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Staff Picks: Top Project Ideas from 2011

The staff of scientists, editors, and writers at Science Buddies work throughout the year to develop exciting new Project Ideas that encourage and enable hands-on student exploration of inspiring areas of science and cutting-edge topics of research.

We have more than 1000 Project Ideas for K-12 students in our library of free science, technology, engineering, and math Project Ideas. As the year winds down, we asked our staff to pick their favorites from the Project Ideas introduced in 2011 and share why they selected the projects they picked.



    Gauss Image
  • Ken, Founder and President: Build a Gauss Rifle!

    Why? "The Project Idea uses neodymium magnets to visually demonstrate important physical principles about acceleration, mass, velocity, and the conservation of momentum."






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  • Hugo, Chief Software Architect: Making It Real: Incorporating Physics in Video Games

    Why? "Physics was my favorite subject in high school. Now I develop software. This Project Idea brings both of them together—this field is what makes the current generation of video games so awesome."



    Students at Computer Image
  • Claire, Product Design Engineer: Creating a Video Game for the Blind
    Why? "I love that this project idea takes something often thought of as purely entertainment—video games—and shows how they can be used to solve common social issues like blindness."


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  • Debbie, Web Editor: How Far Will It Fly? Build and Test Various Paper Planes

    Why? "Making paper airplanes is a great, creative way to spend free time with my son and a great way to recycle paper around the house—especially holiday wrapping paper. What boy doesn't want to make a flying object to launch at his sisters?"





    Plants Image
  • Teisha, Staff Scientist: Hydroponics: Gardening Without Soil

    Why? "This project focuses on hydroponics, an emerging gardening technique that allows people to grow plants without soil, which creates new opportunities for commercially growing crops. Because having enough food is an issue in developing countries, new technologies for improving crop yields and crop adaptability are really important to explore."


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  • Kaarin, Project Manager: Customize Your Own Drum Set!

    Why? "This computer science project combines my son's love of creating music with his interest in how video games work. Combining the PicoBoard with Scratch is great!"


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  • Yvette, Email Support: Dirty Snowballs: How a Comet's Size Affects How Fast It Melts

    Why? "Comets have always fascinated me since I was a child, and they come in all different shapes and sizes, so this project allows you to investigate how the physical properties of comets can affect their lifespan!" (Another favorite for Yvette is A Sweet Sequence: The Cacao Genome*: I love chocolate, and this project combines both chocolate and genomics, a rapidly rising field of science, to find new ways of protecting cacao trees and increasing cacao production!)

Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies Summer Science Roundup


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As the number of medications continues to rise, pharmacists play an increasingly powerful role in helping ensure patient wellbeing, safety, and quality of life. Beyond an apple a day, feeling better may require advice from a pharmacist!

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Visual illusions and other optical puzzles are fun for families to share and explore. With hands-on science projects and activities, students can create and test their own visual illusions--including a cool infinity mirror!

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School and family science weekly spotlight: the science of marinades

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A fun SimCity science project from Science Buddies helps turn in-game city planning into a science experiment, one students can also use to enter the annual Future City competition.

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What do gears and tires have to do with who wins a race—or how long it takes to ride to the corner store? Find out with hands-on sports science projects that help tie science to the sports kids love to do and watch.

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When you combine your circuitry know-how with fabric, you can, literally, wear your electronics on your sleeve. Students experiment with e-textiles.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



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