ScienzFair™ Ideas
PHYSICAL SCIENCE

Project ideas with an animated bullet in front of them have extra information.
Just click the bullet to access the additional suggestions for that project idea.
If you find any broken web links, please notify us with an Email.

Caution!!!
Remember that these project ideas and outlines are meant to help you complete your own science fair project. But it is DISHONEST and UNETHICAL to copy someone else's project work samples and submit them as if they were your own. That's called plagiarism and it's a fast way to get a failing grade. It's okay to do the same project as someone else, or review what others have done so you can make your project better, but DO NOT COPY and pretend it's your project. Someone is sure to spot the plagiarism!! PLEASE READ OUR DISCLAIMER.

FORCES

•     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?

TEMPERATURE

•     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?

PERIODIC MOTION

•     What factors affect the period of a pendulum?

SOUND

•     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.

LIGHT & OPTICS

•     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?

ELECTRIC/MAGNETIC

•     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!!!

HYDRAULICS/PNEUMATICS

•     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?

ATOMIC

•     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?

   All rights reserved