Although fractal images can be intriguingly complex, fractals are more than just pretty pictures. In this project, you'll explore the mathematical properties of the famous Mandelbrot (illustration at right) and Julia sets. You'll learn about how these images are generated, and about the relationship between the Mandelbrot set and the Julia sets.
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Math_p013

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Time Required

Average (6-10 days)

Prerequisites

Good understanding of algebra, excellent computer skills

If you've ever wondered how tall that bridge is, or how high your kite was, then this could be a good project for you. You'll learn how you can use the mathematics of right triangles to measure the height of an object with two measurements that you can make on the ground.
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A fractal is, "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced/size copy of the whole"
(Mandelbrot, 1982). There are many different fractal patterns, each with unique properties and typically named after the mathematician who discovered it. A fractal increases in complexity as it is generated through repeated sets of numbers called iterations. There are many interesting projects exploring fractal geometry that go…
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Here's a project with practical applications for homes with a wireless network. This project shows you how to build and test parabolic reflectors for the transmitters on your network. You may be able to increase the range of your transmitter to cover a location you would like to use but couldn't reach previously. You may also be able to find ways to make your network more secure, by reducing signals transmitted beyond your property.
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CompSci_p010

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Time Required

Short (2-5 days)

Prerequisites

Good computer skills

Material Availability

This project requires access to a working wireless network with at least one computer using a wireless connection. A laptop computer with wireless capability is optional, but useful. Other materials readily available.

Is your computer fast? How quickly do you think it can do 100 million arithmetic problems? Do you think it could beat your friend's computer or another one at school? Try this science project to discover an easy way to measure whether or not your computer is a math whiz.
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CompSci_p011

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Time Required

Very Short (≤ 1 day)

Prerequisites

None

Material Availability

Requires computer with Java-enabled web browser (Java Runtime Environment version 1.5 or later) and Internet access

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.
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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.

Have you ever played a computer game in which a cartoon character, like a dog or a cat, moves or turns when you click on it? Have you ever wondered how characters know how far to move or how far to turn? In this computer science project, you will learn how with a simple (and free) program called Scratch, which will let you write your own computer program that tells a cartoon kitty how to draw shapes.
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CompSci_p035

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Time Required

Short (2-5 days)

Prerequisites

You should have access to a computer with the Internet and room for the Scratch program. Scratch can be downloaded for either Windows (2000 or later) or Mac (OSX 10.4 or later).

Have you ever wanted to analyze data from a NASA spacecraft? In this science project you will use data from NASA's MESSENGER mission to measure the diameter and calculate the depth of impact craters on Mercury. You will then analyze that data for relationships between a crater's depth and diameter. This is your chance to
perform a science project as a NASA researcher would!
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Astro_p036

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Time Required

Very Short (≤ 1 day)

Prerequisites

Geometry: familiarity using sine, cosine, and tangent to solve right triangles

This project challenges you to figure out how to make geometric patterns with Rubik's Cube. Leaving your cube in one of these positions makes it much more tempting to pick it up and 'fix' it. Can you figure out how to make a checkerboard, or a cube-within-a-cube? Can you make only the center piece a different color from the rest? Can you figure out how to solve the cube from these positions?
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Math_p024

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Time Required

Long (2-4 weeks)

Prerequisites

To do this project you should enjoy solving puzzles and thinking in three dimensions. This project requires starting with Rubik's Cube in the solved position, so you will need to know how to solve the puzzle in order to do this project.

Juice boxes are so convenient—just poke the straw in and sip away! But have you ever noticed that some juice boxes don't seem to have much juice, even when they have a lot of packaging? It might surprise you how much thought goes into the design and manufacturing of a juice box. Each manufacturer has carefully calculated how big each side should be to hold a certain amount of juice inside. In this science project, you will find out how different brands of juice measure up.
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