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Project Ideas Grouped by Task

These Project Ideas are grouped together according to the tasks that you would perform as you work on them.

Task Description
Accept a Design Trade-off Challenge Build a device to accomplish a fun task. Accept a design trade-off challenge of using only a set amount of simple materials, as if you were stuck on a desert island, to make your device work.
Analyze Biochemistry Data Analyze data to see how changing DNA and RNA will affect proteins. Use free online databases and tools, simple models with household items, or techniques available in labs and kits (such as a fish protein fingerprinting kit).
Analyze Music Explore music theory, the components that make up music and how to arrange them. Analyze music to determine why musicians and composers made the choices they did. Or using theory, create or change your own music to make it sound the way you want.
Analyze Photographs from Space View and analyze collections of photographic images to investigate questions about an object in space. Take measurements from the images or even re-color an image to show where a star has given off x-rays.
Analyze Recipes with Five Senses Measure physical properties of recipes to understand how ingredients work and how to improve your cooking procedure. Analyze the thickness, appearance, texture, color, and more to discover all that goes into making a recipe great.
Analyze Severe Weather Discover what causes severe weather or what happens after severe weather strikes. Find patterns in data from free online weather and ocean databases or maps.
Apply Bioinformatics Analyze health data to discover how genes can affect biological processes, specifically protein development. Search in an online database for the cause of the condition you are investigating or the best protein that will create better health.
Apply Chemicals Apply chemicals yourself to accomplish neat tasks as you mummify a hot dog, highlight snips of hair, or moisturize dishes of gelatin dessert (meant to be like human skin). Measure your results so you discover how chemicals work and how much to use.
Break Things to Improve a Design 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.
Build a Biological Model of a Mammal Find out how a biological function changes in humans or other mammals by building a model. Explore how an organ works, how the immune system fights disease, or even how puppies keep warm.
Build a Bridge Investigate what makes a strong and stable bridge design. Build and test a paper bridge, or use a free online tool to create bridges that can stand during earthquakes, or design trusses (frameworks to support bridges).
Build a Chemistry Reaction Tool Build a tool to analyze what affects a chemical reaction, like temperature, or measure chemical properties, such as the intensity of blue in a sports drink. Or make a simple rocket that experiences blast-off, a type of chemical reaction.
Build a Circuit on a Breadboard Experiment with building a circuit on a breadboard, which makes it easy to make changes and try new ideas. Design a task you would like the circuit to accomplish and test the results.
Build a Civil Engineering Experiment Tool Learn about principles of machines or structures by building your own tool that you use in an experiment. Use your tool to take measurements or make changes during the experiment.
Build a Hydrodynamics Model Build a model to explore movement through water. Experiment with how you can build or change the design of a boat, submarine, or even duck feet to float or move more quickly through the water.
Build a Lego Robot Build a robot using a LEGO Mindstorms kit. Design an art robot that switches colors, a robotic dog that follows light, a guard bot that protects treasures, and more.
Build a Physics Model Build a model that you can change so that can explore what makes up matter or how it behaves. Collect and measure data from your model, such as a raft surging across the water or a set of mirrors that represents a mini space telescope.
Build a Physics or Music Experiment Tool Build a device or tool to do a hands-on physics or music experiment. Create a device that will take measurements or one that moves, generates movement, or makes music as part of your experimental design.
Build a Reacting Robot Build a robot that is under control--that responds to its environment in ways that make sense. Use light sensors, obstacle-sensing whiskers, programming, or even radio control so that your robot is interactive.
Build a Robot Design and build your own robot that reacts to its environment. Define what you want your robot to do, do research, brainstorm how it should work, build it, test it, and make it better based on testing.
Build a Simple Machine Build a simple machine, such as an inclined plane (a board on a slope), a lever, a pulley, or a wheel and an axle. Investigate how to make changes to your machine to increase force, speed, or distance traveled.
Build a Sports Model Build a moving, changing model of a sport to investigate, only one variable at a time, what makes a skill in that sport succeed. Using science, find out the best places to kick field goal tries or shoot baskets.
Build a Structure Design and build a bridge, a dome, a windbreak wall, or another structure and see how it stands up when you blow a fan, put weight on it, or shake it (an earthquake hits!). Discover ways to measure performance, such as the amount of weight it can bear.
Build an Animal or Plant Habitat Build a miniature habitat for plants or animals to investigate questions about what affects their growth and how they contribute to the environment. Or make a model of a habitat.
Build an Astronomical Model Build a moving, changing model of an object in space to investigate questions about it, such as why it has a certain shape or why it gathers dust. Collect and measure data from your model.
Build an Astronomy Experiment Tool Build a tool to collect data about an object in the universe, such as a pinhole projector to collect sunspots. Or design an astronomical model, such as a tilting light to show the reason for the seasons.
Build an Electromagnet Build or improve a device powered by an electromagnet that forms a magnetic field when an electrical current flows through a wire. Add more wires or magnets to test if you can boost the electricity produced.
Build an Energy Model Build a model to learn about transforming the energy of the wind, moving water, or even heat in the earth. Test how well your model works (can it lift a weight or spin a pinwheel) and make changes to improve it.
Build an Energy, Geology, or Environment Experiment Tool Build your own tool or apparatus to investigate a question about energy, geology, or the environment. Test results by observing changes or taking measurements with the tool you have made.
Build an Environmental Model Build a moving, changing model of a physical structure on the earth, the environment, or an aspect of the ocean to investigate questions about it, such as what causes landslides or huge waves. Collect and measure data from your model.
Build an Experimental Flying Object Build or change a test kite, paper airplane, flying ring, or even carousel, to see how it moves through the air. Change one part of your design at a time so that you can test what really affects flight distance and performance.
Build an Experimental Musical Instrument Build a musical device that varies in sound as you do an experiment. Test sound quality or frequency in a device that works with an electric guitar or banjo, or make a musical scale from drinking straws.
Build an Experimental Physics Device Build an artifact, a device you will use to explore a physics question. Change the settings of your device (even an x-ray machine or a Gauss rifle which launches ball bearings) to investigate why matter moves, what is it made of, or how it moves.
Build Something Aerodynamic Build something to learn how to harness air pressure and wind. Design your own wing, propeller, or even a wind turbine to generate renewable energy.
Build Something Mechanical Design and build your own object in motion. Define the problem you want to solve, do research, figure out what your machine should do, brainstorm a solution, build the machine, test, and make it better based on testing.
Build Something to Fly or Float Experiment with movement through air or water. Explore how you can build or change the design of a kite, a glider, flying rings, milk carton boats, or even a rocket to fly high, fly far, or surge through the water.
Build Something with Computer Science Build and design a product for people to enjoy, like a musical instrument, puppet, or an art experience, like a musical light show. Plan out your vision, design requirements, build your solution (including a list of instructions, a program), and test how it works.
Build Techology into Art Build science and technology, like electrical circuits, sunlight, or infrared, into your paintings, photography, and sculptures to make them even more creative.
Build Tools That Make Art Build a tool that creates art, like a robot that draws, or an art experience, like a musical light show or infinity mirror that dazzles with colors. Plan out your vision, design requirements, build your solution, and test how it works.
Code a Robot Build and write a list of instructions, or program, for your own robot, using a tool like a LEGO Mindstorms kit or Arduino microcontroller. Help your robot respond to its environment so that it can guard a territory or remind a patient to take medication.
Code with Scratch Design something that you would like a computing device to do, and then use the free Scratch programming language to write a list of instructions (a program) to make it happen. With Scratch, move blocks of instructions into your program without even needing to type.
Combat Stereotypes Explore whether stereotypes affect people's decisions and how they might be formed. Begin to discover ways you might combat stereotypes.
Combat Water Pollution Investigate ways to prevent water pollution and clean up waterways. Test filters and materials for cleaning or soaking up pollutants in water, or build a model to prevent pollution from happening.
Compare Ingredients Compare the effect of different ingredients or materials on how a product you make tastes, looks, or works. Depending on what you make, collect different types of data, such as asking volunteers to taste test, measuring the size, or observing physical properties.
Conserve Energy Experiment with ways to conserve energy right in your home and neighborhood--like setting up your PC differently or using LED lights. Collect data to test your ideas so that you may even convince others to make changes.
Conserve or Clean-up Water Discover ways to conserve water or clean up polluted waterways. Do a hands-on experiment to conserve or clean water, build a tool to make freshwater out of saltwater, or create a habitat to grow both plants and fish.
Conserve or Generate Energy Conserve or generate energy by building or improving your own device or model. Create a muddy microbial fuel cell that gathers electrons that soil bacteria give off after they eat. Or explore ways to improve the outside of a house.
Conserve Resources Discover ways to conserve water, paper, or wood. Do a hands-on experiment, conduct research, make your own paper, or build a device to make freshwater out of saltwater.
Create a Simple Circuit Connect an electric circuit and experiment with how to improve it. Create a neat tool, like a lightbulb, electromagnet that picks up paperclips, or even a radio that can receive real radio stations.
Create an App Create an app or application program for a phone, tablet, or computer that enables people to do an important task. First design the app, and then use free tools to write a list of instructions (a program) to make it happen.
Create New Art with Technology Use science and technology to make the artistic ideas in your mind come to life in an unexpected way. Instead of drawing a greeting card, animate one. Instead of buying a musical instrument, make your own. Instead of plain sewing, stitch a circuit of blinking lights onto your own dance glove.
Create Photo/Video Images Explore the science and technology behind photographic or video images. Experiment with how the method you use to take and record still or video images affects the results of what you see.
Design and Build a Structure Design and build your own model of a bridge, tower, windbreak wall, or other structure you would find in a city, town, or farm. Define the problem you want to solve, do research, figure out what your structure should do, brainstorm a solution, build it, test, and make it better based on testing.
Design for Human Factors Change a video game design, graph, or tool you've built to respond to one of five human senses. Experiment with how people perceive your design to improve it or to make sure more people can enjoy it (like a video game accessible to the visually impaired).
Design Something a Computing Device Can Do Design something that you would like a computing device to do, and then use free tools to write a list of instructions (a program) to make it happen.
Detect What's Inside a Substance Identify the parts that you don't see that make up what you do see in a chemical substance. Use chromatography, a technique to separate components in a mixture, to find out what pigments make up the colors in markers, candy or leaves.
Discover Biology of Mammals Learn more about your own pets or other mammals by investigating a question in mammalian biology. Take basic health measurements for, or observe behavior in, your pet and other animals you recruit. Or use free online tools to find patterns in data about wild mammals.
Do a Nature Survey Survey the natural world to discover the answer to a science question. Take measurements of stars or the moon, take samples of soil or water properties at different sites, or find patterns in data about the natural world by accessing free online databases.
Do Candy Chemistry Become a candy chemist: improve a candy recipe or separate the pigments in the colored shells of Skittles by using a special paper and procedure.
Experiment in Aerodynamics Experiment with how air moves around wings and other objects. Explore how you can change the design of kites, parachutes, flying rings, or even rockets to fly high or far.
Experiment in Astronomy Explore the universe without leaving earth. Learn ways to make measurements about the universe by accessing free online data sets and images, or by looking through a telescope. Or build simple models.
Experiment in Basketball Explore the science of basketball as you investigate how an athlete can become a better player. Do a hands-on experiment where you play a basketball skill yourself, observe basketball players under different conditions, or make a model of a court.
Experiment in Civil Engineering Experience civil engineering on a smaller scale-- what it is like to keep people safe as they live and work and travel from place to place. Design a structure and see how it stands up to testing. Use the geometry you learned in school to make your designs stronger. Test the strength of construction materials used or soils supporting buildings.
Experiment in Cosmetic Science Discover why and how cosmetic products, like hair highlighters or moisturizers, work by testing them on real hair or a model of skin made out of JELL-O®. Or make your own products and test their performance.
Experiment in Environmental Engineering Build your own designs, or test and improve existing products, to improve the environment or protect people from the effects of pollution. Create a design to recycle water, wood, or trash. Experiment with ideas to reduce energy use in your home.
Experiment in Environmental Science Explore and understand climate change and air, water, and soil quality. Do a hands-on experiment or build your own tool so that you can collect real data to show others how to make changes to improve the environment.
Experiment in Genetic Engineering Experiment in genetic engineering, changing DNA for a purpose you choose, or test foods that have been genetically modified.
Experiment in Genomics Investigate questions in genomics, the whole set of DNA belonging to an organism. Use free online tools and databases, or test your own DNA fingerprint with a hands-on kit.
Experiment in Geology Study what gradually shapes and changes the landscape and ocean floor. Discover how to map and track sudden forces like earthquakes and volcanoes. Break down rocks or explore soil.
Experiment in Geometry Explore questions in geometry and topology, the study of shapes and spatial relationships that bending and stretching do not affect. Do a proof, take measurements, analyze geometric relationships, or make a pattern.
Experiment in Math Experiment with math by making predictions (probability and statistics) or discovering more about shapes (geometry and topology). Make a math model with everyday items (M&Ms and dice) or on the computer. Do a proof to discover a theorem for yourself or even make art by arranging shapes.
Experiment in Mechanical Engineering Explore mechanical things (like a roller coaster as you ride along), how they break, and the parts and materials they are made from. Build objects that move and test how well your designs work.
Experiment in Medical Biotechnology Explore how scientists do research to improve the wellbeing of all people while also taking into account that each person responds differently because of their own individual genes. Use free online tools and databases for genetics projects, or test how medications or cosmetics work with hands-on experiments.
Experiment in Microbiology By studying tiny microorganisms, learn how biological processes work at the cellular level. Experiment with testing disinfectants, growing microorganisms on agar plates, or creating products that beneficial microbes help make.
Experiment in Modern Physics Explore topics in modern physics. Measure the concentration of colors with a spectrophotometer, which detects wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum. Or safely build an X-ray machine or cloud chamber.
Experiment in Music Psychology Explore the psychology of music, how it affects human behavior. Experiment with the effect of characteristics of music on learning, emotions, or motivation.
Experiment in Neurobiology Explore neurobiology, the science behind how people think, what they feel, how their senses work, and how well they remember. Observe volunteers in experiments, collect data about your own senses, or conduct a survey.
Experiment in Ocean Sciences Investigate a question about ocean sciences, from microscopic phytoplankton to pods of whales to global weather patterns. Build a model to explore an aspect of the ocean, find patterns in data from free online databases, or catch and observe plankton.
Experiment in Optics Explore optics: visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. Create your own light-up device (like an infinity mirror or color mixer), learn how to measure the colors of visible light in a solution, or change the way a camera or kaleidoscope works.
Experiment in Organic Chemistry Explore the molecular bonds among organic compounds that contain carbon. Use enzymes (something that can speed up a reaction) or a light-sensing tool that you make to help you dye wool.
Experiment in Plant Biology Explore the amazing world of plants--what makes them grow and how they help us. Grow your own plants under different conditions, find out what makes up plants by extracting pigments from leaves, or do a hands-on experiment with fruits.
Experiment in Plant Ecology Investigate a question in plant ecology, how plants relate to each other, animals, humans, and the environment. Determine the best conditions for plants' growth or show how they can help people.
Experiment in Psychology Explore the psychology of human behavior, why people act the way they do, or cognition, how people learn. Observe volunteers in experiments, collect data about your own senses, or conduct a survey.
Experiment in Racing Sports Explore speed, the world of racing sports. Experiment with how to make things go faster--race cars, downhill skis, ice skates--and learn to measure speed.
Experiment in Sociology Scientifically study social interactions. Find out how societies are maintained and how they change. Do a survey, observe how people behave, or find patterns in data from free tools online.
Experiment in Solar Astronomy Investigate free online data sets or make a simple tool, like a pinhole projector, to answer questions about the sun. Use simple statistical or geometric concepts to find patterns in your data.
Experiment in Sports Experiment in sports, such as basketball, football, baseball, and soccer. Do a hands-on experiment where you play a skill yourself, observe players under different conditions, or make a model of a court or playing field.
Experiment in Sports Science Explore the science and engineering that improves sports performance and increases the chances of winning. Break a sports skill down into steps or equipment so that you can analyze how to improve it.
Experiment in Thermodynamics Explore thermodynamics, how energy is changed from other forms (like radiant energy from the sun) to heat. Measure how the sun's energy strikes an everyday object and becomes transformed as infrared photons, which you can measure as heat. Or experiment with how to keep things cool.
Experiment in Zoology Explore the body plans, behaviors, and strategies animals have developed in order to succeed in the struggle for survival. Do a hands-on experiment with animals, create a model, or look for patterns in data about real animals from free online databases.
Experiment with Acids and Bases Experiment with acid substances that donate hydrogen ions in water and base substances that accept hydrogen ions in water. Make your own pH paper to find out how acidic solutions are. Or experiment with acidic reactions--even in products you make, like shampoo or bath bombs.
Experiment with Acoustics Experiment with acoustics, the physics of sound, using special apps that let you analyze sound waves. Study sound production, sound absorption, or frequency analysis.
Experiment with Air Quality Measure pollutants in the air and learn about how gases in the atmosphere can cause the temperature to rise. Build your own tool to measure air quality, make a climate change model, or use a free online tool to analyze ozone levels.
Experiment with Animal Behavior Investigate a question about animal ethology, their behavior. Discover what safely repels ants, how animals prefer to eat, what environments animals prefer, or how animals journey.
Experiment with Atoms and Molecules Get to the tiny level of atoms and molecules to understand how chemicals interact to create some large-scale impact, like forming beautiful crystals or melting ice. Experiment with changing how molecules interact at a scale you can measure.
Experiment with Baking Explore how baking ingredients work so that you can make a recipe better. Test combinations of ingredients that mix well together or ways to improve a recipe's steps.
Experiment with Batteries Build and test your own battery, out of coins, a potato, metal and saltwater, or even one that collects static electricity. Or analyze what affects battery performance.
Experiment with Beverages Discover for yourself what your drink really contains. Build an electronic device to measure the strength of tea or test electrolytes (a salt that can conduct electricity) in a sports drink. Or discover ways to test sugar content in milk or soda.
Experiment with Catapults Use a catapult kit to make the principles of mechanical engineering come to life. Determine the right settings to reliably launch an object and hit the target, or use math to predict a projectile's path.
Experiment with Collisions Discover the predictable ways things crash into each other, the mechanics of collision. Test different surfaces or objects colliding with each other and measure the results.
Experiment with DNA Explore how DNA works, extract DNA, or transform DNA. Extract DNA from foods with just a few special materials in your own kitchen. Investigate how DNA works through hands-on biotechnology experiments or by finding patterns in free online databases.
Experiment with Dynamics Explore dynamics, the physical forces that affect movement of objects. Change the dynamics of an object (maybe even one you build, like a marble roller coaster) to see if it slows down, speeds up, generates more power, flies higher, or more.
Experiment with Educational Games Explore how video games can be educational. Design and build your own educational game, or test to see if gaming can help students do better in school.
Experiment with Electromagnetism Experiment with electromagnetism, using a magnetic field formed when an electrical current flows through a wire. Discover how electromagnets power objects to move, record information, or detect electrical currents.
Experiment with Electrostatics Learn how static electricity doesn't just happen by chance. Experiment with increasing static electricity, make a tool to measure it, or even save and store the charge in a homemade jar.
Experiment with Energy Changing Form Explore the mechanics of energy, how objects store energy, how objects use energy when moving, and how it is sometimes changed to other forms. Do a hands-on experiment to measure how energy changes its form.
Experiment with Entertainment Games Explore what makes a video game entertaining. Design and build your own entertainment game (such as a made-up story), or experiment with what makes a game fun.
Experiment with Flying Vehicles Experiment with the flight distance, speed, and pattern of all kinds of vehicles, even a hovercraft so big that you can ride on it. Test paper airplane designs or even learn a way to measure how a bike rack affects the aerodynamics of a real car.
Experiment with Food Ingredients Explore how ingredients work so that you can make a recipe better. Experiment with different combinations of ingredients. Measure the results of a recipe in many different ways, such as taste, height, size, number of crumbs, and stretchiness.
Experiment with Food Prep Experiment with doing more preparation and cooking steps in advance to see if food tastes better. Test a recipe with advance steps and without and measure the results in many different ways, such as taste, texture, crispiness, and more.
Experiment with Friction and Drag 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.
Experiment with Fruits and Vegetables Become a fruit and vegetable food scientist: improve fruit and vegetable recipes, prevent them being wasted, or analyze the amount of vitamins in them or their products.
Experiment with Fuel Cells Learn how fuel cells convert energy in chemicals, even simple water, into electricity. Experiment with improving existing fuel cells. Or build a muddy microbial fuel cell that gathers electrons that soil bacteria give off after they eat.
Experiment with Gases Explore the physics of gases: what makes up gases and how they behave. Experiment with making gas-based explosions, setting off a launch, or listening to sounds get quieter when there is less air (like in outer space).
Experiment with Human Coordination Explore questions about coordination in humans, how the nervous system processes information from the environment and enables the body to react. Observe volunteers in an experiment or collect data about your own coordination.
Experiment with Hydrodynamics Discover hydrodynamics, how things move through water, that power boats, submarines, and even swimmers. Design, build, and test your own water vehicle design. Or test hydrodynamic properties in objects around you (for example, by pulling a baseball and a cantaloupe through a pool).
Experiment with Invertebrates Discover and analyze which environmental conditions (soil, water, food, or temperature) may help invertebrates (animals without backbones) thrive.
Experiment with Kinematics Explore kinematics, describing the speed, distance, and acceleration of moving objects. Do a hands-on experiment with a speeding candy waterfall, all types of sports, or even fake blood spatters at a creepy crime scene.
Experiment with Learning Experiment with cognition, learning through using the senses and thinking. Observe volunteers in an experiment you set up to challenge or change the way they think, remember, or perceive.
Experiment with Liquids Experiment with floating, carrying cargo, or moving objects across liquids by learning about the physics principles of surface tension, density (mass per volume), or viscosity (resistance to flow).
Experiment with Magnets and Motors Experiment with how magnets can power objects to move (like floating trains), play a role in generating electricity, or record information. Or analyze how strong magnets are by building your own circuit.
Experiment with Material Strength Investigate which shapes or ingredients help make the strongest material structures. Build your own structures or test existing ones as you change the conditions, such as temperature or load.
Experiment with Materials and Electricity Make and test materials or devices that can conduct electricity, protect electrical devices, or block Wi-Fi or RFID signals.
Experiment with Microbial Genetics Explore microbial genetics by transforming DNA in bacteria so that they perform new functions. Or experiment with killing harmful microorganisms by damaging DNA.
Experiment with Microbial Metabolism Discover how microorganisms generate energy to stay alive by experimenting with conditions that allow them to thrive or inhibit growth. Explore the chemistry behind the bubbles that yeast produce as they break down sugar, or the movement of slime mold as it senses its environment.
Experiment with Microbial Safety Experiment with microbial safety, the best ways to prepare food and keep your hands clean to prevent microorganisms from growing.
Experiment with Minerals Discover minerals, the building blocks of rocks. Explore the properties of minerals (such as whether you can predict the color of a crystal inside a geode).
Experiment with Motors and Generators Discover how motors work and build your own with circuits, magnets, or even ocean power. Experiment with ways to increase the electricity (or even speed!) your motor generates.
Experiment with Permanent Magnets Explore electromagnetism, magnetic fields generated by electricity, while also using permanent magnets. Add permanent magnets to increase the electricity generated, to boost your device, or to test your device.
Experiment with Photography & Video Explore the science and technology behind photography, digital photography, and video. Use your camera to see light in a new way, like skyglow or infrared. Or test how changing different settings of a camera or image affect what you see.
Experiment with Planets Investigate free online data sets or collections of images to answer questions about planets, moons, satellites, or asteroids. Or build your own moving and changing planetary or lunar model.
Experiment with Plant Cells Do a hands-on experiment to investigate plants at the cell level. Separate the pigments in leaves or flowers, find out how enzymes work by extracting apple juice, or even discover how plants actually respond to touch.
Experiment with Plant Growth Garden and grow plants in all sorts of ways--in different light, soils, water, and more. Test how fruits ripen, plant seeds, grow a garden in water, or start with plantlets rather than seed. Learn to measure plant growth accurately.
Experiment with Plant Metabolism Explore metabolism, the chemical processes within plants. Experiment with photosynthesis, the conversion of light into energy, or fruit ripening, the production of sugar.
Experiment with Plant Parts Do a hands-on experiment to investigate the different components of a plant. Grow new sweet potatoes or cabbages from their parts, count seeds in fruits, or separate all the colors in leaves or petals.
Experiment with Projectiles Experiment with the flight distance, speed, and pattern of sports balls, rings, or frisbees. Throw, kick, or strike an object, measure what happens (sometimes even with a radar gun), and learn what affects the results.
Experiment with Projectiles Explore the mechanics of projectiles, objects that are in motion and are only encountering the force of gravity. As part of a hands-on experiment, throw, launch, kick, or drop an object to turn it into a projectile and measure what happens.
Experiment with Proteins Discover how proteins speed up chemical reactions, help biological processes, or even glow in the dark. Extract proteins, observe how they function, and even build a tool to measure their impact.
Experiment with Radio Waves Experiment with radio waves, from making your own AM radio to transmitting AM to boosting your Wi-Fi. Learn to build circuits, block or boost radio signals, and measure results.
Experiment with Robots Explore building and designing robots that can move or change based on what you do or what they find around them. Design a robot that creates art, crosses terrain, goes underwater, runs on solar power, exists in a virtual world, and more.
Experiment with Saltwater Experiment with saltwater. Discover how to measure salt concentration (salinity), investigate the effects of salinity on how objects float, or explore how increased acid affects saltwater.
Experiment with Simple Machines Design and build your own simple machine or investigate how they work. While simple machines are called simple, learn that they make many things happen, including your bike go around. Simple machines are levers, inclined planes (ramps), screws, wheels/axles, pulleys, and wedges.
Experiment with Soil Investigate pollution levels in soil. Or experiment with soil as it affects the environment through erosion when water carries it into streams or as it provides a habitat for earthworms.
Experiment with Soil Investigate questions about soil, which is so important for most of food production and as a base for our buildings and structures. Collect and measure properties of soil at different sites, or do a hands-on experiment with a sand sample.
Experiment with Solar Power Experiment with solar power by building your own solar-powered robot or oven or by testing ways to speed up an existing solar car. Or analyze how solar cells or panels work.
Experiment with the Biochemistry of Proteins Analyze protein structure and properties to improve human health. Using free online tools and databases, find the best protein environment for generating a new kidney outside the body, or make sure drugs only target biological processes they are meant to.
Experiment with the pH Scale Investigate a chemistry-focused question where the answer will be on the pH scale. Experiment with how acid affects the environment or health. Or test pH levels of objects around you or of products that you make.
Experiment with the Weather & Atmosphere Explore weather and the atmosphere, the ocean of air that blankets the planet. Measure the percentage of oxygen in air, humidity, smog particles, or temperature. Or find patterns in data about severe weather, climate, wind speed, air quality, and more from free online resources.
Experiment with Thermodynamics Investigate the effect of temperature on chemical reactions. Or measure how chemical reactions might heat up or cool down the temperature (such as the best way to make a cold pack).
Experiment with Vertebrates Investigate a question about the behavior or health of vertebrates (animals with backbones). Do a hands-on experiment (such as observations of striking lizards) or find patterns in data (such as the migratory path of a sparrow) from free online resources.
Experiment with Video Games Make your own video and computer games, or explore how video games impact how people think, remember, and move. Write a list of instructions (a program) to build a game, or observe how volunteers play games.
Experiment with Vision Experiment with vision: how people perceive colors and what makes it hard to focus on what they see. Observe volunteers in an experiment you set up or collect data about your own vision.
Experiment with Water Quality Measure the effects of polluted water on living things or investigate how water becomes polluted. Learn multiple ways to test water quality.
Explore Animal Anatomy Explore the anatomy of animals, what makes up their bodies and how their bodies work. Do a hands-on experiment to understand how an organ, organ system, or body part works or changes in response to the environment.
Explore Biotechnology Methods Explore biotechnology techniques, such as enzymes, centrifuges, or chromatography. Monitor how enzymes speed up reactions. Explore how to separate substances by spinning them or putting them in a column with sand.
Explore Computer Hardware Learn about computer hardware (the actual machines and wiring) by designing something you would like it to do, assembling it, and then using free tools to write a list of software instructions (a program) to go along with it to make it happen. Or analyze how hardware works.
Explore Computer Software Learn about software by designing something that you would like a computing device to do, and then use free tools to write a list of instructions (a program) to make it happen. Or analyze how existing software works.
Explore Cooking's Chemical Reactions Explore the chemical reactions that make food taste great (or bad!). Measure the results of these reactions and improve recipes based on what you learn.
Explore Electrochemistry Discover how electricity can cause a chemical change or the other way around. Investigate chemicals that can conduct electricity or how electricity changes pH. Create your own power source like a battery from saltwater or even vegetables, or improve fuel cells powered by mud and bacteria.
Explore Energy Sources Explore different sources of renewable energy like plants, biofuels, the wind, and water. Do a hands-on experiment or make a model of a renewable energy source.
Explore Evolution Explore evolution at the level of the genome, the set of DNA belonging to an organism. Using free online tools and databases, investigate how closely related species are to each other or how they may have evolved over time.
Explore Galaxies Investigate free online data sets or collections of images to answer questions about stars, galaxies, and even the age of galaxies. Or learn about stars' x-rays, which don't emit visible light, and how to color-code them as if they do.
Explore Gene Expression Discover how the genotype, or genes, of an organism relates to the phenotype, or characteristics, it expresses. Use online tools and databases or do a hands-on experiment.
Explore How Chemicals Dissolve Explore how chemicals dissolve (solubility) to separate and identify them, to grow crystals, or to understand fats in food or acid rain. Build tools to separate chemicals by using the principle of solubility, measure how things dissolve with existing tools, or make and test your own products, like soap or shampoo.
Explore How Medicines Work Explore how researchers find new medicines. Through free online tools, discover that some medicines might work differently for some people because of mutations, or changes, in their genes. Or do hands-on experiments to test how medicines work.
Explore Human Behavior Explore human behavior, especially in small or large groups. Survey people, observe people during an experiment, or use online tools to find patterns in data to answer questions about honesty, motivation, or fear.
Explore Human Health Investigate questions in human health--how the body works and how best to keep it working. Take physical health measurements like heart rate for different populations to look for patterns, or build a model of an organ or organ function to discover how it works.
Explore Human Physical Responses Explore physical responses in human behavior, such as how distracting distractions can be, or whether the word "triangle" written inside a rectangle makes it harder to read.
Explore Nutrition Through kitchen chemistry, discover for yourself nutritional content in your food. Design a method to extract and measure substances in a food or drink. Or do a hands-on experiment to test how a nutrient works.
Explore People's Motivations Explore the psychology of human behavior, why people act the way they do. Observe volunteers in experiments you set up or do a survey to ask participants about their motivations.
Explore Sports and Health Experiment with sports and health, such as the impact on heart rate, memory, or concussion risk. Or investigate the health benefits in sports products.
Explore Structural Engineering Make sure that the building, bridge, or other structure you design is safe, stable, and solid. Learn ways to measure the strength of structures you design, such as how much weight they can hold, and use geometry from school to make your designs stronger.
Explore Tectonic Plates Investigate questions about tectonic plates, which make up the outer shell of the earth. Build and test your own seismograph, which detects and records ground motion. Or use free online tools and databases to find patterns in seismic activity.
Explore the Atmosphere Explore the atmosphere, the ocean of air that blankets the planet. Measure the percentage of oxygen in air, humidity, smog particles, or temperature. Or download data regarding air quality or storms from free online databases.
Explore the Genetics of Human Diseases Explore how scientists research what kinds of genes cause disease or how to make sure that medications work the way they should. Use free online tools and databases, or explore your own genes through a website like 23andMe.
Explore Why Genes Matter Discover how a genotype, individuals' own genes, affects their health, their characteristics, and their response to medication. Or explore the family trees of plants and animals, such as the T Rex, blue whale, or wooly mammoth.
Expore Computer Science Explore how to accomplish tasks with computer hardware and software-- but not just a typical laptop, but everything from cellphones, to tiny Raspberry Pis, and robots. Investigate solving environmental problems, explore improving human health, or animate your art.
Fight Harmful Microbes Experiment with ways to inhibit the growth of microorganisms, which is important because some can cause disease. Test how well medications, products, sunlight, garlic, a virus, or more work to combat microbes.
Fight Water Pollution Measure the effects of polluted water on living things. Or investigate how water becomes polluted by experimenting with the effects of algae, silt deposits, or fertilizer.
Generate Energy or Electricity Investigate ways to generate energy or electricity. Build your own device to generate electricity, analyze and test an existing device, or create a model.
Get a Computer To Do Repeat Tasks Use free tools to write a list of instructions (a program) to make a repetitive task happen--but practice can make perfect. With your function-based program, guess a password or predict when to help endangered animals.
Grow Microbes on Agar Culture microorganisms on an agar plate. Place a sample of microorganisms in a petri dish of agar so that you can observe their growth, measure them, and collect data for your experiment.
Grow Plants Discover and analyze which environmental conditions (soil, water, light, or temperature) may help plants grow. Or investigate if certain types of pollution harms plants.
Improve Sports or Other Performances See if you can coach yourself for sports or performances. Break a sports skill down into steps or equipment you use so that you can analyze how to improve it. Or investigate other reasons performers succeed, like practice.
Investigate Astronomy Data Investigate questions about the universe by finding patterns in free data online-- for example, it's possible for you to measure craters on Mercury or how fast the sun rotates from your own computer. Access and analyze these databases-- often using basic statistics or geometric concepts.
Investigate Diseases and Medicines Investigate the causes of diseases and possible cures. Use free online tools and databases to explore why some gene mutations cause diseases and how medicines work. Or build a model of a biological function.
Investigate Earth or Environmental Science Data Download data from free online databases, the same ones that scientists use, to answer an earth or environmental sciences question. Find patterns in data, such as good locations to build wave energy power systems or areas of poor water quality related to algal blooms.
Investigate Laws of Motion Investigate key laws of motion-- by setting an experiment moving (such as launching a catapult). Chart and analyze your data to draw conclusions.
Investigate Life Science Data Download data from free online databases, the same ones that scientists use, to answer a life science question. Find patterns in data, such as the journeys animals take or a population of gamers who may be addicted to playing.
Investigate Lift, Drag, and Thrust Investigate lift, drag, and thrust to design better flying objects or predict flight. Learn about creating better lift, the force that pushes up on the wings of something that flies. Or work on generating thrust to combat drag, what pulls flying objects back.
Investigate Ocean or Weather Data Investigate questions about the health of the oceans or changes in weather by finding patterns in free data online. Access and analyze these databases (collections of related data).
Investigate Physical Science Data Download data from free online databases, the same ones that scientists use, to answer a physical science question. Find patterns in data, such as the location of the center of a galaxy or the timing of tides.
Investigate Science Data Online Download data from free online tools and databases to explore questions about astronomy, the weather, biology, geology, or sports. Find patterns in the same data that scientists and professionals use.
Investigate Seismic Waves Investigate questions about seismic waves, energy that travels out when rocks clash and break during an earthquake. Build and test your own seismograph, which detects and records ground motion. Or use free online tools and databases to map seismic waves or where earthquakes began.
Investigate the Climate Investigate the climate, the weather over a period of time, of your local area, cities around the globe, or even the Arctic and Antarctica. Make a model or download data from free online databases.
Investigate Toxic Substances Determine how dangerous or toxic an environment or substance is for a living thing. With data you've collected, you may be able to inform others about environmental problems in your community, such as harmful lead in the soil, or about products that are better to use.
Keep Safe Online Explore cybersecurity: how to keep yourself, others, and data safe online. Pretend to be a spy by using your coding skills to wipe out a file, encrypt key information, or guess passwords or identities.
Make a Digital Circuit Create a tool, piece of art, or game that has a digital circuit that turns on or off according to a sensor (like an invader alert system that buzzes when someone comes in your room).
Make a Geometry or Probability Model Model geometry and math concepts by doing a hands-on experiment. Explore how statistics (like the colors of M&Ms in a bag), probability (rolling dice), and geometry (packaging of juice boxes) work in the real world.
Make a Math Model Build an abstract math model that helps you predict or make decisions about a real-world question. Learn why math equations matter by using a logistic model to predict when endangered animals need help or apply geometry to find the best places to bank a basket in basketball.
Make a Product with Microbes Discover how some microorganisms create useful applications, such as generating energy or making yogurt. Create or improve products that microorganisms help to generate.
Make a Video Game Write a list of instructions (a program) to create a video game or part of a video game. Design and build an entire educational or entertainment game, or explore how to make an element of a video game, such as animation or music.
Make an Animation Write a list of instructions (a program) to make an object, design, or character move on a Web page. Change your animation and test how people react to it.
Make Predictions Make predictions in life science, sports and games, or earth science. Make a hands-on model to bring probability to life, or create a list of instructions (a program) for a computer to run a math model.
Make Something with Chemistry Make tie-dye, bath bombs, silly putty and more with chemistry. Determine the best quantities of materials and ideal procedure for your chemical reaction.
Manufacture Food Create your own mini-food manufacturing experiment. Test the best way to process cheese, chocolate, butter, or yogurt and more by making your own tool or changing ingredients.
Map Seismic Waves Use free online tools and databases to map seismic waves, energy that travels out when rocks clash and break during an earthquake. Make maps of how fast waves travel or even estimate the diameter of the Earth's core.
Measure a Chemical Reaction Discover a way to measure the results of a chemical reaction which will all depend on what it does, such as rate, brightness, or even amount of gas produced. Investigate what affects the reaction, such as temperature or properties of the original chemicals.
Measure a Hot or Cold Device Build or improve a thermal device that heats up or keeps cool and measure its performance. Learn about chemistry and energy science principles to consider in your design.
Measure a Process Measure the performance of a process--in environmental science, engineering, or even sports. Define what a process should do, find the best way to test how well a process runs, and collect data.
Measure an Energy-Generating Device Measure how well energy-generating devices work as you experiment with, or even build, fuel cells, solar cells, or appliances. Test how changes you make affect how well your device performs.
Measure an Experiment that Changes Temperature Measure the temperature change that occurs during a physics, chemistry, energy, or electronics experiment. As conditions change, test how your results heat up or cool down.
Measure Chemical Properties Measure properties of things that you could never have known without using chemistry. Use a kit or bought materials to separate a solution into different colors. Or make your own tool like pH paper to test acid level or a spectrophotometer to measure how much visible light is absorbed in colored solutions.
Measure Chemicals in the Environment Measure chemicals that could be damaging the environment. With solid data you've collected, inform others about what is going on in their local environment, such as acid in rainwater or pollution in a neighborhood creek, and how to help.
Measure How a Material Performs Measure the performance of materials during an experiment. Collect different types of data based on what the material should do, such as the height of a drop test for product packaging or Wi-Fi signal strength for a shielding material.
Measure How Objects Make Sound Investigate the physical properties of music, how objects actually make sound and how you can measure the sounds they make. Learn to make bottles, glasses, or strings sing.
Measure Human Actions Measure changes in how humans act. Collect data about whether volunteers are motivated, the time it takes them to do a task, or how well they do a task.
Measure Human Perception Measure human perception, the ability of people to use their senses and remember what they've experienced. Collect data about the score volunteers get on a test, the time it takes them to do a task, or percentage of volunteers who have certain characteristics.
Measure Light During an Experiment Measure optical properties of a device that you build or an experiment that you conduct. Measure and record optical properties (like color changes) in a chemical reaction or physics experiment (like the speed of light in gelatin).
Measure Light in a Solution Investigate questions in chemistry by using spectroscopy, measuring the amount of visible light. Discover two different ways to build a spectrophotometer--one with a cellphone.
Measure Machines' Physical Properties Investigate what happens to machines and materials when the physical world changes around them. Measure how the stretchiness of rubber bands changes with temperature, or how a spring scale changes with weight, or how sticky or slippery a slide is.
Measure Microbes' Growth Learn how to measure microbial growth--collecting accurate data about organisms that as individuals you need a microscope to see. Measure the size of a colony, number of colonies, or even what the organisms produce.
Measure Physical Properties Investigate a physics question by measuring physical properties, such as speed, size, sound, temperature, and color. Change your experiment to measure the effect on a physical property, such as appearance, sound, or speed.
Measure Software Performance Write a list of instructions (a program) to make a computer do a task, and measure how changing the instructions affects the performance of the program. Or analyze changes in existing software.
Measure Something in Nature Measure parts of the natural world like the brightness of the moon, the distance around the earth, or the rotation of the sun. Use science, math, or photography as you calculate the measurement.
Measure Speed of Something You Make Build or improve a moving object and then measure how far or fast it goes. Learn about the science behind movement to make your design go as far or fast as it can.
Measure Sports Performance Measure an athlete's physical responses to determine if there are health benefits or to coach the athlete's performance. Take simple health measurements like heart rate. Or learn to measure aspects of sports performance in a scientific way.
Measure Taste, Smell, and Texture Use your own senses (and sometimes those of volunteers) of taste, smell, and perceiving texture as a way to gather data for your own experiment cooking food or making a product. Improve a cooking recipe, separate water from fruit juice, or make skunk odor remover.
Measure Temperature During an Experiment Measure thermal properties (temperature) during a hands-on experiment. Measure and record temperature changes during a chemical reaction (making hand warmers), a life sciences model (bottles that are like huddled puppies), or physics experiment (stretching rubber bands).
Measure Things About Animals Measure the physical response of animals when their environment has changed. Collect basic physical health measurements or the number of times animals choose a behavior.
Measure What an Electrical Device Does Discover how electrical devices work as you experiment with, sometimes build, and test real working recorders, generators, radios, and more. Measure how changes you make affect how well your device performs.
Measure What's in Food Through kitchen chemistry, measure the quantities of the vitamins, sugar, fat, and more in your food. Get to know what you consume as you answer questions about the best time to eat fruit or the vitamin C content in orange juice.
Move Things with Magnets Make all sorts of things move with magnets. Use magnets to power motors, levitation, and acceleration. Or apply them to life science, where their attraction qualities help model DNA copying, cleaning up oil spills, or separating mixtures.
Observe Astronomy with Your Own Tools Explore astronomy by going outside for hands-on experiments with tools, such as a telescope, light meter, or a digital camera. With these measurements, make graphs or do geometry to find the brightness of the moon, the size of the earth, or more.
Observe Something in Nature Go outside into the natural world and carefully observe one aspect to discover the answer to a science question. Take a measurement of stars or the moon, or look underneath your feet to investigate moss or soil bugs.
Observe Volunteers for a Gaming Experiment Observe volunteers to investigate questions about gaming. Recruit participants for your experiment, observe how well they play games under certain conditions or how games affect them later (such as when they take a test).
Observe Volunteers in a Behavior Experiment Observe how volunteers do a task to experiment with what they feel, how their memories work, and how they perceive objects. Recruit enough participants to form a valid conclusion.
Plant Seeds or Clone Plants Explore plant reproduction--even cloning. Experiment to find the best conditions for seeds, cloned cabbages, or baby plantlets.
Prevent Rotten Food Investigate ways to prevent food from going to waste by keeping it fresh. Do hands-on experiments to try to ban rotting, spoiling, and yuckiness.
Protect Wildlife Experiment to discover what type of habitat is best for specific animals. By making a model, visiting natural areas, or using free online tools, collect and analyze data that you can share with others to help animals like frogs, birds, and wolves.
Recruit Volunteers for a Food or Health Experiment Recruit volunteers as you investigate questions in food science and human health. Ask them to do taste tests, rate the texture of recipes, smell items, or do physical tasks.
Recruit Volunteers for a Gaming Experiment Recruit volunteers to investigate questions about gaming. Collect data on how well they perform certain games, or survey them about their likes and dislikes.
Recruit Volunteers for a Music Experiment Recruit volunteers to explore an interesting question about music. Test or survey groups of people to identify who can hit a certain pitch or how they feel, react, or think when they listen to, or create, music.
Recruit Volunteers for a Sociology Experiment Recruit participants for a survey or observation study in sociology, the study of human behavior in groups and society. For example, explore changing motivations, breaking stereotypes, or understanding teen stress levels. Recruit enough participants to form a valid conclusion.
Recruit Volunteers for a Sports Experiment Recruit participants to do a sports skill or test. Observe volunteers reacting quickly to catch something, pitching a baseball, running an obstacle course, shooting a basketball, and more. Recruit enough participants to form a valid conclusion.
Recyle or Reuse Waste Find out how not to waste waste (from cellphones to pee) but instead recycle or reuse it. Do your own recycling, make a composter, or conduct a recycling survey.
Separate Colors Uncover the hidden colors of the rainbow in markers, candy, flowers, or leaves by using chromatography, a technique to separate components in a mixture. Extract solution, apply it to a test strip, and calculate an easy equation.
Set Off an Explosion (for Science) Create an explosion or fire on purpose that your parents and teachers will like. Launch a rocket, burn different colors of chemicals that look like starlight, or even compare motor oil with renewable fuel. Investigate how changing your materials affects what happens.
Set Things Moving Explore laws of motion by doing a hands-on experiment. Change one part of your experiment (like the air pressure in a rocket) to see how it will affect movement.
Stretch and Break Materials Explore the physical and mechanical properties of materials, such as their strength, stiffness, appearance, expansion when heated, and stickiness. Experiment with what happens when these materials break, stretch, snap, drop, and more.
Study Sound with Your Computer Use specialized (usually free) software to study sound. Analyze sound frequency (which determines the pitch), edit sound files, or translate homemade handbells into sound.
Survey Things People Have Made Survey things people have made to find out how they work and how to improve them. Discover simple machines, conserve energy, or improve the environment.
Survey Volunteers Find volunteers to take a written survey about an important question in science. Following guidelines, design the survey yourself or follow an existing experiment, and recruit enough participants to form a valid conclusion.
Survey Volunteers for a Music Experiment Explore how music is sound that people create to share emotions. Test or survey groups of people to identify who can hit a certain pitch or how they feel, react, or think when they listen to, or create, music.
Survey Volunteers for a Sociology Experiment Survey people or observe how they act in groups or in society to answer a question in sociology. For example, explore what motivates people to behave well…or badly. Recruit enough participants to form a valid conclusion.
Take Care of Animals Discover and analyze which environmental conditions (soil or water) and diet may help animals grow. Or investigate if certain types of pollution harm animals.
Test a Material with Chemistry Discover the chemical properties of materials. Start a chemical reaction and measure what happens to the material.
Test a Material with Physics and Chemistry Test and observe the physical or chemical properties of materials. Whether you make your own material or use an existing one, test physical properties, such as appearance, texture, and brittleness, or chemical properties, such as how well a fiber dyes.
Test an Athletic Device Measure the performance of an athletic device. Test a device to see if it really works to boost a game's score or even experiment to improve it yourself. Or work on improving athlete safety by monitoring shocks to helmets during football or another contact game.
Test Construction Materials Investigate the strength of the nuts and bolts of what goes into buildings. Build your own tools or discover accurate ways to measure concrete strength, nails and screws in wood, or glue performance.
Uncover Food Additives Analyze what food colorings, minerals, sugar or other substances manufacturers add to foods or drinks. Find out why they might do this--to improve the taste, nutrition, or appearance of a product.
Use a Spreadsheet Program Use a spreadsheet program to analyze astronomy, sports, or biology data. With a spreadsheet, find patterns in data from free databases online or do simple statistical analysis on measurements from your own experiment.
Use Chemistry Equipment in a Lab Take chemistry sets to the next level by using specialized equipment or going to a lab. Explore gel electrophoresis, a technique to separate and view DNA, RNA, and proteins, or use tools to measure light in, or density of, a solution.
Use Cooking Equipment Use cooking equipment to experiment with making better-tasting food. Or take measurements for your food science experiment with existing equipment or even a tool you make.
Use Crime-Solving Techniques Try forensic techniques used in the solving of crimes by testing unknown substances, DNA sequences, blood, or an eerie blue glow. Learn tests like gel electrophoresis (a technique to separate and view DNA, RNA, and proteins) or mixing chemicals to identify an unknown one.
Use Genetics Software Use free online tools and databases to investigate questions in genomics, the whole set of DNA belonging to an organism. Download and analyze data like the mitochondrial DNA of wooly mammoths, proteins related to recent flu strains, or the blue whale's family tree.
Use Solar Energy Use solar energy as you create your own robot, make your own oven, make freshwater from saltwater, or collect and heat water. Or analyze how existing solar cells or panels work.
Use Specialized DNA/Protein Equipment Use specialized equipment to extract and analyze DNA and proteins. Build your own tool to identify DNA, or use existing equipment to reveal actual DNA you can send for sequencing (which for native plants might be the first time they've been sequenced and documented).
Use Tech to Make Music Build or change technology to create your own music, sound, or musical instrument. Learn to use a music-producing technology (such as a Raspberry Pi mini-computer), software that can change the way a banjo sounds, an electronic buzzer with an electric guitar, or a theremin.
Wire a Breadboard for a Robot Build a robot that uses an electronic breadboard. Wire a circuit on a breadboard, which makes it easy to make changes and try new ideas.
Free science fair projects.