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Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever had several different design ideas for a project and not known which one to try first? Engineers use computer models of real-world objects called simulations to help them make decisions before they start building prototypes. This helps them save time and money, so they do not have to physically build and test each design they come up with. In this project, you will use a free physics simulation program called VoxCAD. VoxCAD has been used for research at NASA, MIT, and other… Read more
Robotics_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
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,… Read more
CompSci_p021
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Previous computer programming experience, familiarity with assembly language programming is helpful.
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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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 If you have seen any of the "Star Wars" movies, then you probably remember when Jedi knights like Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi used "The Force" to push, pull, and even throw objects — including some helpless battle droids. Have you ever wished you could do that in real life? In this robotics project, you will build and program a LEGO® robot that you can push and pull using an "invisible force" — almost like a real Jedi! We make no promise that you will be taking down the… Read more
Robotics_p013
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should know how to build a basic car with a LEGO Mindstorms kit, and also be familiar with basic programming in the Mindstorms software (NXT-G or EV3).
Material Availability This project requires a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or NXT kit, and a computer with the appropriate programming software. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues.
Project Idea
thumbnail The human kidney is the most commonly transplanted organ in the United States, numbering more than 17,000 transplants in 2010 alone! But kidney transplantation technology faces a lot of challenges, including a shortage of kidney donors and the need for recipients to take immunosuppressant drugs to keep their bodies from rejecting a transplanted kidney. In this science project, with the help of bioinformatics databases, you will explore how a kidney could be bioengineered using stem cells,… Read more
BioMed_p013
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites An advanced biology course or equivalent understanding of how cells respond to environmental stimmuli and signaling pathways.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are electronic components that convert a portion of the current flowing through them into light. How does the intensity of the light produced vary with the current flowing through the LED? To find out, you'll build some simple circuits to vary the current flowing an LED. You'll also build a simple light-to-voltage converter circuit to measure LED output. Read more
Elec_p037
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding of Ohm's Law.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Imagine that a biologist arrived at your big family reunion and had no idea who were sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc., but tried to sort it out by how all of you look. Just based on how you look, would s/he be able to guess whether the kid standing next to you is your sister or your cousin? The biologist might be able to make some good guesses this way, but by using samples of your family's DNA, s/he could construct your whole family tree. In this project, you'll use Web-based computer… Read more
Genom_p001
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites High School Biology, excellent website navigation skills
Material Availability None required
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail This is a straightforward project that shows you how data can be digitized and stored on magnetic recording media. You'll learn how alpha-numeric characters are digitized, and you'll use bar magnets to represent the individual data "bits." You'll also learn about how much information can be stored in a small space (recording density), and how magnetic data can be erased. Read more
Elec_p026
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A large number of specialty magnets are needed for this project.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Every day, we produce a lot of sewage (wastewater full of feces and urine). In fact, it adds up to 6.4 trillion liters of urine alone produced worldwide each year! The sewage is collected and then treated or disposed of. But what if, along the way, there were a way to make that sewage do something useful? It turns out that human urine is rich in nutrients, and some bacteria actually thrive on eating those nutrients. There are also devices called microbial fuel cells that can generate electrical… Read more
EnvSci_p061
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a voltmeter/multimeter is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell needs to be special ordered from [# Link Name="Elec_p071.7" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be sure to wear the gloves supplied with the kit when handling the microbial fuel cell's electrodes (its cathode and anode). The electrodes are made of a conductive material called graphite fiber and should not be placed near electronics or power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when they come in contact with electronics. Use caution when handling human urine. Wear gloves when working with human urine. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
thumbnail From 2005 to 2008, 48% of everyone in the U.S. was using at least one prescription drug, and 21% of people were taking three or more drugs. People are prescribed drugs all the time, but prescriptions can be dangerous because people can have different responses to drugs. These responses largely have to do with genetic mutations. Why are some genetic mutations associated with a different response to a drug? In this science project, you will explore an online drug and genetics database to… Read more
BioMed_p006
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of what genes, DNA, and proteins are.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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