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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 How far would you have to travel so that the light of the full sun would provide "daylight" no brighter than twilight on Earth? This project describes a method to verify the inverse square law: how light, sound, electrical signals, and gravity each decrease with distance from their source. When you have finished your experiment, you can use your results to calculate an answer. Read more
Elec_p028
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Minor injury possible—use caution when handling single-edged razor blades.
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
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 You've probably heard that compact fluorescent light bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs. More of the electricity they use goes into producing light, and less into producing heat than with incandescent bulbs. How much more efficient are compact fluorescent bulbs? You can find out for yourself by making a simple photometer to compare the light output from different bulbs. This project shows you how. Read more
Phys_p031
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended for cutting wax.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever gotten a shock touching a doorknob after walking across a carpet? Static charge is responsible for that shock. Wouldn't it be cool to save up and store all of that charge in a homemade jar? It would almost be like storing lightning. This science project will show you how to do that. Read more
Elec_p049
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Since this experiment deals with electricity, it is best to have an adult supervise. A mild to moderate electric shock is possible if care is not taken. Follow all directions as stated.
Project Idea
thumbnail You can see examples of parabolic reflectors in flashlights, car headlights, satellite TV antennas, and even on the sidelines at football games. How do these "dish" antennas work to gather signals? What is the best position for placing the detector for these antennas? In this project, you can use an LED and a simple photodector to find out for yourself. Read more
Elec_p040
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail While you are probably quite familiar with battery-powered flashlights and watches, did you know there are motion-powered electronic devices—including some flashlights and watches—that can seemingly run forever without needing new batteries? The secret involves using magnets that generate electricity when they move around near a metal wire. In this science project, you will build your own simple motion-powered electrical generator that can power a series of tiny lights. Read more
Energy_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires some specialty electronic components. A kit is available from the [# Link Name="Energy_p009.16" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. The Time Required estimate includes time for gathering specialty materials. The actual project only takes 1 day.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety

Neodymium magnets are very strong and can pinch your fingers when they come together. You should keep them away from pets and small children because they can cause serious harm if ingested. As with any magnet, you should keep them away from computers, cell phones, and credit cards.

Adult supervision is required when using a hobby knife.

Project Idea
thumbnail Do you love to make music, but do not have access to all the instruments you would love to play? Check out this fun science fair project about the physics of musical sound production. You will make musical instruments with drinking straws, one for each note on a one-octave major scale. Can you figure out the right lengths for a series of straw "oboes" in order to play a musical scale? Read more
Music_p016
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You must have an understanding of waves or a willingness to learn about them in order to do this science fair project. Familiarity with a musical instrument and playing a reed instrument is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Don't you just love listening to music? In the 1980s, people listened to music on the Sony® Walkman®. Now, people listen to their favorite tunes on MP3 players and on their Apple® iPhonesTM. But listening to music on devices actually started in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In those days, people would gather around their phonograph to listen to their favorite tunes—people were just as amazed with the phonograph as you would be to handle an iPhone. In this physics science… Read more
Music_p032
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability To find old vinyl record albums, you might have to visit thrift shops and secondhand stores. Refer to the Materials and Equipment list for more details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Exercise caution when using, handling, and attaching the sewing needle to the membrane.
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