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Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever had several different design ideas for a project and not known which one to try first? Engineers use computer models of real-world objects called simulations to help them make decisions before they start building prototypes. This helps them save time and money, so they do not have to physically build and test each design they come up with. In this project, you will use a free physics simulation program called VoxCAD. VoxCAD has been used for research at NASA, MIT, and other… Read more
Robotics_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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
When you think of a machine, you probably think of computers or robots. But what if I told you that machines have been around for centuries? Would you believe me? Try this experiment to see which of these simple machines you use around your house. You might even use some of them everyday! Read more
ApMech_p018
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever walked a dog on a leash? Depending on how well-behaved the dog is, it can be very easy or very difficult. It would be great if you could tell your dog exactly how to behave, right? With that in mind, in this project you will build a robotic dog using a LEGO® Mindstorms® kit that you can teach to "walk" using the beam from a flashlight as a virtual leash. But your robot dog will not know how to walk on a leash on its own — you will have to "train" it, just as you… Read more
Robotics_p011
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Experience building with LEGO pieces and programming with LEGO Mindstorms is required for this project.
Material Availability This project requires a LEGO Mindstorms kit and compatible programming software. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety No issues.
Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that sunlight can actually be separated into the colors of the rainbow? And the light of different colors can be added together to make white light or new colors. This is an area of study where art and science overlap. In this science fair project, you will explore this area by drawing or painting "pie slices" onto a white circle and then combining them to make a new color by spinning the wheel using an electric drill. Read more
Phys_p076
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need a cordless electric drill and a sanding disk for this science fair project.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required, particularly to help with the power tools. Always wear safety goggles when working with power tools.
Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine how cool it would be to build a robot hand that could grasp a ball or pick up a toy. In this robotics engineering project, you will learn how to use drinking straws, sewing thread, and a little glue to make a remarkably lifelike and useful robot hand. What will you design your robot hand to do? Pick up a can? Move around a ping pong ball? It is up to you! With these starting instructions, you can design any type of hand. You will simulate human finger anatomy as the basis for a… Read more
Robotics_p001
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is suggested for parts of this project. Use caution with sharp knives and glue.
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 When you think about robots, chances are they are contraptions that you have seen on TV, in movies, or even in real life — and they are usually made of metal. What if you could make a soft robot that could bend, twist, or squirm like an octopus or an earthworm? Researchers at Harvard University have done exactly that, developing soft robots made of rubber and powered by air instead of electricity. In this project you will use their designs to build a soft robotic gripper of your own. Read more
Robotics_p020
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires some specialty materials. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Note: "Time required" includes shipping for specialty materials. The experiment itself can be done in 1-2 days.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Prolonged exposure to the silicone rubber used in this project can cause mild skin irritation. Disposable gloves are required for this project. Using a toaster oven (optional) requires adult supervision.
Project Idea
thumbnail In the mid-20th century, people thought of robots as futuristic tools. But in the 21st century, robots are not a figment of our imaginations, but are a part of our reality. Robots even perform tasks that humans can't do. In this engineering science fair project, you will use LEGO Mindstorms to build a robot that is fast, lightweight, and stable. Who knows? You might end up building a robot that does housework or even your homework! Read more
Elec_p052
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Experience with LEGO Mindstorms is useful but not required.
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 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.
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