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Project Idea
thumbnail Naval fighter pilots seem to defy physics each time they fly their jets off of an aircraft carrier. Normal runways are thousands of feet long so that airplanes can develop enough lift to fly. But a runway on an aircraft is much shorter. How can naval pilots get their fighter jets into the air without falling off the carrier into the ocean? Well, because they get a boost from a catapult! Sounds unbelievable? It's not, and you can find out more about catapult-assisted takeoff in this aerodynamics… Read more
Aero_p048
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail You may have seen movies or read books where armies in medieval times catapulted large rocks or other objects at castles (or each other!). These armies used different types of catapults to accomplish different goals — for example, launching things over or into castle walls to knock them down. In this experiment, you will use a ping-pong ball catapult to lay siege to a "castle" and find the right settings to hit your targets. Read more
Phys_p085
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible. Keep your fingers clear when launching the catapult. Do not aim the catapult at people.
Project Idea
thumbnail If you have ever been shot with a rubber band then you know it has energy in it, enough energy to smack you in the arm and cause a sting! But just how much energy does a rubber band have? In this experiment you will find out how the stretching of a rubber band affects the amount of energy that springs out of it. Read more
ApMech_p017
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that throwing, kicking, and punting a football all involve the science of projectile motion? A star NFL® quarterback, kicker, and punter each need to have a very good understanding of how a football moves through the air in order to help them win games. In this science project, you will set up a rubber band-powered catapult to represent a field goal kicker, and study how changing the distance from the goalposts affects how hard it is to accurately kick a field goal. Read more
Sports_p059
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
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, animals, or anything fragile. Be careful not to get your fingers caught in moving parts of the catapult.
Project Idea
thumbnail When your parents were kids, they probably wore polyester. Static cling was a major household issue! Now everybody wears cotton, which does not get static cling nearly as much. Why are some materials more susceptible to static cling than others? Investigate how well different materials produce static electricity by making a homemade electroscope and testing it out in this science project. Read more
Elec_p023
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety When working with electricity, take precautions and beware of electric shock.
Project Idea
thumbnail A tsunami is a series of waves made in a body of water, like the ocean, that can cause serious destruction when they hit the coastline. In deep water, a wave can be just a few feet high and travel very fast. As it nears the coastline, and moves into shallower water, tsunamis usually slow down, but the wave height can grow to 100 feet! In this ocean science project, you will model a tsunami and investigate how wave velocity (speed) depends on water depth. Does it match the mathematical equation… Read more
OceanSci_p014
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need an extra-long plastic storage box to use as a water tank. Plastic storage boxes that can slide under a bed work very well. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when working with the lamp and the water tank. Make sure the two are far apart from each other at all times. Adult supervision required.
Project Idea
thumbnail If you've ever played or watched basketball, you might already know that your chances of successfully banking a shot on the backboard are higher in certain positions on the basketball court, even when keeping the distance from the hoop the same. Ever wondered what would account for this? Do you think you could actually explain this using geometry? This science project will put your knowledge of geometry and algebra to good use. You will calculate and quantify how much more difficult it is to… Read more
Sports_p064
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You should have a familiarity with basic algebra.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Just one sheet of paper can lead to a whole lot of fun. How? Paper planes! All you have to know is how to fold and you can have a simple plane in a matter of minutes! But what design should you use to build the best plane? In this aerodynamics science project, you will change the basic design of a paper plane and see how this affects its flight. Specifically, you will increase how much drag the plane experiences and see if this changes how far the paper plane flies. There is a lot of cool… Read more
Aero_p046
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Fly your planes in a large area, away from foot and vehicle traffic.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever had fun playing with sand and water, observing how little rivers you create carve their way down to the lowest point of the sandbox, backyard or beach? Some meander, others braid, and some carve a path straight down. Hyrdologists (or scientists who study water) do very much the same thing! Only they set up the model in a particular way, so observing their mini-rivers helps them answer questions about how water flow affects the environment.In this geology science project, you… Read more
Geo_p045
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None.
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult help is required to cut the water or milk jugs.
Project Idea
thumbnail What happens if you hold a magnet next to water? You might think that water is not affected by magnetism, but in fact, the water is slightly repelled. Believe it or not, if the magnet is strong enough, you can use this effect to levitate objects that contain water, including insects and even small frogs! In this science project, you will learn about diamagnetism. Materials that are repelled by both poles of a magnet are called diamagnetic. The magnets you will use are not strong enough to float… Read more
MatlSci_p041
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to purchase some materials online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Neodymium magnets are extremely strong, and must be handled with care to avoid personal injury and damage to the magnets or to electronic appliances. Minor injury is possible and you should wear safety goggles whenever working with these magnets. Please read the important safety notes in the Experimental Procedure before beginning this science project.
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