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Others Like “The Frightened Grasshopper: Explore Electronics & Solar Energy with a Solar-Powered Robot Bug”

Project Idea
You're coming into the house after a game of flashlight tag with your friends, but the front porch light isn't even on for you to see the door knob! What gives? Maybe your parents know that turning a light on means moths will gather there, and they don't want you letting them inside when you open the door. You've probably noticed how moths are attracted to lights at night. They will even fly dangerously close to flames in their journey toward light. In this animal behavior science fair project,… Read more
Zoo_p059
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You will need access to an area with moths. See the Experimental Procedure for details.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine telling your friends about your latest science project: using a battery to make a light turn on. You might get some blank stares...sounds a little boring and basic, right? Now tell them you will do it with a potato! Yes, you can actually turn fruits and vegetables into electric power sources! Batteries power many things around you, including cell phones, wireless video game controllers, and smoke detectors. In this science project, you will learn about the basics of battery science and… Read more
Energy_p010
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires specialty electronics items. A Science Buddies kit is available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Do not eat the potatoes after they have been used as batteries.
Project Idea
thumbnail 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.
Project Idea
thumbnail What do lamps, computers, televisions, printers, and kitchen appliances all have in common? They all need electricity to work. In order for electricity to provide power to these devices, it has to flow into and out of them. In this electronics science fair project, you will make your own simple circuit tester and use it to study how electricity flows through a lamp. Read more
Elec_p059
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required. All devices that are tested should be unplugged. Don't take any electrical appliances apart to test components inside. Before testing any device, you must make certain that you have removed all electrical power to the device. Do not go near the sockets in the wall with the circuit tester.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen moths buzzing around bright lights at night? What about animals that always crawl into dark places, under rocks or furniture? This type of behavior is called phototaxis — movement toward (or away from) a light source. In this project you will build your own biologically inspired robot critter that mimics this behavior. Basing your design on the popular and simple BristleBot robot, you will make a robot with two light sensors for "eyes" and two motors that help it steer… Read more
Robotics_p012
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some familiarity with electronic circuits and using breadboards will be very helpful, though not required, for this project. Using a soldering iron is also helpful but a work-around is offered in the Procedure.
Material Availability This project requires certain parts from an electronics store or online retailer. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety If you use a soldering iron for this project remember that soldering irons get extremely hot and can cause burns if they touch your skin. They can also become a fire hazard if left unattended. Science Buddies recommends using lead-free solder, especially in homes with pets or small children.
Project Idea
thumbnail What's your favorite thing to do on the hottest day of the year? Dip your toes in an icy river? Hang out by the pool? Retreat to a cool basement? Lie motionless in the shade? You're probably not too eager to move around and put out a lot of energy, like mowing the lawn in the mid-afternoon sun. Well, you're not the only one. In this electronics science fair project, you'll find out that some semiconductor devices, like light-emitting diodes (or LEDs), act the same way. As their internal… Read more
Elec_p060
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety You should never look directly into an LED flashlight, as it can cause eye damage.
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you like playing with squishy play dough or modeling clay? Wouldn't it be cool if you could add lights, sound, or even motion to your play dough creations? In this science project, you will make play dough that conducts electricity, which will allow you to connect lights, motors, and buzzers! This science project is the first in a three-part series on "squishy circuits," which can all be done with the same materials. We recommend doing the science projects in order. Read more
Elec_p073
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a Squishy Circuits Kit and ingredients to make conductive and insulating play dough. See the Materials and Equipment list for details
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Ask for an adult's help when using the stove to make the conductive play dough. Never connect the battery pack's terminals directly to each other; this is called a short circuit and can make the batteries and wires get very hot. Do not connect the LEDs directly to the battery pack without using play dough; this will burn out the LEDs.
Project Idea
thumbnail It's hard to believe that the same water that you use every day to quench your thirst, cook with, bathe in, swim in, and wash your clothes and dishes, is capable of another trick—it can make electricity! Electricity can be generated through the flow or through the fall of water. A big, fast-flowing river, for instance, contains a lot of moving energy that provides enough pressure to turn the blades of a turbine and run an electric generator. This same pressure can also be created though… Read more
Energy_p029
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites Access to a bathtub or other area suitable for testing with water.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Use caution when poking holes with the nail.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever looked up at the stars at night and wondered how fast they were moving or how far away they were? By studying how the brightness of a star changes with distance, you can answer those questions. In this astronomy science project, you'll create a model of starlight and use a light meter to discover the key relationship between brightness and distance. Read more
Astro_p034
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Playing basketball can be hard work. Players not only constantly run around the court, but just dribbling the basketball takes a lot of effort, too. Why is that? It has to do with how the basketball bounces. When the ball hits the court, its bounce actually loses momentum by transferring some of its energy into a different form. This means that to keep the ball bouncing, players must continually put more energy into the ball. In this sports science project, you will determine how high a… Read more
Sports_p037
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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