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Science Fair Project Idea
Physicists sometimes study matter under extreme conditions. For example, think of the emptiness of interstellar space vs. the unimaginable crush of pressure at the center of a neutron star, or an object dipped in liquid nitrogen vs. the tiles on the space shuttle during re-entry. Here's an experiment on permanent magnets in "extreme kitchen" conditions that you can try at home. Read more
Phys_p025
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision highly recommended. Use proper caution when transferring or holding magnets at extreme temperatures. See the Procedure for details.
Science Fair Project Idea
Generating power from mud sounds like science fiction, but it is actually real science, and a promising source of alternative energy. Topsoil is packed with bacteria that generate electricity when placed in a microbial fuel cell. Because such bacteria-laden soil is found almost everywhere on Earth, microbial fuel cells can make clean, renewable electricity nearly anyplace around the globe. They are an up-and-coming technology that scientists and engineers are working on making even more… Read more
Elec_p071
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- Less Details
Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Having used a voltmeter/multimeter before is helpful, but not required.
Material Availability The microbial fuel cell kit needs to be special ordered from the .
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be sure to wear the gloves supplied with the kit when handling the microbial fuel cell's electrodes (its cathode and anode). The electrodes are made of a conductive material called graphite fiber and should not be placed near electronics, power plugs, or have their fibers dispersed in the air. The fibers will cause electrical shortages when in contact with electronics.
Science Fair Project Idea
Scientists have known for hundreds of years that sunspot activity waxes and wanes over a cycle that lasts approximately 11 years. In the 1970's, scientists discovered that the sun periodically blasts electrified gases into space, in huge outbursts called 'coronal mass ejections,' or CMEs. This project asks the question: do CMEs follow the solar sunspot cycle? Read more
Astro_p021
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
The wind is a powerful force, enough to erode whole hillsides over time. Building structures in windy environments challenge civil engineers with special safety concerns. A wall in a windy area can either shield you from the cold or fall down on you. Learn a few tricks on how to design walls in windy places. Read more
CE_p014
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Requires parental supervision when using utility knife
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever wondered how fast a seismic wave from an earthquake travels? In this geology science project you can figure this out using historical seismograph data that you can collect from the comfort of your own computer. You will use a web interface to a network of seismometers run by the Northern California Earthquake Data Center, at the University of California, Berkeley. From the seismograms you make, you will be able to measure the time it took for the seismic waves to travel from the… Read more
Geo_p016
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Computer with Internet access and printer
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
So, you've got your popcorn and are settled into your seat at the movie. The lights dim—it's show time! But wait a second. Did you ever wonder how those lights dim so smoothly? It just wouldn't be the same if the lights suddenly snapped off, would it? In this electronics science fair project, you'll investigate dimmer switches, and even build a simple model of one. Try this project and light up your room, and your mind! Read more
Elec_p056
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You will need an adult's assistance to use the pocket knife. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
What happens if you hold a magnet next to water? You might think that water is not affected by magnetism, but in fact, the water is slightly repelled. Believe it or not, if the magnet is strong enough, you can use this effect to levitate objects that contain water, including insects and even small frogs! In this science project, you will learn about diamagnetism. Materials that are repelled by both poles of a magnet are called diamagnetic. The magnets you will use are not strong enough to float… Read more
MatlSci_p041
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to purchase some materials online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Neodymium magnets are extremely strong, and must be handled with care to avoid personal injury and damage to the magnets or to electronic appliances. Minor injury is possible and you should wear safety goggles whenever working with these magnets. Please read the important safety notes in the Experimental Procedure before beginning this science project.
Science Fair Project Idea
We've all heard that hurricanes draw their immense power from warm ocean waters. Of course, many factors contribute to the formation and growth of a hurricane, but can we expect to find that the warmer the water, the stronger the hurricane will be? This project shows you how to use online data archives to investigate this question. Read more
OceanSci_p005
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with computers and web browser is helpful for this project.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever dreamed of a world where you could take the scraps from last night's dinner and toss them into your car's fuel tank and make gas? Well, we're not quite in "Back to the Future" yet, but in this energy science fair project, you'll discover that food scraps, dead plants, sawdust, and other decaying organic matter, called biomass are a rich source of energy. You can get energy out of biomass by burning it, turning it into a liquid, or by turning it into a gas called biogas. You've… Read more
Energy_p027
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This science fair project requires access to a well-ventilated area, away from open flame or electrical sparks.
Material Availability A small quantity of fresh cow manure is required.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety This science fair project produces a small amount of a flammable gas, so it must be conducted in a well-ventilated area, away from any source of open flame or source of electrical sparks. Use caution and have an adult's help when using the bleach, as it can cause chemical burns.
Science Fair Project Idea
The electricity in your home probably comes from a power plant, but did you know that you can actually generate your own electricity? Wondering what it would take to light up a small light? This is your chance! In this electronics science project, you will build your own electric generator and investigate how to light up not just one, but two lights. Read more
Elec_p078
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should have the patience and dexterity to coil several layers of wire neatly (or find someone who can help you). You will also need to hook up a basic circuit. Understanding electric circuits is not a prerequisite for this science project, though it will enable a deeper understanding of the electric generator.
Material Availability A kit containing all the specialty items needed for this project is available from the .
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Neodymium magnets are very strong. Follow the safety guidelines in the Procedure for working with these magnets.
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