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Ideas & Topics

The best topic for a Science Fair projects is one that interests you. If you are curious about the answer to your hypothesis, others will be interested in it also and your project will be more fun. Here are some energy-related questions to get you started in choosing your next Science Fair topic.

Grades K-2

  • Does the color of an object affect how much heat it absorbs from sunlight?
  • Does the color of a liquid contribute to its ability to absorb heat?
  • Which glass would warm up first in the sun, one wrapped in dark construction paper or one wrapped in aluminum foil? Which would stay cold the longest?
  • How can the heat energy of the sun be used to cook food?
  • How can sunlight be used to tell time?
  • Which type of dry cell battery lasts the longest?
  • Demonstrate how to use common fruits and vegetables as batteries.
  • What is the best design for a balloon powered toy car?
  • Does solar tea taste different than steeped tea?
  • How does temperature of an object compare in the sun and in the shade? How could we use this to help keep our houses cool in the summer?

Grades 3-5

  • Does the angle of the photovoltaic (solar) cell in relation to where the sun is in the sky affect the amount of electricity it produces?
  • Which light bulb is the best value for the money?
  • How is surface area of a material or liquid related to its heat absorption from the sun?
  • How much more heat do incandescent bulbs produce than compact fluorescents?
  • How does magnification or concentration of sunlight affect the electrical output of a photovoltaic (solar) cell?
  • How does temperature affect the electrical output of a photovoltaic (solar) cell?
  • How effective are windshield sun screens at reducing the interior temperature of a closed automobile?
  • Which metals are the best conductors of heat?
  • How can the energy of the sun be used to cook food?
  • Which materials retain solar heat the best after the sunlight is gone?
  • Does temperature affect the output current or voltage of a dry cell battery?
  • Does a dry cell battery last longer if it used continuously or if it is turned on and off periodically?
  • Demonstrate how to use common fruits and vegetables as batteries. How does the voltage and current output vary with the acidity of the fruit/vegetable?
  • What is the most effective insulating material? Build a model that can keep ice for 24 hours.

Grades 6-8

  • How is solar thermal absorption related to surface area?
  • What is the amount of heat difference produced by incandescent bulbs in contrast to compact fluorescents?
  • What size, shape and number of blades are needed on a ceiling fan for the best cooling?
  • How can solar energy be used to desalinize salt water?
  • What is the most effective design of a solar still?
  • How does magnification or concentration of sunlight affect the electrical output of a photovoltaic cell?
  • How does temperature affect the electrical output of a photovoltaic cell?
  • How is a family's energy use affected by switching to daylight savings time?
  • How is a school's energy use affected by switching to daylight savings time?
  • Should your home's doors open inward or outward to conserve the energy used for heating and cooling?
  • How effective are windshield sun screens at reducing the interior temperature of a closed automobile?
  • Can light energy influence chemical reactions?
  • Does the type of air conditioner filter affect the amount of airborne fungi?
  • How do the different types of photovoltaic cells differ in efficiency?
  • What building materials could be used instead of lumber for framing and sheathing?
  • What is the most effective design of solar cookers?
  • Can hydrogen be produced easier by electrolysis from sea water or fresh water?
  • Is a solar water heater with a parabolic trough design more efficient than a flat plate design?
  • Does the angle of incident light affect the amount of electricity a photovoltaic cell produces?
  • How does temperature affect the output current and voltage of a dry cell battery?
  • Which materials exhibit a photoelectric effect? How do they compare?
  • What is the most effective insulating material for home construction?
  • What is the most effective material for a solar pool blanket?
  • How much energy is saved by insulating a water heater? What is the best material to use to insulate a water heater?
  • How much more electricity will a photovoltaic panel that tracks the sun produce versus a stationary photovoltaic panel?
  • Can recycled waste be turned into energy?
  • Can an alternative fuel be made from Florida's wasted oranges?
  • Do glass beads added to roof coating increase its insulation ability?

Grades 9-12

  • What size, shape and number of blades are needed on a ceiling fan for the best cooling?
  • What design of solar water purifier is the most practical and effective for use in disaster relief and refugee camps?
  • What is the most effective design for solar desalination?
  • Could a different system of time zones and/or daylight savings time decrease energy usage in the U.S.?
  • Does natural daylighting affect student test scores?
  • What is the net energy change when teachers in a school can control the thermostat in their individual classrooms?
  • How can hydrogen be used in transportation? Design and construct a working model of a fuel cell running on hydrogen.
  • How could glass foam be used to make strong building materials with high insulation properties?What building materials could be used instead of lumber for framing and sheathing?
  • How could light emitting diodes be used for street and neighborhood lighting? Build a working model.
  • How much energy could be saved by allowing workers to work out of their homes instead of commuting to an office?
  • Is a solar water heater with a parabolic trough design more efficient than a flat plate design?
  • Does having real time data on energy consumption lead to an increase in energy conservation?
  • Can a solar thermal collector be used to produce electricity? Design and construct a working model.
  • What design of solar cooker is the most practical and effective for use in disaster relief and refugee camps?
  • How can photovoltaics and renewables be used in hurricane disaster relief? Write a economically feasible plan for your municipality.
  • Can hydrogen gas be produced cheaply from aluminum cans? Design and construct a working model.
  • Can hydrogen be produced cheaply from citrus processing waste? Design and construct a working model.
  • Do glass beads added to roof coating increase its insulation ability?
  • What is the effect of different types of glass on solar heat gain in houses?
  • How do sunspots and solar flares affect cell phone performance?
  • Which recycled material insulates against heat most effectively?

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