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.

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.

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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What makes you notice someone in a crowd? Why do some things stand out, while others melt into the background? In this science project you can investigate the psychology of how things get noticed, by studying how our brains perform a visual search.
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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.

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)

The arbelos is the white-shaded region between the three semicircles in the illustration at right. In this project, you'll prove an interesting method for determining the area of the arbelos.
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Math_p012

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Time Required

Short (2-5 days)

Prerequisites

Must understand the concept and method of a mathematical proof

Globular clusters, compact groups of about a million stars that move around together in galaxies, are among the oldest objects found in the universe. Since they are found in most galaxies and since they've been around for so long, globular clusters have a lot to tell us about what the universe looks like now and how it got that way. Is our Milky Way Galaxy just like all the other galaxies out there? What are galaxies made of? What can we learn about the universe from looking at galaxies? …
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Astro_p016

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Time Required

Average (6-10 days)

Prerequisites

Computer skills, including basic spreadsheet skills (Excel for example)

Material Availability

You will need a spreadsheet program which can open Excel files to do this science fair project.

This is an interesting geometry project that goes back to the time of Archimedes, the famous Greek mathematician. You can combine this mathematical project with computer science and take this ancient problem into the twenty-first century with a dynamic diagram using the geometry applet.
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Math_p018

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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.