Science fairs are common through out the United States and are an excellent way for students to learn and experience science first hand. The not only increase scientific knowledge and competency in the student, but help build self esteem. There is a wide range of possible projects and subjects. One is weather and another is how different structures survive in nature. The two can easily be combined. Science fair projects on the effects of weather on building structures can be done in several ways; all providing valuable experience and demonstrating valid scientific principles.
First, the student can research the different types of weather and problems associated with them. This is not always as simple as it seems. Hurricanes are know for wind and rain, but the tidal surge when it first approaches land can be devastating to bridges and sea walls, and the salt splash can damage electrical plants by shorting out the wiring. Blizzards are most notorious for the blinding snow, but the pressure exerted by freezing water in small cracks can bring down a tower. The weight of the snow on an improperly sloped roof can bring the house down, literally. Too much slope and the winds can cause problems. And then there is the effects of weather on the materials from which the structures are built. Sheetrock is an excellent insulator and handy during the blizzard, but after the blizzard the snow melts and if water gets on the Sheetrock, it swells and dissolves. All this can be demonstrated in a Science Fair Project.
The weather can be simulated by creating wind tunnels, humidity chambers or using a freezer. The processes in nature explained. Building materials and miniature structures placed in these “weather simulations” . Freeze and thaw a chunk of concrete several times, soaking it in water between freezing. Then go out and document the same effects around town, photographing actual cases.
Now use science to explain what is happening and why it should have been expected. Then come up with theories and ideas of how it could be prevented. This is what science is all about, understanding what happens and how it can either be controlled or utilized!
This is a practical science fair project and a good one. It demonstrates valid scientific principle and is science in an applied aspect. Almost any child could do it and would benefit from it. Weather and building structures, think about the possibilities!