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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You have probably heard about using renewable energy sources like wind and solar power to provide electricity to homes and buildings, as well as hybrid or fully electric cars that use less (or zero) gasoline. But what about solar-powered robots? As robots become more common, it is increasingly important to use "green" energy sources to power them. In this project, you will build and test a popular robot called a bristlebot — a tiny robot made using toothbrushes—that can operate on… Read more
Robotics_p026
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A kit containing all the electronics parts needed for this project can be found in the [# Link Name="Robotics_p026.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail 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
thumbnail 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
thumbnail 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
thumbnail Do you think it is possible to build a robot you can steer, without programming a computer to tell the robot what to do? Believe it or not, it is! In this engineering project, you will build a robot using a simple electronic circuit that steers the robot left or right to make it follow a bright light. Then you will make some adjustments to the robot to see if you can improve its steering. How well will you be able to control your robot? Read more
Robotics_p022
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites While no previous electronics or robotics experience is required to do this 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 project requires specific circuit components from an electronics vendor. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
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
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 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.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail 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
thumbnail Do you like drawing or painting? What if you could build a robot friend that creates its own art? In this project you will create your own Art Bot, a robot with markers for "legs" that wobbles across a piece of paper, creating drawings as it moves. You can then customize your robot to change how it draws. This is a beginner-level project with no robotics experience necessary, so if you have wanted to try building your own robot, this is a great place to start! Read more
Robotics_p014
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires specialty robotics parts. A Science Buddies kit is available (project time includes shipping for the kit). See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using a hobby knife.
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