"What?! Many of my toys are also machines?" That's right—simple machines! Simple machines are everywhere! Under your feet when you climb stairs, in your hand when you use a utensil to eat your dinner, even in your arm when you throw a ball. Come visit this science fair project and explore the six types of simple machines. Find out how many are hiding under the hinged lid (yes, another simple machine) of your toy box!
Did you know that you can lift an object that's heavier than you are? Just use a lever! In this science project you'll build a tabletop lever and measure how much effort it takes to lift an object using it.
When you think of a machine, you probably think of computers or robots. But what if I told you that machines have been around for centuries? Would you believe me? Try this experiment to see which of these simple machines you use around your house. You might even use some of them everyday!
Ever wonder why it is harder to keep your balance with a heavy backpack on? Or why it is difficult to
make a toddler's sippy cup tip over? Maybe you are the kind of person who wonders about circus balancing acts and would like to learn how to ride a bike on a rope. Or perhaps you want to know how to make your toy car less prone to toppling over when racing through a sharp curve. In this science project you can learn about balance using marshmallows, skewers, and toothpicks. Sticky, yummy…
How do you feel when you ride your bike into a strong wind? Do your legs feel like lead? How about when the wind is at your back? Does that make you feel ready for the Tour de France? In this science fair project, you will investigate how wind-powered devices, like pinwheels, also react in different ways to the direction of the wind.
Like to have the balance of a tightrope walker? Try the more close–to–the–ground balancing test in this easy experiment to learn a few trade secrets of the high wire experts. In this project, you'll find your center of gravity and explore the physics of balance at the same time. No net required for this balancing act!
Before cannons widely replaced them, siege engines were often used by armies to throw large stones and other projectiles to break down castle walls. One of the most advanced siege engines used in the Middle Ages was the trebuchet, which used a large counterweight to store energy to launch a payload, or projectile. The horizontal distance the payload would travel is called the trebuchet's range. Figure 1, below, shows a modern reconstruction of a trebuchet.
The range of a trebuchet has…
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Long (2-4 weeks)
Some knowledge of physics will be helpful when doing this project.
Average ($50 - $100)
Adult supervision is required when building and operating a trebuchet.
The renowned pianist Vladimir Horowitz once said, "The most important thing is to transform the piano from a percussive instrument into a singing instrument." Check out this project to learn about sympathetic vibrations, one way to make piano strings sing.
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Very Short (≤ 1 day)
To do this project, you'll need a piano which is in tune. You'll also need to know enough about the piano to find notes by their letter names.
Many things in nature are periodic: the seasons of the year, the phases of the moon, the vibration of a violin string, and the beating of the human heart. In each of these cases, the events occur in repeated cycles, or periods. In this project you will investigate the periodic motion of a spring, using a mini Slinky@reg;. Basic physics will then allow you to determine the Hooke's Law spring constant. Your analysis will also yield the effective mass of the spring, a factor that is important in…
Before the Industrial Age, people relied on muscle power for moving and lifting heavy objects. Here's a project that shows you how you can use your head to make heavy lifting easier on your muscles–and your back!
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