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Others Like “Build a Simple Electric Motor!”

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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail 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
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 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 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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- Less Details
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
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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- Less Details
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 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.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you ever wish you could hire someone to guard your favorite toys, or keep certain people from coming into your room? What if you could make a robot to do it for you? This project will show you how to build a simple security robot controlled by a motion-detecting sensor. When someone comes near your valuables or enters the room, the robot will spring to life and (hopefully) scare them away! Read more
Robotics_p024
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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 Do you know how to find the north and the south poles of a magnet? What materials are more magnetic than others? Is there a way to measure how strong a magnet is? Is there a way to measure the strength of an electromagnet? How much does the material that is in the core of the electromagnet affect its magnetic strength? With this project, you'll be able to answer these questions and many others. You will learn how to build and use a simple meter for measuring magnetic field intensity. Read more
Elec_p030
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items are needed. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Cars that can drive themselves might sound like science-fiction, but they are a reality. Self-driving cars are cars that use sensors and computer programs to automatically drive on roads, without intervention from a human driver. However, the cars still have to follow all the same rules of the road as human drivers, including staying in the correct lane, obeying road signs and traffic lights, and avoiding obstacles like potholes or fallen tree limbs. In this project you will build a simplified… Read more
Robotics_p023
+ More Details
- Less Details
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)
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