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Science Fair Project

Doing an experimental Science Project?

Making a working model of an electric motor by itself is a good educational activity and a perfect display project; however, if you have selected this subject as an experimental project, you will need to perform experiments in order to find answers to a specific question about electric motor. Following are samples of questions that may be studied as an experimental science project.

How do the material used in the construction of an electric generator affect the production of electricity?

How does the number of loops of wire in the coil affect the amount of electricity?

Experiment: While winding wire around the generator, count the number of turns you wind. After 100 turns, make a small loop on the wire, twist it, and label it as 100. Hold the loop toward outside so you will not loose it after winding more wire.

Continue to wind the second 100 turns. Make another loop and mark it as 200.

Continue to wind the third 100 turns. Make another loop and mark it as 300.

Continue to wind the fourth 100 turns. Make another loop and mark it as 400.

Continue to wind any remaining wire and label the end of wire with final number of loops. For example if you made 15 more loops, label it 415.

Sand the area of all loops as well as the beginning and the end of the wire.

Get a volt meter or multimeter and set it to the lowest range of AC Voltage.

Connect one probe of the meter to the beginning of the wire coil on the generator. Connect the generator to an electric drill (not battery operated drill) and start the drill while holding the generator. Ask your assistant to use the other probe of the voltmeter to the loops 100, 200, 300 and 400 while reading the voltage on the meter. (If you don't have an electric drill, just spin the rotor with hand as fast as you can. Observe the voltage. Repeat that a few times for each number of loops and then record the average. You may not need an assistant if you are not using an electric drill.)

How does the diameter of coil wire affect the electric current?
How does the speed of turning affect the production of electricity?
How does the diameter of wire coil affect the amount of electricity?

After you select your question, you must come up with an educated guess about the results. That will be your hypothesis.

Finally you will perform experiments and enter your results in a data table. You may finally use your results to make a graph.


Sample question 1:

While making the wooden generator, I noticed that wood is fragile and can not be used to make long lasting generator. I am wondering if metals, plastics or strong cardboards can be used instead.

Sample Hypothesis 1:

Plastic and cardboard boxes will function as good as wood and they may offer a better mechanical strength and durability. Iron and steel will attract the magnet and may redirect the magnetic field. With no magnetic field on copper wires, we will not have any electricity. Aluminum and copper can not be magnetized and magnetic field can pass through them. I expect a strong working electric generator with a box constructed from copper or aluminum.

Sample Experiment 1:

Construct five identical generators with five different materials for the box. Use the same type and length of wire, the same size and shape magnet, and finally the same shape and size axle for all generators.

Spin the magnet (rotor) at a constant speed and use a voltmeter to measure the voltage. Record the voltages in your data table.

Note: You may use an electric drill to spin the axis at a constant speed.
 

Sample Results table 1:
 

Box Material Produced Voltage
Wood  
Cardboard  
Aluminum  
.......  

Sample question 2:

While making the wooden generator, I noticed that instructions recommend to wrap the wire at least 200 turns around the box. I am wondering why more than 200 turns? How does the number of loops of wire in the coil affect the amount of electricity?

Sample Hypothesis 2:

As the number of loops of wire increase, more free electrons in the wire will be in magnetic field. As a result by increasing the number of loops, more electron pressure will be produced and the produced voltage will be higher.

Sample Experiment 2:

Construct four identical generators with four different number of loops of wire on the box. Use the same type of wire, but turn the wire coil as follows:

  • For generator number 1, wrap 50 turns of wire.
  • For generator number 2, wrap 100 turns of wire.
  • For generator number 3, wrap 150 turns of wire.
  • For generator number 4, wrap 200 turns of wire.

All other specifications on four generators that you construct must be the same.

On each generator, spin the magnet (rotor) at a constant speed and use a voltmeter to measure the voltage. Record the voltages in your data table.

Note: You may use an electric drill to spin the axis at a constant speed.
 

Sample Results table 2:
 

Loops of wire in the coil Produced Voltage
50  
100  
150  
200  

What is happening?

When the magnet (rotor) spins inside the coil of insulated copper wires, the free electrons inside the wire are pushed back and fort. When these electrons are trying to pass through very thin filament of the light bulb, they will create such a high amount of friction and heat that will produce light.

 
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List of metals for science experiments

Electric Generator
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