Below are ideas to get you started on developing your own high school science fair projects. Choose a topic that interests you, then begin your research and build your project’s hypothesis from there!

All high school science fair projects require a high level of original thought and development, so these ideas are merely springboards to help you develop your own project. To participate in an upper-level competition, a project should be relevant to current science and technology and should present a benefit to society.

High School Science Fair Project Resources

Start brainstorming by looking at the ISEF categories; it’s also a good idea to check the ISEF guidelines before you choose a topic.

– For tips on performing your experiment and presenting your project, see our free science fair guide.

– Browse our Science Fair Supplies category for more project ideas and helpful kits.

High School Science Fair Project Ideas

Life Science

  • Compare the effect of antibiotics on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. (Grow your own cultures with agar & petri dishes. For a sample procedure and more project ideas, see our bacteria science project guide.)
  • Run a bioassay to test for toxicity in water or soil.
  • Test the effect of ultraviolet radiation on bacteria growth.
  • Do different types of bread grow different types of mold? Does temperature or light affect mold growth?
  • Experiment with plant genetics (plant hybrids, cross-breeding).
  • Test factors like smoke or pollution that might affect transpiration rates for plants.
  • Investigate the effects of increased oxygen or carbon dioxide concentration on plant germination.
  • Find out the differences in properties and effects of organic vs. chemical fertilizers.

Earth Science

  • Explore methods of erosion prevention, test effects of different soil composition on erosion (e.g. how does more clay compare to more sand?).
  • Experiment with methods of flood management and containment.
  • Investigate the effects of sunspots on weather patterns.
  • Work with methods for forecasting weather.
  • Test the concentration and effect of minerals and pH in soil and water samples. (Use water test strips and a soil analyzer.)
  • Determine chemical makeup of rain in your area; test possible hazardous effects.

Physical Science

  • Study acoustic models and methods of noise control. (A sound measurement kit might be helpful.)
  • Experiment with the effect of storage temperatures on batteries.
  • Develop improvements in battery chargers; try methods of using solar cells to recharge batteries.
  • Compare the bending strength and durability of different building materials.
  • Experiment with building materials that are fire-preventative.
  • Design industrial uses of magnets; test the effects of magnetic and electromagnetic fields on living organisms such as brine shrimp.
  • Design a project in advanced robotic programming.


  • Test the effects of the pH level of a solution on the corrosion of iron and copper; explore different methods of corrosion prevention.
  • Experiment with types, effectiveness, and the impact on the nutritional value of preservatives in food.
  • Compare the properties and effects of artificial sweetener vs. sugar or other natural sweeteners. (For this and the following tests, you might consider the Chemistry of Food kit.)
  • Test the chemical properties and physiological impact of saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats.
  • Use indophenol to test the effect of different cooking methods on the depletion of vitamin C in food.
  • Investigate the role of enzymes and yeast in the fermentation or cheese-making process.
  • Experiment with different methods of water filtration/purification (such as solar distillation).
  • Analyze the by-products of gasoline; compare the efficiency of various octane levels.

Environmental Science

  • Compare or develop methods of hydrogen production and storage for use in fuel cells.
  • Investigate methods of improving home insulation.
  • Experiment with expanded uses of solar energy.
  • Test methods for cleaning up and neutralizing the effect of oil in salt water with this oil spill cleanup kit.
  • Work with methods of processing/recycling non-biodegradable items; experiment with decomposition aids.
  • Experiment with design and function of wind turbines or water wheels.
  • Test for harmful effects of pesticides; test or develop natural/organic alternatives; test the effectiveness of common pesticides such as DEET.
  • Which type and color of roofing material provides the most energy efficiency?

For more in-depth high school science fair project ideas, we recommend the Science Buddies website.