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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you ever wonder how pirates sailed the seven seas? The two most important things a pirate could have (besides a parrot and big hat) were a compass and an accurate watch. Ancient navigators didn't know about compasses, so how did they know where they were going? Could they have used the stars to know which way to go? Read more
Astro_p008
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No hazards
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you live someplace where you get to experience the full glory of all four seasons? If so, you know well the heady blossoms and dramatic skies of spring; the long, sun-drenched days of summer; the trees shaking in crimson and gold in fall; and the sparkling, brittle snows of winter. But you might not know why we have these seasons, over and over again, in a cycle as predictable as the rising and setting of the Sun. The reasons for the seasons are surprising and have to do with Earth's tilt… Read more
Astro_p033
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail We rely heavily on our senses to tell us about our environment. But in addition to the senses of touch, smell, taste, hearing, and sight, some animals are able to sense Earth's magnetic field. Migratory turtles and birds use this sense to guide them on long journeys. Homing pigeons use it to find their way home. New research suggests that large mammals, such as cows and deer, may also have the ability to sense the direction of magnetic north. In this animal behavior science project, you will… Read more
Zoo_p058
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Experience with Microsoft® PowerPoint® would be helpful. You will also need a computer that can run Google EarthTM and that has Internet access.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When you think of a motor, you may immediately think of a car, but you actually encounter other motors in your home every day. That's right, if you put on clean clothes from the washing machine, ate food from the fridge, or used a fan, you used an electric motor. In this electronics science project, you will make a simple electric motor with two magnets that "talk" to each other. As they interact, they will alternate between "liking" each other (pulling together), and "disliking" each other… Read more
Elec_p051
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be able to coil wire neatly (or find someone who can show you how) in order to make your electric motor work.
Material Availability Specialty items are required for this science project, and are available as a Science Buddies kit. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety

Never try to use a wall socket as power source for your motor.

Neodymium magnets are very strong. Follow the safety guidelines in the Procedure for working with these magnets.

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This is a great project for someone that is interested in both stargazing and photography. Bright city lights and even the light of the full moon obscure the dimmest stars, which can make identifying constellations more difficult. This project shows you a way to measure the amount of background light (skyglow) in the night sky. It can be a great way for you to quickly compare the star viewing quality for different locations, or for the same location at different times of the year. Read more
Astro_p022
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You'll need a digital camera that take pictures in manual mode with exposure times of up to 15 seconds. You will need to know how to change the shutter speed, lens aperture, and ISO setting. A tripod for the camera is nice to have, but not absolutely essential. You will also need a computer.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision required for night photography.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Many people are surprised to learn that the season's we experience—winter, spring, summer and fall—have nothing to do with the distance of Earth from the Sun. In this science fair project, you will investigate how the temperature on Earth actually depends on the tilt of Earth's axis of rotation. Read more
EnvSci_p051
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need a couple of specialty items: a globe of Earth and a heat lamp. Light from the sun can be used if a heat lamp is not available.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury is possible, so be careful when using the heat lamp.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail If you leave an ice cube out on the kitchen counter and come back to check on it in awhile, what do you find? A puddle! The same thing happens to ice in nature—if the temperature gets warm enough, it melts. In this ocean science project, you will find out what happens to sea levels if the ice at the North Pole melts, or if the ice at the South Pole melts. It is an important question for the millions of people who enjoy living along the coasts of the world. Read more
OceanSci_p015
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when making the homemade dough.
Science Fair Project Idea
How do you figure out how to get places? Do you ask for directions, look at a map, or consult a compass? There are many ways for people to figure out how to travel from one place to another, but how do other animals do it? In this science fair project, you'll use real data, collected by biologists, to figure out how migratory birds manage to navigate more than 2,000 miles from their breeding grounds to their wintering grounds. Read more
Zoo_p053
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science fair project requires the use of a computer with Internet access to download data-analysis software.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When an earthquake happens, how are scientists able to determine the original location of the quake? In this project, you'll use archived data from a network of seismometers to find out for yourself. You'll create your own seismograms from the comfort of your own computer with an easy-to-use webpage interface. Then you'll analyze your seismograms to determine the distance of the quake from each seismometer station. By mapping your analyzed data, you will be able to determine the location of the… Read more
Geo_p018
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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
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail While you are probably quite familiar with battery-powered flashlights and watches, did you know there are motion-powered electronic devices—including some flashlights and watches—that can seemingly run forever without needing new batteries? The secret involves using magnets that generate electricity when they move around near a metal wire. In this science project, you will build your own simple motion-powered electrical generator that can power a series of tiny lights. Read more
Energy_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires some specialty electronic components. A kit is available from the [# Link Name="Energy_p009.16" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. The Time Required estimate includes time for gathering specialty materials. The actual project only takes 1 day.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety

Neodymium magnets are very strong and can pinch your fingers when they come together. You should keep them away from pets and small children because they can cause serious harm if ingested. As with any magnet, you should keep them away from computers, cell phones, and credit cards.

Adult supervision is required when using a hobby knife.

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