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Electricity & Electronics Project Ideas

Science Fair Project Idea
Do you like playing with squishy play dough or modeling clay? Wouldn't it be cool if you could add lights, sound, or even motion to your play dough creations? In this science project, you will make play dough that conducts electricity, which will allow you to connect lights, motors, and buzzers! This science project is the first in a three-part series on "squishy circuits," which can all be done with the same materials. We recommend doing the science projects in order. Read more
Elec_p073
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
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
Do you like making things with play dough or modeling clay? Wouldn't it be cool if you could add a bunch of lights to your creations? In this science project, you will make play dough that conducts electricity, and we will introduce you to some new types of circuits so you can add more lights to your artistic creations. This science project is the second in a three-part series on "squishy circuits," which can all be done with the same materials. We recommend doing the science projects in order. Read more
Elec_p074
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should understand the Introduction material in [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p073" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Make Your Play Dough Light Up, Buzz, & Move!" #]—the first science project in the "Electric Play Dough" series—before doing this science project.
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
You may be familiar with permanent magnets—the kind that hang on a refrigerator. But did you know that other magnets, called electromagnets, can be turned on and off? When turned on, electromagnets act just like permanent magnets, but if you turn them off, their magnetic properties disappear. Electromagnets are an important part of many electronic devices, like motors, loudspeakers, and hard drives. You can create an electromagnet with a simple coil of wire and a battery. In this project,… Read more
Elec_p035
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires specialty items, available in a Science Buddies kit. See the Materials and Equipment section for details. Estimated project time includes shipping for the kit.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety The electromagnet can become hot during periods of extended use.
Science Fair Project Idea
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
+ More Details
- Less Details
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
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 A kit containing all the specialty items needed for this project is available from the [# Link Name="Elec_p051.6" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
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
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
Did you ever have a favorite toy like an action figure or doll that could light up, make noise, or move? This project will show you how to make your own interactive toy using the Science Buddies . Check out the video to see what this simple, but fun, project looks like. The version you make does not have to be a robot; it can be any shape and have any sound effects you want. [[ Video [] [] Video ]] This project uses a tiny computer called a Raspberry Pi and is fun and easy… Read more
CompSci_p058
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability [# Fragment Name="Note.RaspberryPi.Material" Value="Html" #] Estimated project time includes shipping for the kit. The project itself will take one or two days.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Science Fair Project Idea
You have probably read all about forms of alternative energy like solar and wind power. But what about human power? With the aid of a coil of wire and some magnets, you can generate electricity with nothing more than a flick of your wrist. In this project, you will build a small hand-powered electrical generator that can power a series of tiny lights. Get ready to save the planet and get some exercise at the same time! Read more
Energy_p009
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires some specialty electronic components. A kit is available from the [# Link Name="Energy_p009.16" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. The Time Required estimate includes time for gathering specialty materials. The actual project only takes 1 day.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety

Neodymium magnets are very strong and can pinch your fingers when they come together. You should keep them away from pets and small children because they can cause serious harm if ingested. As with any magnet, you should keep them away from computers, cell phones, and credit cards.

Adult supervision is required when using a hobby knife.

Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever seen night lights that automatically turn on when it gets dark? What about art projects, like paintings or sculptures, with embedded lights? This project will let you combine the two, by adding lights to an art project of your choice. You can make the lights automatically turn on when it gets dark using the Science Buddies . Check out the video to see what this simple, but fun, project looks like: [[ Video [] [] Video ]] This project requires use of a tiny… Read more
CompSci_p057
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability [# Fragment Name="Note.RaspberryPi.Material" Value="Html" #] Estimated project time includes shipping for the kit. The project itself will take less than one day.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
The electricity in your home probably comes from a power plant, but did you know that you can actually generate your own electricity? Wondering what it would take to light up a small light? This is your chance! In this electronics science project, you will build your own electric generator and investigate how to light up not just one, but two lights. Read more
Elec_p078
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should have the patience and dexterity to coil several layers of wire neatly (or find someone who can help you). You will also need to hook up a basic circuit. Understanding electric circuits is not a prerequisite for this science project, though it will enable a deeper understanding of the electric generator.
Material Availability A kit containing all the specialty items needed for this project is available from the [# Link Name="Elec_p051.6" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Neodymium magnets are very strong. Follow the safety guidelines in the Procedure for working with these magnets.
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