ScienzFair™ Ideas

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•     What is the best design for a balloon-powered toy car?

•     What is the best design for a toy car powered by a mousetrap?

•     Does the mass of an arrow affect its penetrating power?

•     Problem solving with mass: Determining changes in coins.

•     How can we measure very tiny amounts of mass, and tiny changes in mass?

•     What factors affect the speed with which a parachute falls to the ground?

•     Compare the stored potential energy of different masses when elevated.

•     Can we duplicate Galileo's inclined plane experiment with gravity?

•     Which ramp coating would offer the least resistance to a rolling toy car,
         sandpaper, wax paper or aluminum foil?

•     Is there a mechanical advantage to using a ramp to raise objects?

•     Is a large pulley more effective than a small pulley?

•     What happens to the force needed to lift a weight when an additional pulley
        is added to a block and tackle?

•     Use a model elevator to demonstrate the value of pulley systems.

•     Demonstrate whether or not quarters and feathers fall at the same speed.

•     Demonstrate methods of accurately measuring the force of gravity.

•     Demonstrate whether or not it is possible to measure the gravitational
        force between two masses using a torsion balance.

•     Can it be shown that gravity at the top of a mountain is less than at sea level?

•     Compare different household substances as lubricants in their ability to reduce
        metallic friction.

•     Demonstrate how simple machines function through construction and use of
        a Rube Goldberg machine.

•     Compare and demonstrate the value of basic machines such as the lever, the
        inclined plane, the wheel and axle, wedge, pulley, and screw.

•     Do suction cups stick equally well to all surfaces?  Why?

•     Does scuffing affect the flight of a baseball when it is thrown?

•     What effect does the weight of a bat have on how far a ball can be hit?

•     Compare aluminum ball bats to wooden ones and decide the advantages
        of each.

•     What factors affect the bounce of a dropped ball?

•     What materials are most effective in protecting a dropped egg from impact

•     Which paper airplane will fly the farthest?

•     How does shape affect the lift of an airplane wing?

•     How can we determine the density of an irregular shaped object?

•     Determine the factors that affect the amount of centrifugal force.

•     Compare the strength of paper towels, both wet and dry.    

•     Is an egg stronger in one direction than another?

•     Does a coat of paint change the strength of a piece of wood?

•     Compare the bonding strength of various types of glue.

•     What effect does moisture have on various types of glue?

•     Compare the adhesiveness of different types of tape.

•     Do detergents have any effect on the strength of cloth fibers?

•     What factors affect the strength of a wooden beam?

•     Which laminated beam design is the strongest?

•     Which common household substance is the best lubricant?

•     Which commercial product is the best lubricant?
•     How does the tail affect the flight of a kite?

•     How does shape affect the speed at which a boat can travel?

•     Which blade angle is most efficient for a windmill?

•     Research and demonstrate the Bernoulli principle.

•     What is the best shape/design for a spinning top?

•     What is the best shape/design for a boomerang?

•     What size and shape of frisbee is best for long distance throwing?

•     Which type of string will stretch the most?

•     How  strong is a spider's web compared to other fibers?


•     What effect does temperature have on air volume and pressure?

•     What factors affect a material's combustibility?

•     What factors affect the temperature of a flame?

•     What effect does heat have on various types of glue?

•     Compare different types of wood to see which burns the quickest.

•     Compare fuels such as wood, coal, gas and oil. Which heats the best?

•     Which type of firewood provides the most heat for the dollar cost?

•     Construct and explain the operation of a solar cooker.

•     Construct and explain the operation of a solar furnace.

•     Compare different materials (sand, stone, water, wood, paper, etc.) in their
        ability to retain heat after removal from a heat source.

•     Does the color of an object determine how much heat it absorbs from sunlight?

•     Does temperature affect the strength of rubber bands?

•     Which materials are the best insulators? What factors affect insulation?

•     Does the color of human hair affect its ability to insulate?

•     Which glass would warm up first, one wrapped in dark construction paper or
        one wrapped in aluminum foil? Which glass would preserve ice the longest?

•     Which metals are the best conductors of heat?

•     Which freezes faster?  Hot water or cold? 

•     Which will boil faster? Hot water or cold?

•     What effect does heat have on a recording tape?

•     What factors affect the temperature of a candle's flame?

•     What factors determine how long a candle burns?

•     Compare the flammability of common household fabrics.

•     Which fabric materials are the most fire resistant?

•     Compare the flammability of different roofing materials.

•     How can the fire resistance of clothing and household fabrics be increased?

•     Construct a homemade air conditioner and explain how it works.

•     How does anti-freeze work to control freezing/boiling in a liquid?

•     Does color affect how rapidly a material will lose heat?

•     Does the color of a liquid contribute to its ability to absorb heat?

•     Does temperature affect how much salt or sugar can be dissolved in water?

•     Does air movement contribute to evaporation?

•     How does surface area affect the evaporation rate of liquids?

•     What affect does temperature have on water evaporation?

•     Does temperature affect data transmission in fiber optic cables?

•     Does barrel temperature affect the accuracy of a firearm?


•     What factors affect the period of a pendulum?


•     What factors affect the pitch or frequency of a sound?

•     What factors affect the loudness or volume of a sound?

•     Why does my voice sound different on a tape recording?

•     What is the doppler effect and what factors affect it?

•     What methods can be used to measure the speed of sound? Which are the
        most accurate?

•     Does sound travel at different speeds through different materials

•     Determine the natural resonant frequency of glassware.

•     Can wine glasses be broken with sound alone? If so, which factors affect it?

•     Over what distance can voice messages be transmitted through a tube?

•     What factors affect acoustical sound proofing?

•     Sonoluminescence: Turning sound into light.


•     Explain the visible light spectrum and explain how light colors mix.

•     How does the eye interpret the mixing of primary colors?

•     How are rainbows formed?

•     Why is the sky blue instead of some other color?

•     How does distance affect the apparent brightness of a light?

•     Demonstrate the effects different lenses have on light beams.

•     Can you view images through a pinhole without using film?

•     Construct, demonstrate and explain the optics and operation of one or more
        types of homemade pinhole cameras.

•     Construct and demonstrate the effects and operation of one or more
        homemade microscopes. (Also see our Microbiology Category)

•     What factors affect light reflection? Refraction?

•     Construct and demonstrate a device showing the stroboscopic effect.

•     Construct a homemade periscope and use it to explain light reflection.

•     Can the density of a liquid be determined using light refraction?

•     What shutter speed will allow you to photograph the moving blades of a fan?

•     Which lens is most effective at absorbing ultraviolet light?

•     Research and explain the production of 3D images from 2D photographs.

•     Research and explain the process of generating light energy by
        triboluminescence. Find means of demonstrating the process. 

•     Does light travel at different speeds through different materials?
        How can we measure the refraction of light through different substances?

•     How do magnifying glasses work? What determines the magnification?

•     Research and explain the use of fiber optic cables for data transmission.

•     Do bends in fiber optic cables cause losses of audio data transmission? 

•     Which colors show up best in the dark?

•     Which colors show up best in a thick fog?

•     Which type of sunglasses do the best job of reducing glare?

•     Do sunscreens really reduce the amount of ultraviolet radiation?

•     What is infrared light and how can we detect it?


•     Demonstrate the effects of static electricity with a homemade electroscope.

•     Demonstrate how to make a simple electric dry cell battery.

•     Demonstrate how to make an automatic letter alarm.

•     Demonstrate how to make potatos light up a small light bulb.

•     How many fruits are needed to generate enough electricity to run a clock?
        (Also see our electricity page for other fruit battery ideas.)

•     Can simply twisting and crimping a copper and an iron wire together (or any
        other two dissimilar metals) create a usable thermocouple?

•     Which type of internal gas will produce the brightest light bulb?

•     Is the energy developed by a solar panel directly proportional to the amount
        of light striking the panel?

•     How can we make a homemade photocell?

•     How is the conductivity of distilled water affected when substances such as
        salt, sugar, vinegar or baking soda are added?

•     Research and demonstrate magnetic lines of force.

•     Demonstrate how to create a homemade compass.

•     Determining the magnetic permeability of different materials.

•     What happens to the strength of the magnetic field when the number of coils
        in a electromagnet is changed?

•     Build a model train that is magnetically levitated and explain its operation.

•     Research and demonstrate how it is possible to shield magnetic fields.

•     Demonstrate the creation of magnetic fields with electric currents.

•     Demonstrate the construction and operation of an electromagnetic crane.

•     Build a simple electric generator and test the factors affecting output.

•     Demonstrate how electromagnetism can be used to create an electric motor.

•     Construct a crystal radio detector and compare the efficiency of different
        substances when used as the crystal detector.

•     Does the shape of an antenna affect its radiation pattern?

For further Electric/Magnetic ideas be sure to see the projects Here!!!


•     How does a water tower maintain water pressure throughout a village? 

•     How can we measure the force with which air presses down on the earth?

•     Can air pressure be used to force an egg inside a bottle?

•     Is air pressure great enough to hold a paper tightly to a desk?

•     Use a Cartesian Diver to demonstrate how changes in pressure affect
        density and how density in turn affects flotation.

•     What effect does pressure have on the boiling point of water?

•     Is atmospheric pressure enough to crush a metal can?
•     Is atmospheric pressure enough to crush a plastic bottle?

•     What effect does air flow have on the evaporation of water

•     How much weight can a group of balloons lift?

•     What is the relationship between the viscosity of a liquid and the shape
        of its droplets.

•     How can we tell time using drops of water instead of an electric clock?

•     Metals sink and yet large ships are made of metal. Research and demonstrate
        how and why metal objects can float.

•     What factors affect the bouyance of cans of soda pop?


•     Research cosmic rays and other radioactive particles and construct and
        demonstrate the use of a cloud chamber which detects their presence.

•     Research and demonstrate the use of a cosmic ray telescope.

•     Which materials are the best X-Ray shields?

•     Can an inexpensive X-Ray machine show interior structures?
        (Caution - advanced students under adult supervision only!)

•     Are electrons particles or waves?

•     Do coal burning power plants contribute to the threat from radon emissions?

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