If you're interested in object motion and enjoy building things or taking mechanical things apart to see how they work, then it sounds like you'd be interested in mechanical engineering. Check out one of the mechanical engineering project ideas below and you could find exactly what you're looking for.
When you think of a machine, you probably think of computers or robots. But what if I told you that machines have been around for centuries? Would you believe me? Try this experiment to see which of these simple machines you use around your house. You might even use some of them everyday!
"What?! Many of my toys are also machines?" That's right—simple machines! Simple machines are everywhere! Under your feet when you climb stairs, in your hand when you use a utensil to eat your dinner, even in your arm when you throw a ball. Come visit this science fair project and explore the six types of simple machines. Find out how many are hiding under the hinged lid (yes, another simple machine) of your toy box!
How many times have you heard from your parents: "Clean up your room!" or "Don't forget to unload the dishwasher!" By applying principles of industrial engineering and time management, you can speed through your chores and have more time to kick back and relax.
What are some of the ways we keep track of time? We have alarm clocks, wristwatches, and cell-phone clocks, to name a few. Just a few hundred years ago, our ancestors did not have any of these conveniences, yet they found ways to tell time. How? By using devices such as water clocks. In this science project, you will follow in the footsteps of early engineers and build a water clock that tracks time for three hours.
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Average (6-10 days)
You will need to purchase a ring stand or build a stand to hold the water clock. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Low ($20 - $50)
Use caution when using tools like hacksaws and hammers. Adult supervision is required.
"Hey kids, step right up! Toss this ball and win a prize!" shouts the carny barker. Sounds easy enough—until you try it. Why are those "simple" games at the fairs, carnivals, and boardwalks so hard? Is it really lack of skill or coordination or do those concessionaires use some basic laws of science to help them set up the games in their favor? This science fair project can help you find out for yourself.
If you have ever been shot with a rubber band then you know it has energy in it, enough energy to smack you in the arm and cause a sting! But just how much energy does a rubber band have? In this experiment you will find out how the stretching of a rubber band affects the amount of energy that springs out of it.
Want to do a project with a toy your parents, or even grandparents, might have played with? Slinkies are fun toys that also make great physics and engineering projects. In this science project you will investigate how changing the angle of an inclined plane affects how the Slinky walks down it. What angle will enable the Slinky to go for the best walk?
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.