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Others Like “Artificial Intelligence: Teaching the Computer to Play Tic-Tac-Toe”

Project Idea
thumbnail Can you remember what the weather was like last week? Last year? Here's a project that looks at what the weather was like for over a hundred years. You'll use historical climate data to look at moisture conditions in regions across the contintental U.S. You'll use a spreadsheet program to calculate the frequency of different moisture conditions for each region and make graphs for comparison. Which part of the country has the most frequent droughts? The most frequent periods of prolonged… Read more
Weather_p005
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Computer with Internet access and a spreadsheet program (e.g., Excel)
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Here's a project where you can try your hand at being a detective with your computer. In this project you'll write a program to do some basic analysis of features of written text (for example, counting the length of each word in the text, or the number of words in each sentence). Then you'll see if you can use the information from your text analysis program to find measurements that can distinguish one author from another. After analyzing known samples of several authors' writings, can your… Read more
CompSci_p022
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites An understanding of the material covered in "Paragraph Stats: Writing a JavaScript Program to 'Measure' Text"
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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
Project Idea
thumbnail In physics class, you have probably rolled your eyes at some point after being assigned a "projectile motion" homework problem where you use equations to predict how a ball will move through the air. This experiment will show you just how fun that problem can be by using a real catapult to launch a ball and videotaping it as it flies along its path. Then, you will analyze the video and compare it to what the equations predicted. If you have ever wondered if those equations in your physics… Read more
Phys_p089
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This project requires a basic understanding of algebra, trigonometry (sine and cosine functions), and physics (kinematics—two-dimensional projectile motion), or the willingness to learn about these subjects on your own.
Material Availability This project requires access to a video camera (not included in the cost estimate) and the purchase of a catapult kit. (See the Materials and Equipment list for details.)
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Minor injury possible. Never aim the catapult at anyone, and keep your hands and fingers clear of the moving catapult arm when launching the catapult.
Project Idea
thumbnail Although fractal images can be intriguingly complex, fractals are more than just pretty pictures. In this project, you'll explore the mathematical properties of the famous Mandelbrot (illustration at right) and Julia sets. You'll learn about how these images are generated, and about the relationship between the Mandelbrot set and the Julia sets. Read more
Math_p013
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Good understanding of algebra, excellent computer skills
Material Availability Computer with Internet access required
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
The Game of Life is the invention of the mathematician John Conway. It is a cellular automaton, consisting of a grid of squares that turn "on" or "off" depending on simple mathematical rules that involve neighboring squares. Depending on how the grid is first set up (i.e., the initial conditions), various interesting patterns appear. Can you write a Game of Life program (in JavaScript or any other computer language of your choice)? Can you think of ways to alter the rules that result in… Read more
CompSci_p030
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen a "Hail Mary" football pass, where the quarterback tries to throw the ball as far as possible to reach the end zone and score a touchdown? Or a last second game tieing soccer goal from midfield? How far the ball will go does not just depend on how hard a player throws or kicks it; it also depends on the angle at which the player launches the ball. In this sports science project, you will investigate how launch angle affects the distance that a ball travels by filming… Read more
Sports_p036
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a computer with internet access and a digital video camera with a tripod. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Be sure to do this science project in an open area like an empty football field, where you will not hit people or buildings with the ball.
Project Idea
thumbnail If you've ever played or watched basketball, you might already know that your chances of successfully banking a shot on the backboard are higher in certain positions on the basketball court, even when keeping the distance from the hoop the same. Ever wondered what would account for this? Do you think you could actually explain this using geometry? This science project will put your knowledge of geometry and algebra to good use. You will calculate and quantify how much more difficult it is to… Read more
Sports_p064
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You should have a familiarity with basic algebra.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Does your skin get dry? Or do you know someone with dry skin? Dry skin can be a real medical problem for some people. You may have seen many kinds of lotions, creams, and ointments advertised as restorative for dry skin, especially dry hands. But how well do they work? And which ingredients are most important in making them work? In this science project, you will create a model of human skin using JELL-O® and test how well skin moisturizing products with different ingredients keep the… Read more
BioMed_p015
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to purchase petri dishes online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended for using the stove.
Project Idea
thumbnail If you have seen any of the "Star Wars" movies, then you probably remember when Jedi knights like Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi used "The Force" to push, pull, and even throw objects — including some helpless battle droids. Have you ever wished you could do that in real life? In this robotics project, you will build and program a LEGO® robot that you can push and pull using an "invisible force" — almost like a real Jedi! We make no promise that you will be taking down the… Read more
Robotics_p013
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should know how to build a basic car with a LEGO Mindstorms kit, and also be familiar with basic programming in the Mindstorms software (NXT-G or EV3).
Material Availability This project requires a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or NXT kit, and a computer with the appropriate programming software. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues.
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