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Brainstorm. Need Science Fair project ideas.

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  • Brainstorm. Need Science Fair project ideas.

    7th grader. Boy. Diver (springboard), water polo player, likes gaming.

    Proposed strapping an accelerometer to himself and measuring g-force as he was doing different dives but the teacher shot him down. Said he'd have to get 50-100 human test subjects...we're not doing that. Would still like to do something cool with an accelerometer.

    Was looking at picking up one of these...

    What to do with it? Need some ideas.


  • #2
    Re: Brainstorm. Need Science Fair project ideas.

    Attach it to things and drop them from heights? Maybe a different take on the idea of building a structure with straws around an egg and dropping it to see which ones will protect the egg and which wont. Rather than an egg, use the accelerometer and have him design and test a half dozen different configurations to see which slows the drop speed the most.


    • #3
      Re: Brainstorm. Need Science Fair project ideas.

      remote controlled car, various shock absorbers over a variety of jumps or terrain. Dropping stuff into feathers, foam, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, wadded newspaper. Parachute designs.


      • #4
        Re: Brainstorm. Need Science Fair project ideas.

        Buy 2 of them, strap one to you and him, and race each other about 20 times over a set distance and a set time for breaks in between, and answer the life long question of who is faster, the Old man or his son? ;)

        Also include a background on each others hobbies and activities, height, stride, weight etc.

        Just an idea, but people do study things like this. :)

        Maybe it could be used to measure things while gaming online, maybe attach it to the mouse hand and measure twitch speed and improvement over a set amount of time.


        • #5
          Re: Brainstorm. Need Science Fair project ideas.

          Buy a fuel cell kit. Talk about how it can be part of the future of energy and give a demonstration of how it works. I did that for a science fair project when I was Sophomore in Highschool.


          • #6
            Re: Brainstorm. Need Science Fair project ideas.

            the key is to do something that follows the scientific method. Don't just record stuff because you have the technology. Come up with a research question, formulate a testable hypothesis from that question and design an experiment to test that hypothesis. Instead of many subjects, you could use just a few with many trials of the same activity. You will have enough generalizability and statistical power if you take a repeated measures approach. The human movement research I have done usually has about 5 subjects with many trials of the same conditions.

            I would do something simple, like attach it to the center of your chest and walk around listening to music vs not listening to music. See if the pattern of activity changes as a function of the music. control for music tempo and content.

            “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough!” Benjamin Franklin


            • #7
              Re: Brainstorm. Need Science Fair project ideas.

              Originally posted by Snarlin View Post
              Said he'd have to get 50-100 human test subjects...we're not doing that.
              His teacher is an incompetent for making such a stupid response. Multiple test subjects are relevant when you are trying to make a statement about a condition, not when measuring the effects of an action (you don't use 500 crash test dummies, you use one crash test dummy 500 times). If you were, say, measuring the effects of his dive training on his dives, THEN you would want multiple test subjects to provide context (a control). When the dives are the variable, introducing additional test subjects would muddy the results and render them entirely worthless. Additionally, 50-100 test subjects for a 7th grade science fair experiment that would require probably 2-3 hours of the participants' time? That teacher must either be 500 years old with a BA in "Science" or 25 years old with something similar to be so unabashedly stupid. Seriously, based on what you present here, that teacher upsets me for being so bad.


              That said... what would be the point? What would be the question he would be trying to answer with such an experiment?

              Potential avenues based on the availability of an accelerometer (note, I am only providing experiments, not hypotheses, that's his job to figure out):

              1) Effects of various dive positions on his negative acceleration in the water (of course, this would require doing some horrible things such as multiple belly/back flops).
              2) Effects of attire on his negative acceleration in the water based on a single dive form (how does diving in tournament swimwear compare to, say, a suit).
              3) Designing a shock absorber/parachute (which Spur already suggested). One idea could be the examine parachutes as they changed and improved through time.
              4) Designing a cannon/catapult/other form of ejection and examining the projectile's launch (could mimic the above and compare devices through the ages, though that would require a lot of complicated construction).
              ----A friend of mine way back had a concept for a cannon that would crush an egg on launch instead of impact (via the sheer force of the launch), though he couldn't get it cleared with the teachers (probably because such a cannon would need well over a thousand pounds of force to achieve that effect and they frowned on a middle schooler using gunpowder in the quantities he was conceiving).

              I'd add more cannon-type stuff but then, I built a railgun for my middle school science fair so I might be a little biased (protip: don't blow up a capacitor in a residential area).




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