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Experiment with Friction and Drag Science Projects (9 results)

Investigate friction and drag to understand or improve how things move. Do hands-on experiments to measure the effect of friction, the force between objects that opposes the relative motion of the objects, or drag, the force that pulls an object back in a fluid.

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Science Fair Project Idea
As you headed up the mountain to enjoy your last ski trip, you may have noticed a sign reading: Hazard! Icy Roads Ahead—Put On Your Chains. Putting chains on car tires increases the resistance between the tires and the road allowing the car to "grip" the road. This resistance to sliding is called friction. In this experiment, you will be investigating how to increase and decrease the friction between two surfaces. Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Practice makes you better at most things, and knowledge makes practice so much easier! Can you swirl a circular toy called a hula hoop around your waist or arm? Is it hard? What knowledge can you apply to find ways that make hula-hooping easier? Physics! Yes, physics will help you determine what makes one hula hoop a winner and another a flop. In this project, you will create your own hula hoops, spin them, and draw conclusions. The road will then be open to your becoming a hula hoop expert. If… Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
The funny thing about friction is that you couldn't get anywhere without it, yet it still acts to slow you down as you're getting there. Here is an easy project to measure the effects of friction. Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
If you ride a bike, you probably know that you have to occasionally pump up the tires to keep them fully inflated. Over a long period of time, the tires slowly leak air, so their pressure will decrease. Have you ever noticed that it is actually harder to ride a bike when the tire pressure is too low? This is because the tires are a big factor in the rolling resistance of the bike. In this sports science project, you will measure how tire pressure affects the force required to move a bike. How… Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever heard that two phone books with the pages interleaved are impossible to pull apart? This might seem crazy, right? It is not that hard to slide a sheet of paper off the top of a stack of paper. How much friction can there really be between sheets of paper? In this experiment, you will use pads of sticky notes instead of phone books. How much weight can they support when you interleave the pages? Do you think you will be able to pull them apart by hand? The results might surprise… Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Sometimes, simple toys can be quite complicated. Take the yo-yo. It's a fun toy and there is nothing simpler than a string wrapped between two connected disks. But there's a lot of physics that makes a yo-yo work. In this science fair project, learn more about how and why a yo-yo works. You will investigate the effect of string length on the yo-yo's "sleep" trick time. If people ask why you've got a yo-yo with you all the time, tell them that while it looks like you're just having fun, you're… Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
How does ski wax affect the sliding friction of skis? You can model this with an ice cube sliding down a plank: how high do you need to lift the end of the plank before the ice cube starts to slide? Try this with one side plain wood and the flip side waxed wood (use paraffin wax, candle wax or ski wax). Make sure both sides are equally smooth to start with. Do at least three trials. More advanced: using what you know about the forces acting on the ice cube, derive equations to calculate the… Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
Whoopee! No matter what age, who doesn't like flying down the slides at parks and pools? In this experiment, you might be surprised what you can learn about the fascinating forces of friction while sliding down (or sticking to) those fun, slippery slopes. Caution: only speed demons need apply for this activity . . . Read more
Science Fair Project Idea
How much force is required to advance a lag bolt (large wood screw with a hex-shaped head) into a piece of wood? You can measure the force by using a spring scale attached to the handle of ratchet. Pull on the spring scale until the bolt starts to turn, and note the required force from the spring scale. There are many potential experiments you could try. Think about answering the following questions: How does the force change as the bolt advances deeper into the wood? Why? How does the… Read more
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