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Science project ideas

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Mar 13, 2008.

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  1. Guest

    My son wants to enter the 4th grade science fair and wants to do
    something with electronics. As with most science fairs, the primary
    point is to "solve a problem" or prove a theory. I have millions if
    ideas for him, but can't seem to settle on any particular one. He's
    limited to certain power sources. He can only use batteries totaling
    up to six volts. Nothing in the exhibit can be plugged in, even test
    equipment. I was going to let him use my oscilloscope to demonstrate
    how a transistor amplifies, until I read about the power restrictions.
    Does anybody have any ideas for a simple project that doesn't require
    a whole lot of explanation to a ten year old? He'll need to understand
    the basic theory himself, which I'm able to coach him on, and be able
    to answer teacher's questions about it. I also would like it to be
    somewhat impressive. For example, I don't want a project like "How
    does a resister work".

    .......... I just thought of an idea while typing this that may be
    intriguing. I'll still like to hear any opinions or ideas from others
    on different suggested projects. The thought I came up with would be a
    demonstration on skin resistance. Using maybe a transistor amplifier
    and/or oscillator, a person could press two fingers from the same hand
    on two metal contacts and demonstrate that through surface contact and/
    or varying moisture on the skin can change the frequency of the
    oscillator. The oscillator can be heard in a speaker. I guess I'm
    talking about a biofeedback monitor of sorts.

    Any ideas?

  2. Bob Monsen

    Bob Monsen Guest

    You can build a cute little DC motor from a wire loop. The users connect it
    up, and the motor spins. Very easy, and all it costs is enamel wire, a
    magnet, and the battery.

    It has been done enough so there are easy instructions all over the place.
    Look here:

    Bob Monsen
  3. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    If there's anything to genetics, you should have him use a
    before applying a magic marker to any signage. ;-)
    ....and you could mention that the "Passion Meters" in arcades
    and the "E-Meter" used by a certain pseudo-religion are cheap parlor
  4. Joel Koltner

    Joel Koltner Guest

    I like the idea of providing that restricting power sources by voltage is
    rather pointless since it doesn't really restrict anything important such as
    power or energy storage. To demonstrate this I'd have him build a boost power
    supply... the higher the voltage, the better. :) A Jacob's ladder could be
    fun, and something like a 6V trolling motor battery would have plenty of power
    to keep it going for some hours.

    I'm being a little facetious here, but realistically with something like an
    ignition coil or neon lamp transformer and a simple vibrator-based inverter
    you probably could build a small Jacob's ladder simply enough that a
    10-year-old would have a shot at understanding it pretty thoroughly.
    Hash: SHA1

    How about a infra red / laser phone - you have a modulated light source
    as the transmitter and a photodiode or LDR as the receiver. You can
    modulate using a transformer, transistor, opamp, etc.

    There are a ton of circuits out there for that sortof thing.

    - --
    Brendan Gillatt | GPG Key: 0xBF6A0D94
    brendan {a} brendangillatt (dot) co (dot) uk
    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)

    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
  6. Guest

    Fun with the 555?

  7. Guest

    These are some pretty good ideas. These are certainly some ideas that
    I haven't thought of.

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