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Others Like “What's the Best Method to Communicate Data Graphically?: An Experiment in Visual Perception”

Science Fair Project Idea
Graphical methods of data presentation are a key feature of scientific communication. This project asks the question, "What's the best way to compare the land area of states: a map or a bar graph?" You'll be measuring performance on two different visual discrimination tasks: comparison of areas vs. comparison of position on a common scale. Which method is more accurate? Which method is faster? This project will get you thinking about how to find the best way to communicate scientific… Read more
HumBeh_p012
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you want to get your friend's attention at a crowded sporting event with lots of people cheering, you need to shout. If you're trying to do the same thing in a quiet library, a whisper works. The detection limit for each of our senses depends on the amount of "background" stimulation that is already present. This project uses an LED control circuit to investigate detection of changes in light levels. Read more
Elec_p039
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding of Ohm's Law and an understanding of logarithms. Note: the biggest expense is a powered, solderless breadboard, which can be used for future explorations in electronics.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Sunspot activity has been monitored continuously since about 1700. The historical data shows that sunspot activity rises and falls in a roughly 11-year cycle. This project shows you how you can use both graphical and statistical analysis to look for patterns in cyclical data. Read more
Astro_p017
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Computer with Internet access and a spreadsheet program (e.g., Excel, QuattroPro), previous experience with statistics helpful
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you're like most people, you like listening to music. Have you ever wondered how your ears and your brain turn the sound waves out there in the world into the experience of music in your head? If you're interested in doing a project about how we hear, this is a good one for you. With this project, you'll do background research and make measurements to understand how the sensitivity of your own hearing varies with the pitch of the sound. Read more
HumBio_p011
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding of logarithms
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use low volume when playing the sound files.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The movement of satellites is intriguing, but how do they orbit the way they do? Aerospace engineers run calculations and set up computer models to help them predict how satellites move in space, but in this astronomy science project, you will create a physical model with marbles, clay, and a cookie sheet to help you study how satellites move in space and learn from your observations. Read more
Astro_p041
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What do rocks and clocks have in common? Both keep track of time. Yes, radioactive isotopes present in rocks and other ancient material decay atom by atom at a steady rate, much as clocks tick time away. Geologists use those radioactive isotopes to date volcanic ash or granite formations like the giant Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Anthropologists, archeologists, and paleontologists also use radioactive isotopes to date mummies, pottery, and dinosaur fossils. Does this sound abstract… Read more
Geo_p044
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None.
Material Availability Readily available.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Many things in nature are periodic: the seasons of the year, the phases of the moon, the vibration of a violin string, and the beating of the human heart. In each of these cases, the events occur in repeated cycles, or periods. In this project you will investigate the periodic motion of a spring, using a mini Slinky®. Basic physics will then allow you to determine the Hooke's Law spring constant. Your analysis will also yield the effective mass of the spring, a factor that is important in… Read more
Phys_p064
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When you think of environmental challenges facing the world, the first things that come to mind might be global warming, or loss of biodiversity, since these are often in the newspapers. A serious problem that you may not have heard about is soil erosion. Why is soil so important? What is the danger of erosion? How can we measure soil erosion? What can be done to prevent it? Check out this project and you can start finding answers. Read more
EnvSci_p012
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Can you imagine designing and building a space telescope the size of a tennis court? Believe it or not, that is someone's job! Engineers are hard at work on the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST. This telescope has the potential to enable astronomers to see light from when the Universe was first formed. No one knows what amazing discoveries this might lead to. However, to make the telescope work properly, engineers have to overcome a lot of challenges. In this science project, you can… Read more
Phys_p082
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Most of the materials are available in hardware or craft stores.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Use caution when using the box cutter, heat lamp, and laser pointer.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Landslides are powerful geological events that happen suddenly, causing fear in people who live in areas with unstable hills, slopes, and cliff sides. Landslides damage the surrounding habitat and can destroy homes in their path. But what causes landslides? Can slides happen on any slope, or do slopes have to have certain characteristics, such as a steep angle and a specific material mass? In this geology science project, you will learn about the different types of landslides and the… Read more
EnvEng_p035
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues.
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