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Others Like “Swing Low: Investigate the Motion of a Pendulum”

Project Idea
thumbnail How does a parachute work? Do bigger parachutes work better than smaller parachutes? Find out in this experiment if the size of the parachute matters. Read more
Aero_p017
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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.
Project Idea
thumbnail 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. Read more
Music_p012
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites 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.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
For this project, you'll use a baseball as a pendulum weight, studying the motion of the ball with and without spin. Wrap a rubber band around the ball, and tie a string to the rubber band. Fasten the string so that the ball hangs down and can swing freely. Mark a regular grid on cardboard, and place it directly beneath the ball to measure the motion. You can also time the oscillations with a stopwatch. Lift the ball along one of the grid axes, and let it go. Observe the motion and record… Read more
Sports_p022
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Project Idea
thumbnail Here's a fun science project for anyone who plays an electric guitar. You'll learn about the physics of vibrating strings, and find out why the tone of your guitar changes when you switch between the different pickups. Read more
Music_p006
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites To do this project you need to have an electric guitar and guitar amplifier. You'll need to know enough about playing the instrument to produce clear, ringing tones by picking (or plucking) the string.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Have you ever seen a skateboarder jump over an obstacle or slide down a railing? It looks like they are defying the laws of physics when they perform these tricks. It looks like it, but that's not the case. Physics describes the motion of objects and it is a skateboarder's best friend! All of these tricks can be explained by physics. In this sports science fair project, you will learn how speed affects "popping an ollie." The ollie is a basic skateboarding trick, and it's the first step to more… Read more
Sports_p055
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You, or someone you know, must already own a skateboard and safety gear, and know how to skate to perform the ollie trick. You must also have access to a video camera (it should include a timer if you decide to try one of the variations). You should perform the tests in a skateboard park or in a large area where it is legal and safe to skateboard.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Injury is possible. Adult supervision is required. The person performing the ollie must wear a safety helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads.
Project Idea
thumbnail If you'd like to investigate the physics of amusement park rides, then this project is for you. You'll build a roller coaster track for marbles using foam pipe insulation and masking tape, and see how much the marble's potential energy at the beginning of the track is converted to kinetic energy at various points along the track. Read more
Phys_p037
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision recommended when using utility knife
Project Idea
thumbnail 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®. 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… Read more
Phys_p064
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
A strobe light can illuminate an entire room in just tens of microseconds. Inexpensive strobe lights can flash up to 10 or 20 times per second. This project shows you how to use stroboscopic photography to analyze motion. Read more
Photo_p003
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This project requires camera with adjustable shutter speeds and lens apertures, a tripod and cable release.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No hazards
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever played paintball with your friends? Wonder how you can improve your game? Paintball guns use compressed gas to shoot paint-filled pellets at high speed, and with good accuracy. The flight path of the ball is determined by its speed and the angle at which it is shot, relative to the ground. In this sports science fair project, you will explore the ballistics of paintballs, focusing on how drag and other factors affect the results. Read more
Sports_p054
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should have access to a paintball gun, be familiar with how to shoot it safely, and have access to an open area where you can shoot it. This project has a fairly involved procedure, since you are measuring several parameters (velocity, time of flight, distance) and also comparing these measurements to what you would expect based on calculations. Feel free to customize the procedure based on your interests.
Material Availability Specialty items: You will need access to a paintball gun and accessories, including safety gear for you and for three helpers, as well as an instrument to measure velocity of the paintballs. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury is possible, so wear eye protection. Adult supervision is required.
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