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Updated December 2005








Experiments

Electricity and magnetism

How do magnets work?
How are magnets made?
What kind of things do magnets attract?
How can you measure the strength of a magnet?
Core temperature of an electromagnet and its strength
The effect of temperature on the strength of a permanent magnet
How electromagnetic waves carry energy
Applications of electromagnetic waves carrying energy
Do electromagnetic fields affect plant growth?
Do strong electromagnetic fields affect microorganisms?
What blocks a magnetic force field?
Can magnets erase a floppy disc?
How is current affected by the type of conductor?
How is current affected by the temperature?
Does temperature affect electrical conductivity?
How do similar alloys conduct electricity?
How is current affected by the diameter of a wire?
Comparing electromagnets for strength
What affects the strength of an electromagnet
Comparing wires for electrical conductivity
The principles of fluorescent lights
Electrical discharges in different gases
How conductive is damp wood?
The forces on conductors carrying electric current
Does temperature affect the operation of a solar cell?
The forces between magnets
The efficiency of a 12 volt motor

Sound

How can we show that sound is vibration?
How can we tell where a sound comes from?
How good are we at hearing one voice in a crowd?
Can mothers recognize the cry of their own child?
Can fathers recognize the cry of their own child?
How do parents and other adults react to the cry of a child?
What makes three tenors all sound different?
How far can speech be transmitted through a tube?
How important is diameter in a long speaking tube?
The resonance of metal rings
The resonance of wine glasses
Do soap bubbles have a natural resonance?
The glass harmonica
Chladni figures
The dawn chorus
Voiceprints of bird songs
Voiceprints of frog calls
Voices and how we tell them apart
An electromechanical speech synthesiser
The acoustic properties of a kettledrum
A new musical instrument
Which type of line carries sound waves best?
What factors affect the pitch of a musical instrument?
How do different solids affect the transmission of sound?
Does the length of a vibrating object affect sound?
Vibration of a rubber sheet
Transmission of sound through water

Classical physics

Which metal has the greatest heat capacity?
How do different metals compare in specific heat?
Measuring the heat capacity of different liquids
Do all metals expand at the same rate when heated?
Do metals expand at the same rate at different temperatures?
Will different air temperatures affect the size of a balloon?
Pressure/volume relationship in a rubber balloon
Forces in the skin of a balloon
How are hot air balloons different from blimps?
Does temperature affect the flight of hot-air balloons?
How much do liquids expand when they are heated?
The conduction of heat in different metals
Where are the main heat losses in a thermos flask?
How and where do humans lose heat in cold weather?
Does aluminium foil make a difference in cooking times?
How do metals compare in conducting heat?
How do different metals compare in density?
How does temperature affect the density of liquids?
Comparing the density and buoyancy of different objects
How much salt does it take to float a fresh egg?
Does water with salt boil faster than plain water?
Colour and the thermal radiation an object absorbs
Comparing the densities of different gases
The effects of different salts on the freezing point of water
How efficient are different types of steam engines
A wind powered AC generator system
How do water waves carry energy?
How do obstacles affect wave motion?
The effect of shelving on breaking of waves
Origins and forms of waves at interfaces
Three-dimensional waves in jelly
What limits the speed of a boat in water?
What limits the speed of a truck?
What limits the speed of an aircraft?
What is the best nose cone shape for a model rocket?
Plotting the path of a ball through air
The flight properties of a shuttle cock
Determining viscosity from the free fall of a sphere
Viscosity measurements

Light and vision

How long does the flash from a flashbulb last?
Designing a better pinhole camera
The optimum aperture of a pinhole camera
How is light affected as it passes through water?
How do rainbows form?
Lenses of ice and other materials
A simple reflecting telescope
A home-made microscope
Microphotography
Diffraction gratings
Lens making
Liquid crystals
Liquid lenses
Materials that polarise light
The polarisation of scattered light
The polarising effects of Sellotape
Polarised light from sky
How reflected light is polarized
Reflections
Measuring the speed of light
Moiré patterns
Oil films
Refraction
Chromatic aberration and achromatic lenses
Rutherford scattering
Scattering light
Shadowgrams
Stereoscopes
The Poisson spot
The spectra of different lamps


Chemistry

Are some substances more soluble than others?
Does temperature affect solubility?
How is chemical change affected by heat?
How is chemical change affected by light?
How is chemical change affected by catalysts?
How are acidic and basic solutions produced?
How can acidic and basic solutions be modified?
What acid and basic solutions are around the house
Does temperature affect the pH of acids?
Temperature and the pH and conductivity of water
Acid in orange juice
The pH levels of different types of apples and oranges
Acidic, basic, and neutral liquids
The amount of oxygen and the rate of burning?
Kitchen chemistry
Mayonnaise
Bathroom science
Garden chemistry
Laundry and bathroom chemistry
Coagulation
Colloidal suspensions
Emulsions
Flocculation
Diffusion and its uses
Gas chromatography
Liesegang bands
Monolayers
Paper chromatography
Salt fountains
Thin layer chromatography
Why do old oil paintings crack?


Technology

Necking and other effects in stretched polymer sheets
Design a vacuum pump
What are the properties of a good synthetic rubber?
Can cloth or string be made from local materials?
Designs for string bags
A reed basket
A hand-made fish trap
Cat's cradles
The physics of fly casting
Heat engines using rubber-bands
Hitches and knots
Sundials and sundial designs
How big should a parachute be?
What controls the descent rate of parachutes?
The aerodynamics of hang-gliders
The flight of the Frisbee
How do aeroplanes fly?
The best wing shape for an aeroplane
What makes a good kite?
Does the shape of a kite affect its flight?
Better boomerang designs
Parachute design and terminal velocity
How many blades should a fan have?
The hydrodynamics of sailing craft
Sail material, shapes, size and boat speed
The slot effect in close hauled sailing
Sea anchor designs
Efficient windmill designs
How does the design of a windmill's blades affect its power?
Which propeller shape works the best?
Turbine blades
The Stirling engine
Casting metals
The effects of pouring molten metal into water
What sort of sand works best for cire perdue casting?
Glass blowing
The structure of iron and other metals


Kitchen studies

How much weight does a tea bag lose?
How much will a celery strip curl when soaked in water?
Popcorn popping rates
Sorting and disposing of rubbish from the kitchen
Which decays first, brown bread or white bread?
Telling a fresh egg from a stale egg
Telling a hard-boiled egg from a raw one
Identifying a shaken can of drink without opening it
How biodegradable are 'biodegradable' products?
Brown bananas
What makes apples go brown?
How much of an apple is water?
How much water is there in dried fruit?
How much of an orange is water?
Will oranges rot faster in the refrigerator or out of it?
How can we speed or slow the ripening of fruit?
Does light affect the ripening rate of apples?
Does temperature affect the ripening rate of apples?
Will apples ripen slower if isolated from each other?
What conditions slow the ripening of fruit?
Does storage temperature affect the acid content of fruit?
How does ethylene affect the sugar content of apples?
Which part of the refrigerator is best for storing fruit?
Does all fruit keep better in the refrigerator?
Does lettuce keep longer in the refrigerator?
What is the best temperature to store milk?
Which freezes first, hot or cold water?
Salt, ice and anti-freezing effects at different temperatures
Can you separate salt from water by freezing?
Will water with salt evaporate faster than water without salt?
Does on ice cube melt faster in air or water?
Which part of the refrigerator is coldest?
How much detergent do we really need to wash up?
The physical efficiency of common surfactants
Dyes made from local plants
Fading rates in naturally-dyed cloth
Do all colours fade at the same rate?
Which fabric dyes last the longest in the wash?
Which flowers and/or foods act as indicators?
Which food colourings are also acid-base indicators?
Which coloured foods are also acid-base indicators?
Hydrogen ion content and pigment colour
What is the colour composition of red inks, dyes and paints?
Electrostatic precipitation of dust particles
What is in the dust that collects in my house?
Dust mites
Which natural fruit juices contain the most Vitamin C?
Does heat destroy Vitamin C?
Do light affect the Vitamin C content of juice?
Which type of packaging retains Vitamin C the best in orange juice?
Comparing the pH of different antacids
Which common beverage is most acidic?

Community science

Planning a community
The city of the future
How effective is recycling in my community?
Variations in the background radiation in my community
A sound and noise map of my community
A lead pollution map of my community
'Concrete cancer' in seaside or industrial areas
The influence of warming up on performance
Does a bath take less water than a shower?
The amount of daily unrecyclable household rubbish (trash)
How can feral predators be controlled?
Developing insect pest lures
Testing marigolds to control insect pests
The wattage of light bulbs and the heat they emit
More efficient design in light fittings

Water and other fluids

Fluids, and why they are special
Liquids
What is in tap water?
What types of bacteria are found in tap water?
Testing the purity of bottled water
Testing the quality of water
How clean is the water off my roof?
Can the sun's energy be used to clean polluted water?
Does the amount of solute affect the rate of evaporation of a solution?
Does the type of solute affect the rate of evaporation of a solution?
How does temperature affect evaporation rates?
How does humidity affect evaporation rates?
How does wind speed affect evaporation rates?
How much cooling can evaporation produce?
Do all liquids cool as they evaporate?
Cleaning up oil slicks
The freezing of water
Freezing water, rates, and initial temperatures
Frost and how it forms
How strong is ice?
Hero's Fountain
Hydraulic rams
Water pumps for the developing world
Liquid streams
Design a highly efficient chimney pot
Non-Newtonian fluids
Does the flow rate of water affect its pressure?
The coiling of liquid streams
Convection currents in liquids
Vortexes in water and flames
Wakes and washes from vessels
What are the aerodynamic forces on a motor car?
What shapes the bow waves produced by a boat?
What makes a low-drag hull?
Hull design for different types of craft
How does wing design affect lift?
Factors affecting the lift of an aerofoil
What is the best design for reduced wing drag?
How does the shape of an aeroplane's fuselage affect drag?
Behaviour of drops on a hot plate
Behaviour of ink drops in water
Water droplets that float on water
Why does the shower curtain move inwards?
The flow of water around a U-bend
Water flow round obstructions
Water impact with a plane surface of water
The flow over dam spillways
Estimating the flow in a river
The efficient design of street drains
Plotting the water table on a beach
Sampling a 100-metre water column
Water temperature and flotation
The Venturi principle
What influences the flow of sand, powders and crystals?
The factors making the ideal spout for pouring
Rings formed by running water on flat plates
Rotating liquid surfaces
The study of splashes
Which materials absorb the most water?
What type of soil filters water best?
What materials dissolve in water?

Meteorology

What colours can be seen in the aurora?
How does day length vary over the year?
How does day length vary with latitude on a given day?
When does dew form?
Measuring how much dew is formed in a square metre
Do frost factors increase the amount of dew?
How reliable is a hygrometer?
How does the temperature change during the day?
Make your own thermometer and keep your own records
The rainfall near home and the daily weather reports?
How does cloud seeding work?
What does the structure of a hailstone tell us?
What would happen to the weather if the Earth was a cube?


Earth sciences

Columnar jointing in igneous rocks
Mud cracks
How do different soils differ?
How important are earthworms to soil and plants?
Soil components and the growth of plants?
What are the influences on soil of microarthropods?
How fast is the rock weathering on a fresh surface?
Can you get water out of a stone?
What are the densities of different rocks?
The water content of different soils
The water-holding capacity of different soils
Which type of soil will eroded most easily by running water?
How does slope affect stream velocity?
How much water is there in dry "soil?"
Soil porosity and the water-holding capacity of soil
What is the porosity of different types of soils
Which type of soil absorbs the most heat from sunlight?
How do meanders form in a river?
How much silt is there in a river at different times?
A model Foucault pendulum
Beach science


Plants

What use is a stem for a flower?
What controls the movement of water through plants?
Day length, animals and plants
How much plant food is best?
How do plants get nitrogen?
Which plants add nitrogen to the soil?
Plants and their responses to light
How much light does a plant need to find the light?
What colour light do plants grow best in?
The best growing media for lettuce and radish seeds
Atmospheric pressure and seed germination rates
Atmospheric pressure and plant growth
The effects of increased oxygen levels on plants
How much water do plants absorb?
How do insectivorous plants catch their prey?
How water moves through the plant
Leaf internal structures in different genera
The structure of the flower in grass.
How fast do grass roots grow?
Variations in a single species of grass
Plant reproduction
Which plants move, why and how?
The effects of gravity on seed root growth and direction
Can endangered ferns be grown from spores?
Measuring the metabolism of a fungus
Measuring the metabolism of seeds
The effect of chlorination on algae
Controls for algal growth on wet paving
What really grows between the tiles in the shower?
Grafting in plants
Can a tomato plant be grafted to a potato plant?
Nutrition of plants and fertilisers: what do plants need?
Comparisons of artificial and organic fertilisers
Using plants for bioremediation
What effect does oil have on water plants?


Animals

What is the life cycle of a fly?
How long does a fly live?
What factors affect the pupating rate of house flies?
What is the life cycle of a butterfly?
How many ants are there in a nest?
How far do the ants of a nest travel for food?
How far do bees travel from their hive?
What conditions are best for the growth of walking stick insects?
Behaviour of crickets in a closed system
The affect of humidity on the 'singing' rate of crickets
How does the intensity of light affect the behaviour of crickets?
How does acceleration affect the behaviour of crickets?
How do crickets respond to caffeine?
How does caffeine affect the heartbeat of water fleas?
What natural substances will kill mosquito larvae?
Which herbs can be used as a pesticide to control mosquito larvae?
Using citrus peel as a natural pesticide to control mosquito larvae
Testing the effectiveness of several natural insect control measures
Which environmental conditions do 'sow bugs' prefer?
What are the effects of temperature on insects?
Breed cockroaches to learn their life cycle
Regeneration in planarian worms
How do different environments affect the regeneration of flatworms?
Do magnetic fields affect the growth of flatworms?
How does pH affect the regeneration rate of planaria?
How does water temperature affect the regeneration rate of planaria?
How does the concentration of dissolved oxygen affect the regeneration rate of planaria?
Does an earthworm react to light and dark?
How does different coloured light affect the behaviour of earthworms?
Chemical communication in earthworms
Does an earthworm react to noise or tones?
How do earthworms manage with no skeletons?
How does earthworm population relate to soil type?
The effect of moisture on activity in earthworms
What soil factors do earthworms prefer?
Which travels faster: a snail or a worm?
How far does a snail travel in one minute?
How much can a caterpillar eat in one day?
What are the humidity preferences of a flour beetle?
What foods do mealworms prefer?
What foods make mealworms grow fastest?
Reactions of mealworms to different types of surfaces
How do different colours affect the behaviour of mealworms?
How do ultrasonic sounds affect mealworms?
Which environmental conditions do mealworms prefer?
How does temperature affect the activity of mealworms?
How do different levels of salinity affect brine shrimp?
How does pH affect brine shrimp?
What is the effect of temperature on the respiration rate of goldfish?
How do pet mice respond to different types of food?
What are bones made of?
What determines how strong a muscle is?
Seeing blood cells in various animals
What surface does a snail move fastest on?
Do ants like honey or sugar better?
Do different kinds of caterpillars eat different amounts of food?
Do different size caterpillars eat different amounts of food?
Do mint leaves or other herbs repel ants?
How does water quality affect the ciliates in a pond?
The effect of light on the growth of ciliates
How do detergents affect brine shrimp?
What environmental factors will increase the heart rate of daphnia?
The effects of water pollution on snails
What is the effect of an oil spill on brine shrimp?
Using bacteria in hydrocarbon bioremediation


Animal behaviour

Behaviour of magpies
Behaviour of crows
Behaviour of seagulls
Learning in cockroaches
Learning in slaters (woodlice)
Learning in planarian worms
Do mealworms prefer light of dark environments?
Does noise affect learning?
The effect of written and verbal stimuli on learning
How do learning styles affect memorisation?
How does a single species of animal communicate?
Does body language depend on your culture?
Do animals prefer or avoid coloured water?
How much can rats learn?
What instincts does a dog still have?
What instincts does a cat still have?
Can a goldfish learn?
Short term and long term memory
Stimulus and response
Subliminal messages
Does surrounding colour affect an insect's eating habits?
Responses of soil arthropods to light, moisture and soil
The effects of age on reflexes
How do day-old domestic chicks behave?
What colour of birdseed do birds like best?
Can you train a fish to respond to sound?
How high can a dog count?
What factors affect the ability of a rodent to negotiate a maze?
Wall-seeking behaviour in mice
How mice respond to being separated?
Colour preferences in gerbils
How does age affect learning abilities of hamsters?
What is the effect of height above ground on the attraction of birds to a feeder?
What colour of bird feeder will attract the most birds?
Light and its affect on the eating behaviour of mic

Senses

How do people differ in the ability to match the pitch of two sounds?
Can you tell where sound comes from when you are blindfolded?
Does exercise affect your reflexes?
Does bright light affect acuity of vision?
Can you see better if you limit the light that gets to your eye?
The blind spot
Afterimages
The Benham disc
Humming and vision
How does your vision change with age?
Can colour-blind people see past camouflage?
Do dogs (or other pets) see colours?
It's better having two eyes!
Eyes and the ability to judge distances
Computer-generated stereoscopic images
The lateral line in fish
What senses does a starfish have?
Can food be tasted without being smelled?
How much does age affect the sensation of temperature?
How accurately can people judge temperature?
How does colour affect perceived taste sensations of noncarbonated beverages?
Taste sensitivity of smokers and non-smokers
Can things be identified by just their smell?
How much does age affect the sensation of smell?
How well do dogs smell?
Can land snails smell and hear?
Do boys and girls have similar powers of smell?
The effects of sight and smell on taste
Identifying food while blindfolded
How much does age affect the sensation of taste?
How well can boys and girls identify fruits by taste alone?
How well do we identify food by taste alone?
How well can people judge time without a watch or clock?
Is using two eyes to judge distance more accurate than using one eye?
Taste on the tip of the tongue
Does the human tongue have definite areas for certain tastes?
Which taste sense is most sensitive?
Tasting the difference between regular and fat free foods
How do people differ in their ability to detect sweetness?
Adults, children, and Cola drink recognition
Do animals have a magnetic sense?
Can you tell what something is just by touching it?
How reliable is the sense of touch?
Can we train our sense of touch?
How is 2-year-old talk different from ours?
How many words does a 2-year-old know?
How large is the vocabulary of a 12-year-old?
How large is the vocabulary of an adult?
How do roots respond to gravity?

Miscellaneous biology

Heart rate, fitness and exercise
Do children's heart rates change as they get older?
How does music affect heart rate?
What activities affect your heart rate?
What is the effect of caffeine on blood pressure?
What is the effect of exercise on blood pressure?
What is the effect of aerobic activity on respiration rate?
Pulse reactions
Do boys or girls have a higher resting heart rate?
Are boys taller than girls of the same age?
Do boys or girls have the biggest feet?
Do boys or girls have the smallest hands?
The history of a growing tooth, from casts
What effect does coffee have on blood pressure?
Making a terrarium
The physics and biology of pole-vaulting
What body form makes a good sprinter?
What body form makes the best distance runner?
What body form makes the best tennis player?
What body form makes the best swimmer?
What body form makes the best diver?
What body form makes the best gymnast?
Do taller people run faster than shorter people?
How friction effects a runner on different surfaces


Electronics

Which home materials make the best capacitor dielectric?
Transmitting still pictures
How does the gauge of wire affect the resistance in a circuit?
Which materials make the best resistor in a circuit?
Characteristics of a light dependent resistor
How do LDRs respond to different colours?
The photoelectric effect in semiconductors
Which two wires produce the most thermoelectricity?
The piezoelectric effect
The electrical characteristics of a solar cell
Using a transistor as a zener diode
The interference produced by electric switches
Minimising feedback in a microphone system
The noise in a hot resistor
The carbon microphone
The capacitor microphone
Making and testing a graphite strip microphone
Loudspeakers and enclosures
Building and testing an electrostatic speaker
A comparison of three loudspeakers


Computer-based projects

Practical applications of control systems
A walking machine with stepper motors
Maze-solving 'robot mice'
A simulation of evolution through natural selection
Number theory studies with a spreadsheet
A simulation of genetic drift