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Others Like “Grasping with Straws: Make a Robot Hand Using Drinking Straws”

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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine how cool it would be to have your own motorized robot hand. Well, stop imagining and turn that daydream into reality! Start out by designing and building a robot hand. The Science Buddies project shows you a simple way to make a robot hand with drinking straws, or you can design a robot hand from any other materials you think are suitable. Your hand design will need sewing threads, or some other mechanism, for motors to act on and move, causing the fingers to flex. See Figure 1… Read more
Robotics_p003
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Once the hand is assembled, adding the servo motors, connecting the microprocessor, and writing the code for the microprocessor will require familiarity with a hobbyist microprocessor board (like ones using [# ProjectGuide Name="ProjectGuide.Robotics.Arduino" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Arduino" #]TM, PIC®, or similar). The student should be comfortable with connecting, programming, and testing projects on these boards.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Adult supervision is suggested for parts of this project. Use caution with sharp knives, glue, and soldering. Low voltage (from a battery or power supply) is involved.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that when you dip your finger in water and pull it out, the water is actually pulling back on you? Here's a way you can measure how much. Read more
Phys_p012
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites Basic physics: understanding of the concept of a force
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Cars that can drive themselves might sound like science-fiction, but they are a reality. Self-driving cars are cars that use sensors and computer programs to automatically drive on roads, without intervention from a human driver. However, the cars still have to follow all the same rules of the road as human drivers, including staying in the correct lane, obeying road signs and traffic lights, and avoiding obstacles like potholes or fallen tree limbs. In this project you will build a simplified… Read more
Robotics_p023
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites While no previous electronics or robotics experience is required to do this project, it will be helpful if you are familiar with basic circuit concepts and with using a breadboard. The Bibliography section in the Background tab has many tutorials you can use to get started.
Material Availability This project requires specific circuit components from an electronics vendor. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The movement of satellites is intriguing, but how do they orbit the way they do? Aerospace engineers run calculations and set up computer models to help them predict how satellites move in space, but in this astronomy science project, you will create a physical model with marbles, clay, and a cookie sheet to help you study how satellites move in space and learn from your observations. Read more
Astro_p041
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Through the ages, creative minds have made an amazing variety of paper toys, many of them delicate, beautiful, and inspiring. All too often, though, they do not withstand very well the wear and tear of play. This science project is your chance to fix that. You will make paper dolls with movable parts and study how the choice of materials influence the strength of the toy. Beginning with a strong design, you will finish by making a durable paper doll (or toy) with moving parts. Read more
MatlSci_p043
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available. Adult help to download and print the paper doll template is needed for this science project.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you want to trick friends and visitors with an amazing optical illusion? In this engineering design project you will learn how to build an infinity mirror,with built-in lights that make the mirror look like a deep tunnel with no end. But pick the mirror up and look behind it, and you will see that it is only a couple of inches thick! Read this project to find out not only how this illusion works, but how to design and build your very own infinity mirror from scratch. Read more
Elec_p080
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project will require some specialty materials from hardware and arts and craft stores. See the Materials list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using any sharp cutting tools or power tools to cut plexiglass. Always wear safety glasses or goggles when cutting brittle materials such as plexiglass. Some tools (in particular, hot glue guns and soldering irons) can cause serious burns. Use these carefully and with adult supervision.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered how a radio can grab signals that are transmitted through the air and convert them into sound? In this science project, you will build your own AM radio receiver from scratch and use it to listen to AM radio broadcasts. With your crystal radio you will be able to experiment with the circuit and the antenna to get the best reception. Read more
Elec_p014
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this science project, you must live in an area where you can receive at least one strong AM radio station. You can check for this with a car or portable radio.
Material Availability Specific circuit items are required. A Science Buddies kit is available for your convenience. See the Materials and Equipment list for details
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Never operate your crystal radio during a thunderstorm. When not in use, always disconnect your antenna from the radio circuit, and connect it directly to the ground rod. Be sure to wear safety goggles when installing the ground rod, especially if you are using a metal hammer. An adult's help might be necessary for some steps in the Procedure.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Passports, identification cards, bus passes, and even some credit cards contain RFID tags. An RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag allows a card to be read by a computer from a short distance away. While this is very useful in everyday life, would you believe you can make music with it? RFID + sampled music sounds + a little crafting = a fun musical instrument that is limited only by your imagination. In this science project, you will make handbells out of paper cups that play real sounds,… Read more
CompSci_p049
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Some previous programming experience (preferably in Python), or interest in learning how to write Python code, is preferable. Musical background is also helpful, but not required.
Material Availability This science project requires an RFID reader and tags. See the Materials list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety The construction steps require use of a craft knife and hot glue. Be careful when using these items and ask an adult if you need assistance.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Rockets are definitively an engineering challenge. These amazing gravity-defying machines have lifted test material, people, and even animals into space. Feel like building one yourself? In this science project, you will transform a water bottle into an aerodynamic bottle rocket with two compartments, one for the fuel and one for a payload. You will then test how well it performs when lifting mass vertically up into the air. Ready, set, soar! Read more
Phys_p098
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A kit for this project is available from the [# Link Name="Phys_p096.8" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. See the safety note at the beginning of the Procedure.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Kites have been a source of entertainment for centuries for kids from cultures around the world. In this science project you will have a chance to build your very own kite, a simple sled kite. Then you will use it to investigate how kites fly. Will you find out the best way to fly your kite? Read more
Aero_p016
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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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