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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail We use passwords every day for our email and other computer accounts. How secure is the password that you use? How hard would it be for someone to guess your password? How hard is it to write a computer program to guess a password? You can see for yourself by writing a simple password guesser in the computer language Python. We will get you started with some ideas, a little sample code, and a few passwords for your computer program to try and guess. Read more
CompSci_p046
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To complete the programming portion of this science project, students should have access to a machine capable of running Python™ 3 (Microsoft Windows™, Apple Mac, Raspberry Pi®, or some other Linux computer), permission to install software, and a basic grasp of programming (or ready access to a willing helper who knows a little Python).
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Hacking into other people's password-protected accounts is a federally prosecutable offense. The program example given in this science project will only work in the context of this science project.
Science Fair 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 continental 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
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Every day, we produce a lot of sewage (wastewater full of feces and urine). In fact, it adds up to 6.4 trillion liters of urine alone produced worldwide each year! The sewage is collected and then treated or disposed of. But what if, along the way, there were a way to make that sewage do something useful? It turns out that human urine is rich in nutrients, and some bacteria actually thrive on eating those nutrients. There are also devices called microbial fuel cells that can generate electrical… Read more
EnvSci_p061
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Previous experience using a voltmeter/multimeter is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell needs to be special ordered from [# Link Name="Elec_p071.7" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be sure to wear the gloves supplied with the kit when handling the microbial fuel cell's electrodes (its cathode and anode). The electrodes are made of a conductive material called graphite fiber and should not be placed near electronics or power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when they come in contact with electronics. Use caution when handling human urine. Wear gloves when working with human urine. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail It has been said that, "Life is like a box of chocolates—you never know what you're going to get" (Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump, 1994). In this science project you can test the "Forrest Gump Chaos Theory" by using M&M's®, which are much cheaper than a box of chocolates. What if life is more like a bag of M&M's? Find out in this science project if some things in life are predictable by using the awesome power of statistics. Read more
Math_p021
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Generating power from mud sounds like science fiction, but it is actually real science, and a promising source of alternative energy. Topsoil is packed with bacteria that generate electricity when placed in a microbial fuel cell. Because such bacteria-laden soil is found almost everywhere on Earth, microbial fuel cells can make clean, renewable electricity nearly anyplace around the globe. They are an up-and-coming technology that scientists and engineers are working on making even more… Read more
Elec_p071
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Having used a voltmeter/multimeter before is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell needs to be special ordered from Science Buddies. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be sure to wear the gloves supplied with the kit when handling the microbial fuel cell's electrodes (its cathode and anode). The electrodes are made of a conductive material called graphite fiber and should not be placed near electronics, power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when in contact with electronics.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Cake, cookies, pie, ice cream, hot chocolate, lemonade…Yum! What do all these delicious treats have in common? Sugar. In addition to providing sweetness, sugar adds bulk, flavor, and structure to foods. But is it necessary to add sugar to achieve sweetness? Can the same sweetness be achieved using sugar substitutes like artificial or natural sweeteners? In this project, you will test sugar and sugar substitutes and compare the sweetness of each in relation to sugar. In the end, your day will be… Read more
FoodSci_p016
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Some specialty items needed,see Materials List for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you made a pile of all the electronic devices (cell phones, computers, stereos, televisions, MP3 players, video game systems, remote-control toys, etc.) that your family has gotten rid of since you were a baby, how big would that pile be? Would it be taller than you? Would it fit better in a wheelbarrow or in a pickup truck? And did they just throw it in the trash? In this science project, you'll explore what people in your community do with electronic waste, commonly called e-waste, and… Read more
EnvSci_p056
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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 If you have ever tried to hit a target (such as a trash can) with a wad of paper, you know that aim is everything. But it is not always easy to get it right every time! Missing is not that big a deal with a wad of paper, but what if you were in an invading army in the Middle Ages, using a catapult to hurl huge stones and knock down castle walls? For a successful invasion, it would be important to know exactly how far, and how reliably, a catapult could launch a projectile. In this project you… Read more
Math_p046
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites An introductory-level understanding of statistics (mean, standard deviation, and the normal distribution) is helpful, but not required for completing this project.
Material Availability Requires catapult kit. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Do not aim the catapult at people or breakable objects; minor injury possible.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever heard someone described as a video game addict? Do you think video game addicts actually exist? You can determine that for yourself in this science fair project by examining real data from a California research scientist for over 3,000 video game players! Read more
Games_p017
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Requires access to a computer that is hooked up to the Internet and has a spreadsheet program that can read and manipulate Microsoft Excel documents.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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
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