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SCIENCE FAIR PROJECTS IDEAS

The human race is about 2,500 generations old. Electricity and all of the inventions it has spawned, radio, TV, telephones, electric motors, and computers, were put into use less than five generations ago. Much less than one percent of all our time on earth has been serviced by these wonderful inventions

There are almost five million United States patents. The 1,300 patent examiners receive twelve thousand letters per day. The record holder is Thomas Edison who had over 1,300 patents.

In France, a scientist put electrodes and a radio transmitter into a trout's brain. A computer reads and decodes the signals. The trout reacts strongly to tiny amounts of pollution in its water. The fish can detect as little as one-billionth of one gram of a pesticide in a liter of water. More trout like this one can be used as pollution meters. All you would have to do is let them swim in questionable water, and tell us what they think about it. Free science fair project ideas

Robert Falls is a researcher who has managed through gene-splicing to create cedar and poplar trees with square trunks. These will mean less wasted wood at the mills when lumber is cut.

The smallest tools ever made are glass micropipette tubes used for surgery within a single cell.

Do you remember the first electronic calculators? The first hand-held calculators cost $300 and were quite large. They had only four functions, no memory and ate up batteries in just four or five hours of use. Their displays were red, and could not be seen in outdoor light. Science fair project ideas.

"General field theory predicts the possibility of at least three more entire spectra. You see, there are three types of energy fields known to exist in space: electric, magnetic, and gravitic or gravitational. Light, X-rays, all such radiations, are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Theory indicates the possibility of analogous spectra between magnetic and gravitic, between electric and gravitic, and finally, a three-phase type between electric-magnetic-gravitic fields. Each type would constitute a complete new spectrum, a total of three new fields of learning. Free science fair project ideas.

"If there are such, they would presumably have properties quite as remarkable as the electromagnetic spectrum and quite different. But we have no instruments with which to detect such spectra, nor do we even know that such spectra exist."

"...The very theoretical considerations that predict additional spectra allow of some reasonable probability as to the general nature of their properties..." - quoted from the book, The Day After Tomorrow, Robert A. Heinlein.

"Today we know four types of forces - electromagnetic, gravitational, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. But the existence of the latter two was not even suspected before this century. I don't believe that we have found all the forces in nature yet. There is probably at least one more type of energy operating at the physical level which serves to support psychic phenomena." - William Tiller

The Fruits of Technology

Chances are, you are within ten feet of Krypton. This gas is in fluorescent lights.

The US government was funding a secret project to make a rocket capable of traveling between planets. Its mode of locomotion was unique. It was to be loaded with 2,000 atomic bombs. To launch, it would explode the bombs in series. For some reason, the project was dropped.

At Xerox Corporation, there are two full-time anthropologists who study the interface between modern people and their copying machines. Their great discovery: People will avoid reading the instructions that come with copying machines until all other avenues fail.

If you like turning wrenches, you might be interested to note that the largest nuts made weigh almost 6 tons each and have a threading of 25-inches per thread. (That's not 25 threads per inch). You need a 52-inch wrench to turn them. They hold a large forging press together. Bibliography -4A

I've tried to get to the bottom of toilets. Who invented them? Thomas Crapper, probably the original inventor of the flush toilet, went on to create several improvements, but they have not all caught on.

It seems that it has been reinvented a few times. In another account, Sir John Harrington is said to be the inventor. This may be why it is sometimes called the john.  One version had no handle, it flushed whenever the seat was lifted. Bibliography -60, Bibliography -94 (page 167)

A flexible mirror has been invented for therapists, fashion consultants, and health centers, which can be bent laterally to help heavy people imagine themselves looking slimmer. Bibliography -94 (page 205)

The US Navy is working on a "paperless ship." Since the Navy does everything by the book, there are a lot of books, operating manuals, to be carried on a warship. If all this information is computerized, the weight reduction and therefore the speed, maneuverability and distance capability would increase dramatically.

In November 1960, the sun released a multimillion mile thick cloud of hydrogen that reached the earth two days later. This cloud interfered with the electronic equipment of the era, messing up teletype and radio communications and affecting house current in many neighborhoods around the world. If that cloud had happened in modern times, and a repeat performance is certainly possible, it could very seriously affect modern integrated circuitry throughout the world.

For the first time, in 1959 through satellite photos, we were able to view the back side of the moon. It has made no difference to modern life.

When samples taken from the moon by the Apollo 12 astronauts were brought back to earth, many tests were performed. In one test, bacteria were exposed to the moon rocks. The bacteria mysteriously died. There are 10 billion tons of gold mixed into ocean water. Go and get it! The only problem is that the ratio is one part gold to over 83 million parts water. There is a novelty invention that has not received the honors (?) it may deserve. It is a custom-tuned cufflink that is always turned on. What does it do? It plays your favorite radio station.

The first vacuum cleaner was so huge that it was drawn by a horse and parked on the street in front of a house. Then its long hose was manipulated throughout the house to clean it up.

In an experiment involving burying 28 miles of electrical wires in the ground, the US Navy discovered that they could create an antenna that can bounce radio signals off the earth's ionosphere and into the oceans. This would make it possible to effectively communicate with submarines. So they proposed to do this on a grand scale. In Project Sanguine, the Navy was all set to tear up 22,500 square miles woods in Wisconsin and Michigan to bury 6,000 more miles of high-power electrical wires. Fortunately, informed protesters found several incidents of concern caused just by the little 28-mile system. It seems farmers were reporting ordinary wire fences had become charged. In homes near the installation, some people were getting shocked when they touched their plumbing, such as turning on a sink faucet. At first the Navy claimed these results were meaningless and wanted to proceed, but the protesters did manage to put a stop to the madness.

A robot has been designed that can fight wars in place of soldiers. It is called the 'Fire Ant' and looks like a Honda 4-wheel ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) complete with fat tires, but painted in camouflage colors. On top, where normally a human driver would be seated, is a pile of electronic gear and a big gun. The computer-aided gun shoots a bullet powerful enough to penetrate and blow up a tank. The robot is not fully automatic. It has to be driven into position by radio control of a human operator a safe distance away from the action. The US army ordered one thousand of these robots to be shipped to Iraq for Operation Desert Storm, but the manufacturer couldn't get them ready in time.

Scientists at the University of Liverpool in England have devised a new data storage technique in which they drill holes in metal with an electron beam. The holes are so small and so accurate that they could write as much data as is contained on a CCD-ROM (for instance the whole Encyclopedia Britannica) on the head of a pin. The only problem is that so far, the only way to read the data is to view it with a powerful electron microscope.

Some scientists are estimating that the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has risen by two percent due to the hundreds of oil wells which were set ablaze in Iraq. Even with the fires put out, the extra carbon dioxide will remain in the sky for a century. This is the gas which causes the greenhouse effect. Expect worldwide changes in weather, crop failure and starvation. On the plus side, some scientists say the smoke from the fires will actually increase the rain in California. In the middle east, the average daily temperatures are already 15 to 30 degrees lower. (See the weather chapter for more discussion of atmospheric carbon dioxide.)

There is a new high-tech gadget you can buy that fastens between your camcorder and your tripod. It is for filming yourself. As you dance around, the camera pans to keep you in the picture.

What do you do if you want a telescope which requires a bigger mirror than anyone can accurately make? You put four huge mirrors, each 24 feet across, side by side, to make the world's biggest telescope. Construction of this telescope on a mountain in Chile should be finished around the year 1999. Although it won't see quite as far into space as Hubble was supposed to, at least this one is likely to work right.

The reason the much smaller Hubble telescope was to have been so powerful is that it would do its viewing from space, and therefore wouldn't have to peer through the earth's fuzzy atmosphere.

Astronomers using earth-based telescopes are now reporting that their pictures are not as clear as they used to be due to two forms of pollution. One is dust and chemicals in the air. The other problem is light pollution from cities, farms, streetlights, etc. Bibliography -69

Scientists are now working to put plants' power of photosynthesis to our own uses. In bioreactors, which might eventually replace nuclear reactors, green plant stuff taken from mucky ponds separates water into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen can then be burned in the oxygen, creating enough heat to turn turbine generators.

Scientists have discovered a way to coat chloroplasts, the smallest units of photosynthesis in plants with platinum, making microscopic items that create electricity when light is shined on them. These could eventually be installed in computers, neatly integrating electronic and optical operation in a very small, very powerful data processing package.

Science has affected pavement. With a small, soon to be implemented change in paving technology, streets and highways may last up to 10 times longer before needing repaving. The change will be the addition of a small amount of an inexpensive chemical to the mix.

One of the chief scientists at the Manhattan Project, where atom bombs were invented, spent his later years designing a very simple air-conditioning system. His technique was to make a pit in the yard of a home, fill it with snow in the winter, and then as the snow melted in the summer, the cold water would be circulated throughout the house.

While working on the previous paragraph, your author learned that an interesting typographical error can occur when the w of snow is replaced with a t.

Try to imagine a pit in your yard filled with that!

The Soviet Union was more involved in the moon race than we Westerners thought. In the early 1960's they tried four times to launch rockets similar to our Apollo/Saturn craft, but theirs all failed. The problem seems to have been that the first stage had 30 small engines and they couldn't get the firing of the engines synchronized. Saturn rockets used only five engines.  Scientists can now make little-tiny metal gears one-seventh the diameter of a human hair. The uses for such small mechanisms could be incredible. Using a little gear as a saw in extreme one-cell-at-a-time microsurgery might be useful at first, then whole fleets of automatic saw-gear machines could be injected into a person to cut out a brain tumor in medicine of the future. See nanotechnology in the Predictions chapter. Bibliography -9G

You can now buy paint for your inside walls from a Japanese manufacturer that plugs into a wall socket. The paint emits heat for the most uniform room heating imaginable. Since this paint can produce as much as 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit, it can also be used to paint a hot plate on your counter top.

Professor Nikola Tesla, a well-known figure who, at the turn of the 20th century developed some amazing electrical gadgetry, was very interested in very high-frequency alternating current (AC), when most of the other inventors were working with direct current (DC). Most of Tesla's inventions never caught on.

One of his particularly interesting concepts was a different system of delivering electricity than what we use today. We tend to plug things in, when we want them to work. He was into charging the atmosphere in a room with lots of high-frequency power, so that you could simply hold a light bulb and it would glow. He did it, and demonstrated free-standing light bulbs many times. There are several eyewitnesses including Mark Twain and George Westinghouse who also saw Dr. Tesla hold balls of lightning in his bare hands. Bibliography -63, Bibliography -79

At a freeway off-ramp somewhere in Colorado is an ordinary-looking orange traffic cone. But this one is different. Inside is some special electronic equipment which can determine how much air pollution cars are emitting as they drive past it. Also inside is a hidden video camera to record the license plates of offending cars. With this, the drivers of the old, smoky wrecks can be sent traffic tickets for pollution law violations.

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Science has affected pavement. With a small, soon to be implemented change in paving technology, streets and highways may last up to 10 times longer before needing repaving. The change will be the addition of a small amount of an inexpensive chemical to the mix.

One of the chief scientists at the Manhattan Project, where atom bombs were invented, spent his later years designing a very simple air-conditioning system. Free science fair project ideaHis technique was to make a pit in the yard of a home, fill it with snow in the winter, and then as the snow melted in the summer, the cold water would be circulated throughout the house.

While working on the previous paragraph, your author learned that an interesting typographical error can occur when the w of snow is replaced with a t.

Try to imagine a pit in your yard filled with that!

The Soviet Union was more involved in the moon race than we Westerners thought. In the early 1960's they tried four times to launch rockets similar to our Apollo/Saturn craft, but theirs all failed.Free science fair project idea. The problem seems to have been that the first stage had 30 small engines and they couldn't get the firing of the engines synchronized. Saturn rockets used only five engines. Free science project ideas.

Scientists can now make little-tiny metal gears one-seventh the diameter of a human hair. Free science fair project idea The uses for such small mechanisms could be incredible. Using a little gear as a saw in extreme one-cell-at-a-time microsurgery might be useful at first, then whole fleets of automatic saw-gear machines could be injected into a person to cut out a brain tumor in medicine of the future. Free science fair project ideas.

You can now buy paint for your inside walls from a Japanese manufacturer that plugs into a wall socket. Free science project ideas.The paint emits heat for the most uniform room heating imaginable. Since this paint can produce as much as 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit, it can also be used to paint a hot plate on your counter top. Free science fair project ideas

Professor Nikola Tesla, a well-known figure who, at the turn of the 20th century developed some amazing electrical gadgetry, was very interested in very high-frequency alternating current (AC), when most of the other inventors were working with direct current (DC). Most of Tesla's inventions never caught on.

One of his particularly interesting concepts was a different system of delivering electricity than what we use today. We tend to plug things in, when we want them to work. He was into charging the atmosphere in a room with lots of high-frequency power, so that you could simply hold a light bulb and it would glow. Free science fair project ideas, He did it, and demonstrated free-standing light bulbs many times.Free science fair project idea. There are several eyewitnesses including Mark Twain and George Westinghouse who also saw Dr. Tesla hold balls of lightning in his bare hands. Free science fair project ideas.

At a freeway off-ramp somewhere in Colorado is an ordinary-looking orange traffic cone. But this one is different. Inside is some special electronic equipment which can determine how much air pollution cars are emitting as they drive past it. Also inside is a hidden video camera to record the license plates of offending cars. Free science fair project idea.With this, the drivers of the old, smoky wrecks can be sent traffic tickets for pollution law violations. Free science fair project ideas

 

2006 Terimore Institute, Inc.
 

 

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