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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
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 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
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
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 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 Have you ever been annoyed by poor Wi-Fi reception for your phone, tablet, or laptop? Do you wish there was something you could do about it? In this project you will learn how to build a parabolic reflector that you can attach to the antenna of a regular wireless router to help boost its signal. Read more
CompSci_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires a Wi-Fi router and a smartphone, tablet, or laptop with a Wi-Fi connection. You will also need access to a printer to print the parabolic template. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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 Have you ever had several different design ideas for a project and not known which one to try first? Engineers use computer models of real-world objects called simulations to help them make decisions before they start building prototypes. This helps them save time and money, so they do not have to physically build and test each design they come up with. In this project, you will use a free physics simulation program called VoxCAD. VoxCAD has been used for research at NASA, MIT, and other… Read more
Robotics_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Passports, identification cards, bus passes, and even some credit cards contain RFID tags. An RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag allows a card to be read by a computer from a short distance away. While this is very useful in everyday life, would you believe you can make music with it? RFID + sampled music sounds + a little crafting = a fun musical instrument that is limited only by your imagination. In this science project, you will make handbells out of paper cups that play real sounds,… Read more
CompSci_p049
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Some previous programming experience (preferably in Python), or interest in learning how to write Python code, is preferable. Musical background is also helpful, but not required.
Material Availability This science project requires an RFID reader and tags. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety The construction steps require use of a craft knife and hot glue. Be careful when using these items and ask an adult if you need assistance.
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