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Winning Science Fair Projects

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Winning Science Fair Projects. What Judges are Looking for. Steve Gahr. Judge, Senior Division ... Science Fair Projects on the web. http://sciencefairproject. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Winning Science Fair Projects


1
Winning Science Fair Projects
  • What Judges are Looking for
  • Steve Gahr
  • Judge, Senior Division

2
Todays Discussion
  • Judging criteria
  • Application of the scientific method
  • Design and execution of a well-controlled
    experiment
  • Judges feedback on projects/presentations
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Take-aways
  • Additional resources

3
Overview of Criteria
  • Background preparation
  • Commitment to project
  • Adherence to scientific method
  • Thoroughness, skill and ingenuity in executing
    project
  • Complete analysis of results, what was learned
    relative to hypothesis, next steps
  • Confident, polished presentation of project
    board and interview

4
Demonstrating the Scientific Method
  • In-depth research into area of interest
  • Statement of scientific problem to be solved
  • Definition of experimentally provable hypothesis
  • Design of well-controlled experiment
  • Analysis of experimental data
  • Conclusions consistent with experimental results
  • Plan for next steps

5
Creating a well designed experiment
  • Grasp of independent and dependent variables
  • Experiment that controls all but one independent
    variable
  • Well-defined control that validates observed
    results
  • Valid measurement techniques to determine
    experimental results
  • Several experimental runs to demonstrate
    reproducibility of observations

6
Judges Feedback on Projects
  • More clearly stated and applied scientific method
    needed
  • More thorough background research
  • Clear, testable hypothesis
  • Replication of experiments to show
    reproducibility
  • Consistency of data observed with conclusions
    drawn

7
Making a Clear Presentation Board
  • Good research means good results
  • Presentation is important because it is selling
    your project and its results
  • Include all relevant information
  • Board layout catches the eye and explains the
    details
  • Text and figures must be readable from a distance

8
Judges Feedback on Project Boards
  • Board should show scientific method
  • All materials used should contribute to story
  • Avoid cute, including fonts, colors, etc.
  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Use bullets with concise descriptions
  • Include raw data log
  • Remember time constraints

9
Interviews
  • Look the part
  • Have a well-rehearsed 2 minute presentation
  • Why you chose area, problem statement, your
    hypothesis, how you executed your experiment,
    what you learned, whether the results support the
    hypothesis, and next steps
  • Have a good grasp of background in order to
    answer questions

10
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
  • Does anyone read stuff not on the board?
  • Yes, but normally as supplement to presentation
    board
  • Contrast the importance of the board, research
    books, and interview
  • Interview critical, depth of understanding,
    application of scientific method, learnings, next
    steps
  • Board important, background source of questions
    for interview should stand alone!
  • Research book important as supplementary
    material, if in-depth questions arise without
    student present

11
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (cont.)
  • How important are artifacts during interview?
  • Artifacts that strengthen the presentation and
    interview are important
  • How should parents be helping or instructing
    students?
  • Sounding board for ideas, source of
    encouragement, transportation, but not project
    mechanics

12
Takeaways
  • Do solid research into project area
  • Have an excellent understanding and application
    of scientific method
  • Execute a well-designed experiment
  • Make a clear board that shows the quality of the
    work
  • Have a well-rehearsed, 2 minute presentation
  • Learn sufficient background to answer judges
    questions

13
Some Resources
  • Mercer County Science and Engineering Club Web
    Site
  • http//www.mercersec.org/resources/resources.htm
  • Science Fair Central
  • http//school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefairce
    ntral/
  • Science Fair Projects on the web
  • http//sciencefairproject.virtualave.net/
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