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My 9 year old son wants to do a science fair project. Any ideas?

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posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:35 PM
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I am personally into electromagnetics...but that may or may not be his thing

He isn't dumb, he just doesn't like to apply himself in school. I am hoping that his newfound interest in this project can be directed to help spark an interest.

I am open to any idea, but would really like to show him how you can interchange magnetism and electricity. Even if you create a manually powered dynamo.

Any ideas?




posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:50 PM
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How about a hand-cranked electromagnetic toy cargo crane, and maybe even the crane itself could be powered by electricity...even an old fogey like myself would find that fun.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:54 PM
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Do something to spark his creativity while involving something he loves. Make a working solar system out of candy. I've done this before actually. don't ask.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:01 PM
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He could put together a Rube Goldberg contraption, like the game Mousetrap, but more technically oriented. If anything, it would teach him about integrating systems so that the contraption does what he wants it to do. There are actually collegiate Rube Goldberg contraption competitions.

Just a thought.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:04 PM
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Excellent ideas thus far.

The Rube Goldberg contraptions....he kinda does this already (well, used to) with his Hot Wheels tracks. We would have encyclopedia's and track spread from one end of the house to the other, with little battery operated "launchers" spaced out along the way to keep the cars moving.

That is the only time he has really ever used encyclopedia's.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:14 PM
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My daughter used to have to do science fairs every year. The most successful projects were usually the simplest if that makes sense; less to go wrong. One year we grew crystals on coal she won first prize for that one. Really anything that sparks his interest will be great. Check the internet for ideas. The last one she did compared stain removers using white fabric that had been soaked in red wine, smeared with chocolate and grass stains. Some of the removers were "home rememdies" other commercial. Almost anything will be fun especially if you work on it together and have fun.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:14 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


He might enjoy putting a Rube Goldberg together. I did one with a classmate for a physics class and had a blast. We took first prize, beating out our engineer instructor.

If I think of anything else, I'll post it.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:20 PM
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Don't 'cha just hate it when somebody answers a question you didn't ask? Me too, but here I go anyway.

Science fair stuff can take a kid one of two ways. If he gets into it for the competitive aspect, it could sour him. Believe me, there'll be kids there with projects and experiments that there's no flippin' way they created. Daddy's a research physicist or engineer or something and does the project for the kid that usually wins. It'll be obvious to the casual observer which kids did their own, but for whatever reason, the judges always seem to be oblivious. At least that's been my experience.

If you have him go into it with the idea it's a fun thing with a learning component, and guide him as much as you need to without actually taking over, it'll be a much more positive experience even if he doesn't "win".

You might try Google searches for things like "build electric motor for science fair" or "crystal radio" or just a generic search for "science fair projects" and let him pick out one he thinks is cool.

See if he's more interested in the electronics stuff or the biology type experiments. At his age maybe a battery made out of a potato or lemon used to power a small digital clock would be appropriate, although might be too simple.

I know when we went through this, I took my son to the library and checked out several science fair project books for him to browse through.

It can be a fun and educational time. Good luck, and try to not push down the kid that shows up with a particle accelerator "he built".



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 05:27 PM
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Google "BIEFIELD-BROWN EFFECT". It is a really easy (but cool) experiment to put together (with an adult's help).

The cool thing about it is that it touches on a whole bunch of different scientific principles that really piques kids' interest.

If he pulls it off, I guarantee he'll win the contest.

Good luck.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 05:43 PM
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BFFT, first hello from a fellow Texan (DFW)...with 8 kids we have done heaps of these...seems every other year almost..we have one..

1. Electricity, baisc - battery, switch, light bulb, wiring.
2. Water retention in Soil - different soils and the rate at which they pass, absorb and retain water.
3. Lighter/Heavier than Air - lare fish tank, balloons, avail gases (helium, nitrogen etc..) and whether they float (lighter) or fall (heavier).
4. Sound - dog whistle, air horn, various other noise makers, sound meter.


you get the idea...they even have books at the library tohelp us parents out with our budding scientissts...


Good Luck!

edit for spelling

[edit on 10-12-2007 by deadbang]



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 05:54 PM
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I agree simple and easy to do but yet entertaining.

My son (16) got a kick out of the air vacuum effect on water, sucking it into a upside down glass in a dish of water with a candle in the glass. You could use food coloring to make the water a nice color as the flame uses all the air and pulls all the water up into the glass.



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 05:19 AM
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just try google search................or ask.com
ask is pretty good.



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 05:38 AM
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Plenty of plans for metal detectors about on the net - from real simple ones that you should be able to make from bits you could scavenge from cheap old clock radios (I was thing about the recently as I am not a morning person at all - and regularly bust up those evil devices to fulfil my deep down destructive needs!)

Or how about a model hovercraft?? a good material to use would be polystyrene - the sort that you get protecting most things you buy in a box... everyone throws it away so plentiful and free - easy to carve and glue (passably cut with a hot wire) - and it floats any way, so if things don't go right you wont keep wreaking the electricikery. Oh yeah - if you can get your hands on an old R/C toy car then you could have remote controll!! or else it could be a switch it on and let it go, or maybe controlled on a wier - - damn I wanna make one now!!



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 09:54 PM
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I did a reflection experiment once with mirrors and a laser pointer. Got second, if I remember right. It was really easy and kinda fun to watch the path of the laser in the dry ice fog.



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 11:48 AM
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We turned it in today. He is 9, and very smart. But he doesn't like school. He gets bored, and starts to be a distraction. So, i wanted to spark a flame in a more multidiscipline level of science. Something that touched on a natural science, and an anthropological science, for example. Electricity and the Sumerian culture....

We went with the "old standby" of the lemon battery. It is VERY easy to do (you need a lemon, a penny, and a paperclip...plus a battery tester to read the weak 0.9 volt current).

We tied it in to the Baghdad Battery. He has had to correlate the use of simple household acids as an electrolyte, and simple copper/steel implements as electrodes. He went on to explain how they used this technology for lightbulbs (incandescent) and electroplating of gold. He is able to fully explain the design of multiple battery configurations now, and can speak pretty well on how the Baghdad Battery would be built, used, and maintained. And he is able to parallel that to the lemon battery concept (you should see the lemons we got...as big as oranges!!!)

Below is the initial summary he turned in (don't wanna paste the final paper...too lengthy).

I appreciate all the help provided here, as well as that of a good friend via email. Yes, i did a final edit on his paper to help him learn better word choice and proper formatting (the formatting is correct in its original .doc format)


Originally written and turned in by BigFatFurryTexans 9 year old son

Generating an Electric Current

Question: “Are there other household items that can be used to replicate the electrochemical properties of “The Baghdad Battery”?

Hypothesis: Using household items to mimic the parts of “The Baghdad Battery” can create similar results.
Problems:
• An electrolyte solution that is safe to handle will need to be found
• Materials for electrodes will need to be found and/or created
• A small voltage object to test the current will be needed (light bulb, etc)
Engineering Goals:
• To mimic the battery, safe household items need to be used for the electrolyte. For this experiment, it will be lemons.
• Create enough current to light a bulb. Lemons do not create enough current (although they do create small currents at 1.5 volts) to light an incandescent bulb (unless multiple lemons are used in a serial connection).

Description of Method or Procedure: To describe the procedure used, we will quote from the following website: www.energyquest.ca.gov... :
“What do you need?
1. 18-gauge copper wire (smaller gauge will work too, but 18-gauge is stiffer)
2. Wire clippers
3. Steel paper clip (Some people find that a 2-inch strip of zinc works better)
4. Sheet of coarse sandpaper
5. Lemon
6. Help from an older friend or an adult
What To Do?
1. Have your older friend or an adult strip 2 inches of insulation off the copper wire. Clip the 2 inches of bare wire with the clippers.
2. Straighten out the paper clip and cut about 2 inches of the straightened steel wire, or use a 2-inch piece or strip of zinc.
3. Use sandpaper to smooth any rough spots on the ends of the wire and paper clip or piece of zinc.
4. Squeeze the lemon gently with your hands. But don't rupture the lemon's skin. Rolling it on a table with a little pressure works great.
5. Push the pieces of the paper clip and the wire into the lemon so they are as close together as you can get them without touching.”

Bibliography:
1. www.energyquest.ca.gov... , “Lemon Power, what to do with a lemon besides making lemonade. Project for making a battery from a lemon”
2. www.geocities.com... “The Egyptian Lamp” and “The Baghdad Battery”
3. members.aol.com... “Discussion” and “Lemon Powered LED”
4. en.wikipedia.org...




posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 11:56 AM
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A baking soda and vinegar powered volcano! Not only is it sure to win awards for originality, but it will provide quite the thrill for the other kids to watch.


No, but on a serious note, I remember making a morse code telegraph with stuff from the hardware store. Then, for the demonstration, I transmitted my name across the room. That could be kind of cool, and it involves electricity and simple circuits.

EDIT: Too little too late I see, and I've seen that it's a little too late to late.

[edit on 18-12-2007 by Grozny07]



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 12:04 PM
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When I was a kid I liked the idea of an electomagnetic BB gun, where a solenoid is positioned around a plastic barrel and pulsed with current, sucking in and releasing the steel ball. Maybe you could do that for the next fair, it must be fun! I myself never got around to it (I started building radios and didn't have time).



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 12:10 PM
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Maybe make something using a battery/magnet motor?



[edit on 18-12-2007 by alaskan]



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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Why not have the kids do soemthing really cool, like document the Chemtrails over the school for a months period. Take dozens of photos of the trails, then correlate them with the known FAA flight patterns from all commercial planes, and show that they are not contrails. The kids could show the evidence of Brium and heavy metals in the remains tested, and I bet with enough evidence, they could get a 'A' for effort and educate people as well.



posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 12:40 PM
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Originally posted by DamnedDirtyApes
He could put together a Rube Goldberg contraption, like the game Mousetrap, but more technically oriented. If anything, it would teach him about integrating systems so that the contraption does what he wants it to do. There are actually collegiate Rube Goldberg contraption competitions.

I love this idea and I did the same thing when I was about 13.. 8 years ago. I still have the machine I made. I had a blast making it and it gave me and my father an excellent bonding experience. I don't and didn't see him often.



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