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Science Fair Project Idea
If you want to get your friend's attention at a crowded sporting event with lots of people cheering, you need to shout. If you're trying to do the same thing in a quiet library, a whisper works. The detection limit for each of our senses depends on the amount of "background" stimulation that is already present. This project uses an LED control circuit to investigate detection of changes in light levels. Read more
Elec_p039
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding of Ohm's Law and an understanding of logarithms. Note: the biggest expense is a powered, solderless breadboard, which can be used for future explorations in electronics.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
You can see examples of parabolic reflectors in flashlights, car headlights, satellite TV antennas, and even on the sidelines at football games. How do these "dish" antennas work to gather signals? What is the best position for placing the detector for these antennas? In this project, you can use an LED and a simple photodetector to find out for yourself. Read more
Elec_p040
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
This is a good project for someone who is interested in both electronics and color vision. The equipment needed is on the expensive side, but if you continue studying electronics, you can use it again and again. Read more
Elec_p038
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project you should be familiar with Ohm's Law. Experience building electronic circuits on a solderless breadboard is also helpful. The breadboard is the biggest expense, which can be used for future explorations in electronics.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision required when using power drill.
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
How easy is it for you to walk along and follow a line that is painted on the ground? Simple, right? You might be able to follow a line without giving it much thought, but how could a robot do that? In this project, you will build your own automatic line-following robot that can race around a track that you create. This technology has plenty of real-world applications—maybe one day you could help design self-driving cars! Read more
Robotics_p023
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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 [# ProjectGuide Name="Breadboard.Tutorial" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] if you have not used a breadboard before.
Material Availability This project requires the Science Buddies BlueBot Kit. See the Materials list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Be careful to follow the directions in the Procedure in order to avoid short circuits when building your robot.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever seen a cat chase a laser pointer or a flashlight beam? What if you could make a robot do that? In this project, you will build a robot that can automatically drive toward a bright light source. The robot uses a simple electronic circuit to track light, so there is no computer programming required! You can also do three other robotics projects using the same kit of parts, so this is a great way to get started with robotics before moving on to more advanced projects. Read more
Robotics_p022
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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 [# ProjectGuide Name="Breadboard.Tutorial" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] if you have not used a breadboard before.
Material Availability This project requires the Science Buddies BlueBot Kit. See the Materials list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Be careful to follow the directions in the Procedure in order to avoid short circuits when building your robot.
Science Fair Project Idea
If you have ever built an electronic circuit with a soldering iron, you know that the component leads get hot. How much of that heat gets into the device you're soldering? This project shows you how you can use a silicon diode as a temperature sensor to find out. Read more
Elec_p033
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You need to understand both Ohm's Law and exponents to do this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision recommended for oven calibration of the diode.
Science Fair Project Idea
"Waste not, want not" is a common saying. These four words sum up an important principle: if you "waste" an important resource, you might find you don't have enough of it when you "want" it. One of the most important resources we have is clean water. In many parts of the world, including the western part of the United States, water shortages pose serious problems. In this science project, you will build an electronic circuit that can 1) detect when it is raining and 2) shut off power, such as… Read more
Elec_p066
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some experience with electronics would be helpful. If you are new to electronics, plan to spend some time learning about the subject prior to making the circuit. The workbook included with the kit has introductory information.
Material Availability The procedure calls for an electronics kit that can be purchased online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
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 [# ProjectGuide Name="Breadboard.Tutorial" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] if you have not used a breadboard before.
Material Availability This science project requires specific circuit components from an electronics vendor. See the Materials list for details.
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
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 on making even more… Read more
Elec_p071
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Having used a voltmeter/multimeter before is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell kit needs to be special ordered from the [# Link Name="Elec_p071.7" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
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.
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