Science Fair Project Ideas on Cars

Consider the common car from an unusual perspective for a unique science fair project.
••• luxury car - model toy car image by alma_sacra from

Cars utilize myriad scientific principles to provide a useful service in the daily lives of millions of people. Take a closer look at the familiar automobile to devise a science project that is both unusual and relevant. For inspiration, brainstorm all of the scenarios involved in driving a car, all of the potential improvements that could be made to a car and all of the individual features that help a car to function smoothly.

Mousetrap Power

For a simple science project that focuses on kinetic energy sources, build a working model car that is powered by a simple mousetrap. Use foam to build a lightweight body for the vehicle. For wheels, use old DVDs or compact disks. A spring-loaded mousetrap will create the necessary force to propel the car an impressive distance. For a more thorough project, create multiple mousetrap-powered cars, each with slightly different dimensions and styles. See how varying a particular feature affects the car's performance.

Going Solar

If your interests lie in alternative and renewable energy sources, you can build a solar-powered model car. To make the car even "greener," build it out of recycled materials. One approach is to use a solar-powered kit. Expect a kit to contain a 1.0 or 1.5 volt solar panel. It should come with alligator clip leads, a motor and an instruction booklet.

Driver Behavior

Use your science project to take a behavioral approach to cars, looking at the changes in driver behavior given different circumstances. For example, you could measure the way in which drivers' behavior changes during weekdays and weekends, basing your study on how many cars run red lights at a particular intersection. You could also record driver behavior at stop signs, noting how many cars come to a complete stop and how many simply slow to a "rolling" stop. For other variables, attend to the driving behavior of people in different types of cars, such as SUVs versus smaller vehicles, or coupes versus sedans.

A Third Headlight

For a safety-minded science project, test whether a third headlight, placed above the dashboard, can improve drivers' reaction times. To carry out the project, mount three lights on a board in an arrangement that emulates the front of a car. Time how long it takes for participants in the experiment to respond to the flashing of the lights. Test whether there is any difference between flashing two lights or flashing three. As an extension, create additional arrangements of lights. You could also test whether there is any difference between reaction times for red or white lights.

Related Articles

Electrical Engineering Capstone Project Ideas
RoboBees Use Solar Power to Take Flight
Ways to Reduce Fossil Fuel Use
Science Fair Project Ideas: Equine
How to Build a Remote Control Car for a Science Fair...
A Science Project on Magnetic Cars
How to Make a Car for a School Project
How to Use a 9-Volt Battery to Power LEDs
Explain Electrical Ladder Diagrams
The Top 10 Winning Science Fair Ideas About Hamsters
Science Fair Ideas With the Topic Dance
Music Science Fair Project Ideas
How to Connect Two DC Power Supplies in Parallel
How Are Newton's Three Laws of Motion Used in Baseball?
How to Make Your Own Micro Flying Robot
Ideas for Mouse Trap Projects
Guide to Troubleshooting Photocell Sensors
How Do I Control the Light Level of an LED?
Applications of Physics in Everyday Life

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!