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Others Like “Abracadabra! Levitating with Eddy Currents!”

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Science Fair Project Idea
What can you do with magnets and ball bearings that makes a lot of noise? Why, build a magnetic rifle, called a Gauss rifle, of course! Now, this rifle is not a weapon, but a way for you to learn a lot more about physics concepts, like momentum. In this physics science project, you will investigate how far a ball bearing launched by a Gauss rifle will fly, depending on how many magnetic acceleration stages are in the rifle and the ball bearing's initial velocity. This science project makes for… Read more
Phys_p081
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items including neodymium magnets and steel ball bearings are needed for this project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety A Gauss rifle can produce high velocity projectiles. Do not aim the gun at anyone or anything; do not put your hand in front of the projectile. Operate the Gauss rifle safely. Be sure to read the important safety notes at the beginning of the Experimental Procedure before you begin. Scissors or other metal objects may be attracted to the magnets; use caution when using metal objects near the magnets.
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.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever seen a skateboarder jump over an obstacle or slide down a railing? It looks like they are defying the laws of physics when they perform these tricks. It looks like it, but that's not the case. Physics describes the motion of objects and it is a skateboarder's best friend! All of these tricks can be explained by physics. In this sports science fair project, you will learn how speed affects "popping an ollie." The ollie is a basic skateboarding trick, and it's the first step to more… Read more
Sports_p055
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You, or someone you know, must already own a skateboard and safety gear, and know how to skate to perform the ollie trick. You must also have access to a video camera (it should include a timer if you decide to try one of the variations). You should perform the tests in a skateboard park or in a large area where it is legal and safe to skateboard.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Injury is possible. Adult supervision is required. The person performing the ollie must wear a safety helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads.
Science Fair Project Idea
Making your own bubble solution is fun, but sometimes the bubbles don't seem to work as well as the solutions you buy in the store. In this experiment you can test if adding corn syrup or glycerin to your bubble solution will make it just as good as the stuff you can buy. This experiment will have you blowing bubbles! Read more
Chem_p025
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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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- Less Details
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
You may be familiar with permanent magnets—the kind that hang on a refrigerator. But did you know that other magnets, called electromagnets, can be turned on and off? When turned on, electromagnets act just like permanent magnets, but if you turn them off, their magnetic properties disappear. Electromagnets are an important part of many electronic devices, like motors, loudspeakers, and hard drives. You can create an electromagnet with a simple coil of wire and a battery. In this project,… Read more
Elec_p035
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires specialty items, available in a Science Buddies kit. See the Materials and Equipment section for details. Estimated project time includes shipping for the kit.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety The electromagnet can become hot during periods of extended use.
Science Fair Project Idea
People often call cardiovascular disease a "silent killer." This disease sneaks up and causes damage, but patients don't realize it—until serious symptoms start. That is why physicians recommend keeping your cardiovascular system healthy. A healthy cardiovascular system gives us the energy and the stamina to do all of the things that we want to accomplish, such as do our best in school and perform well in sports. But what makes a cardiovascular system unhealthy, and what are the… Read more
HumBio_p032
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need access to a hand drill with bits of different sizes. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when using a drill. Be sure to wear safety goggles. Adult supervision is recommended.
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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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires the Magic Bullet Train kit, available for purchase from the [# Link Name="Phys_p093.12" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. 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
When you think of a motor, you may immediately think of a car, but you actually encounter other motors in your home every day. That's right, if you put on clean clothes from the washing machine, ate food from the fridge, or used a fan, you used an electric motor. In this electronics science project, you will make a simple electric motor with two magnets that "talk" to each other. As they interact, they will alternate between "liking" each other (pulling together), and "disliking" each other… Read more
Elec_p051
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be able to coil wire neatly (or find someone who can show you how) in order to make your electric motor work.
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

Never try to use a wall socket as power source for your motor.

Neodymium magnets are very strong. Follow the safety guidelines in the Procedure for working with these magnets.

Science Fair Project Idea
So, you've got your popcorn and are settled into your seat at the movie. The lights dim—it's show time! But wait a second. Did you ever wonder how those lights dim so smoothly? It just wouldn't be the same if the lights suddenly snapped off, would it? In this electronics science fair project, you'll investigate dimmer switches, and even build a simple model of one. Try this project and light up your room, and your mind! Read more
Elec_p056
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You will need an adult's assistance to use the pocket knife. Adult supervision is required.
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