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Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered how a radio can grab signals that are transmitted through the air and convert them into sound? In this science project, you will build your own AM radio receiver from scratch and use it to listen to AM radio broadcasts. With your crystal radio you will be able to experiment with the circuit and the antenna to get the best reception. Read more
Elec_p014
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this science project, you must live in an area where you can receive at least one strong AM radio station. You can check for this with a car or portable radio.
Material Availability Specific circuit items are required. A Science Buddies kit is available for your convenience. See the Materials and Equipment list for details
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Never operate your crystal radio during a thunderstorm. When not in use, always disconnect your antenna from the radio circuit, and connect it directly to the ground rod. Be sure to wear safety goggles when installing the ground rod, especially if you are using a metal hammer. An adult's help might be necessary for some steps in the Procedure.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered how an AM radio station works? In this project you will learn the basics of how your favorite songs are transmitted by a radio station, by building your own simple AM radio transmitter. You will learn the basics of how a transmitter works, and how you are able to tune to your favorite station and listen to music. Read more
Elec_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Here's a project with practical applications for homes with a wireless network. This project shows you how to build and test parabolic reflectors for the transmitters on your network. You may be able to increase the range of your transmitter to cover a location you would like to use but couldn't reach previously. You may also be able to find ways to make your network more secure, by reducing signals transmitted beyond your property. Read more
CompSci_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Good computer skills
Material Availability This project requires access to a working wireless network with at least one computer using a wireless connection. A laptop computer with wireless capability is optional, but useful. Other materials readily available.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
The Sun is the ultimate source of the energy that powers weather systems on Earth. Geomagnetic storms are sun-powered storms in the upper atmosphere, arising from energized particles that are periodically ejected by the Sun. Among other effects, geomagnetic storms can wreak havoc with earth-orbiting satellites, and disrupt satellite communications. The global positioning system (GPS) is a network of 24 earth-orbiting satellites that constantly sends radio signals through the earth's… Read more
Weather_p009
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You will need access to a WAAS-capable GPS receiver for this project. You will need to understand how to operate the GPS receiver. Note that WAAS signals are only available in North America.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever heard of the NASA Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity? How about the "bomb squad" robots that police and the military use? These are places that are hard for us to reach (Mars), or dangerous for us to be near (explosives). Because the human operators are usually far away from the robot, driving one is different from driving a car. Operators rely on information sent back from the robot, including pictures and video. In this project, you will build your own simple… Read more
Robotics_p015
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires a radio-controlled toy car and a wireless video camera. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have an extra sense? What if you could hear above the normal range (ultrasound) like dogs or bats? What if you could see ultraviolet light, like bees or juvenile trout? What if you could see infrared light, like a rattlesnake or boa constrictor? This project shows you how you can use a camera, tripod and a special filter to take pictures using near infrared illumination. It's a whole new way of looking at the world. Read more
Photo_p004
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You'll need a camera with near infrared sensitivity (see Experimental Procedure)
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Here is a riddle for you: name an instrument that you play with your hands but never actually touch. Have you guessed the answer? It is a theremin! This unusual instrument makes sound without anyone touching it. How does a theremin work? It has an antenna that can detect the player's hand nearby, and as they move their hand around the theremin, the sound it makes changes based on the hand's position. In this music science project, you will get to use your own mini theremin to investigate… Read more
Music_p035
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The Theremin Mini Kit for this science project needs to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail If you were leaving home for a long walk, how far would you go? One mile, 5 miles, 10 miles? How about 550 miles?! That's a long way, but some wolves have been known to travel that far when they are leaving their packs in search of a mate so they can form their own pack. But is that how far wolves normally travel? Try this wild wolf tracking science fair project to find out! Read more
Zoo_p056
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science fair project requires the purchase of a Track Wild Wolves Activity Kit from the International Wolf Center. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Want to start a garage band, but Mom or Dad won't let you because it will make too much noise? This is a good project for someone who is interested in acoustics and likes to build things. Who knows, it might help you figure out how to make everyone happy. Read more
Phys_p029
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Note: Project costs will be lower if you already have good quality speakers connected to a computer that can play audio files.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Very loud sounds can cause hearing damage. Be sure to keep your speaker volume at reasonable levels when doing this experiment.
Project Idea
thumbnail Why is it more comfortable to wear light-colored clothes on a hot summer day? Why wear a dark-colored jacket for early-morning fishing on a cold lake? How much difference can it make? Here's a project where you can quantify how much difference color makes for absorbing heat. Read more
Phys_p030
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision required for drilling jar lids.
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