What is CABS?

This site will help high school students and teachers find original, independent science research topics and questions that can be done without a professional lab...these can be done in a school lab or even in one's basement! The project ideas and research questions being developed and presented here have been vetted and could lead to true discoveries, and not just finding already known results. See our Welcome message. These are the types of projects that could be done and submitted to high school contests such as the Regeneron Science Talent Search, Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, or the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and be competitive. If you have an idea to share, or a question about one of the project ideas, contact us at vondracekm@eths202.org.

Pages (on the right side of the screen) have lists of ideas for different types of science research projects, and clicking on one of those ideas will take you to posts with details and all sorts of information about that type of project. Get more information about why there is a need for CABS!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Interested in Climate Science and its Modeling?!

The Educational Global Climate Modeling site, EdGCM, is a professional level climate simulation available to students and teachers to use. Using a user friendly interface, anyone can run climate models on their laptop or desktop computer, change parameters, and research how those changes affect future climate. This site allows you to use the same type of software, analysis tools, and data presentation tools as professional climate scientists.

This could be an ideal way to get students with next to no coding experience working on real computational research! Teachers, you can even develop classroom lessons that use this site and its software if you choose. Have fun!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Good example of computational/theoretical research via simulations

A half-century old problem involving black holes has been solved using a sophisticated mathematical and computer simulation. This article summarizes the area of science research that allows theorists to develop mathematical computers models to go after complex problems, in this case in a system we will never be able to experimentally test. This work was done by Sasha Tchekhovskoy, a professor and friend of ETHS at Northwestern University, and his colleagues, who used the Blue Waters supercomputer at the U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Blue Waters is the world's most powerful computer at the moment.

The problem involved rotating black holes, and how materials and the accretion disk are formed and get twisted in strange ways due to the complex structure of the warping space-time around the black hole, ending up aligned with the rotating plane of the black hole. The math used to do this comes straight from Einstein's field equations in the general theory of relativity. Super cool!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Structures to collect drinking water from air

Check out structures that started to be built a few years ago in parts of Ethiopia, that collect ~25 gallons of water overnight via condensation or moisture from the air.

Can we think of other cheap ways to do this? Are there natural structures or organisms that can do this? Keep in mind that these structures cost about $1000 US, but that is a fortune in local currencies in poor parts and countries of Africa and other continents. Clearly this is the type of thing that is necessary with population growth and climate change. This could be a new path of research for high school students!


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Good example of simulation of solar system formation - testing theories and models

Scientists use advanced computer simulations to test theories. For anyone who has done even basic programming, mathematical equations can be put into code and the computer does the calculations. For simulations, this takes the equations from some theory or mathematical model and runs them to see what happens in one tiny amount of time, called a time step. For something like a solar system, where everything is moving and things like the gravitational force, acceleration, speeds, energy, momentum, radius from other objects, and so on, are all changing constantly, by advancing an object through some small time then allows the computer to re-calculate all of those quantities through another small time interval, readjusts where everything is, and then re-computes the next advancement of all quantities, over and over and over again. This is why fast computers are needed for simulations with multiple objects moving around and interacting with each other, such as through gravity.

In the end, astronomers can use the relevant mathematics like Newton's laws of gravity and motion, and even corrections coming from Einstein's general theory of relativity, to create a simulation for the creation and evolution of our solar system over billions of years of simulated time. This is a computer experiment that produces results from a theory, that can then be compared directly to the present structure and behavior of the actual solar system. If there is agreement, of course we then have good confidence that the theory is valid and providing some understanding for how Nature works.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Potential mathematics-based research: fractal patterns in geology

As I watch a Netflix show, "Forces of Nature," there are stunning aerial photos of crevices in the earth's surface. These look more like patterns in fern leaves, or of artery networks of the body. Perhaps there are students who are interested in learning about and applying fractal geometry to the analysis natural systems. Geological features of the earth could provide some interesting possibilities for such a study. This could be done locally in various parts of the country if one had a drone to get some aerial photos of nearby locations, and see what type of geometrical/fractal patterns exist and may be interesting to analyze. Other students may be interested in trying to explain how and why such patterns are formed in the first place.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Regeneron Science Talent Search Semifinalists

See the names of the 300 Regeneron Science Talent Search Semifinalist Scholars when they are announced on January 9, 2019!  You can find the list here. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

For Biologists - The 'Tree of Life' interactive site

If you have not seen this and are interested in biology, check out an interactive site where you can zoom in on any branch of the 'tree of life' to find out information on just about any organism you want. It is a fascinating site of which you should be aware, whether it helps with research or not.