Imagine yourself as a software engineer, a decade and a half from now. You are called upon to help solve the world energy crisis by programming nano-organisms (NANORGs) to extract energy from industrial sludge. Your program must be small enough to fit in the NANORGs' tiny processors, yet at the same time meet several challenges. First and foremost, your NANORGs need to navigate on their own, extract energy from the sludge, and find collection points to deliver the harvested energy. Second,…
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CompSci_p021

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Time Required

Long (2-4 weeks)

Prerequisites

Previous computer programming experience, familiarity with assembly language programming is helpful.

This is a challenging first computer science project. You'll learn the basics of how digital devices can represent numbers using only 0's and 1's, and you'll write a JavaScript program to convert numbers between binary, decimal and hexadecimal notation.
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CompSci_p005

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Time Required

Short (2-5 days)

Prerequisites

You should be able to:

write a basic HTML file with a text editing program (like Notepad);

create HTML [[ SourceCode []<FORM>[] SourceCode ]] elements for user input;

write basic JavaScript functions using [[ SourceCode []Arrays[] SourceCode ]], [[ SourceCode []Strings[] SourceCode ]] and simple flow control statements (e.g., [[ SourceCode []if...else[] SourceCode ]], and [[ SourceCode []for[] SourceCode ]] or [[ SourceCode []while[] SourceCode ]] loops).

Help is available for each of these topics. See the Introduction section for details.

You've probably noticed the colorful patterns "reflecting" from the shiny surface of a CD disk. What you are seeing is actually diffraction of white light, and the rainbows of color are diffraction patterns. In this project you'll learn about how diffraction patterns are generated, and you'll find out how you can use a laser pointer and a protractor to measure the microscopic spacing of data tracks on a CD.
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Phys_p011

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Time Required

Very Short (≤ 1 day)

Prerequisites

None

Material Availability

Readily available

Cost

Low ($20 - $50)

Safety

Adult supervision recommended. Even low-power lasers can cause permanent eye damage. Please carefully review and follow the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.LaserSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].

If you have ever tried to hit a target (such as a trash can) with a wad of paper, you know that aim is everything. But it is not always easy to get it right every time! Missing is not that big a deal with a wad of paper, but what if you were in an invading army in the Middle Ages, using a catapult to hurl huge stones and knock down castle walls? For a successful invasion, it would be important to know exactly how far, and how reliably, a catapult could launch a projectile. In this project you…
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Math_p046

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Time Required

Average (6-10 days)

Prerequisites

An introductory-level understanding of statistics (mean, standard deviation, and the normal distribution) is helpful, but not required for completing this project.

Material Availability

Requires catapult kit. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.

Cost

Average ($40 - $80)

Safety

Do not aim the catapult at people or breakable objects; minor injury possible.

Is your PC an energy hog? Check out this science fair project to determine how much power your PC really uses, and if it is an energy hog, how you can reduce its appetite for energy. You'll learn how to profile and streamline your computer's power usage, while still enjoying every feature of your machine.
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Energy_p024

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Time Required

Average (6-10 days)

Prerequisites

None

Material Availability

You must have a Kill-A-Watt^{TM} meter to do this science project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.

Cost

Low ($20 - $50)

Safety

Adult supervision is required when configuring the power cords on your computer system for testing.

Why do so many people use cell phone cases? Do cell phones really need the extra protection, or is it just because cases look fancy?
In this engineering science project, you will test the durability of calculators instead of cell phones, find out if cases increase the durability of the device, and build some of your own cases that do!
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ApMech_p050

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Time Required

Short (2-5 days)

Prerequisites

None

Material Availability

Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.

Here is a project that combines Computer Science and Mathematics. The semicircle has two tangent lines that meet at point T. You need to prove that a line drawn from A to T bisects CD. You'll also learn how to create an interactive diagram to illustrate your proof, using an applet that runs in your Web browser. If you like solving problems and thinking logically, you'll like this project.
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CompSci_p009

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Time Required

Short (2-5 days)

Prerequisites

You should either currently be taking or have already completed a first course in geometry. You must understand the concept and method of a mathematical proof.

Material Availability

Readily available (laptop computer helpful for live demonstration)

Here is a project that combines Computer Science and Mathematics. The two circles are tangent to one another at point A. Their diameters are parallel. Prove that points A, D and F are co-linear. You'll also learn how to create an interactive diagram to illustrate your proof, using an applet that runs in your Web browser. If you like solving problems and thinking logically, you'll like this project.
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CompSci_p008

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Time Required

Short (2-5 days)

Prerequisites

You should either currently be taking or have already completed a first course in geometry. You must understand the concept and method of a mathematical proof.

Material Availability

Readily available (laptop computer helpful for live demonstration)

If you've ever so much as watched a news clip about a hurricane, you probably know that hurricanes draw their power from warm ocean waters. If that is true, does it mean that hurricanes actually cool the ocean down when they pass through? Can the amount of cooling be measured? Is it proportional to the strength of the hurricane? Find out using data that you can collect yourself using online archives. This project shows you how.
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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 beyond…
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