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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
You probably know that you can use iron filings to reveal the magnetic field produced by a strong magnet. If you sandwich the iron filings between pieces of waxed paper, you can make a permanent record of your magnetic experiments (Gardner, 2004, 66). Cover the wax paper sandwich with a layer of brown paper (from a roll, or cut open a paper shopping bag), and then (with an adult's help) use a hot, dry iron to seal the waxed paper together. You will have to experiment a little with your iron… Read more
Elec_p043
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What happens if you hold a magnet next to water? You might think that water is not affected by magnetism, but in fact, the water is slightly repelled. Believe it or not, if the magnet is strong enough, you can use this effect to levitate objects that contain water, including insects and even small frogs! In this science project, you will learn about diamagnetism. Materials that are repelled by both poles of a magnet are called diamagnetic. The magnets you will use are not strong enough to float… Read more
MatlSci_p041
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to purchase some materials online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Neodymium magnets are extremely strong, and must be handled with care to avoid personal injury and damage to the magnets or to electronic appliances. Minor injury is possible and you should wear safety goggles whenever working with these magnets. Please read the important safety notes in the Experimental Procedure before beginning this science project.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When you think of a motor, you may immediately think of a car, but you actually encounter other motors in your home every day. That's right, if you put on clean clothes from the washing machine, ate food from the fridge, or used a fan, you used an electric motor. In this electronics science project, you will make a simple electric motor with two magnets that "talk" to each other. As they interact, they will alternate between "liking" each other (pulling together), and "disliking" each other… Read more
Elec_p051
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be able to coil wire neatly (or find someone who can show you how) in order to make your electric motor work.
Material Availability Specialty items are required for this science project, and are available as a Science Buddies kit. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety

Never try to use a wall socket as power source for your motor.

Neodymium magnets are very strong. Follow the safety guidelines in the Procedure for working with these magnets.

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You may be familiar with permanent magnets—the kind that hang on a refrigerator. But did you know that other magnets, called electromagnets, can be turned on and off? When turned on, electromagnets act just like permanent magnets, but if you turn them off, their magnetic properties disappear. Electromagnets are an important part of many electronic devices, like motors, loudspeakers, and hard drives. You can create an electromagnet with a simple coil of wire and a battery. In this science… Read more
Elec_p035
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety The electromagnet can become hot during periods of extended use.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What can you do with magnets and ball bearings that makes a lot of noise? Why, build a magnetic rifle, called a Gauss rifle, of course! Now, this rifle is not a weapon, but a way for you to learn a lot more about physics concepts, like momentum. In this physics science project, you will investigate how far a ball bearing launched by a Gauss rifle will fly, depending on how many magnetic acceleration stages are in the rifle and the ball bearing's initial velocity. This science project makes for… Read more
Phys_p081
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items including neodymium magnets and steel ball bearings are needed for this project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety A Gauss rifle can produce high velocity projectiles. Do not aim the gun at anyone or anything; do not put your hand in front of the projectile. Operate the Gauss rifle safely. Be sure to read the important safety notes at the beginning of the Experimental Procedure before you begin. Scissors or other metal objects may be attracted to the magnets; use caution when using metal objects near the magnets.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail While you are probably quite familiar with battery-powered flashlights and watches, did you know there are motion-powered electronic devices—including some flashlights and watches—that can seemingly run forever without needing new batteries? The secret involves using magnets that generate electricity when they move around near a metal wire. In this science project, you will build your own simple motion-powered electrical generator that can power a series of tiny lights. Read more
Energy_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires some specialty electronic components. A kit is available from the [# Link Name="Energy_p009.16" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. The Time Required estimate includes time for gathering specialty materials. The actual project only takes 1 day.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety

Neodymium magnets are very strong and can pinch your fingers when they come together. You should keep them away from pets and small children because they can cause serious harm if ingested. As with any magnet, you should keep them away from computers, cell phones, and credit cards.

Adult supervision is required when using a hobby knife.

Science Fair Project Idea
In this project you'll make a liquid that will contradict your expectations. Hold it loosely in your hand and it will drip off your fingers, but grab it tightly and it will feel solid. Slap a bowl of it with a spoon, and instead of splattering, it solidifies. Do background research on colloids, and be sure you can explain the following terms: colloid, Newtonian fluid, non-Newtonian fluid, thixotropic. (For instructions on how to make it see the link listed under Exploratorium, 1998, in the… Read more
Chem_p031
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Physicists sometimes study matter under extreme conditions. For example, think of the emptiness of interstellar space vs. the unimaginable crush of pressure at the center of a neutron star, or an object dipped in liquid nitrogen vs. the tiles on the space shuttle during re-entry. Here's an experiment on permanent magnets in "extreme kitchen" conditions that you can try at home. Read more
Phys_p025
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision highly recommended. Use tongs to hold magnets immersed in boiling water, ice, and dry ice. Use proper caution when transfering magnets at extreme temperatures.
Science Fair Project Idea
Block off one-third of a soccer net with a cone, 5-gallon bucket or some other suitable object. Shoot into the smaller side from a set distance, but systematically varying the angle to the goal line. Take enough shots at each angle to get a reliable sample. How does success vary with angle? For a basic project: How do you think your success rate will vary with angle? Draw a conclusion from your experimental results. A bar graph showing success rate at different angles can help to… Read more
Sports_p030
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
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