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Others Like “The Paper Plate Hovercraft”

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever ridden on a hovercraft? It is like gliding on a cushion of air! In this science project, you will make your own mini hovercraft using a CD or DVD and a balloon and investigate how the amount of air in the balloon affects how long the hovercraft hovers. Read more
Aero_p033
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety If using epoxy, adult assistance is required, use caution, and follow all of the instructions and safety warnings on the packaging.
Science Fair Project Idea
If you have an air hockey table, you know that the puck floats on a thin cushion of air when the table is turned on. With little friction, the puck can travel very fast. How much lift force is created by the air? Add small amounts of weight to the puck and see when it no longer floats to measure the lift force. How many air holes (on average) support the puck? How much force is generated by each air hole? Will a puck with a larger surface area, supported by more air holes (on average),… Read more
Aero_p024
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Looking for an exciting new mode of transportation? In this science fair project, you will build a working hovercraft that will glide over surfaces on a cushion of air. And it's simpler to build than you might think! Read more
Aero_p036
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You will need to work with some power tools, such as an electric saw and an electric drill.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Requires adult supervision. Use safety goggles when using power tools. Please review the Hovercraft Safety Guidelines below the Experimental Procedure.
Science Fair Project Idea
A technique often used in wind tunnels is to introduce smoke in front of the airfoil that is being tested. The smoke comes from regularly-spaced point sources, and the wind flow in the tunnel spreads it out into parallel lines, called streamlines. The streamlines make it possible to visualize the airflow over the airfoil. When the lines continue smoothly over and past the airflow, they show that the flow remains laminar, and that the airfoil is creating very little drag. When the… Read more
Aero_p026
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Science Fair Project Idea
What are cold fronts and warm fronts? What happens when a cold front meets a warm front? You can test this using different temperatures of water. Use food coloring to label the cold and hot water, then carefully combine the two liquids together. What happens? How do they mix? You can also fill water balloons with hot or cold water, and then float in a hot or cold water bath. How does temperature affect the movements of the balloon? You can do similar experiments with hot and cold air in… Read more
Weather_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Fill a jar a little more than half full with fresh water. Make a solution of salt water, and add a drop or two of food coloring to it. Pour the salt water solution into a plastic cup with a small hole in the bottom, and then place the cup in the jar with fresh water. (The only connection between the fresh and salt water should be via the hole in the bottom of the cup.) With the right combination of hole size and salt concentration, you will see an oscillating current develop in the jar. … Read more
Chem_p052
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
How does temperature change as barometric pressure changes? You can make a device to test this using a barometer and a thermometer on your stovetop. You can collect your own weather data from a barometer and thermometer over a period of a week or month. You can also use data from a weather station to plot the relationship between barometric pressure and temperature. Does the pressure change as humidity changes? Measure the pressure in a humid and non-humid environment (like your bathroom… Read more
Weather_p018
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever looked up into the sky and seen not a bird, not a plane, but a hot-air balloon? They are definitely amazing and fun to watch! Do you think they are all the same size? Does size affect how long the hot-air balloon can fly? In this science fair project, you will launch hot-air balloons, powered by a toaster, and see how the size of the balloon affects its flight. Read more
Aero_p041
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You will need access to a room with a high ceiling, like a gym or an auditorium. Or you can perform the experiment outdoors, if there is no wind.
Material Availability Readily available.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Use caution with the hot toaster. A hot toaster is a potential fire hazard.
Science Fair Project Idea
How much force is required to advance a lag bolt (large wood screw with a hex-shaped head) into a piece of wood? You can measure the force by using a spring scale attached to the handle of ratchet. Pull on the spring scale until the bolt starts to turn, and note the required force from the spring scale. There are many potential experiments you could try. Think about answering the following questions: How does the force change as the bolt advances deeper into the wood? Why? How does the… Read more
ApMech_p032
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
You can model this with an ice cube sliding down a plank: how high do you need to lift the end of the plank before the ice cube starts to slide? Try this with one side plain wood and the flip side waxed wood (use paraffin wax, candle wax or ski wax). Make sure both sides are equally smooth to start with. Do at least three trials. More advanced: using what you know about the forces acting on the ice cube, derive equations to calculate the coefficient of friction for each case. Variation:… Read more
Sports_p042
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
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