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Others Like “Abracadabra! Levitating with Eddy Currents!”

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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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- 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
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
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
Our home, Earth, is a living planet. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are proof that the geological forces that shaped our planet and created the land masses are ongoing. An amazing example of geologic activity that is less damaging is a geyser. In this geology science fair project, you will build a model geyser and determine how depth of the source affects how the water is ejected. By the end of this project, you will know a lot more about geysers and understand that a geyser is much more… Read more
Geo_p040
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items are required. This science fair project requires using an Erlenmeyer flask and a rubber stopper with a hole through it. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Minor injury is possible, so wear safety goggles. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever seen a magician float an object in the air? If so, you might think that levitation (making things float) is just a magic trick, but the truth is you can use an invisible physical force to levitate a magnet! Try this science project to find out how. Read more
Phys_p067
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The magnets needed for this experiment can be bought online from science supply stores.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety When placed next to one another in certain configurations, magnets are attracted and can move toward one another, so be careful not to get your fingers pinched between the magnets.
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
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
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
+ More Details
- 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
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
+ More Details
- 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 .
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
Have you ever looked in the kitchen cupboard and found a container of tiny white grains, but you were not sure if they were sugar or salt? They look very similar. How could you tell them apart? Well, you know that sugar and salt taste very different. Taste is actually called a property, and properties are used to describe and identify different materials. Properties can also be used to physically separate things. In this science project, you will use different properties to create a way… Read more
BioChem_p046
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Iron filings and neodymium magnets may need to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety An adult's help may be needed for using a knife and scissors to cut a plastic bottle. Follow all safety precautions when handling the neodymium magnets; these magnets should never slam together, never pinch fingers or skin, never be swallowed, and should be kept away from all electronic devices. Keep them out of reach of all young children and pets. An adult should help if a stovetop or oven is used.
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