Sharks are interesting animals that are fun to study. This is a perfect topic for a middle or high school science fair project and it is one that the student can take in many different directions.
A science fair project on sharks can be focused on a single species or the behavior of sharks in general. The display can include really cool pictures of sharks underwater or detailed drawings of their body.
If you have found a shark tooth, use that as the foundation for your project!
Interesting Facts About Sharks
Sharks are a diverse group of animals and there is a lot of material to work with for a science fair project. Choose a few shark facts that you like most and dive deep into it to create your display.
- Sharks first appeared on Earth nearly a half-billion years ago.
- Sharks have a skeleton made entirely of cartilage, the same flexible material in human ears and noses.
- There are eight orders and nearly 400 different species of sharks.
- Sharks lose their teeth regularly and they can grow back in just one day.
- A 'lateral line system' helps sharks navigate through the water, even when they cannot see.
According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, three varieties of sharks pose the greatest threat of a potentially lethal attack:
- Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas).
Shark Science Project Ideas
- What is the anatomy of a shark? Draw a picture of a shark and all of its body parts, labeling the fins, gills, etc.
- Why doesn't a shark have scales? Explain what makes up a shark's skin and how that is similar to our own teeth.
- How does a shark swim? Explore how each fin helps a shark move and how this compares to other fish.
- What do sharks eat? Explain how sharks detect movement in the water and why some sharks like to prey on larger animals.
- How do sharks use their teeth? Draw a picture of a shark's jaws and teeth and explain how they use their teeth to hunt and eat their prey.
- How do sharks sleep or breed? Every animal needs to do both, explain how these fish differ from other aquatic animals.
- What is the biggest shark? The smallest? Compare the sizes of sharks using scale models or drawings.
- Are sharks endangered? Examine the causes like pollution and fishing and reasons why we should protect sharks.
- Why do sharks attack people? Explore human behavior like chumming that may attract sharks to beach areas and why sharks sometimes attack swimmers.
Resources for a Shark Science Fair Project
The topic of sharks has endless potential for science project ideas. Use these resources to explore more possibilities and begin your research.