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Homework Help: 9th grade Project -- suggestions please

  1. Nov 23, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Hello, here in Europe we have such thing as 9th grade yearly Science project. Basically students divide into either physics, chemistry or biology, so I chose physics since it is most interesting. But here I faced a problem. We need to choose topic for your project and I have no idea what to choose. We will be doing this project for 8months so the topic has to be good and contain enough information and stuff like that.

    E.g. Very classical topic is : standard acceleration due to gravity, calculating it in 3 selected cities with the machine you make.

    Also worth noting that we need to make something like a figure, machine, etc in our projects, not only write down theory.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I wanted to pick topic Wimshurst's machine but it was already taken by 5 other classmates.

    So if you could suggest me any good topic I would be very grateful. Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    How about building the most efficient 12V DC electric motor that you can? You would need to do some reading and research to figure out what-all affects a DC motor's efficiency, and tailor your design to be the best it can be, given your limitations in construction.

    Even better might be to build your own stepper motor, and use an Arduino or similar microcontroller to control it. That would be pretty cool to see, especially if you built the motor from scratch and programmed the Arduino yourself... :smile:
  4. Nov 23, 2016 #3
    This looks interesting

    Do you mean something like this just more advanced?

    Also other thing is that my project needs to have at least 10 pages of theory stuff, so will I have enough INFO / won't this be too hard to make for a 9th grader?

    Thanks for helping me out, if you or anyone else have any more suggestions please write them, since I will take all of them to my physics teacher and talk to him which is the best to do.
  5. Nov 23, 2016 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yeah, something like that. And for either a DC motor or a Stepper Motor, with enough research, you can easily fill 10 pages with information about how to optimize them and how to drive them with electronics, etc. The Stepper Motor project would be more impressive because you would also be using a microcontroller to control it, and you could make the drive circuit yourself (it's pretty simple, and will help to teach you about basic transistor circuits, etc.).

    Do you have any experience with Arduinos or other microcontrollers (uCs)? How about basic electricity and electronics?
  6. Nov 23, 2016 #5
    I have no experience with Arduinos, microcontrollers or electricity at all.
    I just made 4W speaker and that's literally it, so it would be a challenge for me as well. I like the idea of it tho.
    I will talk with the teacher and think about it.
  7. Nov 23, 2016 #6
    I probably shouldn't be thinking in terms of most bang for the effort. However a sure fire project is building a polarimeter and then stressing transparent objects in it. It looks great. There is plenty of impressive math that actually isn't that hard, and you'll learn a lot about some useful things.
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