2013 JUDGING CRITERIA IS NOW ON-LINE UNDER JUDGES DROP DOWN TAB
Please follow through the links under TEACHER and review some of the links for the STUDENT.
You may also request a free visit from SARSEF to discuss the fun and rules of the science fair project. We will bring examples to show teachers, parents, and students.
An Email with each school's update project allocations was sent during the month of August 2012. If you did not receive this email, Check for number of projects allowed by emailing: email@example.com.
Although it is entirely up to the local fair how students are selected to send to SARSEF, we strongly encourage a distribution amongst the grades. Keep in mind that we always see some really outstanding Kindergarten projects, so try to include all grades. SARSEF judges by grade, so a Kindergartener is only competing with other Kindergarteners.
The key to a good local fair is enthusiasm of the Principal and teachers, and the recruitment of judges. It is a fun, educational event and greatly helps teachers prepare students for the AIMS test.
Go to "Science Buddies" website for a great Fair Directors Guide and resources for teachers! All materials are free.
SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT BOARDS AND SAMPLE SCHEDULE
The following is a suggested Science Fair Schedule -- these are just suggested Timelines for Projects and suggested Dates/Deadlines to keep in mind. See Below.
SCIENCE FAIR: THE BASICS
This information can be used to give to Teachers, Parents and Students.
What are the basics to include on a Science Fair project and display board? Here is a one-page “how to” guide that summarizes everything!
The BOLD type words are the areas to cover on the display board. When ready to make the board it is recommended that the bold type words are put into big letters at the top of each page/section that will be put on the display.
1. Title: Make this REALLY big! Make it clever and creative! Titles are usually in the form of a short question. This is probably the most important thing so make it catchy!
2. Abstract: This is a summary of the whole project (in 250 words or less). It includes the goal or why it is important, the methods, the results, and most importantly the conclusions. You may want to include a sentence at the end about what you would like to do to continue this project in the future.
*Note to High School Students: IF you are printing your project on a single sheet format, keep your abstract separate and attach next to your board. At ISEF, it cannot be on the single page layout.
3. “Statement of the Problem” or “Question” or “Hypothesis”: Either is OK. A short sentence or brief paragraph is good. How did you think of this project? What made you wonder about this? Convince us that you really wanted to know about it. Regarding a Hypothesis, keep it nice and simple. What are you trying to disprove or prove? You can have a few sub-hypotheses (littler questions that came up) if you want! Warning: Do not get this out of an idea book, they are all old ideas now and many others are looking at them too. Also, do not use animals, gross stuff or ask other students to do potentially harmful things (like strenuous exercising, icky taste testing, etc.) unless you get the official permission forms filled out (See SRC under rules).
4. Background or Introduction: This should be a short paragraph or two regarding what was learned about the subject of your project from your literature search. The literature search (Library and internet) should be done first when starting a project.
5. Materials: List everything you needed to do this project (be specific) and put a few words about why you needed them, i.e. “A Watch: We needed this because we needed to time how long…etc.”
6. Definitions: Optional - but especially at Gr. 3-5, it is nice. How did YOU define the terms you used? What means one thing to you might mean something different to someone else.
7. Procedure: Number each step you did. You want to be painfully descriptive and detailed here. But make each step be short so they are quickly and easily read…no long paragraphs here, split them up into two instead.
8. Results: This is where your charts and graphs go. NO explanations are given here. Your raw data can either be included on this part of the board if it isn’t very much OR more often found in your notebook/binder and set in front of the display.
9. Conclusions: This is where you analyze, interpret and draw conclusions about your data, charts and graphs. May sentences will start with: “Based on my results, I can conclude that…” or “Based on my data…” Judges love that!
10. Considerations or Limitations: Optional. You can use this section to state why results might be limited to this study only and not generalized. Limitations are variables that you might not have been able to control or could not change – every research project has limitations! This is also where you can put in the extra stuff that made your project interesting, or things that made you think further, or wonder more. Ideas for future projects can go here, too!
11. Hints: Put your name on a 3x5 card or slip of paper and clip to the back. NO STUDENT OR TEACHER NAMES can go on the front of the board. Also be careful that any photos that you take should not focus on kids’ faces. Take them so that the photo shows what they are doing, not who is doing it. If the pictures are of subjects other than the student researcher, parental permission must be obtained before it can be displayed at SARSEF.
SOME SUGGESTED TIMELINES FOR PROJECTS
Week 1,2 -Generate 3 ideas or “Problems” that you are curious about, wonder about. Don’t think about the solutions at first, just think about what needs to be done better, faster, right.
-Think personally, what do you care about or are you passionate about?
-Then, narrow down to one favorite topic you would like explore.
-Make it into a question you want answered!
-Start researching the history of this problem, what has already been done, etc! Write a report on the problem to show you know your stuff. This will become your “Introduction / Background research” for your display board.
Week of 3,4 -Write a Hypothesis, or guess, about the outcome of the question you are asking and what you are going to do about it.
-Brainstorm ways to test it, ways to answer your own question (Procedure)
-Ask for SRC permission if it involves humans, animals or things that could be dangerous.
Week 5 -Make list of materials you’ll need.
-Write your specific procedure for testing.
-Think of all the variables you CAN control.
-Think of all the variables you just cannot control, but will discuss at the end that might have affected your results, just like all good researchers do.
Week 6 -10 -Work on your experiment. Collect data.
-Take photos all along the way if possible (but not of faces).
- Write everything down in your journal, even mistakes!
Week 11-14 -Type up the procedure you used. Number your steps and organize the
data, make sure to graphs and chart results!
-Write up results, analyze data (Put into charts and graphs)
-Form Conclusions based on the data, discuss variables that could have influenced results.
Week 15, 16 Paste all sections on to display board
Select a catchy, creative title
Decorate and add color, photos – use creativity!
Write your final research report by taking the report you wrote at the beginning as background and then adding in all that you did and found while doing your project.
*It is always wise to allow Extra Time, just in case it is needed!
SOME SUGGESTED DATES AND TIMELINES FOR PROJECTS
Recommended School Deadlines (2013):
By February 19 Projects and Displays completed
By February 27 Judging - Select: Projects. For Grades K-5 follow project allocations for your school
Unlimited for High School - send as many as you can
Gather student information (see NEW questions on line)
SARSEF Timelines (2013):
February 28th" ALL Registrations COMPLETED. System will be shut down at midnight for any further registrations. Any requested late registrations after this time may not be granted. If granted, a $10 per project additional fee will be required)
March 8th On-line Registration and payment DUE to SARSEF ($10 / project.)
You will need student address/phone/title/category information to do this and there are several other NEW QUESTIONS THIS YEAR that your students will need to tell you the answers to!
March 11 Take projects to TCC for set up AFTER 12:00 Noon (Noon – 8pm)
March 12 Judging Day: M.S. (Gr. 6-8) Students report to TCC Exhibit Hall at 11:00 -12:00 for interviews (they do not count in score except for selection of ISEF Observer– however they are important practice)
H.S. INTERVIEWS ARE REQUIRED: 1:00 TO 3:00
*No parents/teachers are allowed on the judging floor – students and judges only.
March 13 Innovators Family Night: 5:30 to 8:00pm, TCC Exhibit Hall –all invited, FREE!
And FREE Parking thanks to Cox Communications
March 14 Elementary (K-5th Grades) Awards Night: 6:30pm, TCC Exhibit Hall
March 15 Middle & High School (6-12th Grades) Awards Night: 7:00pm, TCC
March 16 Pick up projects at the TCC BEFORE Noon -12:00 P.M.
(SARSEF is not able to keep or store any projects left behind).