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Project Idea
thumbnail What do rocks and clocks have in common? Both keep track of time. Yes, radioactive isotopes present in rocks and other ancient material decay atom by atom at a steady rate, much as clocks tick time away. Geologists use those radioactive isotopes to date volcanic ash or granite formations like the giant Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Anthropologists, archeologists, and paleontologists also use radioactive isotopes to date mummies, pottery, and dinosaur fossils. Does this sound abstract… Read more
Geo_p044
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None.
Material Availability Readily available.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues.
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.
Project Idea
thumbnail The banjo's roots trace all the way over to Africa. The unique sound that a banjo makes depends, in part, on the resonator. The purpose of the resonator is to amplify and project the sound that is made by strumming and plucking the strings. In this music science fair project, you will experiment with a resonator on a banjo and see if you can hear the difference in sound. Read more
Music_p029
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You must have access to a computer with a microphone, a spreadsheet program,and an Internet connection. You need to have a basic proficiency with and be able to graph data in the spreadsheet program. If you need help, consult a help guide online or find an adult who is familiar with the spreadsheet program you are using.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury is possible. Always wear safety goggles and use caution when using tools. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
Can you remember all of your ABC's? Computers need to "remember" letters too. Every time we use a computer to write a story, the computer needs to "remember" the letters in the story by saving them to the computer's memory as a file. In this experiment find out how much memory it takes for the computer to "remember" a series of letters. Read more
CompSci_p014
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Sunspot activity has been monitored continuously since about 1700. The historical data shows that sunspot activity rises and falls in a roughly 11-year cycle. This project shows you how you can use both graphical and statistical analysis to look for patterns in cyclical data. Read more
Astro_p017
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Computer with Internet access and a spreadsheet program (e.g., Excel, QuattroPro), previous experience with statistics helpful
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that your guitar has a secret? Yes, that's right—hidden along each string are special places where you can play harmonics and make your guitar sound like a bell! In this music science fair project, you'll find out where the main harmonics are located on a guitar, and then see how those locations are related to the length of the strings. So get out your guitar—it's time to ring in a science fair project! Read more
Music_p030
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Access to an acoustic guitar is required.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
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. Read more
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
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
This project is a great way to "bring home" the concept of energy use. All you need to get started is a good-sized sample of monthly electric bills from households in your area. Building from this simple beginning, you can ask questions that can take you in many different directions. For example: How much electricity does the "average" person in your area use per month? How much does electricity use vary among different families? Read more
Energy_p017
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites To do this project you will have to collect sample monthly electric bills from at least 30 different households, along with the number of people living in the household.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Strike a key on the piano, and you hear the string vibrating. Just about any object vibrates when it's knocked, but how much and how fast? What properties of the material affect the way it vibrates? This project helps you find out. You'll build a simple light-sensing circuit for measuring the frequency of vibrating springs. Read more
ApMech_p015
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Windows/PC
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Want to start a garage band, but Mom or Dad won't let you because it will make too much noise? This is a good project for someone who is interested in acoustics and likes to build things. Who knows, it might help you figure out how to make everyone happy. Read more
Phys_p029
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Note: Project costs will be lower if you already have good quality speakers connected to a computer that can play audio files.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Very loud sounds can cause hearing damage. Be sure to keep your speaker volume at reasonable levels when doing this experiment.
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