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Break Things to Improve a Design Science Projects (16 results)

Break things, stretch things, heat things, and overpack things to understand how they do, and don't, work--to help make sure designs don't fail. Test your predictions of when you think a material or design will break.

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Science Fair Project Idea
Skyscrapers are impressive structures. What does it take to design a building so tall? Engineers use strong materials and innovative design to push the limits of gravity. They use special tables to simulate earthquakes and test models of their buildings. In this project, you will build your own earthquake table and see how tall you can make a tower out of LEGO® bricks. You can even measure how hard your earthquake table shakes using a smartphone and Google's Science Journal app. Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever broken a fishing rod? Or seen a treetop bend over and touch the ground (or even snap off) during an ice storm? These are examples of the effect of bending stresses on flexible rods. There are scientists who actually study this phenomenon and discover ways to prevent breakage, which leads to stronger fishing rods, building materials, car parts, and more. In this science project, you'll explore the bending stresses in flexible rods by testing asparagus stalks. Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Here's a fun project idea to learn about compression forces. For this experiment you'll need some empty toilet paper tubes, masking tape, sand (or table salt), pebbles (or marbles), a funnel, a cardboard box, and a sturdy chair to help you balance while testing the column. Seal one end of the tube with masking tape. Use the funnel to fill the tube with sand (or salt). Seal the other end with tape. Place the tube on end inside the paper box. Place the chair with its back to the box and hold… Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Why do so many people use cell phone cases? Do cell phones really need the extra protection, or is it just because cases look fancy? In this engineering science project, you will test the durability of calculators instead of cell phones, find out if cases increase the durability of the device, and build some of your own cases that do! Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Suspension bridges, with their tall towers, long spans, and gracefully curving cables, are beautiful examples of the work of civil engineers. How do the cables and towers carry the load that is on the bridge? Can a suspension bridge carry a greater load than a simple beam bridge? This science project shows you how to find out. Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever been in an earthquake? What did it feel like? Did you jiggle back and forth? Up and down? Was there a jolt? Or a rolling motion? Come build a house Hansel and Gretel would love to eat, a special table to shake it on, and see how different soil types can amplify shaking. Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
When you open up your presents on your birthday, you probably don't spend a lot of time admiring the wrapping—you'd much rather see what's inside. It can be the same way with the packaging that products come in, but packaging is important for protecting the things we buy as they make their way from the factory to our homes. How much shock force is produced when a box gets dropped accidentally? What kinds of materials work best to protect products from damage? This project can show you… Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever seen a geodesic dome? Geodesic domes are approximately sphere-like (or partially sphere-like) structures made up of interconnected triangles. A famous geodesic dome is Spaceship Earth at EPCOT in Walt Disney World, Florida, but geodesic domes are also commonly found as climbing domes at playgrounds. In this science project, you will get to build a geodesic dome using rolled-up newspapers and tape. How much mass do you think your dome will be able to support? Build one and find out! Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
How much force can a rubber band withstand before breaking? Do rubber bands that stretch longer take more or less force to break? How does the elasticity of a rubber band change with temperature? Use a spring scale to measure the applied force, and a meter stick or ruler to measure the change in length. Recording with a video camera (or possibly two) can help you to capture the values at the moment before the rubber band breaks. You can change the temperature of the rubber bands using… Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
When something goes wrong, do you like to try to figure out why? Engineers do this all the time. They even have a fancy name for it: failure analysis. Understanding how different materials break is an important part of failure analysis. Here's a project with one approach to studying the way things break. Read more
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Free science fair projects.