*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.
The Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot.
If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
Computers are essential tools in the modern world, handling everything from traffic control, car welding, movie animation, shipping, aircraft design, and social networking to book publishing, business management, music mixing, health care, agriculture, and online shopping. Computer programmers are the people who write the instructions that tell computers what to do.
Mathematicians are part of an ancient tradition of searching for patterns, conjecturing, and figuring out truths based on rigorous deduction. Some mathematicians focus on purely theoretical problems, with no obvious or immediate applications, except to advance our understanding of mathematics, while others focus on applied mathematics, where they try to solve problems in economics, business, science, physics, or engineering.
Computer Hardware Engineer
Whether you are playing video games, surfing the Internet, or writing a term paper, computers are an integral part of our daily lives. Computer hardware engineers work to make computers faster, more robust, and more cost-effective. They design the microprocessor chips that make your computer function, along with the equipment that makes computing easy and fun to do.
Software Quality Assurance Engineer & Tester
Software quality assurance engineers and testers oversee the quality of a piece of software's development over its entire life cycle. Their goal is to see to it that the final product meets the customer's requirements and expectations in both performance and value. During the software life cycle, they verify (officially state) that it is possible for the software to accomplish certain tasks. They detect problems that exist in the process of developing the software, or in the product itself. They try and make things not work (try to "break" the software) by creating errors or combinations of errors that a user might make. For example, if a user enters a period or a pound sign for a password, will that break the software? They seek to anticipate potential issues with the software before they become visible. At the end of the life cycle, they reflect upon how problems or bugs arose, and figure out ways to make the software development process better in the future.
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