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Science Fair Project Idea
Electricity powers many of the devices we use every day, from lights to video games and computers. Engineers have to use certain materials to make electrical devices work. In this experiment, you will find out which materials let electricity flow through them (conductors) and which ones prevent electricity from flowing through them (insulators). Read more
Elec_p018
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability For your convenience, a kit is available for this project 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.
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
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- 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
The world's oceans are home to the most strange and amazing creatures. What do scientists know about these deep-sea animals and how can they study them easily? One way to learn about these animals in their homes is to use underwater robots. Underwater robots can record data that would be difficult for humans to gather. But what are robots and how are they made? In this robotics engineering project, you will discover what makes up a simple robot and build and test your own underwater robot. Read more
Robotics_p002
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability To build an underwater robot you will need a motor and a model boat propeller. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You will need glue and epoxy to waterproof the motor for the robot. Follow the instructions that come with the glue and epoxy and always work in a well-ventilated area. If you have a latex allergy, you will have to exercise great caution with the balloon and ask a volunteer to help you. Keep fingers away from the spinning propeller to prevent injury. Do not test the robot in saltwater.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever noticed how magnets appear to have no effect on each other when they are far apart? Then, when you slowly move them closer together, you will start to feel a gentle pull until they suddenly snap together? How exactly does the strength of a magnet change with distance, and how would you measure it if you wanted to find out? In this project you will build a circuit that can measure the strength of a magnetic field and see how the field strength changes with distance. Read more
Elec_p030
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with using a solderless breadboard, or willingness to learn
Material Availability For your convenience a kit is available for this project from the . Time required includes shipping for the kit.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot. Double-check all of your wiring before you connect the 9 V battery.
Science Fair Project Idea
An electric current produces a magnetic field. You can take advantage of this fact to make a simple apparatus to test the electrical conductivity of various materials, including both solids and liquids. The detector consists of a coil of wire, with a magnetic compass inside it. You connect one end of the coil to a D-cell battery. The other end of the coil is connected to whatever material you are testing, and the material, in turn, is connected to the other end of the D-cell. In other… Read more
Elec_p044
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
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
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- 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
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
Generating power from mud sounds like science fiction, but it is actually real science, and a promising source of alternative energy. Topsoil is packed with bacteria that generate electricity when placed in a microbial fuel cell. Because such bacteria-laden soil is found almost everywhere on Earth, microbial fuel cells can make clean, renewable electricity nearly anyplace around the globe. They are an up-and-coming technology that scientists and engineers are working to make even more… Read more
Elec_p071
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites We recommended that you have a basic knowledge in physics of electricity and familiarity with the concepts of conductivity, electric current, resistance and electrical power. Having used a multimeter before is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell kit needs to be special-ordered from the
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, power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when in contact with electronics.
Science Fair Project Idea
From traffic safety lights to neon signs, lights have a way of getting peoples' attention. So it makes sense that if a person wants to get attention, wearing clothing with built-in lights might help. These types of clothing, called electronic textiles (or e-textiles for short) already exist. Instead of using hard surfaces for circuits (like inside your computer or cell phone), e-textiles weave electrical parts like batteries, wires, and lights directly into wearable clothing so it can do… Read more
Elec_p076
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with basic electronics concepts like positive and negative terminals as well as open and closed circuits will be helpful for this science project. Students with no experience building circuits may want to try the simpler but thematically similar project: [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p077" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Material Availability This science project requires special LEDs designed for use with e-textiles, and it will be much easier to do with a soldering iron. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Soldering irons can get extremely hot and burn your skin if you touch them accidentally. They can also cause fires if left unattended. Adult supervision is required when using a soldering iron, especially if you are not familiar with using one. Science Buddies recommends using lead-free solder, especially in homes with pets and small children.
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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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.
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