View Full Version : Science project

10-30-2001, 08:13 PM
Anyone know a good EXPERIMENTAL one for an 8th grader? Also, not too used.

10-30-2001, 08:23 PM
build a fusion engine

10-30-2001, 09:23 PM
I assume you have some C experience? Do something centering around that. Astronomy and physics simulators are ideal subjects for C. The simplest idea would be a trajectory simulation, but this could be expanded to do a rocket/satellite simulation, a solar system simulation, a galaxy simulation, etc. In physics, maybe a collision simulation, which could be expanded to a gas simulation. You can back this up with actual experiments too, but just the program by itself is a decent project. Or you could do something purely in computer science, such as clocking different computers or different algorithms.

When I was in high school I wrote a galaxy interaction simulator in C (the first real C program I ever wrote) and won over $5000 cumulative along with free trips to Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington, etc. It's worth the effort, and programming experience is invaluable.

10-30-2001, 09:31 PM
Procyon's got the right idea.

Just go crazy with it and make it as expansive as you can. I usually start my projects such as this small and then build on the features until i reach the proportions that will wow my friends, family, and teacher.

10-30-2001, 09:31 PM

in grade 8 I wrote this database thing as a science project... unfortunately it wasn't experimental, but it was interesting..

a gravity simulator isn't too hard if you don't do graphics :) try it.

10-30-2001, 09:54 PM
Other programming-related ideas:

Again in physics, a 1D wave simulator would be a good starting point, and could potentially be expanded to a 2-3D wave simulation.

You could do some interesting stuff in population biology. A predator/prey simulation might be interesting.

There are also lots of evolutionary biology programs I've read about that might not be excessively difficult to program. An artificial selection program would be a possibility. There's also a program called the "game of life" that, based in a tile-based environment on extremely simple rules, forms a world supporting things that act a lot like simple living things. I think I read about the former in The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins and the latter in Darwin's Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett.

Also, in regards to astronomy simulations, I have the source code and executables from the programs I wrote on my website (http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/dap29/programs.html) if you're curious to see how these types of things are put together. Of course, the coding is pretty poor; in particular the program commits the worst abuse of global variables you'll ever see anywhere. (I was teaching myself the language as I went along, and found out about structs far too late.) But the finished product is pretty nice (the judges certainly thought so!)

10-30-2001, 10:07 PM
how about a magic program which lets you do anything you want to another computer which is connected to the same network, A.K.A. Trojan(just for the project, we don't want to do anything illegal here, do we? :cool: ) , but you make one of your own!


10-30-2001, 10:10 PM
it has to be an experament.... unless you are going to test 10 people and see how fast it takes them to pull their hair out when you open random files and move your mouse around randomly while they are trying to work on their comps.

10-30-2001, 10:44 PM
you know, that could be a good project too


10-31-2001, 08:44 AM
hmmm..... punch as many people as you can, and see how long it takes for someone to punch you back....

10-31-2001, 04:55 PM
I also made a gravity sim last year, but mine only won me $500 :( (judges were wowed by untestable vb net apps.. there was no net connection at the judging). You can get the zip file containing the program and source from here http://www.geocities.com/rpgnmets/GravitySim/

10-31-2001, 05:01 PM
giving untestable software an award is just a load of bullcrap, i think. If it doesn't work for whatever reason, then i shouldn't win.

10-31-2001, 07:45 PM
I downloaded your gravity simulation, but all I saw when running it was a green line across the screen. And a red line, if I scrolled around a bit. How is it supposed to work?

Judges can be shockingly arbitrary. I did the same type of project my junior year of high school, except the simulator was written in BASIC because I hadn't learned C yet. I still did OK, getting 2nd place at the regional science fair, but I lost to a project on sewage management, of all things.

Fortunately senior year after converting to C and doing more galaxy systems I won 1st easily at both the regional and the state levels, allowing me to present at the International Fair in Detroit, where they give out unbelievably huge loads of money... that's where I picked up the large majority of the $5000.

10-31-2001, 07:55 PM
It just iteratores through a list of particles, comparing ones position to every other ones, updating the screen, and then calculating again. The red line is the x axis, the green axis the y axis, and the blue line the z axis. I had a better .doc, explaining the file i/o, but thats gone :(.