Sports Science Fair Project Ideas

Combining Sports with Science for a Perfect Science Fair Project

There is a lot of science in sports. Many types of science fair projects are possible.
There is a lot of science in sports. Many types of science fair projects are possible. Oliver Burston / Getty Images

Combing sports and science for your science fair project. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • How does the material from which a baseball bat is made affect performance? How does a wood bat compare with an aluminum bat?
  • Does altitude affect the height of a ball bounce (for example, a golf ball)? If an effect is seen, can you attribute it to the effect of gravity or atmospheric pressure?
  • Examine the effect of energy bars on performance. Pick a sport. Is there a difference in performance if you use a protein-boosting energy bar versus a carbohydrate-boosting energy bar?
  • What is the effect of using a corked baseball bat compared with a normal one?
  • Does drinking an energy drink (or sports drink) affect reaction time? memory?
  • Are there really streaks in baseball? Or is it simply chance?
  • Compare energy drinks based on cost, taste, short term effect, and long term effect.
  • Which sports drink contains the most electrolytes?
  • How is ball diameter related to the time it takes the ball to fall?
  • Does the length of a golf club affect the distance you can hit the ball?
  • Does a swim cap really reduce a swimmer's drag and increase speed?
  • How does exercise affect heart rate? This project is especially good if can track data over a longer time frame.
  • Does exercise affect reaction time?
  • Does regular exercise affect memory?
  • At what slope angle is the mechanical advantage of a bicycle lost, as compared with running?
  • Compare different brands of balls for a sport (like baseball or golf) for cost versus performance.
  • Do helmets really protect against a crash? (presumably tested with a simulant, like a watermelon)
  • What is the best air pressure for a soccer ball?
  • How does temperature affect the accuracy of a paintball shot?
  • Does altitude, temperature, or humidity have an affect on the number of home runs seen at a baseball diamond?
  • Does the presence or absence of a net affect free throw accuracy?
  • Measure the effect on peripheral vision from wearing different types of corrective eyewear (e.g., glasses). Does an athlete experience a noticeable improvement when peripheral vision is increased?
  • Is there an effect if you fill an inflatable ball with a different gas than air (such as nitrogen, helium, etc.)? You can measure height of bounce, weight, effect on passing, and how long it stays inflated.

Do you need more science fair project ideas? Here's a big collection to browse.

Tips for Choosing a Sports Science Fair Project

  • If you are an athlete or trainer, pick the sport you know best. Can you identify any problems to be examined? A good science fair project answers a question or solves a problem.
  • When you have an idea, consider how to design an experiment around it. You need data. Numerical data (numbers and measurements) are better than qualitative data (greater/lesser, better/worse), so design an experiment that gives you data you can graph and analyze.