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Science Fair Project Idea
Has your house (or one of your friend's houses) been remodeled recently? Were any improvements made for energy efficiency (solar systems, better insulation, passive solar heating, better lighting)? Compare your family's energy costs for a similar time period before and after the remodeling (remember that energy usage often varies seasonally). Monthly bills often have a bar graph showing energy usage for the previous 12 months. You may also be able to get information on past energy usage… Read more
EnvEng_p017
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
This project is a great way to "bring home" the concept of energy use. All you need to get started is a good-sized sample of monthly electric bills from households in your area. Building from this simple beginning, you can ask questions that can take you in many different directions. For example: How much electricity does the "average" person in your area use per month? How much does electricity use vary among different families? Read more
Energy_p017
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites To do this project you will have to collect sample monthly electric bills from at least 30 different households, along with the number of people living in the household.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Solar power is hot these days. Gleaming, black solar panels soak up rays on more and more rooftops of homes and businesses providing a clean, alternative source of heat and electricity. You might guess that different times of the day yield different levels of solar power. But just how much does the sun's position in the sky affect the power that solar cells and panels can generate? That's the question this project is all about. Read more
Energy_p013
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
You've probably noticed that the price of gasoline has been going up and up lately. Heating oil will probably cost more this winter than last winter, too. Using good insulation material is one way to conserve energy and save money. What insulation materials work better than others? Read more
MatlSci_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever been so cold sitting in your house in the winter that you feel icicles could grow off your nose and your feet could turn into blocks of ice? Or have you ever been so hot in your house in the summer that sweat just drips off you? Making yourself comfortable can mean turning on the heater or the air conditioner—but that costs money. Still, being cozy or cool doesn't have to cost a lot of money if you use a geothermal heat pump. In this project you will build a model… Read more
Energy_p040
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability To make a geothermal heat pump you will need a pond pump. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Exercise caution when working with electrical equipment and water. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Isn't it nice to take a nice, hot shower or bath after a long day of playing outside? But have you really thought about how the hot water in your shower or bath gets hot? Sure, the water heater in your house gets it hot, but what makes the water heater work? Water heaters are powered by natural gas or electricity. But are there any other ways to heat water? What about using the Sun? In this science fair project, you'll give it a try by capturing energy from the Sun to heat water. Read more
Energy_p033
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using scissors.
Science Fair Project Idea
One way to save water is to turn the faucet off while you brush your teeth. But did you know that there are products that can help save water even while the water is on? In this experiment find out how low-flow faucets and aerators work to reduce the flow of water. How much water can you save? Read more
EnvEng_p011
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Solar cells provide a clean way of making electricity directly from sunlight. In this project you will build a simple circuit and experimental setup to investigate whether the power output of a solar cell changes with ambient temperature. Read more
Energy_p012
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You must know or must learn how to use a voltmeter or multimeter.
Material Availability Specialty item: digital thermometer with probe
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you like getting something for nothing? Everybody likes getting things for free. How about getting energy and power for free? The Sun sends us free energy every second and all we have to do is collect it. Taking advantage of free energy can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, which are harmful to our environment. In this science fair project, you will work with a solar panel, which is a collector of free energy, and investigate how varying the angle of the solar panel, and thus the amount… Read more
Energy_p004
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items required. You need to purchase a small solar panel.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Earth, the Sun, wind, and water are all sources of renewable and sustainable energy—and sources you probably already know about. But did you know that you can get energy from such things as banana peels, coffee grounds, and newspaper? In a process called composting, you can transform kitchen and other solid wastes into a product that is beneficial for your garden: homemade fertilizer. As the waste decomposes, it also creates heat. Can this naturally created heat be put to use? In this… Read more
Energy_p035
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Making a compost pile can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks, depending on the method and bin you use. In this energy and power science fair project, you will spend a few days creating a compost pile. You will have to account for the time as you are planning your science fair project. You will also need to be home for several hours at a time on many specific days throughout this project. Read through the Experimental Procedure for more details.
Material Availability You (and friends, if possible) will have to start collecting potato peelings or grass clippings a few weeks in advance to accumulate enough, so keep this in mind when budgeting time for your science fair project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Wear safety goggles and use caution when working with all tools. Be sure to wear disposable gloves when handling animal waste and to clean all of the work surfaces thoroughly with a bleach solution. Read the Science Buddies Microorganism Safety Guide to learn how to experiment safely.
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