Is soil structure an important factor in earthquake dynamics? Investigate soil liquefaction and how different soil types respond to earthquake movements. Are movements more dramatic in sandy/loamy or clay type soils? Which soil structures are most stable? Which are the most volatile? (MCEER, 2005)
When the punter is trying to hit the "coffin corner" (within the opposing team's 10-yard line), out of bounds, what is the best angle to kick the ball for correct distance and maximum "hang time?" (For more information on the physics involved, see: Gay, 2004, Chapters 4 and 5.)
We are all familiar with the nursery rhyme, "Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day...", or
the song "Singin' in the Rain." Numerous songs and stories describe our feelings about rain. Why so many?
Because we humans understand how important rain is to our well-being. Rainfall, as part of the
water cycle, brings water back to Earth that had previously evaporated or transpired
from the surface. When water vapor in the atmosphere condenses into clouds and falls back to Earth as rain,…
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Very Long (1+ months)
Before starting this project, check your local and state laws regarding the rules for collecting rainwater.
High ($100 - $150)
Wear safety goggles and equipment when working with tools. Minor injury is possible. Adult supervision is required. Do not drink the water collected in the project.
Can you imagine Valentine's Day or Halloween without chocolate? Well, if you're a chocolate lover
brace yourself for the bad news. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), "Worldwide
demand for cacao now exceeds production." If there isn't enough cacao, the major raw ingredient for
chocolate, then the chocolate supply will dwindle. Hang on! Before you start rushing to the store to buy
all the chocolate you can get your hands on, a solution is already in the works. In…
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Long (2-4 weeks)
A high school level introductory biology course is a prerequisite for this science project.
How is geology important for our energy resources? Coal, oil, and natural gas are formed by geological processes over millions of years. Certain geological formations can indicate a reservoir of coal, oil, or natural gas. Also, geothermal processes can be used as an energy resource. How are these formations identified? How are the resources extracted? You can use the to access, view, and download information from geospatial databases containing a broad spectrum of data produced by the…
If you like to fish and you'd rather not be telling the story of "the one that got away," then this is a project for you. What combination of properties makes for the best fishing line? Here are some suggestions for getting started on your background research into fishing line properties: knot strength, abrasion strength, shock strength, tensile strength, limpness, controlled stretch, and desired range of visibility (Dodson, 2006). Choose the properties that you think are most important, and…
Some plants use a lot of water, and some are very drought-tolerant. Drought-tolerant grasses are good for water conservation because they require less water to grow and stay green. How much less water do they need? Which types of grass are drought-tolerant? You can buy different types or brands of grass seed at your nursery that claim to be drought-tolerant. Grow them in a container and then starve for water after they are established. Which brands die out first? You can conduct a similar…
It is important to ensure that we all have good clean water to drink that is not contaminated by heavy metals or chemicals. One common pollutant in a water supply is lead in old pipes or paints that can leach into the water and cause lead poisoning. There are different kits available for testing the presence of lead and other contaminants in water. Test your water supply, and also the water in some local ponds, lakes or streams. The same contaminants that can harm you can also harm wildlife. …
Beats are a pattern of oscillating sound intensity (i.e., the volume of the pattern grows and fades with a regular cycle). They occur when two tones of almost equal frequency interfere. People can perceive beat frequencies below about 7 Hz. Figure out how to create sound files to play pure tones on your computer. Create files with a pure tone of one frequency in the left channel, and a pure tone of a different frequency in the right channel. Systematically explore different frequency…
How much force is required to advance a lag bolt (large wood screw with a hex-shaped head) into a piece of wood? You can measure the force by using a spring scale attached to the handle of ratchet. Pull on the spring scale until the bolt starts to turn, and note the required force from the spring scale. There are many potential experiments you could try. Think about answering the following questions: How does the force change as the bolt advances deeper into the wood? Why? How does the…
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