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Others Like “Human-Powered Energy”

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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 [# Link Name="Elec_p051.6" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
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
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 [# Link Name="Elec_p051.6" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
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 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
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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- Less Details
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
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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- Less Details
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 [# Link Name="Energy_p009.16" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Science Buddies store" #]. 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
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
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- 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.
Science Fair Project Idea
Global warming, climate change, melting ice caps—these are all big events that have an impact our environment. What can we do to help reduce the impact? We can reduce, reuse, and recycle. What can cities do to help? Cities can eliminate waste by saving energy. Cities around the world are switching from incandescent traffic signals to LED traffic signals to save energy and money. That's because LEDs are more efficient than incandescent lamps, which means that LEDs produce more light… Read more
Energy_p003
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Prior experience with using a digital multimeter
Material Availability Specialty items (see Materials list)
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Since this science project deals with electricity, adult supervision is recommended. The LEDs used in this project are used in traffic signals and are very bright. Do not look directly at the LED when it is in operation and be sure to wear your sunglasses. Be sure to wear safety goggles when operating power tools.
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 [# 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
Objects that glow in the dark hold a special place in the imagination of both children and adults. The lights go out at night, but these odd things refuse to disappear. Where does the light come from? Do they work in any climate? In this science fair project, you will build an electronic device that measures the light given off by luminescent materials. The device will be used to study how temperature affects luminescence. Read more
Chem_p072
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A familiarity with basic chemistry is required. Also, some experience with electronics would be helpful. Although the circuit is fairly straightforward, especially if you use the kit, this is a DIY ("do-it-yourself") project that will call for some creative problem solving on your part.
Material Availability Any phosphorescent material will work for this project. If you want to use super-bright phosphorescent paints, they are available online. See the Materials & Equipment list for more information.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Use caution when using the drill or knife. Wear safety goggles when using the drill.
Science Fair Project Idea
Sometimes engineers get ideas to build robots from animals in nature. There are robot dogs, robot snakes, robot birds, robot cheetahs, and even tiny robotic insects! In this science project, you will build a robot insect of your own. The robot will automatically drive toward a light source, mimicking a behavior called phototaxis, seen in some insects. You will build your own robot and then make adjustments so it can reliably drive toward a light. Read more
Robotics_p012
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a breadboard to build a circuit will be helpful, but is not required for this project. If you want to start out with a simpler robotics project, check out the Make It Your Own section.
Material Availability A kit containing all the electronics parts needed for this project can be found in the [# Link Name="Robotics_p026.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
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