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Others Like “Why Does the Moon Appear Larger at Some Times?”

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Science Fair Project Idea
You can measure the viscosity of a fluid using a glass tube and a marble with slightly smaller diameter than the tube. Seal one end of the tube. Fill the tube with the fluid to be tested. Drop the marble into to the tube and measure the time it takes to fall a fixed distance. Repeat the measurement several times, and use the average value. How does viscosity change with the amount of sugar dissolved in water? How does viscosity change with temperature? Read more
Aero_p032
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
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
Have you ever noticed how the moon appears bigger at the horizon, just as it is rising over the treetops, than it does later in the evening when it is overhead? Of course, the size of the moon does not change, but our perception of its size changes based on where it is in the sky. In this human biology science fair project, you will investigate Emmert's law, which explains the full moon illusion. You will estimate the size of the perceived increase in the size of the moon at the horizon. Read more
HumBio_p023
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You will need access to an outside area with a clear view of the horizon and the zenith.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
This a straightforward, but interesting, project in geometry. It is a good first proof to try on your own. You should be able to figure it out by yourself, and you'll gain insight into a basic property of circles. Figure 1 below shows a semicircle (AE, in red) with a series of smaller semicircles (AB, BC, CD, DE, in blue) constructed inside it. As you can see, the sum of the diameters of the four smaller semicircles is equal to the diameter of the large semicircle. The area of the larger… Read more
Math_p010
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites Must understand the concept of a mathematical proof
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair 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)
Science Fair Project Idea
Unless you live in the Southern states, you only hear about the most destructive hurricanes. In fact hurricanes occur every year, even multiple times a year. Each hurricane is a tropical storm related to cyclones and tornadoes, some big and some small. Each hurricane is measured based upon several variables like: wind speed, diameter, direction of movement and speed of movement. Does the size of the hurricane correlate with the wind speed? What information can the eye of the hurricane… Read more
Weather_p026
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
Peanut butter is a popular ingredient in sandwiches, cookies, and many other common foods. In this cooking and food science fair project, you will roast peanuts in the oven at 350 degrees for 20, 30, and 40 minutes to produce variable levels of color and flavor. Roasting not only adds complex flavors to the peanuts, but it also destroys enzymes that produce off-flavors. Each lot of roasted peanuts will be used to make a batch of peanut butter. You will evaluate each batch of peanut butter for… Read more
FoodSci_p027
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items: Mortar and pestle to grind peanuts. The mortar should be at least 5 inches in diameter. Raw peanuts can be purchased in some grocery stores or can be ordered online.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required to roast the peanuts. Students who have peanut allergies, or who live with others who have such allergies, should avoid this project.
Science Fair Project Idea
Did you know that waves travel through the Earth's crust all the time? One major source of these waves is earthquakes, although ground motion can also be caused by something man-made, such as a mine blast or nuclear explosion, or other natural events, such as landslides or volcanic activity. How does an earthquake cause these waves? The entire outer shell of the Earth, known as the lithosphere, is made up of tectonic plates that are constantly moving. There are seven or eight large… Read more
Geo_p007
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Familiarity with software and instruments used to collect and analyze data from sound waves is helpful.
Material Availability A sound generator and amplifier that can connect to a loudspeaker are required. An accelerometer is also needed that can interface with computer software to measure the amplitude of sound waves.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Here is a challenging problem for anyone with an interest in geometry. This project requires background research to solve it, but it is an excellent illustration of visual thinking in mathematics. Figure 1 below shows a series of circles (iC₁, iC₂, iC₃, ..., iC₃₀), inscribed inside an arbelos. What is an arbelos? The arbelos is the white region in the figure, bounded by three semicircles. The diameters of the three semicircles are all on the same line segment, AC,… Read more
Math_p011
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Good grasp of Euclidean geometry, a firm understanding of how to construct a mathematical proof, determination
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Does the force of drag have an effect on the distance the puck will travel? Think of a way to launch the puck with a reproducible force, and examine the effect of launching the puck in different orientations on the distance it travels. For more information on the physics, see Haché, 2002. Read more
Aero_p025
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
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