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Electricity & Electronics Project Ideas

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you enjoy sculpting animals and other three-dimensional creations with play dough and modeling clay? Imagine adding lights to a house you've built, or glowing eyes on a dinosaur you've created. There are countless possibilities! In this science project, you will make play dough that conducts electricity so you can add lights to your three-dimensional creations. This science project is the third in a three-part series on squishy circuits, which can all be done with the same materials. We… Read more
Elec_p075
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This science project requires understanding the Introduction material in the first two "Electric Play Dough" science projects: [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p073" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Make Your Play Dough Light Up, Buzz, & Move!" #] and [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p074" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Rig Your Creations with Lots of Lights!" #]
Material Availability This science project requires a Squishy Circuits Kit and ingredients to make conductive and insulating play dough. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Ask for an adult's help when using the stove to make the conductive play dough. Never connect the battery pack's terminals directly to each other; this is called a short circuit and can make the batteries and wires get very hot. Do not connect the LEDs directly to the battery pack without using play dough; this will burn out the LEDs.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When your parents were kids, they probably wore polyester. Static cling was a major household issue! Now everybody wears cotton, which does not get static cling nearly as much. Why are some materials more susceptible to static cling than others? Investigate how well different materials produce static electricity by making a homemade electroscope and testing it out in this science project. Read more
Elec_p023
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety When working with electricity, take precautions and beware of electric shock.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What do lamps, computers, televisions, printers, and kitchen appliances all have in common? They all need electricity to work. In order for electricity to provide power to these devices, it has to flow into and out of them. In this electronics science fair project, you will make your own simple circuit tester and use it to study how electricity flows through a lamp. Read more
Elec_p059
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required. All devices that are tested should be unplugged. Don't take any electrical appliances apart to test components inside. Before testing any device, you must make certain that you have removed all electrical power to the device. Do not go near the sockets in the wall with the circuit tester.
Science Fair Project Idea
Solar cells are devices that can be used as a source of power when there is light shining on them, but they stop producing energy when they are not in the light. One way to store the solar energy for later use is to use a solar cell to charge something called a capacitor. The capacitor stores the energy as an electric field, which can be tapped into at any time, in or out of light. In this electronics science project, you will use parts of a solar car to experiment with the energy storage… Read more
Elec_p063
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order the supercapacitor car online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered how a radio can grab signals that are transmitted through the air and convert them into sound? In this science project, you will build your own AM radio receiver from scratch and use it to listen to AM radio broadcasts. With your crystal radio you will be able to experiment with the circuit and the antenna to get the best reception. Read more
Elec_p014
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this science project, you must live in an area where you can receive at least one strong AM radio station. You can check for this with a car or portable radio.
Material Availability Specific circuit items are required. A Science Buddies kit is available for your convenience. See the Materials and Equipment list for details
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Never operate your crystal radio during a thunderstorm. When not in use, always disconnect your antenna from the radio circuit, and connect it directly to the ground rod. Be sure to wear safety goggles when installing the ground rod, especially if you are using a metal hammer. An adult's help might be necessary for some steps in the Procedure.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When you think of a motor, you may immediately think of a car, but you actually encounter other motors in your home every day. That's right, if you put on clean clothes from the washing machine, ate food from the fridge, or used a fan, you used an electric motor. In this electronics science project, you will make a simple electric motor with two magnets that "talk" to each other. As they interact, they will alternate between "liking" each other (pulling together), and "disliking" each other… Read more
Elec_p051
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be able to coil wire neatly (or find someone who can show you how) in order to make your electric motor work.
Material Availability Specialty items are required for this science project, and are available as a Science Buddies kit. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety

Never try to use a wall socket as power source for your motor.

Neodymium magnets are very strong. Follow the safety guidelines in the Procedure for working with these magnets.

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen clothing with built-in lights? This might sound like something out of a science-fiction movie, but electronic textiles (or e-textiles for short) really exist. Instead of using hard surfaces for circuits (like what goes inside your computer or cell phone), e-textiles weave electrical parts like batteries, wires, and lights directly into clothing that you can wear to make the clothing do fun, interesting things like light up, respond to sound, or even serve medical purposes… Read more
Elec_p077
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires special electronic components designed for use with e-textiles. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
You probably know that you can use iron filings to reveal the magnetic field produced by a strong magnet. If you sandwich the iron filings between pieces of waxed paper, you can make a permanent record of your magnetic experiments (Gardner, 2004, 66). Cover the wax paper sandwich with a layer of brown paper (from a roll, or cut open a paper shopping bag), and then (with an adult's help) use a hot, dry iron to seal the waxed paper together. You will have to experiment a little with your iron… Read more
Elec_p043
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Maybe somewhere in your home there's a long hallway or a stairway with a light that you can turn on from either end. It's a nice convenience, but did you ever wonder how it's wired up to work that way? The goal of this project is to build a similar circuit with switches, flashlight batteries and a flashlight bulb (obviously, household circuits are not safe to experiment with). You'll need to understand the difference between connections made in series and connections made in parallel in an… Read more
Elec_p045
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that not all trains run on tracks? Some of the world's fastest trains are magnetic levitation trains (maglev). This means that the carriage of the train is suspended over the rails with no support, but only with magnetic fields! There is a physical explanation for magnetic levitation, and if you would like to learn more about magnetism and current, this is a science fair project that you must try! Read more
Elec_p053
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items required: neodymium magnets. See the Materials and Equipment list, below, for more details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Neodymium magnets are very strong and must be handled with caution. See the procedure tab for details.
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