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Need Ideas

  1. Feb 15, 2005 #1
    hey.. am currently in HS and wanna start a club under the supervisoin of my Physics professor... Need some ideas regarding what could we make in this club besides robots...

    I was thinking about making an RC car or something but not sure if that would be easy to do.

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  3. Feb 15, 2005 #2


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    Rockets. Balsawood bridges. Contraptions to drop eggs from a height. Achimedes Screws.
  4. Feb 15, 2005 #3
    Rockets??? is it possible to make make rockets in a high school laboratory?
  5. Feb 15, 2005 #4


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    Of course. We made rockets in 6th grade. Though, at that grade level, we had kits to start from. Then we had a contest to see whose went the highest. I think there were prizes for the flops too...the ones that turned and zoomed across the field instead of taking off, the best explosion on the launch pad, that sort of thing. Quite fun! :biggrin:
  6. Feb 16, 2005 #5


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    Oh yeah. The estes rocket days. We did those in middle school too.

    If you're in high school, I'd say set your sights a bit higher than model rocket kits. Anything in kit form won't be much of a challenge for you. I suppose you could talk about and learn why certain parts are the way they are as you build them, but that may not be what you're looking for.

    Perhaps if you want to stay in the rocket arena, why not start with some kits and progress to custom rockets. There is tons of info out there that hobbyists use to build their own rockets.
  7. Feb 16, 2005 #6


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    I kinda turned our high school physics class into a Rube-Goldberg class. A Rube-Goldberg machine is something that does very complex actions to complete a simple task. Doing so will let you learn about all sorts of different crank-slide mechanisms and things like that. I think that in high school we just simply set off like fireworks or something like that, but we had marbles flying all over the place and things like that.

    First year of college, we ended up making like a 5 min. long one completely in a 6x6x6 box that peeled and sliced an apple.
  8. Feb 16, 2005 #7
    If you're into robotics I'd consider scraping together some cash for a solid-state gyro, small GPS receiver and some suitable microprocessor and a small camera, load this onto a big enough RC plane, and make an autonomous UAV! Requires good programming skills, though...

    And mind you, I don't even know what kind of cash you need to scrape together...it may be a lot more than I think in my little world (that is, I never checked any prices)

    A slightly less advanced aerospace engineering idea is getting X-Plane, design and test an RC plane on your own design from scratch, then try to build it. There's a big challenge in actually designing something realistic in PlaneMaker, but once you do, it'll probably work in real-life as well!

    Good luck!
  9. Feb 16, 2005 #8
    hey thanks for ur ideas.. shall consider them...

    Fyi, i shall be applying for a grant from school ( $5000) and professor told me that theres a 90% chance that my application will go through so shall hopefully be able to buy materials for creating something which cost less than 5000 usd..

    Btw, a friend of mine suggestd a Tesla Coil.. how hard is it to make a tesla coil and is there a lot to be learnt while making it?

  10. Feb 16, 2005 #9


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    Don't forget railguns while you're at it. They're quite easy to make from fairly simple materials and illustrate advanced concepts.
  11. Feb 16, 2005 #10


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    Tesla coils are simple and cheap - I'm living proof having made one from scratch in HS. You can learn a good bit by tinkering with different variables. With your kind of budget, you could build a variety of interesting devices.
  12. Feb 17, 2005 #11


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    Chronos just reminded me of some students when I was in school that talked about building a Van De Graaff generator. I'm sure there have to be plenty of plans out there for those.

    (I had to edit because I just found a link that might be a good one to look at)

  13. Feb 17, 2005 #12


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    I've always wanted to make one of these. If I had $5,000 for a physics project, this is what it would be. Probably just $40 for a car battery (so I could take it outside without a long extension cord), then would come the transformers to step up the voltage. I have no idea how much these would cost, but the performance of your rail-gun I would assume would weight heavily on how high you could get your potential difference. Then have someone machine you some rails, and of course, the longer the better.

    on a side note: I have a friend I co-op'ed with who said that some professors at his university started doing research on railguns. After some considerable time and effort, and some success, the government came and told them to stop :eek:
  14. Feb 17, 2005 #13
    You might want to check out the Technology Studen Association (TSA) http://www.tsaweb.org/

    I was involved in it my entire four years of highschool and it was awesome. They have regional, state, and national conferences. Alot of the activities listed above are TSA activities.
  15. Apr 7, 2005 #14
    I checked out the website and from what i gather, TSA usually has competitions in which chapter members take part. Is this true? what do you guys do in conferences?

  16. Apr 8, 2005 #15
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