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Others Like “Where There Is Charge, There Can Be Sparks!”

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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Piezoelectric barbecue fire starters work by creating a spark that ignites the volatile lighter fluid, which then starts the charcoal burning. They are low current, high voltage devices. How high does the voltage have to get to make a spark in air? This project shows you a way to find out by with an inexpensive experimental setup to measure the distance that the spark can travel between two spherical electrodes. Read more
Elec_p032
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision recommended
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When your parents were kids, they probably wore polyester. Static cling was a major household issue! Now everybody wears cotton, which does not get static cling nearly as much. Why are some materials more susceptible to static cling than others? Investigate how well different materials produce static electricity by making a homemade electroscope and testing it out in this science project. Read more
Elec_p023
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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.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Here is a riddle for you: name an instrument that you play with your hands but never actually touch. Have you guessed the answer? It is a theremin! This unusual instrument makes sound without anyone touching it. How does a theremin work? It has an antenna that can detect the player's hand nearby, and as they move their hand around the theremin, the sound it makes changes based on the hand's position. In this music science project, you will get to use your own mini theremin to investigate… Read more
Music_p035
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The Theremin Mini Kit for this science project needs to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Every day, we produce a lot of sewage (wastewater full of feces and urine). In fact, it adds up to 6.4 trillion liters of urine alone produced worldwide each year! The sewage is collected and then treated or disposed of. But what if, along the way, there were a way to make that sewage do something useful? It turns out that human urine is rich in nutrients, and some bacteria actually thrive on eating those nutrients. There are also devices called microbial fuel cells that can generate electrical… Read more
EnvSci_p061
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a multimeter 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 or power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when they come in contact with electronics. Wear gloves when working with human urine. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The electricity in your home probably comes from a power plant, but did you know that you can actually generate your own electricity? Wondering what it would take to light up a small light? This is your chance! In this electronics science project, you will build your own electric generator and investigate how to light up not just one, but two lights. Read more
Elec_p078
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should have the patience and dexterity to coil several layers of wire neatly (or find someone who can help you). You will also need to hook up a basic circuit. Understanding electric circuits is not a prerequisite for this science project, though it will enable a deeper understanding of the electric generator.
Material Availability A kit containing all the specialty items needed for this project is available from the [# Link Name="Elec_p051.6" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Neodymium magnets are very strong. Follow the safety guidelines in the Procedure for working with these magnets.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The electricity you use to power everyday devices is generated by electrical generators. These fascinating and powerful machines rely on magnets to function. Though they might seem extremely complicated, once you finish this science project, you will understand how, why, and when they generate electricity. You will build your own generator, make small changes in how exactly the magnets are placed, and test when moving magnets generate electricity. Read more
Elec_p079
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should have the patience and dexterity to coil several layers of wire neatly (or find someone who can help you). You will also need to hook up a basic circuit. Understanding electric circuits is not a prerequisite for this science project, though it will enable a deeper understanding of the electric generator.
Material Availability A kit containing all the specialty items needed for this project is available from the [# Link Name="Elec_p051.6" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Neodymium magnets are very strong. Follow the safety guidelines in the Procedure for working with these magnets.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail It's fun to host and attend parties. You can meet your friends, watch movies, and eat party food. Another thing that people like to do at parties is dance to music. Dancing is great exercise and just makes people happy. What if at the next party you attend, you could do your science fair project? Doesn't sound like a good idea? Well, in this electricity and electronics science fair project, you will make a dance pad that flashes lights when you step on it. Have your friends test it out for you.… Read more
Elec_p062
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety You must exercise caution when you use wire strippers.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered how a radio can grab signals that are transmitted through the air and convert them into sound? In this science project, you will build your own AM radio receiver from scratch and use it to listen to AM radio broadcasts. With your crystal radio you will be able to experiment with the circuit and the antenna to get the best reception. Read more
Elec_p014
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this science project, you must live in an area where you can receive at least one strong AM radio station. You can check for this with a car or portable radio.
Material Availability Specific circuit items are required. A Science Buddies kit is available for your convenience. See the Materials and Equipment list for details
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Never operate your crystal radio during a thunderstorm. When not in use, always disconnect your antenna from the radio circuit, and connect it directly to the ground rod. Be sure to wear safety goggles when installing the ground rod, especially if you are using a metal hammer. An adult's help might be necessary for some steps in the Procedure.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail "Gross! What is that in the toilet?" But maybe it's not just gross. Did you know there are bacteria that digest organic waste and create electrons? What if there was a way to collect those electrons to power a circuit? In this science fair project, you will make a microbial fuel cell to collect the electrons that the bacteria—anaerobic bacteria—create...only, you'll be using mud, which is much safer to handle than wastewater. If you would like to learn how to reuse and recycle an… Read more
Energy_p026
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You will need to be familiar with the procedures for handling biologically hazardous material. Read the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] from the Science Buddies Project Guide to learn more about handling biologically hazardous materials. You also need to have access to a lower-order stream of water or a creek. See the Introduction for an explanation of this type of stream. Try to avoid streams in which the bed is rocky. The benthic mud sample should be from an area that has a thick, rich mud bed.
Material Availability Specialty items required
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. Be careful when using a hot stove and a drill. Remember to always wear safety goggles when drilling. Exercise caution when working near a stream or creek. Water currents can be stronger than they look.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail A tried and true balloon activity is to rub a balloon on your head to make your hair stand up. How does the rubbing build up static electricity? Do this experiment to see if the number of rubs makes a difference. Read more
Elec_p017
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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