Some reviews of the more and less amazing projects. I didn't record the names of the projects, but put them in the comments if you recognize yourself or your friends
My science fair projects in the 1970s were building paper airplanes, a rubber band hovercraft and a survey of v/STOL vertical takeoff planes.
Voice Activated Arm
Middle school student - has adrunio hand hooked up to adrunio controller with voice recognition module, and a laptop padlocked to the table. Rules say it can't rely on internet or AC power but evidently laptop is ok.
Kinect Operated Robot Arm
High school project, XBOX Kinect is hooked up to PC, which figures out the skeleton position of your arm. Fortunately that part just needs one SDK method call. That arm position is fed into an Adrunio box which knows how to make a small tabletop arm move around. Supposedly it's all less than $500 in parts. He showed listing of the Kinect SDK code.
Hand Held Smoke Level Detector
High school student packages a microcontroller, LED light and detector in to cellphone sized package which measures the density of smoke particles in the air.
Foot Pressure Detector
Middle school student (??) attached 4 resistive pressure sensors to a wooden board to stand on. Sensors go into 5 of the analog inputs to Adrunio controller, and a bluetooth module. A iphone is programmed to read the pressure from the sensors along with algorithm to convert them into good or bad ranges. All done with professional level color powerpoint slides
Brew Your Own BioDiesel
Century High School student showed how make real biodiesel with an aluminum coke can and a few other things and how it would save the planet. I would never have tried that in the 70s when I was learning about things like gas shortages and price controls
Effectiveness of Micro Surgery
A pair of Century High School students each got 40 hrs (if I read it right) training on a multizillion dollar micro surgery machine, and compared it to manual surgery for practice tasks. Unbelievable what kind of hardware kids can get at in this medical town.
Killing Fish Slowly
Somewhere there was supposed to be a rule against harming vertebrates, but there was one experiment that concluded that the health of fish in a tank declined as the amount of kerosene was increased. I would not have guessed that outcome
Here is how the Post Bulletin covered it:
Saturday, February 15, 2014 8:00 am
This is the kid with the voice operated robot arm