Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Science Fair Projects..Ever do one?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Science Fair Projects..Ever do one?

    I am interested in hearing (and hopefully seeing) what science fair projects members have done or have helped with over the years.

    Let's hear about the successes and the failures.

    Thanks

  • #2
    I made a Tesla coil in the 60's. Nothing particularly innovative. 10,000 V. neon sign tranformer feeding the Tesla primary coil. You could light a fluorescent bulb just by holding it nearby. Nowdays I'd probably get citations from FCC, FAA and a dozen other agencies.
    .
    "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

    Comment


    • #3
      I helped my daughter last year with a project that described interferometry and how it can be used to measure small distances. She ended up earning an excellent at the Ohio State Science Fair. Document everything ! Using a lab notebook or journal. There are standards for doing Science Fair projects and a multitude of forms as the projects move from district to state level. That is more work that the actual project.

      The Project:


      In Action:


      Fringe Created up recombination of laser beams:


      Explanation:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interferometry
      Last edited by Bmyers; 09-26-2009, 08:05 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Too_Many_Tools
        I am interested in hearing (and hopefully seeing) what science fair projects members have done or have helped with over the years.

        Let's hear about the successes and the failures.

        Thanks
        Transistor radio back in the 60's. Guess that makes me old

        Clutch

        Comment


        • #5
          For kids in the 4th to 6th grade range the home made electric motors are cool.

          you need a block of wood, 6 nails, some coat hanger wire, some magnet wire, dental floss and a a few drops of oil. then a power supply like from a train set or whatever.

          kids groove on it , its a fun one to make. I did it in 6th grade and it was way cool.

          If you want a basic plan just ask.

          Comment


          • #6
            Son in about 5th grade as far as I can remember.
            Empty small fire extinguisher partially filled with water and pressurized with air.
            Waterwheel contraption belted to a car alternator.
            volt meter on the alternator.
            Whole thing in a big pan to contain dripping water.
            Small hose from extinguisher to water wheel.
            Squeeze off extinguisher and watch water spray run waterwheel/alternator and subsequently generate electricity as shown by volt meter.
            Extinguisher had enough charge to last for about 3 different tries.

            No machining involved (wasn't in to it way back when).

            Numerous crystal sets back in my youth. Made some elaborate ones too. Was only way to hear the radio for me (no such thing as portable radios). Lucky the house had one. TV, what's that?
            Last edited by dave5605; 09-26-2009, 10:50 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you want to win at a science fair then do a real science project, not just a demonstration.

              1 Form a hypothesis to investigate

              2 Plan how to validate or invalidate the hypothesis by experiment

              3 Perform the experiment(s)

              4 Collect data on the experiment(s)

              5 Analyze the data and reach a conclusion as to whether it confirms, invalidates or is inconclusive re the hypothesis.

              In middle school I won first place locally and an Honourable mention at the state fair for my Investigation into the Geotropic Effect in Plants.

              The question was "Do plants react to centripital force in the same manner as gravity?"

              I built a centrifuge inside a large safety cage. It had holders at each end of the arm in which a large test tube could freely swing to an angle in response to rotation. I grew bean plants in the test tubes running the centrifuge at 33 1/3 rpm for several weeks and took photographs of the results. Controls were grown inside the cage at the same angle the test tubes asssumed when spinning, about 45 degrees.

              The result was conclusive that plants can be fooled. The plants in the centrifuge grew directly out of the test tube at a 45 degree angle as if they were growing straight up. The controls immediately turned to true "up" when they grew out of the tubes.
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Evan
                If you want to win at a science fair then do a real science project, not just a demonstration.
                My wife judged some and Evan's description is dead on.

                Even if you experiment fails you get way better marks/grading than the kids that have accurate volcanoes, motors, you name it.

                Even a failed experiment gets high marks if you can suggest reasons it failed or possible further questions to investigate.

                It's SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTATION and EXPLORATION. That's the reason you go into the swamp.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Last year I helped a 5th grader build a variation of the Chladni Plate visual vibration experiment. We stretched a latex membrane over a circular darning hoop upon which was placed glass micro-spheres. Underneath the darning hoop she used her Karioke boom box through which she spoke and sang to vibrate the micro-spheres into interesting patterns. It was a big hit....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is very big over here at the moment, lots of help from a lot of serious companies and you can even get free CAD / CAM thrown in.

                    http://www.f1inschools.co.uk/
                    .

                    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good people

                      That's a great innovation John - and a great "Good News Story" as well.

                      Thanks for posting it.

                      Its a real "lift" to see/read stories like that.

                      It restores people's faith and confidence in at least some of the kids.

                      It can unearth and show-case some marvelous "sciences" talent that might otherwise not be noticed or nurtured.

                      A great effort too by the people who had the concept and developed it as well as those who support and encourage the kids.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I helped my kid do a "biosphere"- a sealed container with plants and snails and maybe even fish. The idea was that everything would sustain everything else. We tried it a couple of different times, with the same result in a short amount of time- a barren dirty tank with snails looking for more to eat!

                        We documented all the steps, and even though it was a failure, my son did well with the project.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          He shouldn't feel bad. Every attempt at a sealed biosphere has failed miserably so far including the big one in Arizona.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Evan
                            He shouldn't feel bad. Every attempt at a sealed biosphere has failed miserably so far including the big one in Arizona.
                            Including NASA.

                            I read in an article that the problem needs to be solved before manned flight to Mars is possible.

                            The failures should also give all of us something to think about when we see others actively destroying the biosphere that we all live in.

                            All closed systems has limits...including the Earth.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't think it's possible to build a non-trivial closed environment with only a very limited number of dependencies. Pick any living thing on Earth and start counting the dependencies, things that it depends on and things that depend on it. Even with something a simple as a virus the list can be long. Get into complex multi-cell entities and the list is too long to even discover completely.
                              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X