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Others Like “Roller Coaster Marbles: Converting Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy”

Project Idea
thumbnail This is a really fun project even if you don't like going on roller coasters yourself. You'll build a roller coaster track for marbles using foam pipe insulation and masking tape, and see how much of an initial drop is required to get the marble to "loop the loop." It's a great way to learn about how stored energy (potential energy) is converted into the energy of motion (kinetic energy). Read more
Phys_p036
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision recommended when using utility knife
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you like to tell adults where to go and how to get there? Well, here's your chance to do it in the name of science! In this science fair project, you will see what happens to your car's fuel efficiency when it takes you downtown to see a movie, up a hill for a great view, or out for a cruise on a flat country road. Read more
Energy_p022
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Car with an instantaneous MPG meter is required.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety The car driver should obey all traffic laws while conducting this experiment.
Project Idea
This project is an experiment in classical physics. You'll be following in Galileo's footsteps, and investigating Newton's laws of motion, but you'll be taking advantage of modern video recording technology to make your measurements. Sure, it's been done before, but if you do it yourself, you can get a firm understanding of these important concepts. Read more
Phys_p027
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
This project is an experiment in classical physics. You'll be following in Galileo's footsteps, and investigating Newton's laws of motion, using a metronome as your timing device. Sure, it's been done before, but if you do it yourself, you can get a firm understanding of these important concepts. Read more
Phys_p026
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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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- Less Details
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.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever ridden on a Roller Racer or Plasma Car? These are ride-on toys that you move ahead by moving the steering mechanism back and forth. You've probably seen skateboarders "slaloming" on level ground to keep rolling, it's bascially the same idea. This project explores the physics behind this method of locomotion. Read more
Sports_p001
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No hazards
Project Idea
thumbnail Everyone knows electricity can create heat, especially because our electrical appliances tend to warm up when turned on. But wouldn't it be cool to do the reverse — generate electricity from heat? In this science project, you will study why it happens, measure the effect, and then use the phenomenon to build your own device, a thermocouple thermometer, that will enable you to convert heat into electrical energy. Read more
Elec_p072
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding of or willingness to look into the concepts of temperature, heat, electrical current, electrical potential, and different theories of modeling electric conductors.
Material Availability Readily available.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues.
Project Idea
thumbnail You might think that plants and animals have little in common with batteries, springs, or slingshots, but they actually do have something in common. Both living and non-living things store and transfer energy from one form to another. In this physics science fair project, you'll investigate this energy storage and transfer, not in a plant or animal, but in bouncy balls. You'll find out if there are limits on how much energy can be stored and if there are losses when the energy is transferred. Read more
Phys_p071
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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 Have you ever noticed that when you drop a basketball, its bounce does not reach the height you dropped it from? Why is that? When a basketball bounces, such as on a basketball court, its bounce actually loses momentum by transferring energy elsewhere. This means that to dribble the basketball, players must continually replace the transferred energy by pushing down on the ball. But what happens to the "lost" energy? As we know from physics, energy is not really lost, it just changes form. One… Read more
Sports_p038
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Must be able to dribble a basketball 100 times in a row quickly.
Material Availability An infrared thermometer is required to do this science project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details on where to buy one.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail How do you like your mashed potatoes? Thin and whipped smooth? Or thick and mashed into chunks? Your mouth checks out not just the taste of your food, but its viscosity, or how it flows on your tongue, every time you take a bite! In this science fair project, you'll learn what viscosity is, and how to measure it in common liquids around your home. Read more
Chem_p055
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The graduated cylinder must be ordered from a science supply store.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You should only test non-toxic, non-flammable, and non-volatile liquids. Adult supervision is recommended.
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