Beginning Projects

Beginning Science Fair Project Ideas

by Dr. Michael Farney


Build a “toilet paper” solar system.


Build a model hovercraft – or a real one!


Build a pantograph.

electric motor

Build a simple electric motor.


Build a spectroscope – it makes rainbows you can study.   Use it to identify street lights.

Build a working telescope.

Can plants grow in the wastewater from laundry machines?

Build Squidy, the diving squid and explain how he works.

Experiment with Magnets

Measure the speed of bubbles in a bubble tube set.

Grow an alligator and graph its size and weight increase.

Can you decode a supermarket bar code?

Can you tell a person’s sex by pictures of bare feet?

Compare the calories in common foods

Could glow-in-the-dark paint be used for emergency exit sign?   Other uses?

Does plant DNA differ from animal DNA?

Does salt affect the boiling point of water?

Does the temperature of the human body vary during the course of the day?   Why?

Explore Pascal’s Triangle.

Find probabilities when rolling 2 dice.

How does the number of turns of wire affect the strength of an electromagnet?

Identify igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic rocks found in the Black Hills or just here at home.

In a blindfold test, who can distinguish between 1% milk, 2% milk and skim?

Instantly tell if a number can be divided by 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. without a calculator.

Investigate the creation of the Badlands.

Is hand strength related to sidedness?

Is the ratio of our arm span to our height really equal to 1?

Alka-Seltzer Rocket and More

Like popcorn?   Here are some good projects.

Make a simple electric generator then find ways to improve it.

Monitor the ionosphere using an am radio.

Collect fossils and explain them.

Plot earthquakes day by day in the USA or around the globe.

Report on the South Dakota dinosaur with a heart!   What other types of dinosaurs existed here?

Travel to the Black Hills Institute in Hill City.

What are the six types of “simple machines”?   Can you build one of each?

What colored dyes are found in colored drink mixes and in colored pens?

What is the ideal spout for pouring a liquid?

What percent of an orange is water?   Which fruit contains the most water?

Which fabric makes the best parachute?   (Control for size and weight of object.)

How does the size of hole in a toy parachute affect its rate of fall?

Which paper towel is strongest?   Check your results against the magazine Consumer Reports.

Why do leaves change colors in the fall?

Would a spider web conduct electricity on an electric fence?

How do ants behave?

Put the sky in your room.

Study human hair.

Which paper airplane flies farthest?

Learn about secret codes and invent your own.

Build a super solar cooker and explain how it works.

Analyze dust and dirt.

Be a drill sergeant to a plant.

Grow crystals or find them.

Identify casts of animal tracks.

Fly a bottle rocket.