Science Fair Topic Ideas in Electricity & Electronics

Electricity and electronics can be fun subjects for science fair experiments. After all, when else can your child give people static shocks and get away with it, or try to see if lemons make a light bulb light up? Since there's some risk of injury working with electricity, parents should be sure to supervise any such projects closely and make sure budding scientists are taking the proper safety precautions.

Static Electricity Science Fair Ideas

Hand holding red plastic comb with pink and green paper pieces stuck to by it static electricity
Mike Dunning / Getty Images

Static electricity is something everyone encounters in daily life. Some of the possible experiments include explaining what causes a static shock (as when touching a doorknob after walking in socks on carpet) or proving that a rubbing a balloon on your head can replicate that shock.

Understanding and demonstrating the principles of static electricity can be as simple as your child combing his hair to charge the comb. Apply the charged comb to a neutral (non-charged) item and see what happens.

The concepts of objects being charged will translate in future years to understanding electrical concepts within the human body. You should also discuss how static electricity can affect sensitive circuits and how they can be protected by using a ground wire.

Circuits and Circuit Board Science Projects

Soldering a circuit board.
Soldering a circuit board. Monty Rakusen/Getty Images

Whether he’s explaining the basics of electricity, discovering what a simple circuit is, building his own simple circuit, or exploring different circuits using a Snap Circuits kit, there are plenty of possibilities for exploration in this area. The future electrician could get the parts to build his own circuit board and demonstrate how circuits conduct electricity.

Electromagnet Science Fair Experiments

Electromagnetic coils in a factory.
Electromagnetic coils in a factory. Monty Rakusen/Getty Images

Electromagnets are a great science fair topic. Kids love to make non-magnetic objects become magnetic. In researching the concept, your child could do a presentation on Professor Hans Christian Oersted. He could recreate the professor's discovery of electromagnetic fields or even build his own electromagnet, with simple supplies: a battery, a nail, and some conductive wire. This is one of the easier do-it-yourself projects that kids can really get into. However, you will need to supervise your child for safety when they are using the battery and wire.

Electromagnets are used in medical devices such as MRI machines. This experiment can also explain why magnets and devices that produce an electromagnetic field are not allowed around sensitive medical devices.

Conductivity Science Fair Projects

An electrical circuit with lemons.
An electrical circuit with lemons. TEK IMAGE/Getty Images

The interesting thing about electricity and electronics is that none of the electronics would work if the electricity wasn’t able to flow to power them. But what conducts electricity? This question is a great one for your child to create an experiment to answer.

A very fun way to demonstrate conductivity involves lemons. Since acidic fruits make ions or charged particles, they can act as batteries. An experiment testing which fruit best conducts electricity is a perennial favorite. The concept of conductivity will apply to electrical circuits in the human body as well as in devices.

As this experiment involves the flow of electricity and use of a knife to cut the fruit, you should supervise your child when she is building and practicing the experiment.