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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
thumbnail Do you know how much power is used every day in your home? What you might not realize is that making simple changes can save you energy, power, and money. What would you do with extra money? Put it in the bank or get something that you really want? In this science fair project, you will investigate the different uses of electricity in your home and determine if there are simple changes that you can make to save energy and money. Read more
Energy_p020
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Permission from an adult to access the appliances in your home.
Material Availability Specialty item required. This project requires an electricity usage monitor.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Always exercise caution when dealing with electricity and electrical appliances.
Science Fair Project Idea
Sleeping in class isn't allowed... unless you're a computer! In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that putting your school's computers to sleep when they're not in use might reduce a school's energy bill significantly. In a study done at the North Thurston public schools in Olympia, Washington, EPA officials worked with the district to cut computer energy and costs by approximately $45,000 annually! How? By implementing a variety of power-management strategies for the… Read more
CompSci_p040
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Generating power from mud sounds like science fiction, but it is actually real science, and a promising source of alternative energy. Topsoil is packed with bacteria that generate electricity when placed in a microbial fuel cell. Because such bacteria-laden soil is found almost everywhere on Earth, microbial fuel cells can make clean, renewable electricity nearly anyplace around the globe. They are an up-and-coming technology that scientists and engineers are working on making even more… Read more
Elec_p071
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Having used a voltmeter/multimeter before is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell needs to be special ordered from Science Buddies. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be sure to wear the gloves supplied with the kit when handling the microbial fuel cell's electrodes (its cathode and anode). The electrodes are made of a conductive material called graphite fiber and should not be placed near electronics, power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when in contact with electronics.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you've ever watched an adult pay for something by simply touching their credit card to a machine at a store, or you've done the same with a bus pass, you've seen an RFID tag in action. An RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification) tag allows a card to be read by a computer from a short distance away. This is very convenient, but it also allows criminals to steal information about you. For instance, on the subway or the bus, someone standing next to you can use an RFID reader to access the data on… Read more
CompSci_p048
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires an RFID reader and RFID tags. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The ocean is a wondrous force of nature. It affects the weather, and provides us with food and free and renewable energy to power our lives. How can the ocean provide us with free and renewable energy? One way is to extract the energy that is in the waves. There are many kinds of power systems that can be installed to extract energy from the waves, depending on the location. In this energy and power science project, you will build and test a simple model of an oscillating water column device to… Read more
Energy_p037
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should have fairly easy access to the ocean or to a deep body of water. Find a location where the surface of the water is within easy access of a pier, a dock, or a boat slip, and where the water is about 5 feet deep. You could also do this project in a swimming pool.
Material Availability See the Materials and Equipment list for more details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Be sure to wear safety equipment, such as safety goggles and gloves, when working with power tools and other equipment. Parental supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever suffered from poor Wi-Fi reception for your smartphone, tablet, or laptop? Certain materials can actually block a Wi-Fi signal; do you think that could be part of your problem? In this science project, you will do an experiment to find out which materials cause the biggest drop in signal strength from a wireless router. Read more
CompSci_p047
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a wireless router and a smartphone, tablet, or computer with a Wi-Fi connection. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Imagine yourself as a software engineer, a decade and a half from now. You are called upon to help solve the world energy crisis by programming nano-organisms (NANORGs) to extract energy from industrial sludge. Your program must be small enough to fit in the NANORGs' tiny processors, yet at the same time meet several challenges. First and foremost, your NANORGs need to navigate on their own, extract energy from the sludge, and find collection points to deliver the harvested energy. Second,… Read more
CompSci_p021
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Previous computer programming experience, familiarity with assembly language programming is helpful.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair 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.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Strike a key on the piano, and you hear the string vibrating. Just about any object vibrates when it's knocked, but how much and how fast? What properties of the material affect the way it vibrates? This project helps you find out. You'll build a simple light-sensing circuit for measuring the frequency of vibrating springs. Read more
ApMech_p015
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Windows/PC
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
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