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Others Like “Build a Simple Electric Motor!”

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Science Fair Project Idea
Following a simple black line seems pretty easy, right? But think about it; how do you know what is the line and what is not the line? What if you wanted a robot to follow that line? How would it know what you wanted it to follow? Robots can use simple techniques to sense their surroundings and change their behavior based on what they see. In this engineering project, you will build your own robot that will follow a path without using complicated electronics or programming. Read more
Robotics_p021
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be familiar with, or be willing to learn how to wire circuits on a breadboard. A little soldering is necessary to complete this science project, so you should also be familiar with the procedure or be able to find a helpful friend or adult.
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety If you are using the coping saw to make the wheels, use caution and be sure to wear safety goggles. Some steps require soldering, which involves very high temperatures. Use caution when soldering and when using other building tools. An optional step involves a product that must used in an open area, following the manufacturer's directions.
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
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
Have you ever felt really frustrated? Maybe you were playing a video game and could not easily figure out a particularly challenging puzzle. Or maybe there was something you really wanted but you could not have it for some reason. However it has happened, what do you do when you get frustrated? What about other people — what kind of behaviors have you seen others display when they get frustrated? Do they cry, jump up and down screaming, just give up, or become aggressive? In this human… Read more
HumBeh_p051
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You must have access to at least 30 middle-school aged test subjects. Try to get an even mix of boys and girls. You must also have access to a video camera.
Material Availability Specialty equipment is required. See the Materials and Equipment list for specific details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Wear safety goggles when hammering the nails into the piece of wood and when using the drill.
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 can't rely on sight. Did you know that you can also build a robot that uses whiskers to find its way around? This science 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 While no previous electronics or robotics experience is required to do this science project, it will be helpful if you are familiar with basic circuit concepts and with using a breadboard. The Bibliography section in the Background tab has many tutorials you can use to get started.
Material Availability This science project requires specific circuit components from an electronics vendor. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Be careful to avoid short circuits when building your robot. The "whiskers" used in this project are made of narrow wire and should be handled carefully. See the Procedure for more information.
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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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
Here is a project that is almost like a magic trick: with a strong magnet and a simple apparatus you can build yourself, you can make a coin "walk" up and down a wire coat hanger! This project is an interesting way to learn about the distance over which magnetic forces act on magnetic materials. Read more
Phys_p024
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use strong magnets with care! See safety notes below.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever seen a robot dance? In this project you will build your own simple flipping, tumbling robot that can dance around on the floor or a tabletop! If you have never made a robot before and would like to get started with a fun, easy project, this is a great place to begin. You will follow directions to make a basic robot, and then make your own additions to make it even better! Read more
Robotics_p027
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires robotics parts from an electronics vendor. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Estimated project time includes shipping for the parts.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using a hot glue gun or super glue.
Science Fair Project Idea
If you like playing electric guitar, this could be a cool project for you. Have you ever wondered how an electric guitar works? In this project you'll wind one or more of your own electric guitar pickups and test them out in an inexpensive electric guitar. How will the sound change with the number of turns you use in the coil? Or with the strength of the magnets you use? Read more
Music_p004
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you'll need an inexpensive electric guitar in which to install and test the pickup(s) you make. You'll also need a guitar amplifier.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision required when potting (melted wax-coating) the pickup
Science Fair Project Idea
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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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision highly recommended. Use proper caution when transferring or holding magnets at extreme temperatures. See the Procedure for details.
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