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Others Like “Spare a Watt, Save a Lot”

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Science Fair Project Idea
What do you think about killing vampires? No, no, not the kind that drink people's blood, but the kind that suck your power and money away. Equipment like televisions, computers, printers, and fax machines all use electricity to operate, of course, but do you realize that this equipment might still be sucking electricity from the wall, even when you think it's turned off? These electricity-suckers are called vampire loads. In this science project, you will investigate how much power these… Read more
CompSci_p042
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You need to have permission from an adult to access the computer peripherals that are in your home.
Material Availability You must have a Kill-A-WattTM meter to do this science project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Always exercise caution when dealing with electricity and electrical equipment like computers and printers.
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
thumbnail Is your PC an energy hog? Check out this science fair project to determine how much power your PC really uses, and if it is an energy hog, how you can reduce its appetite for energy. You'll learn how to profile and streamline your computer's power usage, while still enjoying every feature of your machine. Read more
Energy_p024
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You must have a Kill-A-WattTM meter to do this science project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required when configuring the power cords on your computer system for testing.
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 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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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
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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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.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail "How do you frighten a grasshopper? And what does that have to do with light?" These are a couple of questions you're probably asking yourself after reading the title. Well, The Frightened Grasshopper Solar-Powered Bug is actually a toy grasshopper that vibrates when it is placed in sunlight or near a lightbulb. It stores up the energy from light, and converts it into motion. You will use this fun toy to explore how the brightness of the light affects the motion of the solar-powered insect. Read more
Elec_p061
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The Frightened Grasshopper toy needs to be ordered from online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required. The lightbulbs will be hot, so use caution to avoid getting burned by the bulbs. The Frightened Grasshopper toy should be assembled with the help of an adult since it is fragile and has some small parts.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail There is a lot of energy that can be harvested from moving water. Energy can be extracted from water rushing over a waterfall and from the regular patterns of the ocean's tides. The energy that propels waves forward in the oceans can also be extracted and used. But can wave energy power plants be built anywhere there is water? In this energy science fair project, you will use ocean buoy data and mathematics to determine which locations along the coasts of the United States can sustain a wave… Read more
Energy_p031
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You must have a computer with access to the Internet and spreadsheet software, such as Excel. This science fair project requires that you are familiar with spreadsheet software. If you need help learning more about the software, try using the tutorials that are part of the package, or an online tutorial.
Material Availability Readily available.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Every day, no matter where you are, you will see people using their cell phones. People use their cell phones for more than just making calls though. They use them for texting and searching the Internet, too. But some health groups are concerned that using your cell phone too much can be hazardous to your health as it exposes your body to electromagnetic radiation. In this electricity and electronics science project, you will investigate how much radiation your cell phone emits when used… Read more
Elec_p068
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You must have access to a cell phone.
Material Availability In order to test for electromagnetic radiation in the radio frequency range, you need a radio frequency (RF) meter. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Wear proper safety gear when building the jig. See the Experimental Procedure for details.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What do humans need to survive? We need food, water, and warm shelter. We all need a warm place to live, particularly when it's chilly outside. How do many of us warm our houses or apartments? We depend on fossil fuels to supply gas and electricity to our heaters. But burning fossil fuels to create energy is harmful to the environment. What if there was a way to warm our homes without burning fossil fuels and it was free? In this science fair project, you will build a solar air heater and see… Read more
EnvEng_p028
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety You need to cut cardboard for this project and use paint. Always exercise caution when using a sharp knife and scissors. Paint in an area with good ventilation.
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