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Physics Project Ideas

Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever looked through a magnifying lens? Why do things look bigger when you look at them through the magnifying lens? Even though the object appears to get larger, it really stays the same size. Each lens has its own unique power of magnification, which can be measured with a ruler. How powerful is your lens? Read more
Phys_p021
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily Available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No hazards
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen a magician float an object in the air? If so, you might think that levitation (making things float) is just a magic trick, but the truth is you can use an invisible physical force to levitate a magnet! Try this science project to find out how. Read more
Phys_p067
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The magnets needed for this experiment can be bought online from science supply stores.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety When placed next to one another in certain configurations, magnets are attracted and can move toward one another, so be careful not to get your fingers pinched between the magnets.
Project Idea
thumbnail While trains that fly through the air might still be science fiction, trains that float just above the tracks without actually touching them are real and are actually used in a few countries today. This technology is called magnetic levitation. In this physics science project, you will build your own levitating train model and test how much weight it can hold before it stops hovering above the tracks. Read more
Phys_p093
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires the Magic Bullet Train kit, available for purchase from the [# Link Name="Phys_p093.12" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety When working with magnets, keep them away from your mouth, and away from small children and pets.
Project Idea
Have you ever tried to pull out a nail out of wood with your bare hands? Or have you tried to shove a staple through a stack of papers without a stapler? A hammer's claw, a stapler, a pair of pliers and a shovel are each examples of everyday tools that use levers to make our work easier. Read more
Phys_p014
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites Playground with a see-saw
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Be careful getting on and off the see-saw!
Project Idea
thumbnail What keeps you in your seat of a giant loop-de-loop roller coaster? Surprisingly, it is not the seatbelt but the seat! It works because of something called centripetal force and it does much more than make a great roller coaster. It keeps a satellite in orbit and you in your bicycle seat during a turn. How does it work? Read more
Phys_p018
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required for making the JELL-O. Be careful when working with the boiling water.
Project Idea
As you headed up the mountain to enjoy your last ski trip, you may have noticed a sign reading: Hazard! Icy Roads Ahead—Put On Your Chains. Putting chains on car tires increases the resistance between the tires and the road allowing the car to "grip" the road. This resistance to sliding is called friction. In this experiment, you will be investigating how to increase and decrease the friction between two surfaces. Read more
Phys_p013
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
"Swing me higher, Mommy, higher!" Kids love to ride the swings at the playground. The back-and-forth motion of a swing demonstrates the physics of a pendulum. In this experiment, you will investigate the factors that affect the speed and duration of a pendulum's swing. Read more
Phys_p016
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Practice makes you better at most things, and knowledge makes practice so much easier! Can you swirl a circular toy called a hula hoop around your waist or arm? Is it hard? What knowledge can you apply to find ways that make hula-hooping easier? Physics! Yes, physics will help you determine what makes one hula hoop a winner and another a flop. In this science project, you will create your own hula hoops, spin them, and draw conclusions. The road will then be open to your becoming a hula hoop… Read more
Phys_p088
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You should know how to (or be willing to learn to) hula hoop around your waist or arm. Note: Hula-hooping is fairly easy if you have the right hula hoop for your body. This science project provides guidelines to make such a hula hoop.
Material Availability Readily available.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult help is required to cut the polypipe tubing.
Project Idea
In outer space there is utter silence. There are no sounds of traffic jams or thunderstorms or crashing waves. No buzzing bees or babies crying. Just silence. In this experiment, you will discover why empty space is void of sound. Read more
Phys_p017
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of how sound travels
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible. Adult supervision required when using heat source.
Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that sunlight can actually be separated into the colors of the rainbow? And the light of different colors can be added together to make white light or new colors. This is an area of study where art and science overlap. In this science fair project, you will explore this area by drawing or painting "pie slices" onto a white circle and then combining them to make a new color by spinning the wheel using an electric drill. Read more
Phys_p076
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need a cordless electric drill and a sanding disk for this science fair project.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required, particularly to help with the power tools. Always wear safety goggles when working with power tools.
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