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Others Like “Upstairs, Downstairs: Turning on a Light from Two Places”

Project Idea
Here's a puzzle you may have heard before which you can build as a simple electric circuit. First, the puzzle: a farmer is traveling to market with his cat, a chicken and some corn. He has to cross a river, and the only way to cross is in a small boat which can hold the farmer and just one of the three items he has with him. The problem is, he has to be very careful about what he chooses to leave behind at any time. If the cat and chicken are left alone, the cat will eat the chicken. If… Read more
Elec_p046
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
thumbnail So, you've got your popcorn and are settled into your seat at the movie. The lights dim—it's show time! But wait a second. Did you ever wonder how those lights dim so smoothly? It just wouldn't be the same if the lights suddenly snapped off, would it? In this electronics science fair project, you'll investigate dimmer switches, and even build a simple model of one. Try this project and light up your room, and your mind! Read more
Elec_p056
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You will need an adult's assistance to use the pocket knife. Adult supervision is required.
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)
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
There are two main types of materials when it comes to electricity, conductors, and insulators. What are they made of? Find out by testing different materials in a circuit to see which ones conduct the most electricity. Read more
Elec_p018
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety When working with electricity, take precautions and beware of electric shock.
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.

Project Idea
thumbnail What do lamps, computers, televisions, printers, and kitchen appliances all have in common? They all need electricity to work. In order for electricity to provide power to these devices, it has to flow into and out of them. In this electronics science fair project, you will make your own simple circuit tester and use it to study how electricity flows through a lamp. Read more
Elec_p059
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required. All devices that are tested should be unplugged. Don't take any electrical appliances apart to test components inside. Before testing any device, you must make certain that you have removed all electrical power to the device. Do not go near the sockets in the wall with the circuit tester.
Project Idea
thumbnail Want to know how electrical engineers "trap" the energy in a circuit to make your favorite electrical appliance? Video games, computers, phones, and many other electrical devices use "resistors" in different ways to control the electricity in a circuit. In this experiment, you can make your own resistors out of pencils, and test the effect a resistor has on a circuit. Read more
Elec_p013
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Requires adult supervision
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen moths buzzing around bright lights at night? What about animals that always crawl into dark places, under rocks or furniture? This type of behavior is called phototaxis — movement toward (or away from) a light source. In this project you will build your own biologically inspired robot critter that mimics this behavior. Basing your design on the popular and simple BristleBot robot, you will make a robot with two light sensors for "eyes" and two motors that help it steer… Read more
Robotics_p012
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some familiarity with electronic circuits and using breadboards will be very helpful, though not required, for this project. Using a soldering iron is also helpful but a work-around is offered in the Procedure.
Material Availability This project requires certain parts from an electronics store or online retailer. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety If you use a soldering iron for this project remember that soldering irons get extremely hot and can cause burns if they touch your skin. They can also become a fire hazard if left unattended. Science Buddies recommends using lead-free solder, especially in homes with pets or small children.
Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine you are on a trip and see something interesting that you want to share with your friends. What do you do? You take a picture with your cell phone and e-mail it to them, of course. But did you realize that the same technology can be used to save lives? Using their cell phones modified as inexpensive microscopes, medical personnel can look at blood smears to help diagnose diseases like malaria and cholera. In this photography science project you will build a simple and inexpensive cell… Read more
Photo_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need access to a cell phone that enables you at least to zoom manually in and out. You will need a 1-millimeter (mm) optical ball lens to magnify the sample. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety To prevent eye damage, never look directly into the light source.
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