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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.
Project Idea
thumbnail It would be fun to have a friend robot that helps you create art, right? In this project you will create your own Art Bot, a robot with markers for legs that wobbles across a piece of paper, generating markings with its "feet" as it moves. The creature's motion comes from a spinning motor with an off-center weight, which causes the robot to vibrate. You can change the size and location of this weight, which will affect how the robot moves, and change how it draws. Then you get to decide which… Read more
Robotics_p014
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires a DC motor and battery pack in addition to arts and crafts supplies. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision required. Glue guns can get very hot and cause burns. The robot's motor and attachments can spin very fast — keep hands and fingers away from the attachments when the motor is spinning.
Project Idea
thumbnail From traffic safety lights to neon signs, lights have a way of getting peoples’ attention. So it makes sense that if a person wants to get attention, wearing clothing with built-in lights might help. These types of clothing, called electronic textiles (or e-textiles for short) already exist. Instead of using hard surfaces for circuits (like inside your computer or cell phone), e-textiles weave electrical parts like batteries, wires, and lights directly into wearable clothing so it can do… Read more
Elec_p076
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with basic electronics concepts like positive and negative terminals as well as open and closed circuits will be helpful for this science project. Students with no experience building circuits may want to try the simpler but thematically simlar project: [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p077" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Material Availability This science project requires special LEDs designed for use with e-textiles, and it will be much easier to do with a soldering iron. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Soldering irons can get extremely hot and burn your skin if you touch them accidentally. They can also cause fires if left unattended. Adult supervision is required when using a soldering iron, especially if you are not familiar with using one. Science Buddies recommends using lead-free solder, especially in homes with pets and small children.
Project Idea
thumbnail Electronic devices can be designed to detect dangerous fumes or other hazards, such as smoke or carbon monoxide. In this electronics project, you will build another potentially life-saving detector—a radon detector. Radon gas is radioactive and can pose a hazard to your health if you live in an area where it leaks from the ground. In this electronics science project, you will learn how to collect radon with an ordinary dusting cloth mounted on the intake of a fan, and then measure its… Read more
Elec_p064
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Since the goal of this science project is to measure radon gas, you should have access to an area that has previously tested positive for radon with a commercial radon detection system. See the Experimental Procedure section for details. This is an advanced science project that will require creative problem solving on your part.
Material Availability While most of the parts for this science project are readily available, you might need to be creative about finding or making some of the parts.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Wear safety goggles when drilling and soldering. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wanted to build your very own robot from scratch? BristleBots are a cheap, easy, and fun-to-build robot made from the head of a toothbrush, a battery, and a small motor. Once completed, they buzz along the top of a table like bugs. In this project, you will build assorted BristleBots with different types of toothbrushes and race them against each other. Read more
Robotics_p010
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order several parts from an online vendor or hobby store. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult assistance is required to snip off the head from a toothbrush using scissors or wire cutters.
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.

Project Idea
thumbnail Motors are used in many things you find around your house, like your refrigerator, coffee maker, and even a lawn mower. In this electronics science fair project, you will get to build a simple motor, using a kit, and then test how the number of batteries (amount of voltage) used to power the motor affects its performance. Read more
Elec_p057
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items: You will need a switch motor kit, ready for assembly. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Minor injury is possible, so be sure to wear safety goggles. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
thumbnail This is a good project for someone who is interested in both electronics and color vision. The equipment needed is on the expensive side, but if you continue studying electronics, you can use it again and again. Read more
Elec_p038
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project you should be familiar with Ohm's Law. Experience building electronic circuits on a solderless breadboard is also helpful. The breadboard is the biggest expense, which can be used for future explorations in electronics.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervison required when using power drill.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever tried to ride your bike up a flight of stairs? Vehicles with wheels are great at traveling on paved roads or flat ground, but when it comes to stairs or uneven ground in the woods, wheels are not always such a great option. Inspired by real-life all-terrain robots, in this engineering project you will design and build a LEGO® robot that can travel over bumpy ground, through your yard, or even up a stack of textbooks — and almost anything else you can think of! Read more
Robotics_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Experience building with LEGO® and programming for LEGO® Mindstorms® is required for this project.
Material Availability This project requires a LEGO® Mindstorms® NXT kit and compatible programming software. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail How does a helicopter generate enough lift to fly? How does a speedboat get moving fast enough to pull someone on water skis? Here's a project on designing propellers to do the job. Read more
Aero_p018
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Previous experience with aerodynamic design (e.g., model airplanes, gliders) is suggested.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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