Eighth Grade, Materials Science Science Projects (20 results)

Materials science is a fascinating area of research that is often at the cutting edge of science and engineering. It involves both developing new materials and improving on existing ones, and has important applications both for improving daily life and for advancing other fields of research. You can try your hand at making and testing all kinds of substances from plastic to slime.

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It's hard to imagine a world without paper. You wouldn't have things like books, cards, comics, newspaper, construction paper, notebooks, cereal boxes, or that nice sound of shredding wrapping paper on your birthday. There was a time, though, when the only thing people had to write on were slabs of soft, squishy clay. When these slabs dried in the sun, they preserved simple ideas, but they were heavy, like carrying around a load of rocks. Not exactly easy to put in your pocket and carry around.… Read more
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Here's a project for a budding architect or structural engineer. Can you make a strong, lightweight tower using only uncooked spaghetti and white glue? In this project, you'll learn about materials testing and apply what you learn to building and testing structures that are both strong and light. Read more
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In the fairy tale of the three little pigs, the wolf huffed and puffed and blew down the first pig's straw house. But in reality, straw, tied into bales, is a viable building material that, when used properly, makes sturdy and energy-efficient buildings. Straw is a renewable resource that is available all over the world since it is the byproduct of growing grain. In this science fair project, you will test a straw bale covered with stucco to see if it's water resistant, and evaluate if it's… Read more
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It's easy to forget that metals are everywhere and in nearly everything. They are a part of our lives in so many ways that we hardly notice them. But just stop and think about it. We use metal spoons to eat and cook our food. Cars, bikes, and planes are composed of metals. Metals are in our furniture and part of your school supplies. Some people even have metal in the dental work in their mouths. Their strength and dependence is obviously very important. But what are metals? In this science… Read more
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Is an I-beam as strong as a solid beam of the same size? What if you include weight in the comparison: which beam has the greater strength-to-weight ratio? Would an I-beam be stronger than a solid rectangular beam of the same weight? What about other structural shapes (e.g., T-beams, U-beams)? In this project you can find out by setting up a test stand, putting on your safety goggles and measuring how much stress these building components can handle before they snap. Read more
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The insides of a car engine get very hot when the engine is running. Motor oil lubricates the moving parts, to keep the engine operating smoothly. What happens to motor oil as the engine temperature goes up? Read more
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If you're interested in analyzing how things break, check out the Science Buddies project Fractography: The Way Things Break. Read more
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Did you know that you can make a simple hygrometer (a device for measuring the relative humidity of the air) with hair? Search online for instructions to build one. Does the type of hair used in the hygrometer affect the accuracy of the results? Do some types of hair respond faster than others? Do some types of hair give a larger (or smaller) response? You could get hair samples from classmates, or a local beauty shop. Use hair samples of equal length to construct each hygrometer. To force… Read more
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Does adhesive tape hang tight at different temperatures? Measure the adhesive strength of tape at both low and high temperatures. To raise the temperature, we suggest using a blow dryer at both low and high heat settings. To lower the temperature, use an ice pack (try to keep condensation from forming on the tape and confounding the results). For even lower temperatures you could try "dry ice" (frozen carbon dioxide), if available. (Wear heavy gloves when handling dry ice, because it can… Read more
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The different species of wood used in construction offer a variety of challenges based on density, porosity, oils in the wood, flexibility, elasticity, etc. The intended use, e.g., structural or cosmetic, presents different challenges as well. The glue must be compatible with the wood, the use, and the climate, so many experiments are possible. For example, you could design an experiment to test the durability of different adhesives using the same wood. Or, you could try different wood… Read more
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