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Others Like “Abracadabra! Levitating with Eddy Currents!”

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Science Fair Project Idea
In this science project, you will build what might be the world's simplest motor. It has just four basic parts: magnets, a battery, a screwdriver, and a short piece of wire. It takes only minutes to assemble, but it provides a wonderful device to explore how electricity and magnetism combine to produce a fast-spinning motor. Read more
Elec_p065
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some familiarity with basic electronics and physics would be helpful, but is not required.
Material Availability Specialty items are required. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury is possible. Wear safety goggles at all times. Be sure to read the important safety notes at the beginning of the Experimental Procedure before you begin.
Science Fair Project Idea
In the Science Buddies project , you can learn about the basics of magnetic induction, or how moving magnets can be used to generate an electric current. The detailed physics of how a changing magnetic field can induce an electric current are described by Faraday's law and Lenz's law (see the Bibliography for more information about these two laws). For a more advanced version of the Human-Powered Energy project idea, try setting up an experiment to prove or demonstrate these two laws,… Read more
Phys_p097
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This project requires a high-school level understanding of electromagnetism, or a willingness to learn about it.
Material Availability A kit containing the materials for this project is available in the . Estimated project time includes shipping.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Neodymium magnets must be handled carefully. Please see the detailed warnings in the Procedure.
Science Fair Project Idea
While trains that fly through the air might still be science fiction, trains that float just above the tracks without actually touching them are real and are actually used in a few countries today. This technology is called magnetic levitation. In this physics science project, you will build your own levitating train model and test how much weight it can hold before it stops hovering above the tracks. Read more
Phys_p093
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires the Magic Bullet Train kit, available for purchase from the . See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety When working with magnets, keep them away from your mouth, and away from small children and pets.
Science Fair Project Idea
Water is an interesting thing. We drink it, swim in it, and wash ourselves with it. We can get energy from water by damming it and sending it through a turbine. But did you know that we can use the natural electrical charges present in water and a Kelvin electrostatic generator to create sparks? You can even use a Kelvin electrostatic generator to temporarily light a bulb! Now that is one bright idea! Read more
Elec_p069
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to visit your local hardware store to purchase plumbing items to build the Kelvin electrostatic generator. You will also need a hand saw, a drill, a heat gun, a digital scale, a fan, and a dehumidifier. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Cost of the project may be lower depending on what tools you already have available.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Parts of the Kelvin electrostatic generator require use of a hand saw and a drill. Wear safety goggles when using power tools. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
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 .
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
You have probably read all about forms of alternative energy like solar and wind power. But what about human power? With the aid of a coil of wire and some magnets, you can generate electricity with nothing more than a flick of your wrist. In this project, you will build a small hand-powered electrical generator that can power a series of tiny lights. Get ready to save the planet and get some exercise at the same time! Read more
Energy_p009
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires some specialty electronic components. A kit is available from the . 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.

Science Fair Project Idea
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
+ More Details
- 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 .
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
Amaze your friends and family by moving water with just a few turns of your wrist! Nope, it's not a magic trick. It's simply an Archimedes screw. In this science project, you will build a very simple pump, called an Archimedes screw, to transfer water from a low-lying location to a higher location. Read more
ApMech_p039
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Minor injury possible. Be careful when cutting the tubing.
Science Fair Project Idea
What happens if you hold a magnet next to water? You might think that water is not affected by magnetism, but in fact, the water is slightly repelled. Believe it or not, if the magnet is strong enough, you can use this effect to levitate objects that contain water, including insects and even small frogs! In this science project, you will learn about diamagnetism. Materials that are repelled by both poles of a magnet are called diamagnetic. The magnets you will use are not strong enough to float… Read more
MatlSci_p041
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to purchase some materials online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Neodymium magnets are extremely strong, and must be handled with care to avoid personal injury and damage to the magnets or to electronic appliances. Minor injury is possible and you should wear safety goggles whenever working with these magnets. Please read the important safety notes in the Experimental Procedure before beginning this science project.
Science Fair Project Idea
Like to have the balance of a tightrope walker? Try the more close–to–the–ground balancing test in this easy experiment to learn a few trade secrets of the high wire experts. In this project, you'll find your center of gravity and explore the physics of balance at the same time. No net required for this balancing act! Read more
Sports_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 Minor injury possible
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