Science can be carried out in a variety of different ways. It may be used to test the implications of a theory or apply a theory to the real world. It may also be used to conduct investigations into particular questions. Projects that have this latter goal as their objective are called investigatory projects. Investigatory projects may be carried out on a wide range of topics.
Have you ever wondered which fruits ripen the fastest? Accumulate a collection of different types of fruits. To maintain consistency, try to obtain fruits that have been picked as early as possible in their picking season (i.e. picked just late enough so that it will ripen as usual but no later). Put each fruit in an environment that is most conducive to its ripening. Allow sufficient time to pass, and observe which fruits ripen first. Be sure to use color, consistency and, finally, taste to determine your results. Record your results in a journal for future reference.
It is often desirable to know which alcoholic beverages contain the most alcohol. Since alcoholic beverages come in different-sized containers with different alcohol percentages, this can sometimes be difficult to figure out. Collect a few different kinds of alcoholic beverage, e.g. a bottle of vodka, a can of beer, a bottle of wine and a bottle of sake. Identify the bottle with the least amount of liquid inside it and figure out how many of those samples fit into each one of the other samples. For example, assuming the 355 milliliter can of beer is the smallest, notice that two of these cans of beer have the same volume as one 710 milliliter bottle of wine. You can then take the percentage of each sample and calculate how much alcohol each sample has relative to the other.
Most people realize that the vast majority of people in the world have brown eyes and dark hair. Consider conducting an investigatory project that determines what proportion of a population has brown eyes and dark hair versus those who have blue eyes and blonde hair, green eyes and blonde hair and other combinations of eye color and hair color. Create a questionnaire for distribution to a population of some kind, such as your class. Have the class fill out the questionnaire and return their answers. Create a bar graph displaying the results.
Common sense tells us that extra-sensory perception (ESP) is not real. But how do we know for sure? Conduct a project that determines whether anyone has ESP. Ask participants to try to guess the shapes that are printed on overturned cards. A certain proportion may be determinable by chance. If a person really has ESP, they should be able to achieve many more right answers than are practically possible to guess by chance.