Sample Science Fair Projects

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Judging Science Fair
The purpose of the Science Fair
  is to give young people the
         opportunity to:

• Do some science.
• Learn about a new subject – or more about
  an old one.
• Learn what scientists do.
• Have fun doing all of above.
   RIMS Regional Science Fair
• Annual event, held in April
• Includes about 950 student participants
  grades 4 – 12
• Participants usually winners of local school
  science fairs
• Best projects from grades 6 – 12 go to
  California State Science Fair
        The judge’s job is to:
• Probe skillfully and deeply.
• Leave the student feeling positive about
  her/his accomplishments.
• Help the student learn something from the
• Determine award winners.
As a judge, what should I expect
       from the students?
• Pride in their projects and accomplishments
• Preparation for the fair and the ability to
  clearly and concisely explain their projects
• Ability to answer questions about their
  projects at levels appropriate to their grades
  and ages
• Wide variety of project quality and
      What should student oral
       explanations include?
• Hypothesis and where it came from
• Experimental procedures
• Experimental results
• Conclusions drawn from experimental
• Thought processes that went into the project
• Outcomes and possible future hypotheses
  and experiments
                The Display
• Major purpose: effective communication of:
  –   Hypothesis
  –   Purpose
  –   Methodology
  –   Experimental outcomes
  –   Conclusions
              The Display
• Effectiveness in communication and
  scientific content should be primary
• As secondary considerations the extent to
  which displays are elaborate or attractive
  may be taken into account.
         Conflicts of Interest
Disqualify yourself and ask to be reassigned if
     a real or perceived conflict of interest
Information regarding findings or conclusions
  must not be revealed to anyone except other
  panel members and Science Fair officials.
             Be an educator
• Treat students with respect
  – Project should be considered a significant,
    serious enterprise.
  – Evaluate but also praise efforts and
• Ask questions which will cause the student
  to think and learn, and to explore more
        Preparing for Judging
Before the Science Fair:
• Read the Judging Handbook and be
  familiar with judging guidelines.

• Prepare general interview questions.
At the Science Fair: Pre-Judging
• Orientation meeting
• Judging panel preparation
  –   Have all appropriate forms
  –   Determination of average interview length
  –   Locations of categories to be judged
  –   Procedures for turning in judging results
         Interview Procedures
• Introduce yourself and put student at ease.
• Ask student to explain project.
• Ask questions designed to clarify, to establish how
  student got project idea, and to determine
  student’s understanding of project and underlying
• Find out how student learned about procedures,
  use of equipment, concepts involved.
• If appropriate, ask about help received.
           Interview Protocols
• Judging done by one panel member at a time, not
  by the whole group.
• Each judge should try to interview each student,
  but at least three interviews should be conducted
  for each participant.
• Use about the same amount of time for each
• Adhere to the interview sequence as closely as
           Determining Awards
• After interviewing all students and evaluating projects
  judges collaborate and rank the category projects
• Judges rank the top two projects 1st and 2nd GOLD. The
  top project in this group will be considered for the overall
• Judges then rank the next 5 projects SILVER, noting the
  top project in that group, which may advance to other
• All remaining projects are given a BRONZE award and are
  not ranked individually.
         Comparing Projects
• Projects can vary widely in level of
  complexity and sophistication.
• Issue is not tools used but what is done with
  resources available – the better science
  should be given the higher rating.
• Student’s knowledge should be consistent
  with the project and its goals.
Use of Sophisticated Equipment,
 Techniques, and Knowledge
• This by itself should not be given extra
  credit nor should the student be penalized
  for access to it.
• If advanced equipment or techniques are
  used, student should understand them and
  how they relate to the project and its
             Team Projects
• Allowed 4th to 12th grade
• Judging criteria same as for individual
• Look for significant contribution and
  understanding by each team member.
• Direct questions to each team member.
• The best project should win, whether
  individual or team.
     A good science fair project
       is an investigation and includes:
• A clear hypothesis, field research or
  engineering goal based on research and/or
• An experimental procedure designed to test the
  hypothesis or goal.
• Execution of the procedure, with repetitions as
• Data collection and recording.
• Data analysis.
• Conclusions which refer to the hypothesis.
 Proving the hypothesis
true is NOT the purpose
of a science fair project.
A well supported answer
     to a problem is.
  Inappropriate projects include
• Illustrations of concepts in the absence of
  their use in an investigation.
• Experiments done without sufficient
  background research.
• Displays or collections in the absence of
  their use in an investigation.
• Experiments done without a scientific
  Inappropriate projects include
• Presentation of theories or hypotheses with
  no scientific evidence for them.
• Experimental results without analysis or
• Experiments which do not check data
  and/or explain anomalous results.
• Procedures using apparatus or procedures
  unlikely to produce good data.
             Judging Criteria
•   Originality/creativity        20 %
•   Comprehension                 30 %
•   Organization & completeness   30 %
•   Effort & motivation           10 %
•   Clarity                       10 %
• Original problem or unique approach to an
  old one
• Resources used ingeniously
• Application/interpretation of data shows
  original thinking/creativity
• Student shows understanding of
  unanswered questions
       Does the project show creativity in:
•   The hypothesis or question asked?
•   The approach to solving the problem?
•   Analysis of data?
•   Interpretation of data?
•   Use of equipment?
•   Construction and/or design of new
• Clear hypothesis and project design
• Depth of study demonstrated
• Experiment effectively tests hypothesis
• Experimental procedures and data
  collection well done
• Data recorded in organized fashion
Did the idea for the project come from:
• Reading and study?
• Personal experiences or observations?
• A suggestion from a book or the Internet?
• Suggestions from a scientist or engineer?
• Other sources?
• Results and conclusions logical and related
  to hypothesis
• Implications discussed and further
  experiments suggested
• Knowledge of scientific/engineering
  principles shown
• The study is complete within the scope of
  the problem
• Scientific literature has been searched
• Experiments repeated as needed and data
  carefully recorded
• Conclusions supported by experimental
• Project is well executed
• Time for project appropriate
• Time on background reading/research
• Student learned considerable amount about
  subject during project
• Display informative, complete, clear, well
  organized, and attractive
• Original notebook available for inspection
• Notebook well organized, accurate
• Purpose, procedures, results, and
  conclusions clear
• Title accurately reflects project
• Abstract clear and descriptive
• Oral presentations clear, reflect knowledge
  of project and underlying science
    Thank you for
contributing your time
 and expertise to the
  young scientists of
Riverside, Inyo, Mono,
 and San Bernardino

Description: Sample Science Fair Projects document sample