Project Categories 1997

The following categories, along with their definitions, related categories, and sample project titles apply to the 1997 California State Science Fair.

Category Examples Related Categories
1. Applied Mechanics/ Structures & Mechanisms/ Manufacturing: Studies concerning the design, manufacture, and operation of structures and mechanisms, including characteristics of structures and materials (strength, flexibility, dynamic response), active/passive control, fatigue/fracture evaluations, elastic/plastic material characteristics. Antilock vs. Lock Brakes; Strengthening Concrete with Rice Ash Hull; Why Did the Nimitz Freeway Collapse?; Shock Attenuation in Baseball Helmets. Engineering studies of soil stability during earthquakes belong in Earth Sciences. Projects focusing upon computers (as opposed to using them as a tool in the project) belong in Electricity and Electronics.
2. Behavioral Sciences: Studies of behavior, conditioned responses, learned responses, learning, psychiatry, or psychology in humans and other animals, including the effects of chemical or physical stress on mental processes. In the Senior Division, this category includes anthropology, archaeology, and sociology. A Study of the Senses in Stress Management; Does Age Affect Implicit Learning?; The Effectiveness of Flash Cards vs. Computer Scripts; Effect of Caffeine on Memory. Junior Division projects concerning sociology, anthropology, or archaeology, or which involve questionnaire surveys, belong in Social Sciences. Animal behavior projects belong in Zoology.
3. Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology: Studies at the molecular level of biochemical or physiological pathways in animals (including humans), microorganisms, and plants. Lipooxygenase Influence on Lipofuscin Granule Formation in Bananas; Effects of P1 Precursors on Virus Growth; Catalyzed Reactions of Enzymes; Isolation of Pre-mRNA Mutants in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Studies of the physical properties of biochemicals such as oxidation-reduction reactions belong in Chemistry. Functions of major organ systems belong in Physiology.
4. Chemistry: Studies in which chemical and physical properties of organic and inorganic materials (excluding biochemistry) are observed. These studies may include characterization of chemical products found in everyday life. (This characterization does not imply knowledge of the chemical structure of products being tested). Effects of Food Preparation on Vitamins; Getting the Dirt Out! Which Commercial Stain Removers Work Best?; Determination of Ascorbic Acid Concentration in Orange Juice Using a Redox Reaction; Isolation, Purification, and Specific Rotation Determination of Ricinoleic Acid. Chemical studies of metabolic processes or processes mediated by biochemical intermediates (e.g. enzymes) belong in Biochemistry.
5. Earth Sciences/ Planetary Sciences/ Physical Environments: Studies in surficial geology, geophysics, seismology, engineering geology, earthquake engineering, atmospheric physics, physical oceanography, marine geology, coastal processes, and comparative planetology. Studies of environmental factors not related to living things, and of the effects of human activity on naturally occurring physical phenomena. Gravity Current Velocities; Beach Sand Fluctuations and Cliff Erosion; Dependence of Liquefaction upon Soil Composition; Solar Activity and Refraction Properties of the Ionosphere. Studies of the effects on physical phenomena by human activity involving pollution (as opposed to mechanical intervention) belong in Environmental Engineering.
6. Electricity & Electronics: Experimental or theoretical studies with electrical circuits, computer design, electro-optics, electromagnetic applications, antennas and propagation, and power engineering. Satellite Reception Without a Dish; Transmission of Information by Laser; Effect of Capacitor Dielectric Material on the Thermal Stability of High Frequency Oscillators. Projects that merely use electronics to study something else (e.g. hearing in birds) belong in another category (Zoology in this example).
7. Environmental Engineering: Projects which apply technologies such as recycling, reclamation, restoration, composting, and bioremediation which are directed to control the environment and/or the effects of pollution on the environment. Newspapers as Mulch; Oil Control; Water Hyacinth: Primary Water Treatment?; What Soil Conditions Best Control Soil Erosion While Assisting Growth?; Designing a New Home Sewer System. Studies of the effect of pollution on the environment at the basic science level belong in the appropriate basic science category.
8. Fluid Mechanics/ Aerodynamics/ Thermophysics: Experimental or theoretical studies in aerodynamics and propulsion of air, land, water, and space vehicles; aero/ hydrodynamics of structures and natural objects; acoustics; thermodynamics of energy production, energy utilization, and other industrial processes. Studies of the basic physics of fluid flow. Effect of Dimples on Golf Ball Flight; How Long Does It Take to Cook a Hot Dog?; Airfoil Stall Characteristics; Can Chaos Theory Predict Turbulence?; Low Drag Launch Lug for Model Rockets; Absorption of Acoustic Waves; Homemade Heat Pump. Fundamental thermodynamic properties (e.g. specific heat) belong in Physics & Astronomy.
9. Mathematics & Software: Studies in geometry, topology, real and complex analysis, number theory. Algorithm analysis and optimization, artificial intelligence, computability, computer graphics, modeling and simulation, programming environments and languages. Maximally Dispersed Points on a Sphere; Computer Modeled Evolution; Knot Mathematics; Coupled Chaotic Systems and Stability; Mathematical Optimization of Multiple Precision Multiplication; Partitions of Positive Numbers; Neural Network Model of Vision. Projects merely using mathematics to understand a different subject should be in that subject. Computer hardware projects belong in Electricity & Electronics.
10. Microbiology: Studies of epidemiology, genetics, growth, and physiology of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, or viruses. Studies of Light Producing Bacteria; Effect of Light Before and After UV Damage to E. coli; What Sugars do Yeast Use? Projects using bacteria as a tool to study another subject belong in that subject. For example, a study using bacteria to monitor the effectiveness of disinfectants belongs in Chemistry. Studies measuring antibiotic activity belong in Pharmacology.
11. Pharmacology/ Toxicology: Studies of drug or chemical effects at the cellular or organismic level on animals, humans, or plants. Effect of Caffeine on Daphnia; Effect of Insecticides on Mosquitoes; Vitamin Deficiencies; Copper Toxicity of Marine Embryos. Projects which study the effect of fertilizers on plant growth belong in Plant Biology.
12. Physics & Astronomy: Experimental or theoretical studies of the physical properties of matter, solar physics, astrophysics, orbital mechanics, observational astronomy, and astronomical surveys. Computer simulations of physical systems are appropriate in this category. Jupiter's Decametric Emission; Emissivity as a Function of Geometry; Solar Activity and Geosynchronous Satellites; Do High Temperature Superconductors have a First Order Phase Transition?; Chaotic Pendulum. Studies of other planets themselves (as opposed to their orbits) belong in Earth Sciences. Acoustics belongs in Fluids/Aerodynamics,.
13. Physiology: Studies of major organ system functions involving genetics, immunology, neurobiology, pathology, reproduction, or sensory biology in mammals. Effect of Age on Aerobic Abilities; Peripheral Vision; Correlation of Strength with Gender; Effect of Vaccination on Antibody Development in Neonatal Bovines. Projects studying physiology of birds, insects, etc. belong in Zoology. Studies of the effect of chemicals on a physiological function may belong in Pharmacology.
14. Plant Biology: Studies of the genetics, growth, morphology, pathology, or physiology in plants or algae. The Effects of Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers on Plant Growth; Effect of Rhizobium on Legume Plants (Pisum); Transpiration of Plants Under Different Light Sources. Studies which use plants to restore the environment may belong in Environmental Engineering. Studies of the effect of chemicals other than fertilizers on plants belong in Pharmacology.
15. Social Sciences (Junior Division Only): Studies or surveys of attitudes, behaviors, or values of a society or groups within a society (e.g. anthropology, archaeology, or sociology). Racial Awareness in Infants; Subliminal Persuasion by Television; AIDS Awareness in Teens. Projects in Psychology and Psychiatry belong in Behavioral Sciences. Senior division projects appropriate for this subject category belong in Behavioral Sciences.
16. Zoology: Studies of evolutionary origins, genetics, growth, morphology, physiology, or reproduction, in animals. Studies of the behavior of animals (excluding humans) in their natural habitats (or reproductions of them). Hot Fish, Cold Fish: Respiration in Goldfish; Hearing and the Dominance Hierarchy of Crickets; Effect of Gravity on Living Organisms; Invertebrates in Kelp Holdfasts; Auditory Stimuli in Interganglial Neurons of Acheta domesticus; Bird Responses to Boar Rootings. Studies of mammalian physiology belong in Physiology. Studies in which animals serve as a model for human behavior belong in Behavioral Sciences.

Last updated: Mon Jan 6 18:29:01 PST 1997
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