What is a good science fair project?

in school we have science fair and i need to come up with a project. I like mechanical things not growing plants or anything like that. one year i did centrifugal force then another on the otto cycle but never got in :(...i have to use the scientific method, i was thinking something along the lines of how different nitro rc fuel percentages effect nitro engine preformance but thats kinda obvious and lame. i was also thinking of making a stirling engine but dont know how to fit the scientific method into it plus i never got any of my engines to work :( Just let me know if you guys have any good projects i can do? like i said im mechanical but i dont really have any tools to make stuff.

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Kiteman7 years ago
"i was also thinking of making a stirling engine but dont know how to fit the scientific method into it plus i never got any of my engines to work"

There's your project; "An Exercise in the Practical Application of the Scientific Method."

> Make a sterling engine.
> Observe.
> Identify source of failure.
> Make new engine, with source of failure adjusted.
> Repeat until success achieved.

Arrange your engines in chronological order, with documentation to show nature of adjustments and level of success achieved.

Hopefully, the final engine in your line will be running successfully throughout the show, doing something useful, such as lighting an LED.

Note that you don't actually have to achieve success, if you can draw sufficiently good conclusions from the failures.
I suggest something involving balls, or other objects, rolling down ramps.  

About the simplest thing you can do with a ball and a ramp (also called an "inclined plane") is verify Galileo's conjecture that objects fall, and also roll down ramps, with constant acceleration.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_New_Sciences#The_Law_of_falling_bodies
By the way, that experiment also requires a stopwatch, or some other tool for measuring short amounts of time.

If that seems too easy, there are more complicated things you can do with balls and ramps.  The link below is to an answer, a science project idea, I posted to this forum before:
https://www.instructables.com/answers/Epic-Science-Fair-Ideas/?comments=all#CPZY7T2FYTCHPN7

https://www.instructables.com/answers/Epic-Science-Fair-Ideas/?comments=all#CZ1P60QG02LSCNP

https://www.instructables.com/file/FFJ3U5PFZHLB97A/



indiana-jones-boulder-ball.jpg
Acepilot42 (author)  Jack A Lopez7 years ago
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Dot-dot-dot?  I guess that means you just don't have the giant stone balls needed for a science project like that!  Pun intended.
;-)
Acepilot42 (author)  Jack A Lopez7 years ago
sandy balls
drmjj557 years ago
Baking Soda + Vinegar + Clay Sculpting Skills = EPIC VOLCANO!!!!

LOL
Acepilot42 (author)  drmjj557 years ago
...
shawneegeek7 years ago
Here is a good one that i ran across sometime ago... it's green, its simple, but most of all it challanges the rules of free energy. This supposedly puts out more energy then it takes to run it... possibally perpetual motion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh_-DUKQ4Uw

P.S. the magic number should be 4.5 inches. At this depth compressed molocules begin to heat.
acidbass7 years ago
lasers always win the show
Only if you build one from scratch and can explain your design, or if you're using it to do something interesting.
ah i wouldnt say so i did a project where i used 5 laser pointers and put them on motorized stands and explained chaos theory
What wins there is the topic and the quality of the explanation -- "using them to do something interesting". You could have used other focused light sources and done the same work; the laser in this case is just a tool (and, admittedly, a bit of an attention-getter.)
i did not win that time though this guy who made this laser balloon popper won
karnuvap7 years ago
I would start with a faster than light speed space ship. This would automatically get you into time travel.

But, if that it too difficult, then you could always build an anti-gravity machine or, for something really simple but quite impressive, I'd go for cold fusion.

Any one of these would win the science fair - guaranteed.

If any of the above don't do it for you then the good old stand-by of perpetual motion machine never fails to impress.
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I hope I made you smile.
ARJOON7 years ago
make a portable air conditioner tible have good instrucs.

or make a house that uses free power

there are millions of it. just some popular examples above. original projects always get better results. so think yourself. good way

moal
rickharris7 years ago
OR you could do what I did and put science fair into the search box above - this question is one of the FAQ https://www.instructables.com/pages/search/search.jsp?cx=partner-pub-1783560022203827%3Anpr2q7v5m6t&cof=FORID%3A11&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=science+fair+project
orksecurity7 years ago
Let's put it this way: the couple of times I've been pressed into doing some of the judging, my criteria have been how interesting the question was, how much research the student did to investigate the question (both library research and experimentation), how well they documented their work and -- very importantly -- how well they were able to explain what they'd done, why they'd done it that way, what they found out and what they think should be the next step based on those results.

Note that _succeeding_ in their project is not one of those top critera. If you can explain what you did, how it failed, why you think it failed, what else you tried in order to solve it and what happened as a result, that can actually be more impressive than "I built it and it worked. Yay."
seandogue7 years ago
Use your bicycle's front wheel to create a gyroscope for showing an important component of inertial guidance systems, which in turn are used to guide rockets on their journeys...

Do a gear ratio thing to show the correlation between power and speed in a fixed rpm motor drive.

and no, the fuel mix ratio idea isn't lame, presenting it correctly is the tough part, just as it is for any project.

Decide on a product to make and do some actual research.  Pick a material.  Develop a series of designs using the material to make the product based on your research.  Keep everything the same except change the design.  Keep the material the same and the amounts the same.  Determine which one works best with a few tests.

Example:

Make a bridge out of duct tape.

Design 1:  40 strips of duct tape like a tight wire.

Design 2:  A cable bridge.

Design 3:  Something else.

Test:  Walk along the length of each one.  Measure the length after you walked on each to determine stretch.  Repeat 3 times for each.  Run a few percentages and some averages and what not.

And talk to your teacher about refining your idea whatever it is that you decide to do.