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Science Fair Project Idea
Cars that can drive themselves might sound like science-fiction, but they are a reality. Self-driving cars are cars that use sensors and computer programs to automatically drive on roads, without intervention from a human driver. However, the cars still have to follow all the same rules of the road as human drivers, including staying in the correct lane, obeying road signs and traffic lights, and avoiding obstacles like potholes or fallen tree limbs. In this project you will build a simplified… Read more
Robotics_p023
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites While no previous electronics or robotics experience is required to do this project, it will be helpful if you are familiar with basic circuit concepts and with using a breadboard. The Bibliography section in the Background tab has many tutorials you can use to get started.
Material Availability This project requires specific circuit components from an electronics vendor. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Science Fair Project Idea
Native plants are important for both ecological and medicinal reasons. However, most native plants are not very well studied. One way to know more about these plants is to understand which other species of plants they are most closely related to. In this science project you will sequence part of the chloroplast genome from a native plant and use this information to determine its evolutionary relationship to other species of plants. If the plant you chose has not been sequenced before, you can… Read more
Genom_p012
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites High school biology class; familiarity with using the PCR machine and gel electrophoresis equipment, and/or using the equipment with a mentor.
Material Availability You will need specialized pieces of equipment, including a PCR machine (thermocycler) and a gel electrophoresis apparatus. If your school does not have this equipment you might want to seek out a mentor at a junior college, university, or biotechnology company. If you have the resources you can do the DNA sequencing yourself, otherwise you can send the samples to Dr. Baysdorfer at California State University, East Bay, see Experimental Procedure for more details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety This project uses ethidium bromide, which is a carcinogen. Always wear gloves and safety goggles when handling. Dispose of the ethidium bromide according to your school or institute's hazardous waste protocols. If you have concerns, ask your teacher or mentor for advice.
Science Fair Project Idea
If you have ever prepared a cup of coffee or tea with sugar, you have probably seen that the grains of sugar quickly dissolve and completely disappear in hot water. But sugar is not the only type of solid that can readily dissolve in a liquid. In fact, there are some types of rocks that can be dissolved by common liquids. It might be hard to imagine large, hard rocks being eaten away by some ordinary fluids, right? But it actually happens all the time! In this geology science project, you will… Read more
Geo_p047
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Small limestone rocks are needed to do this science project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Note: The listed time required to do this science project includes shipping time.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Does your hair go crazy when the weather turns damp? Did you know that strands of hair can relax and lengthen when the humidity increases and then contract again when the humidity decreases? In fact, hair strands can be used as the basis for a hygrometer, a device which measures the humidity level in the air. Can a human hair hygrometer also detect changes in hair structure caused by chemical lightening? This project shows you how to find out. Read more
MatlSci_p020
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision required for working with hydrogen peroxide-based hair lighteners. Wear protective gloves and eye wear.
Science Fair Project Idea
You have probably read all about forms of alternative energy like solar and wind power. But what about human power? With the aid of a coil of wire and some magnets, you can generate electricity with nothing more than a flick of your wrist. In this project, you will build a small hand-powered electrical generator that can power a series of tiny lights. Get ready to save the planet and get some exercise at the same time! Read more
Energy_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires some specialty electronic components. A kit is available from the [# Link Name="Energy_p009.16" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. The Time Required estimate includes time for gathering specialty materials. The actual project only takes 1 day.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety

Neodymium magnets are very strong and can pinch your fingers when they come together. You should keep them away from pets and small children because they can cause serious harm if ingested. As with any magnet, you should keep them away from computers, cell phones, and credit cards.

Adult supervision is required when using a hobby knife.

Science Fair Project Idea
Maple syrup is deliciously gooey and great on breakfast foods like pancakes and waffles. But it has another amazing property. It can be turned into maple candies with a range of textures, like sticky maple taffy or molded maple sugar candy. In this science fair project, you will investigate how the temperature that maple syrup is heated up to affects what type of maple syrup-based candies can be made. Read more
FoodSci_p044
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the stove.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever ridden on a carousel, or a merry-go-round, at an amusement park? On a carousel, you usually get to take a seat on a wooden horse or other animal that spins around and around as the carousel is turned on and powered by electricity. Another smaller type of carousel that people can have in their homes is a candle carousel, which is powered by heat from candles. In this science project, you will get to make your own candle carousel and investigate how the spinning speed of the… Read more
Aero_p051
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None.
Material Availability Chemicals need to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is needed for using matches, lighting candles, and using epoxy. Follow all safety precautions when using epoxy. Adult supervision is recommended when handling lit candles.
Science Fair Project Idea
Physicists sometimes study matter under extreme conditions. For example, think of the emptiness of interstellar space vs. the unimaginable crush of pressure at the center of a neutron star, or an object dipped in liquid nitrogen vs. the tiles on the space shuttle during re-entry. Here's an experiment on permanent magnets in "extreme kitchen" conditions that you can try at home. Read more
Phys_p025
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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 highly recommended. Use proper caution when transferring or holding magnets at extreme temperatures. See the Procedure for details.
Science Fair Project Idea
What is it that famous photographers do to make their images so pleasing to the eye? Find out if simple rules of geometry can make you a better photographer. Read more
Photo_p012
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Batteries are expensive, but you can make one for exactly 24 cents! In this experiment, you will make your own voltaic pile using pennies and nickels. How many coins in the pile will make the most electricity? Read more
Energy_p015
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need an adult to help you use a multimeter. Science Buddies has a [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ElectronicsPrimerMultimeter" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] that will teach you how to use one.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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