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Others Like “There's a Machine in My Toy Box!”

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Science Fair Project Idea
When you think of a machine, you probably think of computers or robots. But what if I told you that machines have been around for centuries? Would you believe me? Try this experiment to see which of these simple machines you use around your house. You might even use some of them everyday! Read more
ApMech_p018
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that you can lift an object that's heavier than you are? Just use a lever! In this science project you'll build a tabletop lever and measure how much effort it takes to lift an object using it. Read more
Phys_p065
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Before the Industrial Age, people relied on muscle power for moving and lifting heavy objects. Here's a project that shows you how you can use your head to make heavy lifting easier on your muscles–and your back! Read more
ApMech_p010
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision recommended
Science Fair 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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- Less Details
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!
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Want to do a project with a toy your parents, or even grandparents, might have played with? Slinkies are fun toys that also make great physics and engineering projects. In this science project you will investigate how changing the angle of an inclined plane affects how the Slinky walks down it. What angle will enable the Slinky to go for the best walk? Read more
ApMech_p019
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Music boxes, bicycles, and clocks all have one thing in common: GEARS! You might say that gears make the world turn, since they are in so many mechanical instruments. How do they work and how do you know which gears to use? Find out in this simple experiment. Read more
ApMech_p016
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Naval fighter pilots seem to defy physics each time they fly their jets off of an aircraft carrier. Normal runways are thousands of feet long so that airplanes can develop enough lift to fly. But a runway on an aircraft is much shorter. How can naval pilots get their fighter jets into the air without falling off the carrier into the ocean? Well, because they get a boost from a catapult! Sounds unbelievable? It's not, and you can find out more about catapult-assisted takeoff in this aerodynamics… Read more
Aero_p048
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Watch out! It's Eddy Vortex, Superhero! He swirls, he tumbles, he churns up air and water! OK, maybe eddies and vortices aren't exactly superheroes, but they are powerful regions of air and water flow that you have to watch out for in some surprising places. Try out this science fair project to discover why, as well as where and how to find them. Read more
EnvEng_p029
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Be sure not to put your fingers or any other objects inside the fan. Adult supervision is recommended.
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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- Less Details
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 Sometimes, simple toys can be quite complicated. Take the yo-yo. It's a fun toy and there is nothing simpler than a string wrapped between two connected disks. But there's a lot of physics that makes a yo-yo work. In this science fair project, learn more about how and why a yo-yo works. You will investigate the effect of string length on the yo-yo's "sleep" trick time. If people ask why you've got a yo-yo with you all the time, tell them that while it looks like you're just having fun, you're… Read more
Phys_p069
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety When practicing with the yo-yo, keep it away from breakable objects. Be aware of where other people are so that nobody gets hit with the yo-yo.
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