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Project Idea
thumbnail Race car drivers need every advantage they can get to give them the competitive edge in a race. In addition to human factors, like driving skill and reaction time, their cars must overcome physical forces, like air resistance, to maintain their high speeds. While this science project will not have you driving around a race track at 200 miles per hour, you will get to test how increased air resistance affects a real car's fuel economy. You will do this by measuring and comparing the gas mileage… Read more
Aero_p028
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires an adult volunteer with a driver's license and who is allowed to drive a car. A car that already has a detachable roof rack is recommended, but a detachable roof rack may be purchased to do this science project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Never try to record data or distract the driver while you are in a moving vehicle. Always collect your data when the car is parked at home.
Project Idea
Are you concerned about global warming and greenhouse gases? Here's a project that shows how hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Compare your own car's greenhouse gas emissions to hybrid cars using online data from PG&E and Google.org's RechargeIT project. Read more
EnvEng_p015
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You will need to track your family car's gas mileage for this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail In our , you were challenged to use the VoxCAD software to design the fastest possible robot using different materials. However, we did not ask you to think about one big thing — efficiency. It is great to design a robot that is very fast, but what if it also consumes a lot of energy? Engineers must consider this when designing robots in the real world — robots that use more energy to move will drain their batteries faster, which can be a problem. This is similar to the concept of… Read more
Robotics_p017
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with VoxCAD software — we recommend completing our [# ProjectIdea Name="Robotics_p016" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="introductory VoxCAD project" #] first. Basic knowledge of the concepts of energy consumption and power, or a willingness to learn them.
Material Availability This project requires the free VoxCAD software and a computer running Microsoft® Windows®.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you love roller coasters and other kinds of exciting rides? Are you a thrill-seeker? Well, this is the science fair project for you! What makes a ride so thrilling that people want to ride it over and over again even though it scares them? Is it the speed, the twists and turns, the vertical drops? In this science fair project, you will build and use an accelerometer to figure out what makes a roller-coaster ride worth standing in line for. Oh, and if Mom and Dad ask what an amusement park… Read more
ApMech_p041
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Access to an amusement park.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Make sure that you and your volunteers are healthy enough to ride roller-coaster rides. Always take a break and rest if you start to feel ill. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
Have you ever tried rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time? What about doing your homework or studying for your math test while watching television? It is tough to focus on a task when you are distracted doing something else, isn't it? In this science fair project, you will investigate how distractions affect your focus on a task, such as driving, by looking at how gaming scores are affected as you're talking on a cell phone or having a conversation with a friend. Read more
Games_p018
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You need access to a gaming system, such as the Nintendo Wii, as well as Mario Kart or another driving game that requires a steering wheel, and a steering wheel for that game; or you can visit a video arcade to play a driving game with a steering wheel.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
This project is an experiment in classical physics. You'll be following in Galileo's footsteps, and investigating Newton's laws of motion, using a metronome as your timing device. Sure, it's been done before, but if you do it yourself, you can get a firm understanding of these important concepts. Read more
Phys_p026
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail If you ride a bike, you probably know that you have to occasionally pump up the tires to keep them fully inflated. Over a long period of time, the tires slowly leak air, so their pressure will decrease. Have you ever noticed that it is actually harder to ride a bike when the tire pressure is too low? This is because the tires are a big factor in the rolling resistance of the bike. In this sports science project, you will measure how tire pressure affects the force required to move a bike. How… Read more
ApMech_p029
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a bike with training wheels and a special spring scale to measure force. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Only do this science project in a safe area where there are no cars, like a playground or a sidewalk. Do not do this science project in a street or parking lot. The volunteer riding the bike must wear a bike helmet.
Project Idea
thumbnail Are you a "lawn shredder"? Do you like nothing better than carving a sweet path down a mountain on your souped-up skateboard? If so, then this mountainboarding sports science fair project is for you! You'll investigate tire pressures and find out how to get the most out of your mountainboard ride—the most speed, and the best handling and control. It's gnarly science, dude! Read more
Sports_p050
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To conduct this science fair project, you must be an experienced mountainboarder and should have access to a mountainboarding test site
Material Availability Mountainboarding equipment and safety gear are required.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Mountainboarding is considered an extreme sport. You should be an experienced mountainboarder before attempting this science fair project, and always wear safety gear, including protective clothing and a helmet.
Project Idea
thumbnail Mowing the lawn is hard work, especially on a warm day. Not only do you have to mow the grass, but you also have to dispose of the clippings. Some people add the clippings to a compost pile in their yard, which is a great idea. But did you know that some grasses can be used as a source of energy? In this energy science fair project, you will learn more about a type of energy called biomass energy. You will grow different kinds of grasses and see which type of grass gives you the most biomass,… Read more
Energy_p034
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety If making your own flower pots out of cartons, use caution when using the scissors to cut the cartons in half. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever played paintball with your friends? Wonder how you can improve your game? Paintball guns use compressed gas to shoot paint-filled pellets at high speed, and with good accuracy. The flight path of the ball is determined by its speed and the angle at which it is shot, relative to the ground. In this sports science fair project, you will explore the ballistics of paintballs, focusing on how drag and other factors affect the results. Read more
Sports_p054
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should have access to a paintball gun, be familiar with how to shoot it safely, and have access to an open area where you can shoot it. This project has a fairly involved procedure, since you are measuring several parameters (velocity, time of flight, distance) and also comparing these measurements to what you would expect based on calculations. Feel free to customize the procedure based on your interests.
Material Availability Specialty items: You will need access to a paintball gun and accessories, including safety gear for you and for three helpers, as well as an instrument to measure velocity of the paintballs. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury is possible, so wear eye protection. Adult supervision is required.
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