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Others Like “The Viscosity of Motor Oil”

Project Idea
thumbnail How do you like your mashed potatoes? Thin and whipped smooth? Or thick and mashed into chunks? Your mouth checks out not just the taste of your food, but its viscosity, or how it flows on your tongue, every time you take a bite! In this science fair project, you'll learn what viscosity is, and how to measure it in common liquids around your home. Read more
Chem_p055
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The graduated cylinder must be ordered from a science supply store.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You should only test non-toxic, non-flammable, and non-volatile liquids. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
thumbnail Can you lift a car? No? You say you are not strong enough? True, our bodies are not built to lift heavy loads like cars. Fortunately, our brains are smart enough to harness the power of fluids, like water and oil, to create hydraulic lifts. By pushing a button on a hydraulic lift, a mechanic can easily raise a car with one finger. Lifts can also be used to raise lots of other heavy loads - even such massive things as steel girders to construct a skyscraper! In this mechanical engineering… Read more
ApMech_p048
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Syringes, which are needed for this project, can be ordered online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Since minor injury is possible, use caution when using a tool such as a saw. Be sure to wear safety goggles when using tools. Use epoxy in a well-ventilated area and follow all of the safety recommendations on the package. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Where do you get your best ideas? At school with your friends? When you're out for a bike ride? Over 2,200 years ago, a scientist named Archimedes got one of his best ideas when he sat down in his bath. Eureka! He went running through the streets without even bothering with his clothes. What was he so excited about? He had discovered that when objects, like his body, are placed in water, water is pushed out of the way. Have you noticed that, too? The weight of the water that is pushed out of… Read more
Aero_p044
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the hammer.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered how a ship made of steel can float? Or better yet, how can a steel ship carry a heavy load without sinking? In this science project you will make little "boats" out of aluminum foil to investigate how their size and shape affects much weight they can carry and how this relates to the density of water. Read more
Aero_p020
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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
Ocean currents have a profound effect on the climates of the continents, especially those regions bordering on the ocean. The Gulf Stream makes northwest Europe much more temperate than any other region at the same latitude, and the California Current keeps Hawaii cooler than other land masses at the same latitude. In this ocean science fair project, you will model the behavior of these "rivers" of hot and cold water within the ocean to find out how temperature affects the currents' velocity. Read more
OceanSci_p012
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Use caution when working with the lighter or matches.
Project Idea
thumbnail A ship is a busy place. When out to sea, naval, research, and fishing vessels pull or push heavy loads, like research equipment and crab pots, into and out of the water. But equipment and pots can weigh hundreds of pounds. So how does a ship's crew lift loads efficiently and accurately? With a hydraulic knuckle crane, of course. But what is hydraulics and why does hydraulics make certain tasks easier? Hydraulics is the study of liquids and their mechanical properties: how they move, resist… Read more
ApMech_p049
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to purchase syringes to build the model crane.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Be sure to wear safety goggles when using tools like saws and drills. Minor injury is possible. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you know why enzymes are oftentimes called the workhorses of biochemistry? It's because they can speed up a wide variety of chemical reactions, and chemists and biologists use enzymes to do all kinds of jobs. In this project, pectinase, an enzyme frequently used in the food industry, will be used to extract juice from apples. Read more
BioChem_p010
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty Items
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Use care when using sharp knife to chop apples. Do not drink the juice produced in this experiment.
Project Idea
thumbnail The enormous task of cleaning up oil spills in oceans and seas has burdened industry, government, and environmentalists for decades. The cleanup is almost always difficult. It involves great amounts of time, resources, and money to remove the oil from the water, and the cleanup is often only partially successful. Today, however, scientists are coming to the rescue, developing a new technique that combines nanotechnology and magnetism. In this science project, you will test the proposed… Read more
EnvEng_p036
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items (ferrofluid and neodymium magnet) are needed for this project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Neodymium magnets are very strong. Some have the capacity to interfere or reset pacemakers. Never put a neodymium magnet in your mouth. Always keep them away from computers, credit cards, and other magnetized objects.

Ferrofluids create stains on skin and other materials, so take appropriate measures to keep the fluid contained to the working area.

Project Idea
You can measure the viscosity of a fluid using a glass tube and a marble with slightly smaller diameter than the tube. Seal one end of the tube. Fill the tube with the fluid to be tested. Drop the marble into to the tube and measure the time it takes to fall a fixed distance. Repeat the measurement several times, and use the average value. How does viscosity change with the amount of sugar dissolved in water? How does viscosity change with temperature? Read more
Aero_p032
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Project Idea
thumbnail This project shows you how to build a simple model system to simulate underground water flow. Underground water flow is important for understanding replenishment of underground aquifers, migration of underground contaminant plumes, and cave formation. With your model system, you can simulate various underground conditions, and test your predictions about the effects they have on water flow. Read more
Geo_p014
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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