope: How to help a child at risk of suicide

Shots - Health News

Make space, listen, offer hope: how to help a child at risk of suicide.

According to a survey Laird shared, 70% of teachers whose schools use data-tracking software said it was used to discipline students. Schools can stay within the bounds of student record privacy laws , but fail to implement safeguards that protect them from unintended consequences, Laird said.

"The conversation around privacy has shifted from just one of legal compliance to what is actually ethical and right," she said. She points to survey data that shows nearly 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ students report they've been outed, or know someone who has been outed, as a consequence of activity monitoring software.

Matt Nock, the Harvard researcher, recognizes the place of AI in crunching numbers. He uses machine learning technology similar to Pachipala's to analyze medical records. But he stresses that much more experimentation is needed to vet computational assessments.

"A lot of this work is really well-intended, trying to use machine learning, artificial intelligence to improve people's mental health ... but unless we do the research, we're not going to know if this is the right solution," he said.

More students and families are turning to schools for mental health support . Software that scans young peoples' words, and by extension thoughts, is one approach to taking the pulse on youth mental health. But, it can't take the place of human interaction, Nock said.

"Technology is going to help us, we hope, get better at knowing who is at risk and knowing when," he said. "But people want to see humans; they want to talk to humans."

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High School Scientists and Engineers Win Nearly $9 Million at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2023

$75,000 Top Award Goes to 17 -year-old Kaitlyn Wang for breakthrough innovation to accelerate exoplanet discovery in the largest international STEM competition for teens

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. and WASHINGTON , May 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  and Society for Science  (the Society) announced that Kaitlyn Wang , 17, of San José, CA, won the $75,000 top award in the 2023 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF), the world's largest global pre-college science and engineering competition, for a project that explored planets that orbit very close around their suns. Other top prizes went to projects in the fields of computational biology, animal sciences and neurobiology.

Congratulations to the top winners in the 2023 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science. (Photo by Chris Ayers Photography/Society for Science)

The top winners were honored during two award ceremonies, the first of which took place on the evening of May 18 and featured Special Award winners . The Grand Awards Ceremony was held on the morning of May 19 and included the announcement of the top prize of $75,000 . In total, nearly U.S. $9 million was awarded to the finalists, who were evaluated based on their projects' creativity, innovation and depth of scientific inquiry. The competition featured over 1,600 young scientists representing 49 states and 64 countries across the world.

Kaitlyn Wang  won first place and received the $75,000 George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award , named in honor of the pioneering drug researcher and Regeneron co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer, for finding an efficient way to identify certain exoplanets that orbit very closely around their stars. Previous techniques used to detect these ultra-short-period planets required enormous computational power but were not as effective at identifying these planets. Kaitlyn surmounted that problem by creating a special algorithm that runs on cheap hardware and results in much faster and higher-precision findings. Using her research, she says she found the smallest of these planets ever discovered.

Saathvik Kannan , 17, of Columbia, Missouri , received one of two Regeneron Young Scientist Awards  of $50,000 for using biocomputational methods to understand the causes of heightened infectivity in the disease mpox after it reemerged in 2022. Saathvik's approach, named Bioplex, uses a combination of machine learning and three-dimensional comparative protein modeling to decode structures like those that enable the mpox virus to replicate. This allowed him to identify the mutations in the virus that likely made it more infectious as well as other mutations that could make it resistant to antibiotics. Saathvik believes scientists will also be able to apply Bioplex to future outbreaks of other viruses.

Teepakorn Keawumdee , 17; Pannathorn Siri , 16; and, Poon Trakultangmun , 18, of Bangkok, Thailand , received the second Regeneron Young Scientist Award of $50,000 for developing an innovative incubation chamber that promotes the survival of the green lacewing insect, a natural predator of the mealybug, a harmful pest. In nature, the green lacewing has a low survival rate, but the team's new system increased the lacewing's survival rate five-fold. In field tests, their incubation system was an effective alternative to insecticides and lowered the mealybug population density nearly four-fold.

"Congratulations to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2023 winners," said Maya Ajmera , President and CEO, Society for Science and Executive Publisher, Science News. "I am humbled by the creativity and determination demonstrated by these exceptional students and proud of all they have accomplished with their outstanding research abilities. Together, these students from various academic disciplines and geographies are solving the world's most intractable problems."

Regeneron ISEF provides a global stage for the best and brightest young scientists and engineers around the world. Through this competition Regeneron and the Society support and invest in the next generation of leading STEM innovators who are generating ideas and acting as catalysts for the change needed to improve the well-being of all people, society and the planet.

"We are thrilled to celebrate this year's Regeneron ISEF finalists as they join our growing community of bold individuals tackling the world's most pressing challenges," said George D. Yancopoulos , M.D., Ph.D., co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. "I applaud today's finalists and all the ISEF participants for their relentless pursuit of groundbreaking ideas that ignite positive and sustainable change in our world. I owe so much of my passion for science to the experiences and mentors I had in high school, and I hope that today is just the beginning of a lifelong commitment to STEM for many of these students."

Other top honors from the competition include:

Natasha Kulviwat , 16, of Jericho, New York , received the Gordon E. Moore Award of $50,000 for Positive Outcomes for Future Generations for her search for biomarkers to help prevent suicides. By analyzing de-identified brain tissue from 20 people, Natasha measured levels of two proteins, cytokine and claudin-5, and found that neuroinflammation and claudin-5 were increased in the brains of suicide cases. Her work suggests that high levels of the protein claudin-5 could serve as pre-markers for suicide and that certain anti-inflammatory drugs might decrease claudin-5 levels.

Yuyang Wang , 16, of Shanghai, China , received the Craig R. Barrett Award for Innovation of $10,000 for his development of an inchworm-style stick-climbing robot. This type of robot conventionally has grabbers that allow it to climb over and under obstructions like a caterpillar does, but he added skateboard-like wheels, which allow it to perform better than existing inchworm-style robots when the angle is less than 22°. The hybrid wheel/grabber assembly is novel, and he believes his robot will work well for tasks that are potentially dangerous to humans, such as inspecting damaged high-voltage lines.

Rishabh Ranjan , 17, and Gopalaniruddh Tadinada , 17, of Louisville, Kentucky , received the H. Robert Horvitz Prize for Fundamental Research of $10,000 for building a custom, automated system to detect gastrointestinal cancer before serious symptoms appear. The team's system combines robotics and machine learning to analyze blood samples to identify healthy patients, as well as those with pancreatic, colorectal or hepatic cancers, in only three hours at an estimated cost of only $300 . Detecting these cancers before they metastasize could make treatment much simpler and more effective.

Eugene Chen , 16, of Shanghai, China , received the Peggy Scripps Award for Science Communication of $10,000 for his inexpensive energy-saving device that recycles the condensation produced by air conditioners to improve their energy efficiency. His device directs the cooling fan's airflow to spray the air conditioner's condensation at its own condenser, lowering its temperature and thus reducing power consumption and improving its energy efficiency. Eugene believes his easy-to-install device can reduce the amount of electricity used by air conditioners by more than 10%.

More information about the top winners and visual assets can be found at

Daniel Levin , 18, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ; Alexander Plekhanov , 17, of Portland, Oregon ; and Kevin Zhu , 18, of Old Westbury, New York received the  Dudley R. Herschbach SIYSS Award , which provides the finalists with an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar, which includes attendance at the Nobel Prize Ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden .

George Cheng , 17, of Cary, North Carolina , and Yik Chun John Peng , 17, of Shanghai, China received the  EU Contest for Young Scientists Award , which is presented to two projects that will represent Regeneron ISEF at the EU Contest for Young Scientists to be held in Brussels, Belgium , September 13-17, 2023 .

Full list of all award-winning ISEF 2023 Finalists

Full list of Special Award ISEF 2023 Finalists

In addition to the Top Award winners, 450 finalists received awards and prizes for their innovative research, including "First Award" winners, who each received a $5,000 prize. The following lists the First Award winners for each of the 21 categories, from which the Top Awards were chosen:

View all the finalists' research here .

About the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair The Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF), a program of Society for Science for over 70 years, is the world's largest global science competition for high school. Through a global network of local, regional and national science fairs, millions of students are encouraged to explore their passion for scientific inquiry. Each spring, a group of these students is selected as finalists and offered the opportunity to compete for approximately U.S. $9 million in awards and scholarships.

In 2019, Regeneron became the title sponsor of ISEF to help reward and celebrate the best and brightest young minds globally and encourage them to pursue careers in STEM as a way to positively impact the world. Regeneron ISEF is supported by a community of additional sponsors, including Akamai Foundation; Beal Bank; Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; Howmet Aerospace Foundation; Jacobs; King Abdulaziz & his Companions Foundation for Giftedness & Creativity; Lyda Hill Philanthropies; Microsoft; National Geographic Society; Richard F. Caris Charitable Trust II; Rise, an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust; Robert I. Schattner Foundation; Siemens Energy; Texas A&M Engineering; Perot Museum; Cesco Linguistic Services; Insaco; Oracle Academy; Southern Methodist University ; The University of Texas at Dallas ; Army ROTC; ExxonMobil; and The Hoglund Foundation. ISEF alumni have gone on to have world-changing careers in science and engineering and earn some of the most esteemed honors, including the National Medal of Science, MacArthur Foundation Fellows, National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering Inductees. Many are entrepreneurs across a wide range of industries. Learn more at .

About Society for Science Society for Science is a champion for science, dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Established in 1921, Society for Science is best known for its award-winning journalism through Science News and Science News Explores, its world-class science research competitions for students, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair and the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge, and its outreach and equity programming that seeks to ensure that all students have an opportunity to pursue a career in STEM. A 501(c)(3) membership organization, Society for Science is committed to inform, educate and inspire. Learn more at  and follow us on  Facebook ,  Twitter ,  Instagram  and Snapchat (Society4Science).

About Regeneron Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for 35 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to nine FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, almost all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Regeneron's medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, hematologic conditions, infectious diseases and rare diseases.

Regeneron believes that operating as a good corporate citizen is crucial to delivering on our mission. We approach corporate responsibility with three goals in mind: to improve the lives of people with serious diseases, to foster a culture of integrity and excellence and to build sustainable communities. Regeneron is proud to be included on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Civic 50 list of the most "community-minded" companies in the United States . Throughout the year, Regeneron empowers and supports employees to give back through our volunteering, pro-bono and matching gift programs. Our most significant philanthropic commitments are in the area of science education, including the  Regeneron Science Talent Search and Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair .

For additional information about the company, please visit or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.

Media Contacts Joseph Brown , Regeneron 386-283-1323,  [email protected]   Gayle Kansagor , Society for Science 703-489-1131, [email protected]


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Students shared their research projects on how to protect Long Island Sound for future generations. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

High school students from across Long Island presented research projects Tuesday on how to protect Long Island Sound for future generations, from reducing mercury pollution to protecting the waterway's marine life.

The third annual Long Island Sound High School summit in Kings Park featured 85 students from Commack, Brentwood, Smithtown, Oyster Bay, Northport, Riverhead, Rocky Point, and Our Lady of Mercy high schools.

"The Long Island Sound is an economic and ecological gem that needs to be preserved," said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a Farmingdale-based group that hosted the event with the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society. "The more interest we have from the youth, the better chance the Long Island Sound has to survive and thrive."

The students presented research projects in four categories — stormwater runoff, marine life, water quality and plastic pollution.

"They're learning about the water quality that's in their area," said James Kubik, a science teacher at Northport High School. "They're seeing how they can engage with their community and the impact that their research will potentially have on the future."

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Here is a closer look at some of the 38 projects:

Analyzing marine debris

Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai. Students collected and analyzed marine debris found...

Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai. Students collected and analyzed marine debris found at five North Shore beaches Credit: Tom Lambui

Ava Mannion and Deryn O'Leary, seniors at Our Lady of Mercy in Syosset, spent the past two years collecting and analyzing marine debris found at five North Shore beaches. The most frequently found items: plastic bottle caps and shotgun shell wads used to shoot birds.

"It's harmful for the environment because it's left on the beach and gets into water," Mannion said. 

O'Leary said beaches should begin posting signs asking hunters to pick up their shells.

"We need to bring awareness to the shotgun shells on beaches," she said.

Invasive seaweed

Brentwood High School student Minnahil Tariq presents her marine life...

Brentwood High School student Minnahil Tariq presents her marine life project at the Long Island Sound High School Summit on Tuesday. Credit: Danielle Silverman

Roughly five years ago, dasysiphonia japonica, an invasive red seaweed that originated in Eastern Asia around the coast of Japan, made its way to Long Island.

Minnahil Tariq, a senior at Brentwood High School, decided to take a closer look at dasysiphonia japonica and found that its carbon and nitrogen levels were virtually the same as three indigenous species found on the South and North shores of Long Island, indicating that the macroalga was absorbing the elements from its environment.

"[Dasysiphonia japonica] has the ability to sequester carbon, which is an amazing way to mitigate climate change as we take carbon out of the ocean and store it within the algae in what we call a biomass," Tariq said. "It helps lower ocean acidification rates, which can help slow down and alleviate climate change."

Mercury levels still high

Students analyzed mercury levels in the waters surrounding the LIPA...

Students analyzed mercury levels in the waters surrounding the LIPA Power Plant in Northport. Credit: Newsday/John Keating

Two years ago, a study found that mercury levels were elevated at the Northport Basin, next to a LIPA Power Station that is known to locals as the Stacks.

Kaitlin Zenyuh, a senior at Northport High School, and her team decided to determine if mercury levels in the basin, which feeds into Long Island Sound, had changed.

The students, using mercury strips, discovered the situation had not improved and levels remain at 100 parts per billion.

Zenyuh said signs should be erected advising against fishing in the basin. Elevated mercury can harm brain development at low levels and can be toxic at higher levels.

"People do fish in the Northport Basin," Zenyuh said. "So it means that if people are catching and eating these fish, they're putting themselves at risk for the issues that can come with mercury."

Storm drain murals

Students looked at the importance of storm drains, a critical...

Students looked at the importance of storm drains, a critical infrastructure system designed to carry rainfall runoff through underground pipes before discharging it into local streams, rivers and other water bodies. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Storm drains are rarely visually appealing. In fact, most people rarely think about storm drains, a critical infrastructure system designed to carry rainfall runoff and other drainage through underground pipes before discharging it into local streams, rivers and other water bodies.

Sofia Fried, a junior at Smithtown High School West, and some her fellow students set out to draw more attention to keeping storm drains clear by painting murals across them with environment-friendly messages.

To date, Fried and her cohort have painted four murals on storm drains outside district schools.

"It's important to have people look at the storm drains and be able to think about how important it is to keep our environment safe," Fried said. "The water that goes into our storm drains comes out to our Long Island Sound."

Robert Brodsky is a breaking news reporter who has worked at Newsday since 2011. He is a Queens College and American University alum.

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There is a new walkway leading up the flag at Bow High School thanks to an Eagle Scout project.

Vance Gula decided to replace the walkway that had been there for more than 15 years.

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  21. Make It Monday: Group converts abandoned high school into apartments

    Trio buys abandoned high school outside Pittsburgh, PA and converts it into an apartment building. One of the developers Dan Spanovich joins 'Last Call' to talk about what it took to pull the ...

  22. Walkway to flag built as part of Eagle Scout project in Bow, NH

    Show Transcript. BOW, N.H. —. There is a new walkway leading up the flag at Bow High School thanks to an Eagle Scout project. Vance Gula decided to replace the walkway that had been there for ...

  23. Water Valley High School

    Water Valley High School - Volleyball. Water Valley High School has an open date for Fast Pitch on March 2, 2024. Looking for teams to play in the Water Valley Tournament. Return games are a possibility. For more information, please contact Brad Wren at [email protected] or 6623160864.