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Help With Science Fair Topic

  1. Nov 3, 2011 #1
    So, I'm doing a Science fair this year, and I need some help coming up with a new topic. I was origionally going to do something that transfers files using MySQL and Visual Basic, but decided it was kind of stupid. I'm in 9th grade, at the top of my class, and I need a good project. It also want to compete with my friend, who is extracting clorophyll from green algae to be used as fuel (last year he did the best growing conditions for green algae, and won state.)

    I wanted to something related to light, electricity, or magnetism. Any ideas guys?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2011 #2
    Depending on what kit you have you could make a plasma speaker but you would probably need help from an adult who knows a bit more about electronics.
  4. Nov 3, 2011 #3
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  5. Nov 4, 2011 #4
    At your age, I helped my son do a wind energy project (wind mill). DC motors are cheap, construction simple, and you could study things like prop number, pitch, motor selection, etc. On top of that, sounds like your dad would be a perfect match.
  6. Nov 4, 2011 #5
    But please please PLEASE be sure it's apparent that it's YOU reading the background material from appropriate sources, doing the designing of the project and construction, etc., because in my experience judging such fairs, there's nothing judges like LEAST than these two extremes: The projects that come straight from science fair projects lists/books for kids ... and science fair projects completely guided (and even done) by parents/guardians or other adults in a technical field.
  7. Nov 4, 2011 #6
    So true. My son did all his own research, selected the dynamo, did the calculations, did the DVM measurements, made all his graphs, etc.. I filled in with some ideas about how to do a few things that he would have needed a machine shop to do otherwise. Since you will be working with electricity, doing soldering, etc., that’s where your dad will come in to give advice and keep you safe. BTW, skip the "kits", as they are totally unnecessary. You need to know everything about your project, because they will ask you. Not only will they ask what you did, they will ask you why you didn't do X, Y, Z, or did you try ABC. Only by knowing the material will you be able to give a good answer. If you progress to State, they will expect you to be on your toes (i.e. real good handle on the work).
  8. Nov 4, 2011 #7
    My stepdad isn't like that. He did a lot of science fairs when he was in high school.

    I talked to my teacher about it today, and she said that the two things I listed, and the plasma speaker were too dangerous for me to just do (for regionals. Were doing a school wide one first, and the projects that don't suck are going to regionals.) And the time to get it checked out by the commitee just passed, so I actually thought somehow intertwining the telescope I just bought with it, and came up with something along the lines of measuring celestial objects by finding out the distance(google earth or something.) and how big it is in my telescope. Then coming up with my own formula to get about how big it should be (surface area and vollume.) Then checking my answers to figure out whether my hypothesis was correct or not.

    Now to see how big the image in my telescope is (not the actual object, the virtual one.) How can i do this? I cant just look in, then measure it, since my eye would be in the way, so could I do something like directing it at the object, then taking a photo of it, then using the measurements on the photo in the actual formula?

    Sorry if this is hard to understand, i'll talk to my stepdad about it.
  9. Nov 5, 2011 #8
    I need some help with something.
    So lets say that we have an object.
    In my x80 telescope, it looks like it's 5CM (lets say that.) So the area is going to be 15.7

    Let's say it's 1 lightyear away. I need some help coming up with a formula (or something) to find out it's area if it were right in front of me. I don't want you guys to tell me it, I just want help figuring it out.

    Would it be helpful if I found how big it would look from earth without a telescope (.19625 CM)

    Can you guys point me in the right direction or give me some tips?

    Edit: I think I found it. Is there any way to use a circles diameter in CM to find its angular diameter (degrees)?
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
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