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Others Like “Using a Laser to Measure the Speed of Light in Gelatin”

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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that you can figure out how much sugar is in a liquid without ever tasting it? In this science fair project, you will learn how to measure the concentration of sugar dissolved in a liquid by using a laser pointer, a hollow prism, and some physics. You will discover how refraction, or the bending of light, is the key to measuring the sugar content of a liquid with a laser pointer. Read more
Phys_p028
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A kit containing specialty items needed for this project is available from the [# Link Name="Phys_p028.7" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision recommended. Even low-power lasers can cause permanent eye damage. Please carefully review and follow the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.LaserSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You've probably noticed the colorful patterns "reflecting" from the shiny surface of a CD disk. What you are seeing is actually diffraction of white light, and the rainbows of color are diffraction patterns. In this project you'll learn about how diffraction patterns are generated, and you'll find out how you can use a laser pointer and a protractor to measure the microscopic spacing of data tracks on a CD. Read more
Phys_p011
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision recommended. Even low-power lasers can cause permanent eye damage. Please carefully review and follow the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.LaserSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
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.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Light interacts with matter in a variety of ways—it can be absorbed, reflected, refracted (bent), and scattered. The scattering of light explains why the sky is blue, why milk is white, and why the Mississippi River is called "The Big Muddy." In this biochemistry science fair project, you will make an electronic device to measure the amount of scattered light in milk. You will also use the device to track the activity of protease (a type of enzyme) in pineapple juice, based on its ability… Read more
BioChem_p032
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A familiarity with basic chemistry is required. Experience with simple electronics would be helpful, but is not absolutely required. Although the procedure provides step-by-step instructions, this is a DIY (do-it-yourself) science fair project that may call for some creative problem solving on your part.
Material Availability Electronic components are required. See the Materials & Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use caution when working with laser pointers. Wear safety goggles when using the drill.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Some molecules can be either left- or right-"handed." The left- and right-handed molecules have the same number and type of atoms, and their chemical structures look identical, but they are actually mirror images of each other. Many naturally occurring molecules have this property, called chirality. Chiral molecules can interact with polarized light in an interesting way—they rotate the plane of polarization. This chemistry science fair project describes how to make a homemade polarimeter… Read more
Chem_p073
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This is a "do-it-yourself" kind of science fair project. It may present challenges that will require some technical creativity. Some experience working with digital pictures and videos on a computer will be useful.
Material Availability To do this science fair project, you should already have the following materials and equipment: a laptop computer or other device with a flat-panel screen and a digital camera that takes short videos.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when working with glass panes, as they can cut if they are broken.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When an earthquake occurs, seismic shock waves travel out through the earth from the source of the event. The shock waves travel through the earth or along the Earth's surface, and can be recorded at remote monitoring stations. Some of the waves that travel through the earth are blocked or refracted by the Earth's liquid core, which means that monitoring stations located certain distances from the earthquake do not detect these waves. This creates a "seismic shadow" that you can use to… Read more
Geo_p022
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This project uses the Global Earthquake Explorer program to download and analyze data from a global seismic network. In order to do this project you will need to be comfortable installing and working with a new program on your computer. This project requires a computer with high speed Internet access. You will also need to understand some basic trigonometry. You should be comfortable with determining the lengths of the sides of right triangles when given an angle and the length of one side. Experience looking at seismograms is useful but not required.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Radiometers are fun-to-watch novelty items, but they also have a distinguished scientific history, having been studied by James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein. A radiometer has a set of four vanes (like small sails) connected to a spindle that is free to rotate. When the radiometer is placed in bright light, the vanes and spindle start to spin. It looks like a magic trick, but there is a scientific explanation for this weird behavior. In this science fair project, you will experiment with… Read more
Phys_p078
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This science fair project will require some creative problem solving on your part.
Material Availability You will need to order a digital tachometer and radiometer online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail There is evidence to be gathered at every crime scene. The hard part is making sense of it all. That's where crime scene investigators and forensic scientists come in. In this science fair project, you will investigate blood spatter using fake blood. Your job, as an impartial scientist, is to deliver facts so that justice can be served. Are you up to the challenge? Read more
Phys_p072
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Basic knowledge of trigonometry is required. For a refresher, check out the trigonometry reference listed in the Bibliography.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety This topic of inquiry can be a little scary. If you are at all squeamish, then do not attempt to research the topic or do this science fair project. Always have an adult with you when you are doing your research, especially if you are doing research online. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This science project presents an interesting puzzle. A disk of wood will float face-up; that is, with its circular cross-section parallel to the surface of the water. A long log of wood, however, floats on its side with the circular cross-section perpendicular to the surface of the water. If you think about it, disks and logs are both cylinders. Is there some intermediate length of cylinder that floats with the circular cross-section at a tilted angle? Try this experiment to find out! Read more
Aero_p021
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the wood saw. Always wear safety goggles when working with tools.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Are you good at tossing a Frisbee®? It is great when you throw a perfect, arcing curve, right on target! If you can do that, you have already trained your arm on the aerodynamics of Frisbee flight. Why not treat your brain to some Frisbee science with this project? Read more
Aero_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You should know the basics of throwing a Frisbee (i.e., be able to play catch with a friend).
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No hazards
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