Archive for June, 2012

Find the right topic for your science project

The basic science project follows the same set of steps – Ask a question on a particular topic. Make a guess to the answer or state a hypothesis, then plan the experiment to correctly prove or disprove the guess you made. Now you perform the experiment and  make observations which you record. After which you analyze the results that you have compiled allowing you to reach a supported conclusion.

So it all begins with the topic that you pick a question about. This is often the most confusing and daunting step of the entire process. Once you have this settled the rest of the project tends to flow easily. Finding the right topic for your science project need not be a herculean task. You need to stick with a few basic guidelines and you will have no trouble at all finding the initial question you seek to answer.

Lo0k for a topic that you find personally interesting. Read through magazines or website articles to see what you want to learn more about or what you enjoy reading about. Now think of possible questions you can ask about this interesting topic. Filter through all the brainstorming questions to find the ones that you can possibly test on your own and you have your possible topic for your science project ready.

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2 Science experiments for preschoolers

This is a simple set of two science experiments for a preschooler stage child.Its never too soon to get a child interested in science.

Making a Rainbow with a Glass of Water

Light based experiments are always fun. The fact that sunlight can be split up into a rainbow is truly fascinating to young children. Here’s what you need to do. Take a glass full of filtered water outdoors. Now place it on a table or stool in such a manner that it is on the edge and casting a shadow on the ground. As the sunlight filters through the water and the glass it will cast a rainbow as it reaches the ground.

Fishing with Magnets

This is an activity that the preschoolers enjoy. Cut up colored card sheet into fish shapes. Add an iron pin to the fish. Now string up a bar magnet with a strong string at the end of a small rod or ruler. Add the fish to a pond(basket with blue colored paper) and sit on the edge and begin the fishing. Its more fun when there are two people fishing to see who gets the most fish. A simple science experiment that causes hours of hilarity and fun.

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How can you care for the environment?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! That’s the mantra that was given to us to help save the environment and our natural resources. However, how many of us follow this as we grow up? To care for the environment is not a choice that we make, its a duty that we must fulfill. As the famous quote goes, we have not inherited the Earth from our parents, but borrowed it from our children.

It is imperative that we look after the world that our children and grandchildren will inherit. So what can you do about it on your level as a school student? Quite a lot! You need to examine your lifestyle and see where you are possibly wasting precious resources. Then you need to eliminate the processed that cause this waste.

Simple things that you can remember to do are switch off the lights when you leave a room. Or use the cycle to run your errands rather than taking a motorized vehicle which uses up fossil fuels. It will have the added benefit of keeping you fit.

Another thing is to save water by using it sparingly. There are places in the world where people have no access to clean water. You are lucky to have an abundant supply. So use it with care. Make caring for the environment your new pet project.

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Autonomous Vehicle Competition

Do you like to build ground vehicles and air vehicles as science projects? Well then this Autonomous Vehicle Competition is right up your street. SparkFun is having its fourth annual Autonomous Vehicle Competition (AVC) on 16 June in Boulder, CO.

They do have a list of regulations for each category of vehicle and you may want to look into them if you plan to take part. The ground vehicles will need to go around 4 barrels to complete the race. The positions of the barrels will only be revealed on race day. So the vehicles you design will need to be flexible able to do any route that is presented to them.

As for the air vehicles, bad news for the helicopters. No quadcopters or helicopters allowed in the category. The air vehicle will be expected to go around the four exterior walls of the building in which the competition is being hosted. Wheel carriages are allowed for aircraft that don’t have their own wheels. Human assisted take-off  such as throwing a plane in the air for takeoff  is not considered autonomous.

If you meet all the requirements you will be able to qualify for one of the 50 spots reserved for potential competitors on race day.Nothing to beat a good race as the culmination of all your effort taken to build a vehicle as a science project!

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How Dangerous is a Solar Storm?

The sun is the sole source of light and energy that allowed the human civilization to survive on our planet. However this hot ball of gases and fire is not all benevolent. In fact it can be quite the trouble maker when it comes to our high tech society.

In the 18th century a particularly strong solar storm affected the telegraph service on the planet. Operators actually disconnected their batteries and were able to function using the surge of electromagnetic power that the sun had provided!

Fortunately such a strong solar storm has not reoccurred in a century. So we were able to go high tech without much interference from the sun. Now however, with everything based on mobile and wireless technologies, a similar solar storm in this century may leave us in dire straights.

The truth is that the sun is not as stable a source of power as we would like to believe it is. It has its ups and downs, and yes it has the potential to knock out our civilization. There is little that we can do to stop it, but we can still try to be prepared for the worst that it can send us using our experience from countless science projects to help us along the way.

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