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Science Fair Project Idea
What do you do with your old wooden pencils when they get too short to hold? Don't throw them away; you can use them to make circuits! This project will show you how to use pencils to make resistors, an important part of many electrical circuits, and test how they affect the brightness of a lightbulb in a simple circuit. Read more
Elec_p013
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A kit for this project is available from the . Estimated project time includes time for shipping the kit.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Never connect the positive and negative ends (red and black wires) of the battery pack directly to each other. Adult supervision is required for cutting the pencils.
Science Fair Project Idea
Electricity powers many of the devices we use every day, from lights to video games and computers. Engineers have to use certain materials to make electrical devices work. In this experiment, you will find out which materials let electricity flow through them (conductors) and which ones prevent electricity from flowing through them (insulators). Read more
Elec_p018
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability For your convenience, a kit is available for this project from the . Estimated project time includes time for shipping the kit.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Never connect the positive and negative ends (red and black wires) of the battery pack directly to each other.
Science Fair Project Idea
When you think of a motor, you may immediately think of a car, but you actually encounter other motors in your home every day. That's right, if you put on clean clothes from the washing machine, ate food from the fridge, or used a fan, you used an electric motor. In this electronics science project, you will make a simple electric motor with two magnets that "talk" to each other. As they interact, they will alternate between "liking" each other (pulling together), and "disliking" each other… Read more
Elec_p051
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be able to coil wire neatly (or find someone who can show you how) in order to make your electric motor work.
Material Availability A kit containing all the specialty items needed for this project is available from the .
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety

Never try to use a wall socket as power source for your motor.

Neodymium magnets are very strong. Follow the safety guidelines in the Procedure for working with these magnets.

Science Fair Project Idea
Have you tried our , and now you are looking for more to do? Do you want to learn more about circuits and add even more lights? Check out this project for part 2 of our play dough circuits series! Read more
Elec_p074
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should understand the Introduction material in [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p073" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Light Up Your Play Dough!" HtmlHash="background" #]—the first project in this series—before doing this project.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Never connect the battery pack's terminals directly to each other; this is called a short circuit and can make the batteries and wires get very hot. Do not connect the LEDs directly to the battery pack without using play dough; this will burn out the LEDs.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you ever noticed how magnets appear to have no effect on each other when they are far apart? Then, when you slowly move them closer together, you will start to feel a gentle pull until they suddenly snap together? How exactly does the strength of a magnet change with distance, and how would you measure it if you wanted to find out? In this project you will build a circuit that can measure the strength of a magnetic field and see how the field strength changes with distance. Read more
Elec_p030
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with using a solderless breadboard, or willingness to learn
Material Availability For your convenience a kit is available for this project from the . Time required includes shipping for the kit.
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot. Double-check all of your wiring before you connect the 9 V battery.
Science Fair Project Idea
In this science project, you will build what might be the world's simplest motor. It has just four basic parts: magnets, a battery, a screwdriver, and a short piece of wire. It takes only minutes to assemble, but it provides a wonderful device to explore how electricity and magnetism combine to produce a fast-spinning motor. Read more
Elec_p065
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some familiarity with basic electronics and physics would be helpful, but is not required.
Material Availability Specialty items are required. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Minor injury is possible. Wear safety goggles at all times. Be sure to read the important safety notes at the beginning of the Experimental Procedure before you begin.
Science Fair Project Idea
You may be familiar with permanent magnets—the kind that hang on a refrigerator. But did you know that other magnets, called electromagnets, can be turned on and off? When turned on, electromagnets act just like permanent magnets, but if you turn them off, their magnetic properties disappear. Electromagnets are an important part of many electronic devices, like motors, loudspeakers, and hard drives. You can create an electromagnet with a simple coil of wire and a battery. In this project,… Read more
Elec_p035
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This project requires specialty items, available in the . Estimated project time includes shipping for the kit.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety The electromagnet can become hot during periods of extended use.
Science Fair Project Idea
Dimmer switches let us control the brightness of a light, anywhere from completely off to full brightness. This can be nice when you want to set the brightness "just right," as opposed to a regular light switch that only lets you turn a light on or off. It turns out that you can make a dimmer switch out of an everyday object—a pencil! Try this project to find out how a dimmer switch can control the brightness of a light. Read more
Elec_p056
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability For your convenience a kit for this project is available at the . Estimated project time includes time for shipping the kit.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot and present a burn hazard. Never connect the positive and negative ends (red and black wires) of the battery pack directly to each other. Adult supervision is required for whittling the pencil.
Science Fair Project Idea
Water is a valuable resource, and water shortages are a serious problem in many parts of the world. The problem can be made worse by people who waste water; for example, by watering a garden or using sprinklers on their lawn (or a farmer taking care of an entire field) when it has rained recently or the soil is already moist. How can you help conserve water and prevent such waste? One way is to build an electronic soil moisture sensor. This project will show you how to build a circuit that… Read more
Elec_p066
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with using a solderless breadboard, or willingness to learn.
Material Availability Specialty electronics items are required. A kit is available from the . Time required includes shipping for the kit.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Short circuits can get very hot. Double-check all of your wiring before you connect the 9 V battery.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have you tried our first and second play dough circuits projects? Are you a master circuit artist, ready to try something even bigger and better? Try this project to see if you can build a three-dimensional light-up sculpture. Read more
Elec_p075
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This project requires understanding the Introduction material in the first projects in this series: [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p073" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Light Up Your Play Dough!" #] and [# ProjectIdea Name="Elec_p074" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="Add Even More Lights" #]
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Never connect the battery pack's terminals directly to each other; this is called a short circuit and can make the batteries and wires get very hot. Do not connect the LEDs directly to the battery pack without using play dough; this will burn out the LEDs.
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