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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen butterflies fluttering around outside, gliding through the air and landing on flowers? While they are delicate and fragile, butterflies are actually excellent flyers. They are so good, in fact, that scientists at Harvard University studied butterfly wing shapes as an inspiration for building a miniature flying robot. In this science project, you will do your own version of the Harvard scientists' experiment to measure the flight performance of butterfly wings. Read more
Aero_p049
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Flying kites is an excellent way to learn about aerodynamic forces. In this science fair project, you will build and test a variety of kite designs to see which flies best in low wind speeds. You will use an inexpensive anemometer to accurately measure the wind speed. Since you will be choosing which kites to build and test, the experimental procedure provides a general outline for the experiments, but there is a lot of opportunity for you to be creative with your kite designs. This is a DIY… Read more
Aero_p042
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This is a "do-it-yourself" science fair project, because it's up to you to choose and build the different kinds of kites you wish to test. You will also design the experimental setup using a fan, which will require some creative problem-solving on your part.
Material Availability A couple of specialty items are needed. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever looked up into the sky and seen not a bird, not a plane, but a hot-air balloon? They are definitely amazing and fun to watch! Do you think they are all the same size? Does size affect how long the hot-air balloon can fly? In this science fair project, you will launch hot-air balloons, powered by a toaster, and see how the size of the balloon affects its flight. Read more
Aero_p041
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You will need access to a room with a high ceiling, like a gym or an auditorium. Or you can perform the experiment outdoors, if there is no wind.
Material Availability Readily available.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Use caution with the hot toaster. A hot toaster is a potential fire hazard.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Just one sheet of paper can lead to a whole lot of fun. How? Paper planes! All you have to know is how to fold and you can have a simple plane in a matter of minutes! But what design should you use to build the best plane? In this aerodynamics science project, you will change the basic design of a paper plane and see how this affects its flight. Specifically, you will increase how much drag the plane experiences and see if this changes how far the paper plane flies. There is a lot of cool… Read more
Aero_p046
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Fly your planes in a large area, away from foot and vehicle traffic.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The Wright brothers used kites extensively to test their design ideas in the years leading up to their first successful airplane flight. With this science project, you'll learn about kite aerodynamics, and then come up with your own hypothesis about building or flying a kite. You can test your hypothesis two ways: with an online kite simulation program from NASA, and outdoors with the real thing! A great feature of this science project is that it has many possible variations, so you can decide… Read more
Aero_p008
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Excellent computer skills
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Normal precautions for kite flying
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever played paintball with your friends? Wonder how you can improve your game? Paintball guns use compressed gas to shoot paint-filled pellets at high speed, and with good accuracy. The flight path of the ball is determined by its speed and the angle at which it is shot, relative to the ground. In this sports science fair project, you will explore the ballistics of paintballs, focusing on how drag and other factors affect the results. Read more
Sports_p054
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should have access to a paintball gun, be familiar with how to shoot it safely, and have access to an open area where you can shoot it. This project has a fairly involved procedure, since you are measuring several parameters (velocity, time of flight, distance) and also comparing these measurements to what you would expect based on calculations. Feel free to customize the procedure based on your interests.
Material Availability Specialty items: You will need access to a paintball gun and accessories, including safety gear for you and for three helpers, as well as an instrument to measure velocity of the paintballs. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury is possible, so wear eye protection. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Are you good at tossing a Frisbee®? It is great when you throw a perfect, arcing curve, right on target! If you can do that, you have already trained your arm on the aerodynamics of Frisbee flight. Why not treat your brain to some Frisbee science with this project? Read more
Aero_p010
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You should know the basics of throwing a Frisbee (i.e., be able to play catch with a friend).
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No hazards
Science Fair Project Idea
Helicopters are fascinating to watch. The spinning rotor blades on top of the helicopter generate lift, allowing it to take off vertically. They can land vertically, too, allowing them to set down in small spaces, such as hospital helipads or on a ship at sea. In this aerodynamics science fair project, you will fly a remote-controlled helicopter and measure how the rate of the rotor's rotation changes as the helicopter hovers and flies up or down. Read more
Aero_p043
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need a remote-controlled helicopter and a digital tachometer. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Minor injury is possible. Be sure to wear safety goggles. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Up, up, and away! If you have ever made a wish and blown the fluff of a dandelion, you have witnessed how some plants are adapted to spreading their seeds using the wind. The tiny, furry parachute allows the seeds to be picked up by the wind and to be carried far away from their parent plant. In this experiment, you will make models of seeds and fruit to investigate dispersal by wind and to evaluate the relationship between the structure of the seed and its ability to be dispersed by the… Read more
PlantBio_p013
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- Less Details
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 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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- Less Details
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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