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Science Fair Project Idea
Every day, we produce a lot of sewage (wastewater full of feces and urine). In fact, it adds up to 6.4 trillion liters of urine alone produced worldwide each year! The sewage is collected and then treated or disposed of. But what if, along the way, there were a way to make that sewage do something useful? Human urine is rich in nutrients, and some bacteria actually thrive on eating those nutrients. There are also devices called microbial fuel cells that can generate electrical power by using… Read more
EnvSci_p061
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a multimeter and being familiar with the physics of electricity is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell kit needs to be special-ordered from the .
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be sure to wear the gloves supplied with the kit when handling the microbial fuel cell's electrodes (its cathode and anode). The electrodes are made of a conductive material called graphite fiber and should not be placed near electronics or power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when they come in contact with electronics. Wear gloves when working with human urine. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Bacteria are powerful little creatures. They can dispose of contaminants, make us sick and did you know they can even generate electricity? In devices, called microbial fuel cells (MFC) they can extract electrons from their food sources such as organic materials and feed them into an electrical circuit to generate power. This way they can even turn plain soil into a source of energy! Does it matter though what kind of food the bacteria "eat"? Find out how bacteria grow in a microbial fuel cell… Read more
MicroBio_p032
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a multimeter and familiarity with the physics of electricity is helpful, but not required. A basic knowledge of how to work with bacteria is also recommended to complete this science fair project. Consult the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicrobiologyTechniquesampTroubleshooting" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Microbiology Techniques and Troubleshooting" #] guide for information on how to conduct microbiology experiments.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell kit needs to be special ordered from the .
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be sure to wear the gloves supplied with the kit when handling the microbial fuel cell's electrodes (its cathode and anode). The electrodes are made of a conductive material called graphite fiber and should not be placed near electronics or power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. Use sterile technique when growing the bacteria. Read the before starting any experiments. may be necessary. Adult supervision is recommended.
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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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 reference, [# 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
Science Fair Project Idea
If you have ever built an electronic circuit with a soldering iron, you know that the component leads get hot. How much of that heat gets into the device you're soldering? This project shows you how you can use a silicon diode as a temperature sensor to find out. Read more
Elec_p033
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You need to understand both Ohm's Law and exponents to do this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision recommended for oven calibration of the diode.
Science Fair Project Idea
Global warming, climate change, melting ice caps—these are all big events that have an impact our environment. What can we do to help reduce the impact? We can reduce, reuse, and recycle. What can cities do to help? Cities can eliminate waste by saving energy. Cities around the world are switching from incandescent traffic signals to LED traffic signals to save energy and money. That's because LEDs are more efficient than incandescent lamps, which means that LEDs produce more light… Read more
Energy_p003
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Prior experience with using a digital multimeter
Material Availability Specialty items (see Materials list)
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Since this science project deals with electricity, adult supervision is recommended. The LEDs used in this project are used in traffic signals and are very bright. Do not look directly at the LED when it is in operation and be sure to wear your sunglasses. Be sure to wear safety goggles when operating power tools.
Science Fair Project Idea
In the animal kingdom, many different critters use whiskers to help them find their way around in the dark, through murky waters, or even to help them hunt prey. Whiskers can be very useful when the animals cannot rely on sight. Did you know that you can also build a robot that uses "whiskers" to find its way around? This project will show you how to build a simple robot that uses whiskers as "bump sensors" to help the robot detect when it is about to bump into an obstacle, so it can turn… Read more
Robotics_p028
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You will need to know how to use a breadboard to do this project. See the Science Buddies reference [# ProjectGuide Name="Breadboard.Tutorial" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] if you have not used a breadboard before.
Material Availability This science project requires specific circuit components from an electronics vendor. See the Materials list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Be careful to avoid short circuits when building your robot. See the Procedure for more information.
Science Fair Project Idea
If you want to get your friend's attention at a crowded sporting event with lots of people cheering, you need to shout. If you're trying to do the same thing in a quiet library, a whisper works. The detection limit for each of our senses depends on the amount of "background" stimulation that is already present. This project uses an LED control circuit to investigate detection of changes in light levels. Read more
Elec_p039
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding of Ohm's Law and an understanding of logarithms. Note: the biggest expense is a powered, solderless breadboard, which can be used for future explorations in electronics.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
A nice hot cup of tea sure can wake and warm you up in the morning. In this project, you will investigate the chemistry of tea. The longer you steep a tea bag in hot water, the stronger the tea will be. But how does the strength of the tea change with longer brewing time? In this project you will make a very simple electronic device to measure the strength of tea. The device will determine how strong the tea is by measuring the amount of light the tea absorbs. Read more
FoodSci_p058
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty electronics items are required. A kit is available from the . Time required includes shipping for the kit.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required when boiling water.
Science Fair Project Idea
Electric paint is a fun way to include a circuit with lights in an art project, but it presents a challenge not found in traditional electronic circuits. What happens if you change the length or width of your strokes of paint, such as by painting longer, curvier lines or using a thicker brush? Could this affect the electrical properties of your circuit? Try this project to find out! Read more
Elec_p086
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need to use a multimeter. See the Science Buddies reference [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ElectronicsPrimerMultimeter" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] to learn how to use one.
Material Availability This project requires special circuit materials. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. "Time required" includes time for shipping specialty materials.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
You probably know that turning off the lights and the water, and not wasting paper are all ways to help the environment and conserve our resources. Did you know that another way is to use fuel cells? A fuel cell is a device that converts the energy in chemicals to electricity and it creates no pollution. The starting chemical does not have to be something complex — in fact you it can even be water! In this science fair project try your own hand at converting water to electricity with the… Read more
Energy_p002
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items required. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety To do this science fair project, you will need to electrolyze water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is flammable, so keep the fuel cell and hydrogen storage tank away from sparks.
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