What are some good science fair project ideas or resources?

In summary, a sophomore in high school wants to do something interesting with their science fair project, but doesn't know where to start. They are looking for resources to help them find an interesting project and are encouraged by the ISEF competitions' past projects.
  • #1
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I am currently a sophomore in HS, and I have a science fair project next year. I want to do something interesting- I don't want to put in barely any effort and do something that everyone has done, like 'growing plants in different light levels'.

I would ideally like to do something with particle physics, electromagnetism (I've seen railguns online and they seem really cool), or plasma physics. But I'm not sure where to look or start- I looked on google but I don't really see accessible projects for me, either they deal with high voltages (I don't have any experience with it and don't have a death wish), or are prohibitively expensive. I only have roughly $200 and whatever I can salvage to work with.

Are there any interesting projects relating to particle physics, electromagnetism, or plasma physics that aren't extremely expensive or dangerous?

Also, general resources that may give me inspiration for projects is greatly appreciated.
 
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  • #3
The simplified results from the first detection of gravitational waves (and apparently from more recent detections, for that matter) from LIGO can be calculated by only using Newton's mechanics with a glimpse of Maxwell's. You will need some elementary calculus. Look in the Internet for certain articles from that period.

  1. Biology:
    • Investigate the effects of different liquids (water, soda, juice) on tooth decay.
    • Study the behavior of ants in response to different types of food.
    • Explore the growth of plants under different types and colors of light.
  2. Chemistry:
    • Compare the effectiveness of natural vs. commercial antacids.
    • Investigate the rate of rusting in different conditions (e.g., water, saltwater, air).
    • Analyze the vitamin C content in various fruit juices.
  3. Physics:
    • Examine the effect of different materials (rubber, glass, wood) on the bouncing height of a ball.
    • Investigate the relationship between the length of a pendulum and its swing time.
    • Study the effect of temperature on the expansion of different liquids.
  4. Earth Science:
    • Create a model volcano and explore the eruption process.
    • Investigate the impact of soil types on plant growth.
    • Study the relationship between humidity and weather conditions.
  5. Astronomy:
    • Observe and record the phases of the moon over several weeks.
    • Study the effects of light pollution on stargazing and astronomical observations.
    • Investigate the relationship between the distance of planets from the sun and their temperatures.
  6. Environmental Science:
    • Analyze the water quality in a local pond or stream.
    • Investigate the impact of different pollutants on the growth of algae.
    • Study the effectiveness of various natural pesticides on garden pests.
  7. Psychology/Social Sciences:
    • Conduct a study on the effects of different music genres on concentration.
    • Explore the relationship between screen time and sleep patterns.
    • Investigate the impact of peer pressure on decision-making.
  8. Engineering/Technology:
    • Build a simple robot and program it to perform a specific task.
    • Investigate the efficiency of different types of insulation materials.
    • Study the aerodynamics of paper airplanes and design one for optimal flight.
  9. Health Sciences:
    • Explore the relationship between exercise and heart rate.
    • Investigate the effects of various types of food on blood sugar levels.
    • Analyze the effectiveness of different hand sanitizers in reducing microbial growth.
 
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  • #4
Something with magnetic breaks?
Or making your own wave powerplant with electromagnetic induction
 
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  • #5
OP: Unless you want something super exotic, for E&M, you can do RF propagation studies. You probably have the basic gear already (e.g., cellphone and WiFi).
 
  • #6
Wow, thanks for all the resources and things to check out! I'm definitely going to go over all of these.
 
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