Sports Engineering
Science Fair Projects
Ideas and Sample Projects by Grade Level


Home Experiments Engineers Warning!
Elementary School - Grades 4-6
P=Project   E=Experiment
Which will bounce higher? A basketball with nitrogen in it or a basketball with oxygen in it? [P] [P]
Figure out if the flex of a hockey stick makes a shot faster or more accurate. [P] [P]
Investigate the effect of speed on the distance and height of the skateboarding trick "the ollie." [E]
Does It Matter How Much Air Is in Your Basketball? [E]
Determining Your Speediest Shoes [E]
Can a Breyers Ice cream lid be used as a real frisbee? [P]
Test if air pressure will affect the dynamics of ball bouncing. [E]
Determine whether "corked" baseball bats make the ball travel farther than unaltered wooden bats. [E]
How to measure speed and to compare the speeds of athletes in different sporting events. [E]
Is wearing a swimsuit improve your swimming performance? [E]
Determine if the rotation speed of a football affects its drag. [E]
See whether or not the stitching of a soccer ball affects how far the ball travels. [E]
Does a swim cap reduce drag and help a swimmer swim faster through the water? [P]
What makes a good football throw? [P]
See if golf balls really need dimples to travel a greater distance. [E]
How Does Shooting a Soccer Ball at a Target with Different Angles and Spin Affect Its Trajectory? [E]
Middle School - Grades 7-9
P=Project   E=Experiment

Golf

Determine how club head velocity affects shot distance. [E]
The Development of the Gyroscopic Putter [P]
Test whether you can increase the distance and/or accuracy of your drives by switching to a different golf ball. [E]
Test whether an asymmetric dimple pattern on golf balls can produce straighter flight. [E]
How Does Tee Height Affect Driving Distance? [E]
Does Altitude Affect the Height of the Bounce of a Golf Ball? [P]
The Effects a 10 Degree Titanium Driver Has on a Titleist Pro V1 Golf Ball at Impact [E]
Determine if the composition of a golf ball affects how far the ball travels (its aerodynamics). [E] [E]
Discovering which golf ball spins the most after being hit from a 50-60 yd chip shot. [E]

Hockey

Use shock indicators mounted on helmets to determine the level of impacts during a typical practice or game. [E]
Investigation of Absorbing Impact Forces in a Hockey Helmet [P] [P]
How Does Hockey Stick Flex Affect Accuracy and Speed? [E]
Improving the Modern Hockey Stick [P]
Which is the best roller hockey wheel for player performance? [E]

Skateboarding

Testing Oxidation on Skateboard Bearings [E]
Determine if the outside diameter of a longboard's wheel affects the speed of a longboard moving down a hill. [E]
Which skateboard wheels are best for speed and maneuverability? [E]
Determine which mountainboard tire pressure provides the best speed and control. [E]
How the Materials of Bushings Affect a Skateboard's Turning Performance [E]

Cycling

Which gear ratio setting on a bicycle will result in the highest speed? [E]
Comparing Bicycle Helmets' Ability To Absorb Crash Impact [P]
Determining the Fastest Gear Set-Up on a Single Speed BMX Bike around a Designated Course [E]

Swimming

The Speed of Salty Swimmers: The Effects of Salt Water vs. Chlorine Water in Competitive Swimming [E]
A camcorder filmed a pool with swimmers above and below the water, and a computer system determined when swimmers were in danger of drowning. [E]
How the Swimsuit Impacts the Speed of Swim [E]
Polyester vs. Nylon: Which Material Is Best for Swimsuits? [E]

Tennis

Test different tennis court surfaces and relate it to the impact it will have on potential knee injuries. [P] [P]
Determine how well commercial tennis racket shock absorbers work. [E]
The possible connection between the elasticity of tennis string and it's ability to put spin on a ball [E]

Basketball

Learn if extreme climatic temperature changes would affect the bounce height and pressure of basketballs and if a recycled ball would perform as well as a synthetic or rubber basketball. [E]
Learn if the presence or absence of the basketball net affects free throw accuracy. [E]

Soccer

Determine whether a soccer ball's roll length varied on artificial Turf versus natural grass. [E]
Testing how useful soccer head protection is and which type is the most effective. [E]
Determining the Optimum Air Pressure for a Soccer Ball [E]
Determine if protective padding, known as headgear,could absorb the level of G force impacts in soccer which commonly result in concussions. [E]

Baseball

Coefficient of Restitution (COR): A Comparison of Major League and Little League Baseballs [E]
Determine whether cork, sawdust, or sponge, when illegally used as fillers in hollowed-out wooden baseball bats, will cause a baseball to travel farther upon impact compared to a heavier, solid wooden bat. [E] [E]
Compare Rawlings and Diamond brand Little League Competition Grade Baseballs for consistency in their performance, size and weight. [E]
Find out if altitude, temperature, and average humidity have an effect on the number of home runs hit at Major League Baseball parks. [E]

Surfing

Why Are Polyurethane and Expanded Polystyrene Preferred over Other Types of Foams for Surfboard Cores? [E]

Football

Impact Padding Effectiveness in Football Helmet Technology [E]
Use a rubber band catapult kit and a toy football to kick field goals and see how your success rate varies with distance. [E]
Which area of a football, when kicked with a pendulum, will cause the football to travel the furthest distance. [E]
The Effect of Football Helmet Padding Pressure on the Effect of Force of Impact [P]

Paintball

The Effect of Barrel Lengths on Paintball Accuracy [E] [E]
The Effect of Applied Temperature on the Accuracy of a 0.68 Paintball Projectile [E]
Determine if temperature affects the accuracy of a paintball shot. [E]

Airsoft Gun

The Effect of Lubricants on Airsoft Gun Accuracy [E]

Lacrosse

Does Barometric Pressure Affect the Velocity of a Lacrosse Ball? [E]

Softball

Test which length of plank will launch a softball the farthest. [P]

Table Tennis

Invenstigate forces that act upon a table tennis ball in motion and create a simulation in C++ [P]

Fishing

Determine whether a diver would see better fish with a rebreather or with open circuit scuba? [E]
Comparing the Strength of Different Types of Fishing Line [P]
Find out which out of three fishing poles will cast a weight the farthest. [E]
How Can Temperature, Weight and Stress Strengthen or Weaken a Standard Fishing Line and How Long It Takes to Break? [E] [E]
High School - Grades 10-12
P=Project   E=Experiment
A Real Time System for Preventing Second Impact Syndrome from an Overlooked Concussion in Aquatic Sports [E]
Develop a computer guided technique to allow an inexperienced person to true bikes effectively at home. [P]
A Study of the Double Fisherman's Knot Efficiency [E]
Paintball Ballistics [E]
Compare the hitting power and "sweet spots" of wood versus aluminum baseball bats. [E]
Find whether air resistance affects the trajectory of a tennis ball. [E]
The Effect of Varied Tennis String Tension on the Coefficient of Restitution [E]
Estimate the relative amount of strain put on the patellar tendon by various bending angles of the knee joint. [E]
Build an Isodynamic Spring Resistance System [E]
Study the effect of aerodynamics on speed in speed skiing. [E]
Useful Links
R=Resource
Science Fair Projects Resources [R]
Citation Guides, Style Manuals, Reference [R]
Safety Resources [R] [R]
Engineering Science Fair Books

                   

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