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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Who'd have thought that drinking milk can lead to a pretty cool boat? Boat design is an important and active area of engineering. In this science fair project, which was inspired by a PBS DragonflyTV episode, you will design and build different kinds of model boats out of milk cartons. Examples of the types of designs you might test include a raft, a catamaran, and a V-shaped hull. Once the model boats are built, you will test key features, such as stability, maneuverability, and their ability… Read more
Aero_p037
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites For this science project, you will need access to a shallow beach or pool where the boats can be safely tested.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required when the boats are tested in the water. Wear life jackets if you plan to get into the water. Don't go too far away from shore.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Following a simple black line seems pretty easy, right? But think about it; how do you know what is the line and what is not the line? What if you wanted a robot to follow that line? How would it know what you wanted it to follow? Robots can use simple techniques to sense their surroundings and change their behavior based on what they see. In this engineering project, you will build your own robot that will follow a path without using complicated electronics or programming. Read more
Robotics_p021
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be familiar with, or be willing to learn how to wire circuits on a breadboard. A little soldering is necessary to complete this science project, so you should also be familiar with the procedure or be able to find a helpful friend or adult.
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety If you are using the coping saw to make the wheels, use caution and be sure to wear safety goggles. Some steps require soldering, which involves very high temperatures. Use caution when soldering and when using other building tools. An optional step involves a product that must used in an open area, following the manufacturer's directions.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The ocean is a wondrous force of nature. It affects the weather, and provides us with food and free and renewable energy to power our lives. How can the ocean provide us with free and renewable energy? One way is to extract the energy that is in the waves. There are many kinds of power systems that can be installed to extract energy from the waves, depending on the location. In this energy and power science project, you will build and test a simple model of an oscillating water column device to… Read more
Energy_p037
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should have fairly easy access to the ocean or to a deep body of water. Find a location where the surface of the water is within easy access of a pier, a dock, or a boat slip, and where the water is about 5 feet deep. You could also do this project in a swimming pool.
Material Availability See the Materials and Equipment list for more details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Be sure to wear safety equipment, such as safety goggles and gloves, when working with power tools and other equipment. Parental supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This science project presents an interesting puzzle. A disk of wood will float face-up; that is, with its circular cross-section parallel to the surface of the water. A long log of wood, however, floats on its side with the circular cross-section perpendicular to the surface of the water. If you think about it, disks and logs are both cylinders. Is there some intermediate length of cylinder that floats with the circular cross-section at a tilted angle? Try this experiment to find out! Read more
Aero_p021
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the wood saw. Always wear safety goggles when working with tools.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The movement of satellites is intriguing, but how do they orbit the way they do? Aerospace engineers run calculations and set up computer models to help them predict how satellites move in space, but in this astronomy science project, you will create a physical model with marbles, clay, and a cookie sheet to help you study how satellites move in space and learn from your observations. Read more
Astro_p041
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Sailboats, tugboats, barges, ocean liners, submarines are all different boats with different shapes. How does the shape of a boat's hull affect how easily it moves through the water? This project shows you how you can investigate this question using a homemade water trough and model boat hulls. Read more
Aero_p019
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision recommended
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you live in an area where earthquakes happen, you might be especially interested in this science project. You will learn how to build your own seismograph and how to use it to detect ground motion. Read more
Geo_p017
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You will need access to some basic wood shop tools and experience using them for this science project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using power tools and taking measurements outdoors near traffic.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever ridden on a Roller Racer or Plasma Car? These are ride-on toys that you move ahead by moving the steering mechanism back and forth. You've probably seen skateboarders "slaloming" on level ground to keep rolling, it's bascially the same idea. This project explores the physics behind this method of locomotion. Read more
Sports_p001
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No hazards
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What are some of the ways we keep track of time? We have alarm clocks, wristwatches, and cell-phone clocks, to name a few. Just a few hundred years ago, our ancestors did not have any of these conveniences, yet they found ways to tell time. How? By using devices such as water clocks. In this science project, you will follow in the footsteps of early engineers and build a water clock that tracks time for three hours. Read more
ApMech_p047
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to purchase a ring stand or build a stand to hold the water clock. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when using tools like hacksaws and hammers. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you have ever been shot with a rubber band then you know it has energy in it, enough energy to smack you in the arm and cause a sting! But just how much energy does a rubber band have? In this experiment you will find out how the stretching of a rubber band affects the amount of energy that springs out of it. Read more
ApMech_p017
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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