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Others Like “The Effect of Bridge Design on Weight Bearing Capacity”

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail A bridge collapse, like that of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge shown below, can be a major disaster. Bridges that cannot hold enough weight to do their intended job can be a serious public safety issue. And if they collapse, they can also cause economic damage due to costly rebuilding and people and companies scrambling to figure out how to circumvent the months of traffic impacts. #* IMG 1 *# Figure 1. On August 1, 2007 the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge collapsed killing 13… Read more
CE_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A kit for this project is available from [# Link Name="CE_p011.6" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="AquaPhoenix Education" #].
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This is an interesting project that explores which geometrical shapes make the strongest bridge truss structures. It is a good introduction to the engineering design process. You'll design three different trusses, and use online simulation software to analyze the distribution of load-bearing forces in each design. Then you'll build and test prototypes of each design. Read more
CE_p006
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Excellent computer skills, high school physics course
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution with sharp tools when cutting wooden parts to size. Adult supervision recommended for bridge-testing phase.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Suspension bridges, with their tall towers, long spans, and gracefully curving cables, are beautiful examples of the work of civil engineers. How do the cables and towers carry the load that is on the bridge? Can a suspension bridge carry a greater load than a simple beam bridge? This science project shows you how to find out. Read more
CE_p007
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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
thumbnail Sorry, you don't get to use a jackhammer for this project, but you'll find out another way to break concrete (not to mention what makes it strongest). Read more
CE_p010
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision recommended
Science Fair Project Idea
Is an I-beam as strong as a solid beam of the same size? What if you include weight in the comparison: which beam has the greater strength-to-weight ratio? Would an I-beam be stronger than a solid rectangular beam of the same weight? What about other structural shapes (e.g., T-beams, U-beams)? In this project you can find out by setting up a test stand, putting on your safety goggles and measuring how much stress these building components can handle before they snap. Read more
MatlSci_p011
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible: Wear safety glasses when testing beam capacity. Keep hands and feet clear of the area underneath the weight bucket, which may fall at any time.
Science Fair Project Idea
Ever try to tear a telephone book in half? Even though you can easily rip one or a few pages to shreds, the entire phone book has strength in numbers and holds together. This project is an introduction to measuring and comparing the strength of materials. Does spaghetti get extra strength if you bundle it together, or does strength simply increase proportionally with the number of strands? If you're interested in materials testing, get cracking! Read more
MatlSci_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Try gluing wood together with different types of glue, e.g.: regular white glue, yellow wood glue, cyanoacrylate (super glue), and Liquid Nails. Glue a short piece (5–8 cm) to the center of a longer piece (15–30 cm). After the glue has dried for the recommended time, drill a small hole through the center of the joint, big enough to pass through a piece of coat-hanger wire. Cut a length of coat hanger wire, pass it through the hole, and twist the ends together to form a loop. Place the ends… Read more
CE_p021
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine how cool it would be to build a robot hand that could grasp a ball or pick up a toy. In this robotics engineering project, you will learn how to use drinking straws, sewing thread, and a little glue to make a remarkably lifelike and useful robot hand. What will you design your robot hand to do? Pick up a can? Move around a ping pong ball? It is up to you! With these starting instructions, you can design any type of hand. You will simulate human finger anatomy as the basis for a… Read more
Robotics_p001
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is suggested for parts of this project. Use caution with sharp knives and glue.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you love to hit the half pipe with your snowboard or skateboard, then you have tested the strength and durability of laminates. Laminates are sandwiches of different materials that are glued together in layers to give strength and flexibility to an object. In this experiment, you can test if laminating wood can make it stronger and able to support a heavier load. How much weight can it take before it breaks? Read more
MatlSci_p008
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Requires adult supervision with glue and cutting wood.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Gelatin! It's hard to think of another food that is used as frequently on the dinner table as off. You can find it in all sorts of sweet foods, from ice cream, yogurt, and gummy bears, to marshmallows and yellow colorings for sodas. Off the table, it shows up in glues, photographic paper, playing cards, crepe paper, medicine capsules, hair gels, and professional lighting equipment. From the kitchen to the theater—what a range of uses! In this cooking and food science fair project, you'll… Read more
FoodSci_p047
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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 when using the knife and hot gelatin.
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