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Project Idea
Hooke's law says that the opposing force of a spring is directly proportional to the amount by which the spring is stretched. How accurately Hooke's law describe the behavior of real springs? Can springs be used to make accurate scales for weighing objects? Spring into action and find out for yourself with this project. Read more
ApMech_p027
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible
Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine how cool it would be to build a robot hand that could grasp a ball or pick up a toy. In this robotics engineering project, you will learn how to use drinking straws, sewing thread, and a little glue to make a remarkably lifelike and useful robot hand. What will you design your robot hand to do? Pick up a can? Move around a ping pong ball? It is up to you! With these starting instructions, you can design any type of hand. You will simulate human finger anatomy as the basis for a… Read more
Robotics_p001
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is suggested for parts of this project. Use caution with sharp knives and glue.
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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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail How much force does it take to drive a nail through different types of wood? In this project you'll build a simple test apparatus to swing a hammer reproducibly so you can find out. Read more
ApMech_p024
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision and assistance recommended (power tools used to assemble test apparatus).
Project Idea
thumbnail In this project, you'll investigate the physics of standing waves on guitar strings. You'll learn about the different modes (i.e., patterns) of vibration that can be produced on a string, and you'll figure out how to produce the various modes by lightly touching the string at just the right place while you pick the string. This technique is called playing harmonics on the string. By the way, we chose a guitar for this project, but you can do the experiments using any stringed instrument, with… Read more
Music_p009
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites To do this project, you'll need a guitar (or other stringed instrument). You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear harmonics by picking (or plucking) the string while lightly touching it in just the right place.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail This is a great project for a musician who is interested in the physics of stringed instruments. If you've every played an acoustic guitar, you may have noticed that picking a single string can make one or more of the other (unpicked) strings vibrate. When this happens, it's called sympathetic vibration. What intervals lead to the strongest sympathetic vibrations? Find out for yourself with this project. Read more
Music_p011
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need a properly tuned acoustic guitar (or other acoustic stringed instrument). You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear, ringing tones by picking (or plucking) the string while changing its effective length by fretting (or fingering) it.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Here's a fun science project for anyone who plays an electric guitar. You'll learn about the physics of vibrating strings, and find out why the tone of your guitar changes when you switch between the different pickups. Read more
Music_p006
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites To do this project you need to have an electric guitar and guitar amplifier. You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear, ringing tones by picking (or plucking) the string.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail The banjo's roots trace all the way over to Africa. The unique sound that a banjo makes depends, in part, on the resonator. The purpose of the resonator is to amplify and project the sound that is made by strumming and plucking the strings. In this music science fair project, you will experiment with a resonator on a banjo and see if you can hear the difference in sound. Read more
Music_p029
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You must have access to a computer with a microphone, a spreadsheet program,and an Internet connection. You need to have a basic proficiency with and be able to graph data in the spreadsheet program. If you need help, consult a help guide online or find an adult who is familiar with the spreadsheet program you are using.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury is possible. Always wear safety goggles and use caution when using tools. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail In this project you'll learn how to make a piezoelectric pickup for acoustic guitar using inexpensive components. You can then connect your acoustic guitar to an amplifier, and record your own music. If you are interested in electronics and like playing acoustic guitar, this could be the perfect project for you. Read more
Music_p005
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You need to know at least the basics of playing guitar to do this project. You'll also need an inexpensive acoustic guitar and an electric guitar amplifier.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision recommended
Project Idea
thumbnail This is a rockin' project for guitarists with an interest in the physics behind the music. Have you ever wondered why the pitch of the note changes when you fret the string? You can find out for yourself with this project on the fundamental physics of stringed instruments. Read more
Music_p010
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need a guitar (or other stringed instrument). You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear, ringing tones by picking (or plucking) the string while changing its effective length by fretting (or fingering) it.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
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