We have been asked to conduct an analytic project for chemistry. It is important that the project conducted hold social implications and the conclusion achieved help inform people better. Several ideas have come to my mind for such projects, such as determining amount of phosphoric acid in cold drinks, acetic acid in fruits such as guava, amount of insecticides/pesticides in vegetables/fruits in the market. However, I am still yet to find an idea which is striking. I would like to do something unique. Any suggestions?
As you might have guessed: It depends!
- What is the educational level of the study (High School, College, etc.)?
- What's the time frame - how many man-hours?
- What's the equipment of the lab?
- If equipment or material has to be bought: What is the budget?
- Is it a plain academic study or is it intended to go public with the results in order to change/improve consumer awareness?
"Something unique" might mean that
- there are no reference data
- it is too "academic" to have social implications (or at least that it will be difficult to explain to the public that it actually has)
What about something as "boring" as sugar content in local soft drink brands as compared to similar products on the international market? I'm sure you'll find lots of references, such as this.
Go for something that is relevant for the average Joe Bloggs. Go for something that can be bought thoughout the while time of the study, just in can you have to repeat measurements or need to cover seasonal variations. If it is a fresh, seasonal product, you might have to plan ahead and stockpile and deep-freeze material.
In the end, it is up to you to decide - planning and outlining the study is part of the project.
Speaking of relevance for the average consumer: Everybody needs excrete - but you do not want to examine that. Fortunately, everybody needs to eat too and seemingly, a lot of people tend to eat too much of the wrong stuff. The recent report of the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee might give some directions what to look for.