Everyone can find personal relevancy in an energy science project. Nothing gets done without energy.
When thought of Colloquially, though, the typical image that comes to mind is that of energy used for the home, or by an automobile.
Energy can be thought of as something that allows a force to be created. That force can be in the form of voltage in the wires of your house, or the explosions in a car engine that cause the pistons to move and ultimately the wheels to rotate.
There is a lot of research being done presently in the search for better forms of energy. Cleaner forms, in some cases, and more concentrated in others.
An energy science project can go off in many directions - solar energy science projects are popular, for instance. The main decision you have is figuring out what important aspect of energy you want to investigate.
If you are doing your project on photovoltaic cells, do some research into the different variants. Some use copper indium diselenide as a substrate, others don't. Find out about the differences and make sure to record them in your science project journal.
It might be a good idea to find out why certain forms of energy production have become dominant while others have withered. For instance, why do you think that nuclear energy has received such bad press? Find out for yourself and it might influence your original topic choice.
What is the question? Here is an example: "Given a standard photovoltaic cell, what are the optimal wavelengths of light in terms of energy conversion?" You might use this as a question for a solar energy science project.
Another might be: "What is the maximum amount of energy that can be extracted from a spent nuclear fuel rod given current technology?"
Depending on your desired level of sophistication, you may want to have a more technical question for your energy science project: "What is the optimal shield enclosure for a fusion reactor given anisotropic radiation emission."
Once you have a question you are interested in, your hypothesis should be your best educated guess based on the research you did on the topic of energy. For example: "My hypothesis is that for the wavelengths that can be absorbed by a standard photovoltaic cell, shorter wavelengths of light will yield more energy than light with longer wavelengths."
Make sure your hypothesis has your independent and dependent variables. Not sure what these are? Check out the resources section at the bottom.
For an energy science project, you will likely be doing a lot of measurements. It might be helpful to have a computerized spreadsheet to keep track of your data.
If you are running an experiment on something you can't (or shouldn't!) have access to, like a nuclear reactor, you will need to create, or get access to, a simulation program to conduct your experimental runs.
You might find it useful to have a conceptual physics book along with a calculus book to enable the computation of energy output given input fuel.
Finally, if you are performing an experiment on a benign, and safe, form of energy creation like solar power, you might want to invest in the energy creation mechanism itself and have it plugged into a device to demonstrate it's power output - such as a row of LED lights or incandescent bulbs.
When you perform your experimental runs after you generated your hypothesis, record your results. Impartially. WITHOUT modifying the data; this is very important. Even if the data does not agree with your hypothesis.
After recording your results, analyze the results you got and interpret them given what you know of the science behind your energy science experiment.
Generate visual aids using your results to make them easy to interpret by someone who is not intimately familiar with the science behind your experiment.
There is no reason an energy science project has to be dry - throw in a cool twist to it. Be inventive - perhaps postulate how different energy creation technologies can be combined to form better overall solutions.
How much solar energy would need to be harnessed in order to jump start a fusion reactor?
How does a gasoline engine compare in energy generation to the human body? How many watts of power does the human body generate per minute (it's more than you think.)
There are all kinds of ways to generate power. Wave motion, ocean temperature differentials, orbital generators that us the earth magnetic field to generate voltage, garden slug to energy bio converters - the list is endless! You don't have to be stuck doing just another photovoltaic cell project.
We could not possibly give you all the information you need to complete your energy science project on just this page. We do however provided a guide that does give you all the information you need. You can get started by making sure you have the right idea.
Want something different? You might want to make an energy science project.