Photosynthesis Science Fair Project Ideas for Middle and High School

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Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, some bacteria, and some protistans use the energy from sunlight to produce sugar, which cellular respiration converts into ATP, the fuel used by all living things. The conversion of unusable sunlight energy into usable chemical energy is associated with the actions of the green pigment chlorophyll. Most of the time, the photosynthetic process uses water and releases the oxygen that we absolutely must have to stay alive.

Project Ideas

  1. Create a diagram showing photosynthesis in a plant.
  2. Explain the cycle of photosynthesis. Chart it. Define the terms.
  3. Grow four of the same plants. Limit the amount of sunlight on two of the plants. Measure their height and fullness daily. Are the plants with limited sunlight different? How?
  4. Demonstrate photosynthesis using spinach leaves.

If the student wants to work with plants, but a photosynthesis project does not appeal to him or her, there are plenty of other project ideas to explore.

About These Science Fair Projects

The science projects located here should be used as a guide to help your teen complete a science project to the best of their ability. In your role as a facilitator, you should feel free to share this project with them, but not to do the project for them. Please do not copy these project ideas to your website or blog, but post the link if you wish to share it.

Recommended Books for Science Fair Projects

There are other resources available for helping a student with a science fair. Here are some books for science fair projects specifically or just for conducting science projects in general.

365 Simple Science Experiments with Everyday Materials
"The fundamentals of science are brought to life in a year's worth of fun and educational hands-on experiments that can be performed easily and inexpensively at home." People who have purchased this book have called it easy to understand and great for the student who needs a project but they aren't really interested in the sciences. The book is for both young and older students.

The Scientific American Book of Great Science Fair Projects
"From creating your own non-Newtonian fluids (slime, putty, and goop!) to teaching a sow bug how to run through a maze, you'll be astounded at the number of incredible things you can do with Scientific American Great Science Fair Projects. Based on the long-standing and well-respected "Amateur Scientist" column in Scientific American, each experiment can be done with ordinary materials found around the house or that are easily available at low cost."

Strategies for Winning Science Fair Projects
"Written by a science fair judge and an international science fair winner, this must-have resource is packed with strategies and pointers for putting together a winning science fair project. Here you'll get the nitty-gritty on a wide variety of topics, from the fundamentals of the science fair process to the last-minute details of polishing your presentation."

The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science: 64 Daring Experiments for Young Scientists
"Introducing 64 valuable science experiments that snap, crackle, pop, ooze, crash, boom, and stink! From Marshmallows on Steroids to Home-Made Lightning, the Sandwich Bag Bomb to Giant Air Cannon, The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science awakens kids' curiosity while demonstrating scientific principles like osmosis, air pressure, and Newton's Third Law of Motion."