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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Solar cells are popping up on rooftops everywhere these days and are a model for clean, renewable energy. Did you ever look at those solar panels and wonder how we can get electricity produced by solar cells when the sun is not shining? It is a great question because solar panels do not produce electricity when it is dark outside. One strategy to overcome this challenge is to store the energy produced by solar cells during the day in the form of a fuel that can be used at a later time. In… Read more
Chem_p099
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Completion of a basic chemistry class is recommended before trying this science project. You should also know something about circuits, or use the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ElectronicsPrimerIntroduction" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Science Buddies Electronics Primer" #].
Material Availability A number of specialty items are required. For your convenience, a Science Buddies Kit is available for purchase.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. Use caution when connecting the four 9V batteries. Ensure that the wires/connectors do not come in contact with each other to cause a short or the batteries will become VERY hot and can possibly cause burns. Cobalt nitrate can cause skin and eye irritation. It is recommended to wear disposable gloves when handling cobalt nitrate.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you know how to find the north and the south poles of a magnet? What materials are more magnetic than others? Is there a way to measure how strong a magnet is? Is there a way to measure the strength of an electromagnet? How much does the material that is in the core of the electromagnet affect its magnetic strength? With this project, you'll be able to answer these questions and many others. You will learn how to build and use a simple meter for measuring magnetic field intensity. Read more
Elec_p030
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items are needed. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail While you are probably quite familiar with battery-powered flashlights and watches, did you know there are motion-powered electronic devices—including some flashlights and watches—that can seemingly run forever without needing new batteries? The secret involves using magnets that generate electricity when they move around near a metal wire. In this science project, you will build your own simple motion-powered electrical generator that can power a series of tiny lights. Read more
Energy_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires some specialty electronic components. A kit is available from the [# Link Name="Energy_p009.16" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. The Time Required estimate includes time for gathering specialty materials. The actual project only takes 1 day.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety

Neodymium magnets are very strong and can pinch your fingers when they come together. You should keep them away from pets and small children because they can cause serious harm if ingested. As with any magnet, you should keep them away from computers, cell phones, and credit cards.

Adult supervision is required when using a hobby knife.

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail 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
thumbnail If you have ever built an electronic circuit with a soldering iron, you know that the component leads get hot. How much of that heat gets into the device you're soldering? This project shows you how you can use a silicon diode as a temperature sensor to find out. Read more
Elec_p033
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You need to understand both Ohm's Law and exponents to do this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision recommended for oven calibration of the diode.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you enjoy sculpting animals and other three-dimensional creations with play dough and modeling clay? Imagine adding lights to a house you've built, or glowing eyes on a dinosaur you've created. There are countless possibilities! In this science project, you will make play dough that conducts electricity so you can add lights to your three-dimensional creations. This science project is the third in a three-part series on squishy circuits, which can all be done with the same materials. We… Read more
Elec_p075
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This science project requires understanding the Introduction material in the first two "Electric Play Dough" science projects: [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p073" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Make Your Play Dough Light Up, Buzz, & Move!" #] and [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p074" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Rig Your Creations with Lots of Lights!" #]
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
thumbnail Do you ever wish you could hire someone to guard your favorite toys, or keep certain people from coming into your room? What if you could make a robot to do it for you? This project will show you how to build a simple security robot controlled by a motion-detecting sensor. When someone comes near your valuables or enters the room, the robot will spring to life and (hopefully) scare them away! Read more
Robotics_p024
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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)
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
thumbnail 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 science… Read more
Elec_p035
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety The electromagnet can become hot during periods of extended use.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail From traffic safety lights to neon signs, lights have a way of getting peoples’ attention. So it makes sense that if a person wants to get attention, wearing clothing with built-in lights might help. These types of clothing, called electronic textiles (or e-textiles for short) already exist. Instead of using hard surfaces for circuits (like inside your computer or cell phone), e-textiles weave electrical parts like batteries, wires, and lights directly into wearable clothing so it can do… Read more
Elec_p076
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with basic electronics concepts like positive and negative terminals as well as open and closed circuits will be helpful for this science project. Students with no experience building circuits may want to try the simpler but thematically simlar project: [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p077" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Material Availability This science project requires special LEDs designed for use with e-textiles, and it will be much easier to do with a soldering iron. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Soldering irons can get extremely hot and burn your skin if you touch them accidentally. They can also cause fires if left unattended. Adult supervision is required when using a soldering iron, especially if you are not familiar with using one. Science Buddies recommends using lead-free solder, especially in homes with pets and small children.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You can see examples of parabolic reflectors in flashlights, car headlights, satellite TV antennas, and even on the sidelines at football games. How do these "dish" antennas work to gather signals? What is the best position for placing the detector for these antennas? In this project, you can use an LED and a simple photodetector to find out for yourself. Read more
Elec_p040
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
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