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Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever played a video game and gotten so involved that you felt as if you were living inside the game? What were the characteristics of the game that made you feel part of the action? One component of an absorbing video game is an onscreen world that makes sense—a world that takes physics into account. A game in which the player feels the effect of trudging through mud, slipping on ice, or catapulting a bird is more fun than one with no environmental interaction. In this… Read more
Games_p031
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You should be comfortable programming in C++ language, familiar with the GameMaker software package, and able to program in GameMaker Language (GML). You should completely review and understand all the GameMaker tutorials and examples listed in the Science Buddies GameMaker User Guide and in the Tutorials section of YoYo Games Wiki.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that in addition to the Sun and planets, our solar system is filled with millions of asteroids, which are chunks of rock left over from the early days of its formation, or from collisions between larger objects like planets? Agencies like NASA track asteroids, not only because they might pose a threat to humanity by colliding with Earth, but because they can provide us with information about the history of our solar system, and even be useful for mining raw materials in space! In… Read more
Astro_p039
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites In order to do this science project, you should either already have knowledge of basic statistical analysis (histograms and scatter plots) or have a willingness to familiarize yourself with them.
Material Availability This science project requires a computer with internet access and a spreadsheet program like Microsoft® Excel® or OpenOffice™ Calc.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever walked a dog on a leash? Depending on how well-behaved the dog is, it can be very easy or very difficult. It would be great if you could tell your dog exactly how to behave, right? With that in mind, in this project you will build a robotic dog using a LEGO® Mindstorms® kit that you can teach to "walk" using the beam from a flashlight as a virtual leash. But your robot dog will not know how to walk on a leash on its own — you will have to "train" it, just as you… Read more
Robotics_p011
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Experience building with LEGO pieces and programming with LEGO Mindstorms is required for this project.
Material Availability This project requires a LEGO Mindstorms kit and compatible programming software. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail We use passwords every day for our email and other computer accounts. How secure is the password that you use? How hard would it be for someone to guess your password? How hard is it to write a computer program to guess a password? You can see for yourself by writing a simple password guesser in the computer language Python. We will get you started with some ideas, a little sample code, and a few passwords for your computer program to try and guess. Read more
CompSci_p046
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To complete the programming portion of this science project, students should have access to a machine capable of running Python™ 3 (Microsoft Windows™, Apple Mac, Raspberry Pi®, or some other Linux computer), permission to install software, and a basic grasp of programming (or ready access to a willing helper who knows a little Python).
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Hacking into other people's password-protected accounts is a federally prosecutable offense. The program example given in this science project will only work in the context of this science project.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up. What do these Pixar films have in common? They are all computer-animated films. While the writers and directors came up with the compelling stories and the kinds of scenes that would best tell the stories, the computer animation experts brought the films to life. In this computer science project, you will easily be able to create your own animated story using a simple computer programming environment called Storytelling Alice. To create your animation, you will… Read more
CompSci_p037
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should have access to a Windows-based computer and the Internet.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Animating a story can involve a lot of time in front of the computer. Be sure to take plenty of breaks in order to stretch and give your eyes a break.
Science Fair Project Idea
What is your favorite font? Is it Chalkboard, Comic Sans, Futura, or Curlz? Whatever your favorite font is, you can test it out with this fun science project. Read more
CompSci_p013
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a PC with Microsoft Word or another word processing program that allows fonts to be embedded in text files.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
This project is a fun way to try your hand at programming. You'll learn how to create some simple animations, and you'll perform tests and make measurements to help you create more realistic-looking animations. All you need to get started is a Web browser and a text editor (like Notepad). Read more
CompSci_p012
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with Web browser and text editing programs
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail 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. Read more
Energy_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You must have a Kill-A-WattTM 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.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail "Gross! What is that in the toilet?" But maybe it's not just gross. Did you know there are bacteria that digest organic waste and create electrons? What if there was a way to collect those electrons to power a circuit? In this science fair project, you will make a microbial fuel cell to collect the electrons that the bacteria—anaerobic bacteria—create...only, you'll be using mud, which is much safer to handle than wastewater. If you would like to learn how to reuse and recycle an… Read more
Energy_p026
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You will need to be familiar with the procedures for handling biologically hazardous material. Read the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] from the Science Buddies Project Guide to learn more about handling biologically hazardous materials. You also need to have access to a lower-order stream of water or a creek. See the Introduction for an explanation of this type of stream. Try to avoid streams in which the bed is rocky. The benthic mud sample should be from an area that has a thick, rich mud bed.
Material Availability Specialty items required
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. Be careful when using a hot stove and a drill. Remember to always wear safety goggles when drilling. Exercise caution when working near a stream or creek. Water currents can be stronger than they look.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Are you an artist, or do you enjoy the process of making art? What kind of art do you create? Do only humans make art? Not all the time. Robots can create art, too. Robots can be programmed and "taught" to do all kinds of things, such as delivering medications to hospital patients or putting together a car on an assembly line. The Vangobot™, shown in the video below, paints pictures with brushes and paint, and in a distinct, unique style - just like a human artist. Watch… Read more
Robotics_p007
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Programming experience is needed to do this project.
Material Availability

This robotics engineering project requires that you purchase VEX® robotics materials. See the Materials tab for a suggestion of some VEX® parts to use. With a little problem-solving, you may be able to substitute another robotics platform.

The RobotC software needed to program the VEX system is Windows based. If you are using an Apple computer you will need to use visualization software such as VirtualBox or VMware®.

Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Use caution with tools when assembling the robot. Minor injury is possible.
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