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Science Fair Project Idea
So you've just heard the "Happy Birthday" song and now it's time to blow out the candles. If you are sitting far away from the candles, you know you'll have to blow harder to get them all out than if you were sitting closer. In this science fair project, you'll blow on different kinds of pinwheels with a blow-dryer and see how far away you can get before they stop spinning. This will give you clues about how sensitive the pinwheels are to wind, and why. So come spin your wheels and get… Read more
Energy_p001
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the blow-dryer.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever felt really frustrated? Maybe you were playing a video game and could not easily figure out a particularly challenging puzzle. Or maybe there was something you really wanted but you could not have it for some reason. However it has happened, what do you do when you get frustrated? What about other people — what kind of behaviors have you seen others display when they get frustrated? Do they cry, jump up and down screaming, just give up, or become aggressive? In this human… Read more
HumBeh_p051
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You must have access to at least 30 middle-school aged test subjects. Try to get an even mix of boys and girls. You must also have access to a video camera.
Material Availability Specialty equipment is required. See the Materials and Equipment list for specific details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Wear safety goggles when hammering the nails into the piece of wood and when using the drill.
Science Fair Project Idea
How do you figure out how to get places? Do you ask for directions, look at a map, or consult a compass? There are many ways for people to figure out how to travel from one place to another, but how do other animals do it? In this science fair project, you'll use real data, collected by biologists, to figure out how migratory birds manage to navigate more than 2,000 miles from their breeding grounds to their wintering grounds. Read more
Zoo_p053
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science fair project requires the use of a computer with Internet access to download data-analysis software.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
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 tying 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.
Science Fair Project Idea
We rely heavily on our senses to tell us about our environment. But in addition to the senses of touch, smell, taste, hearing, and sight, some animals are able to sense Earth's magnetic field. Migratory turtles and birds use this sense to guide them on long journeys. Homing pigeons use it to find their way home. New research suggests that large mammals, such as cows and deer, may also have the ability to sense the direction of magnetic north. In this animal behavior science project, you will… Read more
Zoo_p058
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Experience with Microsoft® PowerPoint® would be helpful. You will also need a computer that can run Google EarthTM and that has Internet access.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Would it surprise you to learn that no one knows the exact age of the universe? Astronomers have estimates, and as they gather increasingly precise data and measurements, they continue to refine those estimates to come up with more accurate estimates. In this project, you can look at data about stars in dense groups called globular clusters and come up with your own estimate for the minimum age of the universe. How closely will your estimate match those of other astronomers? Read more
Astro_p042
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites Computer skills, including basic spreadsheet skills (such as Microsoft® Excel®)
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
The holidays are a wonderful time, when lots of good foods and good smells come from the kitchen. But have you noticed that if you stay in the kitchen awhile, you no longer notice the delicious smells? Don't worry! Your nose is not broken, you are just experiencing olfactory fatigue—basically, that's when your nose takes a nap. But what is behind olfactory fatigue and what happens when you experience it? Does a person's sense of smell "get tired" in the same way for different smells? Put… Read more
HumBio_p031
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Here's an interesting flash photography project. With an inexpensive Fresnel lens, you can concentrate the light from your flash. You'll be able to shoot with a smaller aperture and a shorter flash duration. This will give you greater depth of focus and will allow you to 'freeze' motion at higher speeds. The trade-off is that the light will be concentrated toward the center of the frame. This project shows you how you can investigate that trade-off and find out how you can best use your flash… Read more
Photo_p013
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You'll need a camera with a separate flash attachment to do this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Be careful in sunlight: the Fresnel lens used in this project can focus enough sunlight to cause burns, melt your flash attachment, or set fires.
Science Fair Project Idea
"Pow!" Wow, what an awesome punch that character has! Ever wondered what goes into making a punch look good in a video game? Or any other character motion sequence, for that matter? Try this science fair project for a firsthand look at how art and timing can create memorable game action. Read more
Games_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability To do this science fair project, you will need to download and install a free program, called Scratch. See the Experimental Procedure for more details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever heard the expression "a canary in a coal mine"? In the 1900's and earlier, coal miners brought canaries with them into the mines to act as early warning signals. The canaries were very sensitive to low levels of dangerous gases, so if the birds stopped singing, or got sick, then the miners knew to leave immediately, even if they felt fine. As it turns out, our froggy friends are also very helpful at signaling problems, not in mines, but in and around bodies of water. Try this… Read more
EnvSci_p048
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Students must have access to a pond, lake, or marsh with abundant frogs.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Never explore natural bodies of water alone. Never pick up brightly colored frogs. Adult supervision is required.
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