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Others Like “Star light, Star bright: How Does Light Intensity Change with Distance?”

Project Idea
thumbnail How far would you have to travel so that the light of the full sun would provide "daylight" no brighter than twilight on Earth? This project describes a method to verify the inverse square law: how light, sound, electrical signals, and gravity each decrease with distance from their source. When you have finished your experiment, you can use your results to calculate an answer. Read more
Elec_p028
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Minor injury possible—use caution when handling single-edged razor blades.
Project Idea
thumbnail You've probably heard that compact fluorescent light bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs. More of the electricity they use goes into producing light, and less into producing heat than with incandescent bulbs. How much more efficient are compact fluorescent bulbs? You can find out for yourself by making a simple photometer to compare the light output from different bulbs. This project shows you how. Read more
Phys_p031
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended for cutting wax.
Project Idea
thumbnail What's your favorite thing to do on the hottest day of the year? Dip your toes in an icy river? Hang out by the pool? Retreat to a cool basement? Lie motionless in the shade? You're probably not too eager to move around and put out a lot of energy, like mowing the lawn in the mid-afternoon sun. Well, you're not the only one. In this electronics science fair project, you'll find out that some semiconductor devices, like light-emitting diodes (or LEDs), act the same way. As their internal… Read more
Elec_p060
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety You should never look directly into an LED flashlight, as it can cause eye damage.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever dreamed about becoming invisible? Or about making something else invisible, like the mess all over your room? Invisibility may sound like the stuff of science fiction (remember Star Trek's "Cloaking Device"?), but in reality, military vehicles, like planes and ships, can be made less observable, or even invisible, to different detection methods—like radar, sonar, or infrared sensors—by using stealth technology. In this engineering science fair project, you'll find out… Read more
Phys_p075
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You should never look directly into an LED flashlight, as it can cause eye damage.
Project Idea
thumbnail So, you've got your popcorn and are settled into your seat at the movie. The lights dim—it's show time! But wait a second. Did you ever wonder how those lights dim so smoothly? It just wouldn't be the same if the lights suddenly snapped off, would it? In this electronics science fair project, you'll investigate dimmer switches, and even build a simple model of one. Try this project and light up your room, and your mind! Read more
Elec_p056
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You will need an adult's assistance to use the pocket knife. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you live someplace where you get to experience the full glory of all four seasons? If so, you know well the heady blossoms and dramatic skies of spring; the long, sun-drenched days of summer; the trees shaking in crimson and gold in fall; and the sparkling, brittle snows of winter. But you might not know why we have these seasons, over and over again, in a cycle as predictable as the rising and setting of the Sun. The reasons for the seasons are surprising and have to do with Earth's tilt… Read more
Astro_p033
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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
Project Idea
thumbnail "How do you frighten a grasshopper? And what does that have to do with light?" These are a couple of questions you're probably asking yourself after reading the title. Well, The Frightened Grasshopper Solar-Powered Bug is actually a toy grasshopper that vibrates when it is placed in sunlight or near a lightbulb. It stores up the energy from light, and converts it into motion. You will use this fun toy to explore how the brightness of the light affects the motion of the solar-powered insect. Read more
Elec_p061
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The Frightened Grasshopper toy needs to be ordered from online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required. The lightbulbs will be hot, so use caution to avoid getting burned by the bulbs. The Frightened Grasshopper toy should be assembled with the help of an adult since it is fragile and has some small parts.
Project Idea
thumbnail Want to stretch your imagination? One good way is to try to imagine how far it is to a distant star. How much farther away is it than the moon is from the earth? How much farther away than the earth is from the sun? How long would it take to get there? In this project, you'll learn one way of measuring the distance without leaving Earth. Read more
Astro_p019
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You will need a telescope for this project. Experience with geometry is recommended for this project (you need to understand similar triangles).
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Radiometers are fun-to-watch novelty items, but they also have a distinguished scientific history, having been studied by James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein. A radiometer has a set of four vanes (like small sails) connected to a spindle that is free to rotate. When the radiometer is placed in bright light, the vanes and spindle start to spin. It looks like a magic trick, but there is a scientific explanation for this weird behavior. In this science fair project, you will experiment with… Read more
Phys_p078
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This science fair project will require some creative problem solving on your part.
Material Availability You will need to order a digital tachometer and radiometer online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Can you imagine designing and building a space telescope the size of a tennis court? Believe it or not, that is someone's job! Engineers are hard at work on the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST. This telescope has the potential to enable astronomers to see light from when the Universe was first formed. No one knows what amazing discoveries this might lead to. However, to make the telescope work properly, engineers have to overcome a lot of challenges. In this science project, you can… Read more
Phys_p082
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Most of the materials are available in hardware or craft stores.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Use caution when using the box cutter, heat lamp, and laser pointer.
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