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Others Like “Jack and Jill Went Up a Hill and Came Biking Down After: Choosing the Best Gear Ratio for Speed”

Project Idea
thumbnail If you ride a bike, you probably know that you have to occasionally pump up the tires to keep them fully inflated. Over a long period of time, the tires slowly leak air, so their pressure will decrease. Have you ever noticed that it is actually harder to ride a bike when the tire pressure is too low? This is because the tires are a big factor in the rolling resistance of the bike. In this sports science project, you will measure how tire pressure affects the force required to move a bike. How… Read more
ApMech_p029
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a bike with training wheels and a special spring scale to measure force. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Only do this science project in a safe area where there are no cars, like a playground or a sidewalk. Do not do this science project in a street or parking lot. The volunteer riding the bike must wear a bike helmet.
Project Idea
If you have a multi-speed bike, you know that you can make it easier or harder to pedal just by shifting gears. Ever wonder how that works? You can investigate this a number of ways. A basic approach is to use a selection of spools of thread (with different diameters), a board with two nails, and a rubber band. Place a spool over each nail, and put the rubber band over them. Mark the 12:00 position on each spool so that you can count revolutions. Turn one spool through a full circle and… Read more
Sports_p025
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you like to watch the Olympics and see a new world record get set? Have you ever wondered how fast you'd need to go to achieve that world record? Well, in this sports science fair project, you'll find out how to compute speeds needed to achieve world records. Not only that, but you'll learn what speed is, and how to measure it in almost anything that moves! So head for the track, you're on a search for speed! Read more
Sports_p048
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Safety gear should always be worn when participating in sports. Choose a safe location at which to run your speed tests.
Project Idea
thumbnail Are you a "lawn shredder"? Do you like nothing better than carving a sweet path down a mountain on your souped-up skateboard? If so, then this mountainboarding sports science fair project is for you! You'll investigate tire pressures and find out how to get the most out of your mountainboard ride—the most speed, and the best handling and control. It's gnarly science, dude! Read more
Sports_p050
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To conduct this science fair project, you must be an experienced mountainboarder and should have access to a mountainboarding test site
Material Availability Mountainboarding equipment and safety gear are required.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Mountainboarding is considered an extreme sport. You should be an experienced mountainboarder before attempting this science fair project, and always wear safety gear, including protective clothing and a helmet.
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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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Enjoy the thrill and pace of speed skating, do you? Well, this project's for you. Fast turns around the track become your laboratory tests in these experiments whether you skate on ice, wood, or pavement. The goal is to determine which type of turns are best in a race—tight, medium, or wide—and then to figure out why. You'll analyze the speed and stability of your turns and compare your results with those of a few fellow skaters. This is a friendly competition where the prize is learning… Read more
Sports_p019
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Minor injury possible
Project Idea
thumbnail "What?! Many of my toys are also machines?" That's right—simple machines! Simple machines are everywhere! Under your feet when you climb stairs, in your hand when you use a utensil to eat your dinner, even in your arm when you throw a ball. Come visit this science fair project and explore the six types of simple machines. Find out how many are hiding under the hinged lid (yes, another simple machine) of your toy box! Read more
ApMech_p042
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Mice, rats, and other rodents are typically nocturnal animals; that is, their activity level is highest at night. For this science fair project, you will build a device that records your pet's activity by monitoring movement of its exercise wheel to see how it varies during the day and night. You can also experiment with various ways of changing your pet's cycle of activity; for example, by playing with it during the day when it's normally resting. Read more
MamBio_p023
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You should already own a mouse, a rat, a guinea pig, or a hamster, and know how to take care of it. Or you can study a pet rodent at your school.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety You should only try this project with a pet rodent that you are already familiar with. Don't use wild rodents or any animal that you are not sure is safe to work with.
Project Idea
Skateboarder alert: Extreme performance needed in this project. Dude, you can cruise and carve while you investigate which skateboard wheels produce the fastest (and slowest) rides on your terrain in these experiments. You pick the wheels and design the tests you think will produce the most extreme results for speed and turns. Do this project and you can work on your ride and learn some science about the speed, spin, and design of skateboard wheels. Read more
Sports_p018
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury possible
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you love roller coasters and other kinds of exciting rides? Are you a thrill-seeker? Well, this is the science fair project for you! What makes a ride so thrilling that people want to ride it over and over again even though it scares them? Is it the speed, the twists and turns, the vertical drops? In this science fair project, you will build and use an accelerometer to figure out what makes a roller-coaster ride worth standing in line for. Oh, and if Mom and Dad ask what an amusement park… Read more
ApMech_p041
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Access to an amusement park.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Make sure that you and your volunteers are healthy enough to ride roller-coaster rides. Always take a break and rest if you start to feel ill. Adult supervision is recommended.
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