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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
Hooke's law says that the opposing force of a spring is directly proportional to the amount by which the spring is stretched. How accurately Hooke's law describe the behavior of real springs? Can springs be used to make accurate scales for weighing objects? Spring into action and find out for yourself with this project. Read more
ApMech_p027
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Many things in nature are periodic: the seasons of the year, the phases of the moon, the vibration of a violin string, and the beating of the human heart. In each of these cases, the events occur in repeated cycles, or periods. In this project you will investigate the periodic motion of a spring, using a mini Slinky®. Basic physics will then allow you to determine the Hooke's Law spring constant. Your analysis will also yield the effective mass of the spring, a factor that is important in… Read more
Phys_p064
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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 seen moths buzzing around bright lights at night? What about animals that always crawl into dark places, under rocks or furniture? This type of behavior is called phototaxis — movement toward (or away from) a light source. In this project you will build your own biologically inspired robot critter that mimics this behavior. Basing your design on the popular and simple BristleBot robot, you will make a robot with two light sensors for "eyes" and two motors that help it steer… Read more
Robotics_p012
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some familiarity with electronic circuits and using breadboards will be very helpful, though not required, for this project. Using a soldering iron is also helpful but a work-around is offered in the Procedure.
Material Availability This project requires certain parts from an electronics store or online retailer. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety If you use a soldering iron for this project remember that soldering irons get extremely hot and can cause burns if they touch your skin. They can also become a fire hazard if left unattended. Science Buddies recommends using lead-free solder, especially in homes with pets or small children.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Are you interested in things like prosthetic limbs and artificial joints that can help people with disease or injury to lead a normal life? Or maybe you're interested in sports medicine or physical therapy? Either way, this project could be a good match for you. Find out how the tension on the knee joint changes as a function of angle by building a simple mechanical model. Read more
HumBio_p006
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites To do this project, you should be handy with basic woodworking tools
Material Availability Specialty item (guitar string tuning mechanism)
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision required (power tools used for assembly)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you have seen any of the "Star Wars" movies, then you probably remember when Jedi knights like Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi used "The Force" to push, pull, and even throw objects — including some helpless battle droids. Have you ever wished you could do that in real life? In this robotics project, you will build and program a LEGO® robot that you can push and pull using an "invisible force" — almost like a real Jedi! We make no promise that you will be taking down the… Read more
Robotics_p013
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should know how to build a basic car with a LEGO Mindstorms kit, and also be familiar with basic programming in the Mindstorms software (NXT-G or EV3).
Material Availability This project requires a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or NXT kit, and a computer with the appropriate programming software. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues.
Science Fair 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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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.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Many materials expand when heated and contract when cooled. What do you think will happen to the elasticity (stretchiness) of a rubber band when it is heated or cooled to various temperatures? Read more
ApMech_p026
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires some specialty items. They can all be purchased online, or you may be able to borrow them from school. See the Materials and Equipment section below for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required for heating and pouring boiling water.
Science Fair Project Idea
Whoopee! No matter what age, who doesn't like flying down the slides at parks and pools? In this experiment, you might be surprised what you can learn about the fascinating forces of friction while sliding down (or sticking to) those fun, slippery slopes. Caution: only speed demons need apply for this activity . . . Read more
ApMech_p022
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Minor injury possible
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Want to do a project with a toy your parents, or even grandparents, might have played with? Slinkies are fun toys that also make great physics and engineering projects. In this science project you will investigate how changing the angle of an inclined plane affects how the Slinky walks down it. What angle will enable the Slinky to go for the best walk? Read more
ApMech_p019
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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