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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Here's an interesting flash photography project. With an inexpensive Fresnel lens, you can concentrate the light from your flash. You'll be able to shoot with a smaller aperture and a shorter flash duration. This will give you greater depth of focus and will allow you to 'freeze' motion at higher speeds. The trade-off is that the light will be concentrated toward the center of the frame. This project shows you how you can investigate that trade-off and find out how you can best use your flash… Read more
Photo_p013
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You'll need a camera with a separate flash attachment to do this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Be careful in sunlight: the Fresnel lens used in this project can focus enough sunlight to cause burns, melt your flash attachment, or set fires.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Digital cameras can be a great way to learn about photography. Most digital cameras today have LCD screens, so you get instant feedback on your photo. If you make a mistake, no problem, you just delete the picture. It's nice that you don't have to worry about the expense and bother of developing film! This project can help you learn to take better pictures. Read more
Photo_p014
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You'll need a digital camera that take pictures in manual mode (a grayscale, or 'black-and-white' mode, is nice to have but not essential). You will need to know how to change the shutter speed, lens aperture, and ISO setting. A tripod for the camera is nice to have, but not absolutely essential. You will also need a computer.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This is a great project for someone that is interested in both stargazing and photography. Bright city lights and even the light of the full moon obscure the dimmest stars, which can make identifying constellations more difficult. This project shows you a way to measure the amount of background light (skyglow) in the night sky. It can be a great way for you to quickly compare the star viewing quality for different locations, or for the same location at different times of the year. Read more
Astro_p022
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You'll need a digital camera that take pictures in manual mode with exposure times of up to 15 seconds. You will need to know how to change the shutter speed, lens aperture, and ISO setting. A tripod for the camera is nice to have, but not absolutely essential. You will also need a computer.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision required for night photography.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you were in a raiding army in the Middle Ages, a catapult would come in mighty handy for taking down castle walls. But only if you could aim it reliably! With this science project, you will try your hand at catapult technology. Using a rubber-band-powered catapult you will send ping pong balls flying through the air. The catapult's design makes it easy to measure and repeat how hard the ball is launched and its direction, so you can find the right catapult settings to hit the target reliably. Read more
ApMech_p008
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A catapult kit is needed; see the Materials tab for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Do not aim the catapult at breakable objects or people; minor injury possible.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In physics class, you have probably rolled your eyes at some point after being assigned a "projectile motion" homework problem where you use equations to predict how a ball will move through the air. This experiment will show you just how fun that problem can be by using a real catapult to launch a ball and videotaping it as it flies along its path. Then, you will analyze the video and compare it to what the equations predicted. If you have ever wondered if those equations in your physics… Read more
Phys_p089
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This project requires a basic understanding of algebra, trigonometry (sine and cosine functions), and physics (kinematics—two-dimensional projectile motion), or the willingness to learn about these subjects on your own.
Material Availability This project requires access to a video camera (not included in the cost estimate) and the purchase of a catapult kit. (See the Materials and Equipment list for details.)
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Minor injury possible. Never aim the catapult at anyone, and keep your hands and fingers clear of the moving catapult arm when launching the catapult.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In baseball, coaches use hit charts to track the results of every hit each player makes, giving a measure of the player's performance. Have you ever wondered what things affect where a baseball goes when a player hits it with a bat? In this project you will set up an experiment to hit a ping pong ball in a controlled manner using a toy catapult, then learn about the physics of baseball by making your own hit chart. Read more
Sports_p060
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you should understand what a coordinate system is and know how to make a simple scatter plot.
Material Availability This science project requires a kit available from the Science Buddies store. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Estimated project time includes shipping.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Never launch projectiles at people or animals. Be careful not to get your fingers caught in the moving parts of the catapult.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You may have seen movies or read books where armies in medieval times catapulted large rocks or other objects at castles (or each other!). These armies used different types of catapults to accomplish different goals — for example, launching things over or into castle walls to knock them down. In this experiment, you will use a ping-pong ball catapult to lay siege to a "castle" and find the right settings to hit your targets. Read more
Phys_p085
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible. Keep your fingers clear when launching the catapult. Do not aim the catapult at people.
Science Fair Project Idea
This is a cool way to learn more about your camera, and how to take better pictures. Read more
Photo_p001
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Must have a camera
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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 Have you ever seen a "Hail Mary" football pass, where the quarterback tries to throw the ball as far as possible to reach the end zone and score a touchdown? Or a last second game tying soccer goal from midfield? How far the ball will go does not just depend on how hard a player throws or kicks it; it also depends on the angle at which the player launches the ball. In this sports science project, you will investigate how launch angle affects the distance that a ball travels by filming… Read more
Sports_p036
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a computer with internet access and a digital video camera with a tripod. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Be sure to do this science project in an open area like an empty football field, where you will not hit people or buildings with the ball.
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