Sorry about that one- we always try to close on a Sunday night to give you the weekend to post! Use the unexpected time to make your project especially awesome.
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world's first man-made satellite, Sputnik. The United States answered with the Vanguard TV3, which rose four feet before exploding on the lauchpad. The perceived technology gap ushered in the space race, an era of unprecedented excitement and support for science and engineering. Engineering colleges were flooded with new students, while grade schools quickly scaled up their science curriculum.
Since then the world has become complacent, and the great powers are mostly at peace. Without a clear external foe, scientific motivation has withered. It's time to prepare the next generation of physicists, chemists, biologists, and engineers for the next great threat- from SPACE!
While our governments fritter away time and money on dubious space stations and malfunctioning probes, our species remains confined to a single planet. Manned spaceflight capabilities have dwindled, and funding cuts threaten scientific education and research. We're hardly ready to deal with a rogue comet or deadly space-borne spores, much less a full-blown alien invasion!
Thus, Instructables and Amazon.com's Industrial and Scientific store have taken a look back to the 1950s, and resurrected the best thing to come of the decade's spirit of intellectual competition: the Science Fair!
To enter the Science Fair, demonstrate and explain a physical principle in the Instructables format, and incorporate this lesson into a fun project. It can be your version of a classic project with better explanation or a neat twist, a home translation of a lab experiment, or something totally novel. Just take great pictures, explain the scientific principles clearly and thoroughly, build a great project, and get us excited about science!
The grand prize winner for will receive a USD $1,500 Amazon.com gift certificate1, a custom laser-etched Leatherman Juice S2 multi-tool, and an Instructables Robot t-shirt.
Four (4) first prize winners will each receive a USD $250 Amazon.com gift certificate, a custom laser-etched Leatherman Juice S2 multi-tool, and an Instructables Robot t-shirt.
Twenty (20) runners-up will each receive a USD $25 Amazon.com gift certificate, an Instructables patch, and stickers.
Two collaborating families will receive a matched set of Instructables Robot t-shirts and an acrylic Robot plaque laser-engraved with their names!
How to measure the speed of sound with two lumps of wood is a fine example of a simple project with a good, clear explanation. Since it's a simple experiment, variations in different media would be great.
DIY Kitty Crack: ultra-potent catnip extract does a great job explaining the physical principle of steam distillation, then applies it to an awesome home project. This is a nearly perfect example.
Mechanical Wave Driver for a Chladni Plate is a good-looking project, but would need a thorough discussion of the principles involved.
Photography in the Ultraviolet spectrum is a nice simple project that would need a thorough discussion of UV light to be a great Science Fair entry.
Levitate Objects in Mid-Air would need a good discussion of Bernoulli's principle instead of a link off-site. An explanation of the different effects from changing blower and object size would be even better. It would be fantastic when combined with a fun twist like Bernoulli's Slalom.
Diamagnetic Levitation Experiment does a good job explaining a neat project; with a bit more discussion it could be a truly great entry.
Blue Flaming Pinecones, with a good description of the chemistry involved in color change, would be most excellent if the flames were then analyzed using Naff Movie into 'DVD Spectra'.
1. Publish your Instructable and add it to the Science Fair! group from July 12th until 11:59pm PDT Sunday, September 2nd, 2007. Only projects published within these dates are eligible.
2. We want to see a great explanation, demonstration, and instruction on your chosen scientific principle. All branches of science are eligible- this is a broadly-defined contest! Be clear and thorough- readers should be able to understand the concept and replicate your experiment given access to appropriate tools. Remember, you're helping educate the next generation of rocket scientists!
3. Include a link to something used in your Instructable's research, development, or construction that could be bought on Amazon.com. This includes parts like a magnet or some sheet metal, gear such as safety glasses, tools such as a drill, and references such as a magazine or a book.
4. Were your parents sad they couldn't help out with your school Science Fair project? Well, not only are we OK with it, we ENCOURAGE parent-kid collaborations! In fact, we're giving a special prize to the best family collaborations!
All contest entries will be judged for merit. Judges will evaluate each Instructable for the following:
- educational value
- entertainment value
- completeness (photos and text for all important steps)
- clear, concise text description including a properly summarized introduction
- clear photographs (2+ megapixel preferred), use macro mode for close up shots
- use of photo-notes where appropriate
- list of parts and tools required (if appropriate)
- safety notes (if appropriate)
- technical merit
How to create a great Instructable
How to add an Instructable to a group
How to embed video into Instructables
Explore popular Instructables
Take a tour of Instructables
You must be 18 or older to enter. If you are under 18, you can still enter, but to win you will need to verify that you had the permission of a parent or guardian (we will have a permission slip for you). The best solution would be to have your parent join you as a collaborator on your Instructable to make you eligible for the Family Collaboration prize!
International entries are great! Amazon.com is a global company, and will be happy to give gift certificates to winners world-wide.
Instructables will send electronic gift certificates via e-mail to the prize winners within seven (7) business days after the winners are announced. Amazon.com gift certificates are awarded in US dollars only.
You may enter as many different Instructables as you like, however they will be judged on individual merit and you may only win one prize per contest. An Instructable may be entered in multiple contests if it meets the relevant criteria.
Winner is responsible for all taxes (we will remind winners at the contest's end.)
Amazon, Amazon.com and the Amazon.com logo are registered trademarks of Amazon.com Inc. or its affiliates.
1Amazon.com gift certificates are issued by A2Z Gift Certificates, Inc. and are redeemable only at www.amazon.com. See www.amazon.com/gc-legal for terms and conditions of use of Amazon.com gift certificates.