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Computer Science Project Ideas

Science Fair Project Idea
How can you motivate students and teachers to make positive changes in their school? Why not try using what is in everyone's pocket—a smartphone! With this project you'll try your hand at harnessing the power of crowdsourcing and mobile technology by creating an app that motivates users to change their school for the better. Do not worry about the app creation, the MIT App Inventor tool makes that part easy; the instructions provided here will lead you through it step-by-step. Will… Read more
CompSci_p052
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This Computer Science Project requires the use of a computer with Internet access. An Android device is helpful but not required.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Here's a project where you can try your hand at being a detective with your computer. In this project you'll write a program to do some basic analysis of features of written text (for example, counting the length of each word in the text, or the number of words in each sentence). Then you'll see if you can use the information from your text analysis program to find measurements that can distinguish one author from another. After analyzing known samples of several authors' writings, can your… Read more
CompSci_p022
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites An understanding of the material covered in "[# ProjectIdea Name="CompSci_p003" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]"
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Use sound recording and analysis software to record voices of your family members. Can you figure out ways to identify each family member by just looking at the analyzed sound patterns from their voice (e.g., spectral frequency analysis)? Develop a hypothesis about what types of sound analysis will identify an individual. Have a helper record additional test files of your family members, without telling you which file belongs to whom. Unplug your computer speakers and see if you can… Read more
CompSci_p027
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Learn how to edit sound files so that you can manipulate the recorded sound mathematically. You can either find specialized audio editing software or do background research to teach yourself about sound file structure so that you can write your own simple program to manipulate sound files. Try arithmetic operations on the sound values (e.g., adding or subtracting a constant, multiplying or dividing by a constant). How do these operations alter the sound? Try other mathematical operations:… Read more
CompSci_p029
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
We use passwords every day for our email and other computer accounts. How secure is the password that you use? How hard would it be for someone to guess your password? How hard is it to write a computer program to guess a password? You can see for yourself by writing a simple password guesser in the computer language Python. We will get you started with some ideas, a little sample code, and a few passwords for your computer program to try and guess. Read more
CompSci_p046
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To complete the programming portion of this science project, students should have access to a machine capable of running Python™ 3 (Microsoft Windows™, Apple Mac, Raspberry Pi®, or some other Linux computer), permission to install software, and a basic grasp of programming (or ready access to a willing helper who knows a little Python).
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Hacking into other people's password-protected accounts is a federally prosecutable offense. The program example given in this science project will only work in the context of this science project.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever wondered how it's possible to so accurately date ancient artifacts? Geologists, paleontologists, archeologists, and anthropologists use a statistical process like radioactive isotope decay to date objects through a method called radioactive dating (also known as radiometric dating). To learn more about that method, check out the geology science project . In that particular Project Idea, radioactive decay of isotopes is modeled by rolling dice. While that procedure is a great way… Read more
CompSci_p045
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with a programming language and basic programming algorithms
Material Availability Readily available
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
This project is a follow-up to the Science Buddies project , which shows you how to build a basic infinity mirror using light emitting diodes (LEDs) and arts and crafts materials. What if you wanted to build an infinity mirror that could change colors, like the one in Figure 1? Figure 1. A color-changing infinity mirror. You can do this by using special RGB (red, green, and blue) LEDs. Just like the pixels on a TV or computer monitor, an RGB LED actually contains three distinct color… Read more
CompSci_p050
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Previous experience with electronics and an Arduino microcontroller is recommended. If not, you may need to complete some basic Arduino tutorials before attempting this project.
Material Availability This project requires an Arduino microcontroller, circuit components, and materials to build the mirror. See the Materials list for more information.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Short circuits can damage your Arduino or other electronic components. Always be careful when working with electronic circuits.

Cutting plexiglass can create jagged edges or small shards of material. Always wear protective eyewear when cutting plexiglass.

Science Fair Project Idea
Imagine yourself as a software engineer, a decade and a half from now. You are called upon to help solve the world energy crisis by programming nano-organisms (NANORGs) to extract energy from industrial sludge. Your program must be small enough to fit in the NANORGs' tiny processors, yet at the same time meet several challenges. First and foremost, your NANORGs need to navigate on their own, extract energy from the sludge, and find collection points to deliver the harvested energy. Second,… Read more
CompSci_p021
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Previous computer programming experience, familiarity with assembly language programming is helpful.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Here's an interesting project idea with a variation that combines computer science, physics and music. You'll need a piano in a quiet room, a microphone and a computer with digital sound recording and analysis software. The project shows you how you can make a piano string start vibrating without hitting its key. You can record the sounds on the computer, and use sound analysis software to measure the frequencies of the induced vibrations. For more details see: . Be sure to check out the… Read more
CompSci_p026
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Science Fair Project Idea
Passports, identification cards, bus passes, and even some credit cards contain RFID tags. An RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag allows a card to be read by a computer from a short distance away. While this is very useful in everyday life, would you believe you can make music with it? RFID + sampled music sounds + a little crafting = a fun musical instrument that is limited only by your imagination. In this science project, you will make handbells out of paper cups that play real sounds,… Read more
CompSci_p049
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Some previous programming experience (preferably in Python), or interest in learning how to write Python code, is preferable. Musical background is also helpful, but not required.
Material Availability This science project requires an RFID reader and tags. See the Materials list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety The construction steps require use of a craft knife and hot glue. Be careful when using these items and ask an adult if you need assistance.
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