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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Think it takes expensive, sophisticated equipment to measure the speed of light? Think again! Outfit yourself with a simple handheld laser pointer, a protractor, and gelatin, and you're ready to get started. Read more
Phys_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of optics and trigonometry
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is 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 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 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 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 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 Alka-Seltzer® tablets fizz furiously when dropped into water. The moment the tablet starts dissolving, a chemical reaction occurs that releases carbon dioxide gas. Can you make Alka-Seltzer fizz faster or slower by changing the temperature of the water? How big of a difference in the rate of a chemical reaction can temperature make? Read more
Chem_p027
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision may be needed when working with hot water solutions.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wanted to analyze data from a NASA spacecraft? In this science project you will use data from NASA's MESSENGER mission to measure the diameter and calculate the depth of impact craters on Mercury. You will then analyze that data for relationships between a crater's depth and diameter. This is your chance to perform a science project as a NASA researcher would! Read more
Astro_p036
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites Geometry: familiarity using sine, cosine, and tangent to solve right triangles
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered how a ship made of steel can float? Or better yet, how can a steel ship carry a heavy load without sinking? In this science project you will make little "boats" out of aluminum foil to investigate how their size and shape affects much weight they can carry and how this relates to the density of water. Read more
Aero_p020
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever made your own ice cream? If you have, you probably surrounded the ice cream container with ice and rock salt to get the mixture cold enough to freeze. But why does that work? How does adding salt (or other substances) affect the freezing point of water? Find out with this ice-cold science project. Read more
FoodSci_p013
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding the concepts of molecular weight and moles.
Material Availability Specialty items are needed. See the Materials tab for details
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
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