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Science Fair Project Idea
Dimmer switches let us control the brightness of a light, anywhere from completely off to full brightness. This can be nice when you want to set the brightness "just right," as opposed to a regular light switch that only lets you turn a light on or off. It turns out that you can make a dimmer switch out of an everyday object—a pencil! Try this project to find out how a dimmer switch can control the brightness of a light. Read more
Elec_p056
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability For your convenience a kit for this project is available at the . Estimated project time includes time for shipping the kit.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Never connect the positive and negative ends (red and black wires) of the battery pack directly to each other. Adult supervision is required for whittling the pencil.
Science Fair Project Idea
What do you do with your old wooden pencils when they get too short to hold? Don't throw them away; you can use them to make circuits! This project will show you how to use pencils to make resistors, an important part of many electrical circuits, and test how they affect the brightness of a lightbulb in a simple circuit. Read more
Elec_p013
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A kit for this project is available from the . Estimated project time includes time for shipping the kit.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Never connect the positive and negative ends (red and black wires) of the battery pack directly to each other. Adult supervision is required for cutting the pencils.
Science Fair Project Idea
Global warming, climate change, melting ice caps—these are all big events that have an impact our environment. What can we do to help reduce the impact? We can reduce, reuse, and recycle. What can cities do to help? Cities can eliminate waste by saving energy. Cities around the world are switching from incandescent traffic signals to LED traffic signals to save energy and money. That's because LEDs are more efficient than incandescent lamps, which means that LEDs produce more light… Read more
Energy_p003
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Prior experience with using a digital multimeter
Material Availability Specialty items (see Materials list)
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Since this science project deals with electricity, adult supervision is recommended. The LEDs used in this project are used in traffic signals and are very bright. Do not look directly at the LED when it is in operation and be sure to wear your sunglasses. Be sure to wear safety goggles when operating power tools.
Science Fair Project Idea
"Paper circuits" are a fun way to mix electronics and art by adding lights directly to a painting or drawing. These lights need a battery to power them, and typically you would use wires to connect them. In paper circuits, though, many materials can be substituted as "wire," including special types of paint, ink, and even aluminum foil. There are also different options for what type of battery you can use. Which materials do you think will work best? Try this project to find out! Read more
Elec_p085
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires special circuit materials. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Estimated project time includes time for shipping specialty materials.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Imagine telling your friends about your latest science project: using a battery to make a light turn on. You might get some blank stares...sounds a little boring and basic, right? Now tell them you will do it with a potato! Yes, you can actually use fruits and vegetables as part of an electric power source! Batteries power many things around you, including cell phones, wireless video game controllers, and smoke detectors. In this science project, you will learn about the basics of battery… Read more
Energy_p010
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A kit is available for this project from the . Estimated time required includes time for shipping the kit.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Do not eat the potatoes after they have been used as batteries.
Science Fair Project Idea
Do you like playing with play dough; or modeling clay? Wouldn't it be cool if you could add lights, sound, or even motion to your play dough creations? In this project, you will use play dough that conducts electricity, which will allow you to connect lights, motors, and buzzers to your sculptures! This project is the first in a three-part series on play dough circuits, which can all be done with the same materials. We recommend doing the projects in order. Read more
Elec_p073
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A kit for this project is available from the .
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Never connect the battery pack's terminals directly to each other; this is called a short circuit and can make the batteries and wires get very hot. Do not connect the LEDs directly to the battery pack without using play dough; this will burn out the LEDs.
Science Fair Project Idea
In the animal kingdom, many different critters use whiskers to help them find their way around in the dark, through murky waters, or even to help them hunt prey. Whiskers can be very useful when the animals cannot rely on sight. Did you know that you can also build a robot that uses "whiskers" to find its way around? This project will show you how to build a simple robot that uses whiskers as "bump sensors" to help the robot detect when it is about to bump into an obstacle, so it can turn… Read more
Robotics_p028
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You will need to know how to use a breadboard to do this project. See the Science Buddies reference [# ProjectGuide Name="Breadboard.Tutorial" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] if you have not used a breadboard before.
Material Availability A kit is available from the .
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Be careful to avoid short circuits when building your robot. See the Procedure for more information.
Science Fair Project Idea
LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are electronic components that convert a portion of the electrical energy 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
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding of Ohm's Law.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you tried our , and now you are looking for more to do? Do you want to learn more about circuits and add even more lights? Check out this project for part 2 of our play dough circuits series! Read more
Elec_p074
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should understand the Introduction material in [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p073" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Light Up Your Play Dough!" HtmlHash="background" #]—the first project in this series—before doing this project.
Material Availability A kit is available for this project from the .
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Never connect the battery pack's terminals directly to each other; this is called a short circuit and can make the batteries and wires get very hot. Do not connect the LEDs directly to the battery pack without using play dough; this will burn out the LEDs.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever seen clothing with built-in lights? This might sound like something out of a science-fiction movie, but electronic textiles (or e-textiles for short) really exist. Instead of using hard surfaces for circuits (like what goes inside your computer or cell phone), e-textiles weave electrical parts like batteries, wires, and lights directly into clothing that you can wear to make the clothing do fun, interesting things like light up, respond to sound, or even serve medical purposes… Read more
Elec_p077
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires special electronic components designed for use with e-textiles. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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