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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
Have you ever thought to yourself, "I have got to have that new video game right now?" Or maybe there's a new shirt at the store that you just have to have. So you rush home, break into your bank, and gather all of your money, even though you have been saving to buy your mom a gift. But wait! Maybe if you do a few more chores and save for just a few more days, you can gather enough money to buy your mom a gift and buy what you want. This behavior is called delayed gratification and it's what… Read more
HumBeh_p046
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You will need to survey several preschool-aged children. You must also have access to a video camera with a digital timer and a tripod.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail No matter what your favorite card game is, we all wish we could use psychic powers to draw the card we want on our turn. You may not have psychic powers, but you might have the power of probability on your side. In this science project, you will discover how math can help you avoid the words, "Go fish!" Read more
Math_p017
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No hazards
Science Fair Project Idea
Plants need nitrogen to build proteins and nucleic acids to grow healthy stems and leaves. Though the Earth's atmosphere is made up of 79% nitrogen, the form of nitrogen found in the atmosphere cannot be used by plants. In this experiment, you will compare plants grown without nitrogen fertilizer to plants grown with nitrogen fertilizer. Read more
PlantBio_p012
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision recommended during preparation of nitrogen fertilizer solution
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
thumbnail Social media is all the buzz on the internet. What can we do with all the information generated by millions of people posting, tweeting, taking pictures, and chatting? How do companies convert it into profit? While you do not have the tools to analyze data from millions of social media posts by yourself, you will be able to analyze a scaled-down version. Follow the instructions in this project to try your hand at extracting data from a couple of social media sites and use it to create… Read more
Soc_p028
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with Microsoft Excel® or another data visualization tool, like Tableau® Public, will be helpful.
Material Availability Readily available
Safety No issues
Science Fair 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
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
thumbnail Did you know that in addition to the Sun and planets, our solar system is filled with millions of asteroids, which are chunks of rock left over from the early days of its formation, or from collisions between larger objects like planets? Agencies like NASA track asteroids, not only because they might pose a threat to humanity by colliding with Earth, but because they can provide us with information about the history of our solar system, and even be useful for mining raw materials in space! In… Read more
Astro_p039
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites In order to do this science project, you should either already have knowledge of basic statistical analysis (histograms and scatter plots) or have a willingness to familiarize yourself with them.
Material Availability This science project requires a computer with internet access and a spreadsheet program like Microsoft® Excel® or OpenOffice™ Calc.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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