Slide Show

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Author: Judee Shipman

Grade Level: 6th - 12th; Type: Mechanical Engineering


Design and build a working slide projector. The goals of this project are:     

  1. To design a fully functional mechanical invention.     
  2. To create an interesting visual display.     

Research Questions:     

  • How does a slide projector work?     
  • What is the latest slide projector technology?     
  • What are the uses for a slide projector?    

Building a slide projector is easier than you might expect. Yet, many people will think you're a genius for building one. This project invites you to build a basic slide projector out of ordinary materials. You'll also learn how to make the slides.


  • Computer with Internet access     
  • Color printer     
  • Digital camera   
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).     
  • Two (or more) magnifying glasses     
  • Pliers, Phillips screwdriver and other household tools (see video link below)     

All necessary materials can be found in or around your home, at local stores, or on ebay.

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Condensing Lens     
  2. Focusing Lens     
  3. Photographic Transparencies Experimental Procedure:     
  4. Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)     
  5. Address all of the above terms and research questions.     
  6. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.     
  7. Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.     
  8. Study the video in link #1 below.     
  9. Follow the video, step-by-step, to build your own projector.     
  10. Create several color transparency slides.     
  11. Demonstrate your creation.     
  12. Improve on this design in some way.     
  13. Analyze your data.     
  14. Interpret your findings in a detailed report.     
  15. Include photos, diagrams, models and demonstrations in your science fair display.  



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