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Science Fair Project Idea
Do you like making things with play dough or modeling clay? Wouldn't it be cool if you could add a bunch of lights to your creations? In this science project, you will make play dough that conducts electricity, and we will introduce you to some new types of circuits so you can add more lights to your artistic creations. This science project is the second 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_p074
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should understand the Introduction material in [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p073" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Make Your Play Dough Light Up, Buzz, & Move!" #]—the first science project in the "Electric Play Dough" series—before doing this science project.
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.
Science Fair Project Idea
LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are electronic components that convert a portion of the electrical energy flowing through them into light. How does the intensity of the light produced vary with the current flowing through the LED? To find out, you'll build some simple circuits to vary the current flowing an LED. You'll also build a simple light-to-voltage converter circuit to measure LED output. Read more
Elec_p037
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding of Ohm's Law.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
You probably know that turning off the lights and the water, and not wasting paper are all ways to help the environment and conserve our resources. Did you know that another way is to use fuel cells? A fuel cell is a device that converts the energy in chemicals to electricity and it creates no pollution. The starting chemical does not have to be something complex — in fact you it can even be water! In this science fair project try your own hand at converting water to electricity with the… Read more
Energy_p002
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items required. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety To do this science fair project, you will need to electrolyze water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is flammable, so keep the fuel cell and hydrogen storage tank away from sparks.
Science Fair Project Idea
Cars that can drive themselves might sound like science-fiction, but they are a reality. Self-driving cars are cars that use sensors and computer programs to automatically drive on roads, without intervention from a human driver. However, the cars still have to follow all the same rules of the road as human drivers, including staying in the correct lane, obeying road signs and traffic lights, and avoiding obstacles like potholes or fallen tree limbs. In this project you will build a simplified… Read more
Robotics_p023
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites While no previous electronics or robotics experience is required to do this project, it will be helpful if you are familiar with basic circuit concepts and with using a breadboard. The Bibliography section in the Background tab has many tutorials you can use to get started.
Material Availability This project requires specific circuit components from an electronics vendor. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Science Fair Project Idea
Light interacts with matter in a variety of ways—it can be absorbed, reflected, refracted (bent), and scattered. The scattering of light explains why the sky is blue, why milk is white, and why the Mississippi River is called "The Big Muddy." In this biochemistry science fair project, you will make an electronic device to measure the amount of scattered light in milk. You will also use the device to track the activity of protease (a type of enzyme) in pineapple juice, based on its ability… Read more
BioChem_p032
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A familiarity with basic chemistry is required. Experience with simple electronics would be helpful, but is not absolutely required. Although the procedure provides step-by-step instructions, this is a DIY (do-it-yourself) science fair project that may call for some creative problem solving on your part.
Material Availability Electronic components are required. See the Materials & Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use caution when working with laser pointers. Wear safety goggles when using the drill.
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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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
In the animal kingdom, many different critters use whiskers to help them find their way around in the dark, through murky waters, or even to help them hunt prey. Whiskers can be very useful when the animals can't rely on sight. Did you know that you can also build a robot that uses whiskers to find its way around? This science project will show you how to build a simple robot that uses whiskers as "bump sensors" to help the robot detect when it is about to bump into an obstacle, so it can turn… Read more
Robotics_p028
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites While no previous electronics or robotics experience is required to do this science project, it will be helpful if you are familiar with basic circuit concepts and with using a breadboard. The Bibliography section in the Background tab has many tutorials you can use to get started.
Material Availability This science project requires specific circuit components from an electronics vendor. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Be careful to avoid short circuits when building your robot. The "whiskers" used in this project are made of narrow wire and should be handled carefully. See the Procedure for more information.
Science Fair Project Idea
Do you think it is possible to build a robot you can steer, without programming a computer to tell the robot what to do? Believe it or not, it is! In this engineering project, you will build a robot using a simple electronic circuit that steers the robot left or right to make it follow a bright light. Then you will make some adjustments to the robot to see if you can improve its steering. How well will you be able to control your robot? Read more
Robotics_p022
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites While no previous electronics or robotics experience is required to do this project, it will be helpful if you are familiar with basic circuit concepts and with using a breadboard. The Bibliography section in the Background tab has many tutorials you can use to get started.
Material Availability This project requires specific circuit components from an electronics vendor. See the Materials list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Be careful to avoid short circuits when building your robot. See the Procedure for more information.
Science Fair Project Idea
There are two main types of materials when it comes to electricity, conductors, and insulators. What are they made of? Find out by testing different materials in a circuit to see which ones conduct the most electricity. Read more
Elec_p018
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety When working with electricity, take precautions and beware of electric shock.
Science Fair Project Idea
Measuring the value of a resistor with an ohmmeter is pretty simple. You connect the meter to the resistor, and read off the measurement from the meter. But what if the resistance you want to measure is very low? This project shows you how to use a four-point resistance measurement method to measure low resistance values. Read more
Elec_p025
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you should be familiar with Ohm's Law, and with the basics of using a digital multimeter.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
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