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Mechanical Engineering Project Ideas

Science Fair Project Idea
When you think of a machine, you probably think of computers or robots. But what if I told you that machines have been around for centuries? Would you believe me? Try this experiment to see which of these simple machines you use around your house. You might even use some of them everyday! Read more
ApMech_p018
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail "What?! Many of my toys are also machines?" That's right—simple machines! Simple machines are everywhere! Under your feet when you climb stairs, in your hand when you use a utensil to eat your dinner, even in your arm when you throw a ball. Come visit this science fair project and explore the six types of simple machines. Find out how many are hiding under the hinged lid (yes, another simple machine) of your toy box! Read more
ApMech_p042
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
How many times have you heard from your parents: "Clean up your room!" or "Don't forget to unload the dishwasher!" By applying principles of industrial engineering and time management, you can speed through your chores and have more time to kick back and relax. Read more
ApMech_p036
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What are some of the ways we keep track of time? We have alarm clocks, wristwatches, and cell-phone clocks, to name a few. Just a few hundred years ago, our ancestors did not have any of these conveniences, yet they found ways to tell time. How? By using devices such as water clocks. In this science project, you will follow in the footsteps of early engineers and build a water clock that tracks time for three hours. Read more
ApMech_p047
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to purchase a ring stand or build a stand to hold the water clock. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when using tools like hacksaws and hammers. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail "Hey kids, step right up! Toss this ball and win a prize!" shouts the carny barker. Sounds easy enough—until you try it. Why are those "simple" games at the fairs, carnivals, and boardwalks so hard? Is it really lack of skill or coordination or do those concessionaires use some basic laws of science to help them set up the games in their favor? This science fair project can help you find out for yourself. Read more
ApMech_p021
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Minor injury possible
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you have ever been shot with a rubber band then you know it has energy in it, enough energy to smack you in the arm and cause a sting! But just how much energy does a rubber band have? In this experiment you will find out how the stretching of a rubber band affects the amount of energy that springs out of it. Read more
ApMech_p017
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Want to do a project with a toy your parents, or even grandparents, might have played with? Slinkies are fun toys that also make great physics and engineering projects. In this science project you will investigate how changing the angle of an inclined plane affects how the Slinky walks down it. What angle will enable the Slinky to go for the best walk? Read more
ApMech_p019
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever broken a fishing rod? Or seen a treetop bend over and touch the ground (or even snap off) during an ice storm? These are examples of the effect of bending stresses on flexible rods. There are scientists who actually study this phenomenon and discover ways to prevent breakage, which leads to stronger fishing rods, building materials, car parts, and more. In this science project, you'll explore the bending stresses in flexible rods by testing asparagus stalks. Read more
ApMech_p038
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you were in a raiding army in the Middle Ages, a catapult would come in mighty handy for taking down castle walls. But only if you could aim it reliably! With this science project, you will try your hand at catapult technology. Using a rubber-band-powered catapult you will send ping pong balls flying through the air. The catapult's design makes it easy to measure and repeat how hard the ball is launched and its direction, so you can find the right catapult settings to hit the target reliably. Read more
ApMech_p008
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A catapult kit is needed; see the Materials tab for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Do not aim the catapult at breakable objects or people; minor injury possible.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Why do so many people use cell phone cases? Do cell phones really need the extra protection, or is it just because cases look fancy? In this engineering science project, you will test the durability of calculators instead of cell phones, find out if cases increase the durability of the device, and build some of your own cases that do! Read more
ApMech_p050
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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