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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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- Less Details
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 Laser Safety Guide.
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 Laser Safety Guide.
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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- Less Details
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.
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.
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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- Less Details
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.
Project Idea
thumbnail You have most likely witnessed the change that occurs as a banana ripens It changes from green and relatively hard to yellow and soft. The flavor also changes, from bitter to sweet. What happens during ripening? One big change is the increase in sugar content. In this food science fair project, you will measure how the sugar content of a banana changes as it ripens. Read more
FoodSci_p063
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You will need both ripe and unripe bananas for this science fair project, so be sure you can find them in your grocery store, particularly if it's the off-season.
Material Availability You will need to purchase a refractometer online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
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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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Hold onto your hats! In this science fair project, you will make a device that sends a film canister across the room with a small chemical explosion. The energy for the explosion is derived from the combustion of ethanol. You will determine the launch velocity of the canister, as well as devise ways to study changes in gas pressure and volume due to the explosion. This science fair project is sure to take your breath away! Read more
Chem_p074
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Knowledge of basic chemistry and physics would be helpful, but is not required. Experience with power tools will be helpful. This is a DIY (do-it-yourself) project that will require some creative problem-solving on your part.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury is possible, so wear safety goggles. Avoid breathing the fumes caused by the explosion. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Can you lift a car? No? You say you are not strong enough? True, our bodies are not built to lift heavy loads like cars. Fortunately, our brains are smart enough to harness the power of fluids, like water and oil, to create hydraulic lifts. By pushing a button on a hydraulic lift, a mechanic can easily raise a car with one finger. Lifts can also be used to raise lots of other heavy loads - even such massive things as steel girders to construct a skyscraper! In this mechanical engineering… Read more
ApMech_p048
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Syringes, which are needed for this project, can be ordered online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Since minor injury is possible, use caution when using a tool such as a saw. Be sure to wear safety goggles when using tools. Use epoxy in a well-ventilated area and follow all of the safety recommendations on the package. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Does your hair go crazy when the weather turns damp? Did you know that strands of hair can relax and lengthen when the humidity increases and then contract again when the humidity decreases? In fact, hair strands can be used as the basis for a hygrometer, a device which measures the humidity level in the air. Can a human hair hygrometer also detect changes in hair structure caused by chemical lightening? This project shows you how to find out. Read more
MatlSci_p020
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision required for working with hydrogen peroxide-based hair lighteners. Wear protective gloves and eye wear.
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