There are science fair projects and there are science fair projects. In many cases, kids of all ages submit a variety of somewhat ordinary projects and over the decades these have all been slightly enhanced with added technology being used to bring things up to date. However, from time to time there are some pretty amazing science fair projects that wow judges and other competitors alike. Some of the projects have taken a lot of effort and the thought that has gone into them is often quite remarkable. Here are three amazing and extravagant experiments and science fair project ideas that have actually been completed and very much wowed audiences and judges alike.
The chemical sniffing Lego Robot
Lego has been around for decades and what would a science fair be without something Lego? Back in 2009, a remarkable Lego Robot was built as a science fair project. There is nothing out of the ordinary with a Lego Robot I hear you say, but this one was hi-tech and could sniff out chemicals. Using relatively simple components the Lego Robot uses a special chip that changes color in the presence of different chemicals that are sucked into the robot casing by a fan. A simple LED flashes light off the color changing chip and the chemical is recognized. This is a very straightforward description but back in 2009 the technology used was state of the art and this clever robot was many years ahead of its time.
Sign language gloves
Many science fair projects are created to solve a real-world problem. In the deaf community, sign language is commonly used, however, the majority of hearing people cannot understand the language. It would be amazing if sign language could be read by a computer and then displayed on a screen or spoken through a voice synthesizer. This was the challenge one bright spark decided to overcome back in 2002 and a sign language glove was invented. The glove is covered in a number of sensors that detect movement and the shape of the hand inside it. The movement of the hand and the positions of the fingers are mapped to sign language words and letters that can then be displayed on a computer screen or spoken through a device. This is the sort of solution that would cost millions of dollars to develop in the commercial world and yet is was made possible as a science fair project
The 3D printed prosthetic arm
This has to be one of the most amazing science fair projects of all time. Prosthetic limbs have progressed from wooden legs to hooks replacing hands, and today with 3D printing and some science fair imagination prosthetics have taken a massive leap forward. In 2015 a 3D printed prosthetic arm was submitted into a science fair. The arm with a hand was a fully function limb that was computer controlled and could undertake a variety of everyday tasks from a simple handshake to feeding. The arm more than met the requirements of the experiment and it also proved that prosthetic limbs could now be produced for under $500 opposed to the conventional $7,000 to $10,000.
These are outstanding science fair projects that kept the spirit of the science fair alive and took science to new levels with each solving very real problems in the world today.