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Project Idea
thumbnail Water is an interesting thing. We drink it, swim in it, and wash ourselves with it. We can get energy from water by damming it and sending it through a turbine. But did you know that we can use the natural electrical charges present in water and a Kelvin electrostatic generator to create sparks? You can even use a Kelvin electrostatic generator to temporarily light a bulb! Now that is one bright idea! Read more
Elec_p069
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to visit your local hardware store to purchase plumbing items to build the Kelvin electrostatic generator. You will also need a hand saw, a drill, a heat gun, a digital scale, a fan, and a dehumidifier. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Parts of the Kelvin electrostatic generator require use of a hand saw and a drill. Wear safety goggles when using power tools. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Here's a project with practical applications for homes with a wireless network. This project shows you how to build and test parabolic reflectors for the transmitters on your network. You may be able to increase the range of your transmitter to cover a location you would like to use but couldn't reach previously. You may also be able to find ways to make your network more secure, by reducing signals transmitted beyond your property. Read more
CompSci_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Good computer skills
Material Availability This project requires access to a working wireless network with at least one computer using a wireless connection. A laptop computer with wireless capability is optional, but useful. Other materials readily available.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail You can see examples of parabolic reflectors in flashlights, car headlights, satellite TV antennas, and even on the sidelines at football games. How do these "dish" antennas work to gather signals? What is the best position for placing the detector for these antennas? In this project, you can use an LED and a simple photodector to find out for yourself. Read more
Elec_p040
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Objects that glow in the dark hold a special place in the imagination of both children and adults. The lights go out at night, but these odd things refuse to disappear. Where does the light come from? Do they work in any climate? In this science fair project, you will build an electronic device that measures the light given off by luminescent materials. The device will be used to study how temperature affects luminescence. Read more
Chem_p072
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A familiarity with basic chemistry is required. Also, some experience with electronics would be helpful. Although the circuit is fairly straightforward, especially if you use the kit, this is a DIY ("do-it-yourself") project that will call for some creative problem solving on your part.
Material Availability Any phosphorescent material will work for this project. If you want to use super-bright phosphorescent paints, they are available online. See the Materials & Equipment list for more information.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Use caution when using the drill or knife. Wear safety goggles when using the drill.
Project Idea
thumbnail This is an interesting experiment for an Investigator who is 1) curious about insect metamorphosis and 2) patient! You'll need to set up different controlled environments for the chrysalides, and then check on them regularly as you wait for them to hatch. Read more
Zoo_p022
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
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 Scientists have known for hundreds of years that sunspot activity waxes and wanes over a cycle that lasts approximately 11 years. In the 1970's, scientists discovered that the sun periodically blasts electrified gases into space, in huge outbursts called 'coronal mass ejections,' or CMEs. This project asks the question: do CMEs follow the solar sunspot cycle? Read more
Astro_p021
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Here's a project that uses direct solar power, gathering the sun's rays for heating/sterilizing water or cooking. It's a low-cost technology that seems to have everything going for it. Does it work? Can you find ways to improve it? Find out with this project. Read more
Energy_p018
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Sunlight, and fairly warm outside temperatures (>10°C, or 50°F).
Material Availability Readily Available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision recommended. The oven is designed to cook food or boil water, so use proper caution to avoid burning yourself.
Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine you are on a trip and see something interesting that you want to share with your friends. What do you do? You take a picture with your cell phone and e-mail it to them, of course. But did you realize that the same technology can be used to save lives? Using their cell phones modified as inexpensive microscopes, medical personnel can look at blood smears to help diagnose diseases like malaria and cholera. In this photography science project you will build a simple and inexpensive cell… Read more
Photo_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need access to a cell phone that enables you at least to zoom manually in and out. You will need a 1-millimeter (mm) optical ball lens to magnify the sample. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety To prevent eye damage, never look directly into the light source.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever looked up at the stars at night and wondered how fast they were moving or how far away they were? By studying how the brightness of a star changes with distance, you can answer those questions. In this astronomy science project, you'll create a model of starlight and use a light meter to discover the key relationship between brightness and distance. Read more
Astro_p034
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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