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					         By Joan Wagner
   Science Education consultant

Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                  By Joan Wagner
                   Page 1 of 32
               Guidelines for Research at the Middle Level
1.    Communication: Write a letter home explaining to parents that the students will be
      working on an original research project during the year. Provide a final due date,
      symposium date and if a science fair is in your region, provide that date also. Provide copies
      of the letter to your school principal and Superintendent of Instruction and of the school
      district. You should also provide a copy to your science coordinator.

2.    Develop lessons so that students understand how to do science research. See the following
             What are Variables?
             Scientific Method
             Understanding the Scientific Method
             A Mighty, Mini-Research Project

3.    Provide time in the library to find a topic of research. Provide a list of potential research
      topics from which to brainstorm.

4.    Help students find mentors for their project. E-mail has become a very viable way of
      obtaining help form professors at local or distant colleges or universities. Local
      professionals or even some parents may serve as mentors.

5.    Provide students with an overview of all components required for this project. Include
      scoring rubrics. See Science Research Brochure.

6.    Provide a time-line.

7.    Provide a calendar

     8.   Meet individually with student or students teams in order to discuss their research plan
          and give in final approval. Have students give you a list of material/equipment they need
          for their research. I had received some funding from the student activity fund and the
          science department.
                                Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                  By Joan Wagner
                                                   Page 2 of 32
                               A Controlled Experiment
Research Topic
     Student reads extensively on topic.

     Student clearly states the problem to be investigated.
             •        This should be phrased in the form of a question.
             •        Students should avoid topics that are too broad and also that are too narrow.
     Student predicts the outcome of the problem.
             •       This is the suggested solution to the problem.
             •       This prediction should be based on background information obtained about the
             •       This prediction should be clear enough so that it can be tested.

     Student will explain what to do to test the hypothesis.
             •        List the materials you will need.
             •        List each step you will do; number each step in order; write down everything you
                      will do (Others should be able to repeat your experiment by reading your
             •        Be sure you are testing your hypothesis (is there anything you have not
                      considered that could affect your experiment?)
             •        Control your independent variables (see next page)
     Student will collect and organize data.
             •         Data tables, diagrams, written description of results
     Student will analyze data.
             •         Charts, graphs, or math
             •         NO OPINION
     Student will evaluate experiment.
             •        Do Results support hypothesis?
             •        Is there a need for further study? Explain.
             •        Possible statement of a new hypothesis based on results
             •        Potential application(s) of research

     Student will use the results to answer the problem that was investigated.
             •        This is a general summary based on the results which proved or disproved the
                       •       Student will list all references used in research

                              Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                By Joan Wagner
                                                 Page 3 of 32
                          What Are Variables?
Variables are the part of the experiment that are either kept the same, changed, or are the
measure of the change.

Constant/Controlled Variables are the parts of the tests that are kept the same.
For example, if you wanted to determine the distance a paper airplane can travel, the constant
variables could be: same size and type of paper, same kind of paper clips, same paper airplane
design, same kind of paper clips, placement of paper clips, same breezeless place to fly the plane,
the same starting line, fly the plane in the same way, measure distance in meters are all constant
variables for the experiment to see how far the plane flies.

The Independent/Experimental Variable is the thing that is changed and
tested. The independent variable in the paper plane design could be the number of paper clips
used on the nose of the plane.

The Dependent Variable is the measure of the change. The dependent variable in the
paper plane project is the meter distance the plane flew. Deciding on how to measure your test is
a very important part of your project. The best way to collect data is to use numbers (grams,
meters, liters, degrees Celsius, etc). When you measure the change with numbers, you are
collecting data quantitatively.

Data is often organized in a graph. The Independent variable is on the X-Axis, while the
Dependent variable is on the Y-Axis. See diagram below for how to label a graph with the
dependent and independent variable.

                                                B                    Line A shows an indirect relationship
                     A                                               between the independent and dependent
                                                                     variables. Line B shows a direct
                                                                     relationship. In the case of the paper plane,
                                                                     the more paper clips on the nose, the
                                                                     shorter the distance traveled in meter.
                                                                     There is an indirect relationship between
                                                                     number of paper clips and distance place
                                                                     travels in meters.

                              Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                By Joan Wagner
                                                 Page 4 of 32
                           Basic Statistics and Sample Size


Sample size: Generally, the larger the sample size, the more reliable the results. The more trials,
the more reliable the results. The statistics for this is too sophisticated for students of this age,
but encourage them to choose a sample size that is over 10.

•      A Mighty, Mini-Research Project plus rubric

                                Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                  By Joan Wagner
                                                   Page 5 of 32



DIRECTIONS: Each team will be given a problem to solve using the scientific method. Each
team will present its approach to the problem orally to the class. The team must include the
following information: (1) research plan (this can be made up since you are not going to the
library for this); 2) hypothesis (3) Description of experimental procedure...make sure to include
experimental and control groups, experimental variable and controlled factors; (4) Results
(include made up statistics); (5) Your conclusion. Your class will provide you with peer review.
This means that what you present can be critiqued by your peers (classmates).

PROCEDURE: Your team will pick one 3 x 5 card that has one of the following problems for
your team to solve. You have the remainder of the class to discuss the problem with your team.
You will present your mock research to the class in a few days. You may use visuals or
multimedia. Each member of the team should do part of the presentation. You will be evaluated
based on the rubric provided here.

(1) Determine which fossil fuel (coal or methane) when burned, emits more carbon dioxide per
kilowatt of energy produced.

(2) Determine which antacid can neutralize acid the fastest (Brand X or "Peaceful stomach."
You may not use vertebrates in your research.

(3) Determine which paint can withstand weathering the most...Brand X or "Everlasting."

(4) Determine which refrigerator uses less energy per hour Brand X or "Earth wise."

(5) Determine which tires protect the car from hydroplaning the best, Brand X or "Safe-with-

(6) Determine whether the new battery, "Still Going" lasts longer than the standard Brand X

(7) Determine which plastic bag is most impermeable to water, Brand X or "Hydrotite."

(8) Determine which solar collector is most efficient in collecting solar energy, Brand X or
"Super Solar Collector."

                              Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                By Joan Wagner
                                                 Page 6 of 32
                           Rubric for Mock Research
Team Names________________________________________________________




                                         Highest                                             Lowest
        Rating                                               4              3        2   1      0
        Criteria Ranking
        Research information:
        Relevant to problem being investigated
        Hypothesis: Stated as a prediction
        with an explanation for the prediction

        Experimental procedure
        Includes the following:
        • Control group
        • Experimental group
        • Dependent variable
        • Independent variable
        • Controlled factors
        • Sample size and/or trials
        Data tables and graphs
        Must relate to problem investigated and
        includes suggestions for further study

Grade for Presentation = _________/20 = ___

                               Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                 By Joan Wagner
                                                  Page 7 of 32
Enriched 8th Grade Science                        Name_________________________
A Mighty, Mini-Research Project

Directions: Using the scientific method, investigate one of the problems listed below.
Use the following protocol:
1. State the problem.
2. Give your hypothesis. (Hint: The hypothesis should be stated in a way that relates to how
you plan to investigate the problem. For example, if I wanted to find out if a certain medicine
relieves distress for an exam, I could state in my hypothesis, “if I give a group of students the
anti-stress medicine, they will report less nervousness before an exam than a group that did not
take the medicine.”
3. Describe an experiment. A good experiment collects lots of data and controls all variables
that can affect its outcome. For example, if an investigator wanted to find out if the medicine
relieves test stress, one group of students would receive the medicine (the experimental group),
while another group should not (the control group). All other variables that can affect the
outcome must be the same between the two groups; i.e. their age, health, amount of medicine,
time taken, type of test, etc. You should also note all materials you used for your research.
4. Record the results. Use data tables, charts, diagrams, etc.
5. State the conclusions. This usually is a general statement about the research. For example, if
the anti-stress medication helped. The conclusion could be: “Anti-stress medicine helps prevent
stress before an exam.”
6. Smile, this will be fun!

Your Choice of Problems:
A. Does salt water or fresh water boil faster?
B. Does salt or fresh water freeze faster?
C. Does hot or cold water freeze faster?
D. Does the size of an orange determine the number of seeds?
E. Which holds the heat the best? A Styrofoam cup or a paper cup?
F. Design and conduct an experiment that determines which type of glue is the most adhesive
G. Design and conduct an experiment that compares the juiciness of two types of oranges.
H. Design and conduct an experiment to compare the sweetness of two or more types of juices.
I. Design and conduct an experiment to test if people can memorize a saying that rhymes faster
than one that does not rhyme.

                              Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                By Joan Wagner
                                                 Page 8 of 32
                      A Mighty, Mini-Research Project Rubric
Criteria                   Excellent               Good             Fair                 Unsatisfactory
All Required               All information         Most information Missing more         Significant part
Information                present                 present          than three parts     of procedure
•States Problem            Control and                              of experimental      missing
                           experimental groups
•Lists all Material        identified; dependent                    procedure
•Hypothesis                & independent
•Experiment                variables noted.
•Dependent & Independent
•Observations & Results
Thoroughness               All procedures          Good detail in            Missing
                                                                      Procedure is not
                           are well                procedures.               significant
                           developed as            Could have had            information
                           shown in data           more information          needed to
                                                                      Lack of diagrams
                           tables, diagrams,       in data tables,           understand
                                                                      and data tables
                           etc.                    etc.                      experiment and
Communicates ideas Procedure            Some parts of     Many parts of      Procedure
clearly             written so that     procedure are not procedure are not written in a
                    can be easily       clear.            clearly written or manner that
                    duplicated                            illustrated        cannot be
Followed Directions All directions      A few directions More than three     More than four
                    carefully           were not          sets of directions sets of directions
                    executed            followed          were not           were not
                                                          followed           followed
General Effort      Very neatly         Good              Not well           Poorly
                    packaged.           presentation of   organized.         organized. Very
                    Procedure and       information. A    Sloppy             sloppy
                    results contain all few items were    presentation of    presentation of
                    required            missing.          information        information
                    diagrams and
                    data tables.

Grade _______________/20 = _______ Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                            Middle Level
                                                   By Joan Wagner
                                                    Page 9 of 32
It is of utmost importance to communicate clearly with parents, students, and the school
community regarding special events and important dates.

Special event Dates
       •       Host a Science Symposium/Poster Session for students: This is an opportunity to
               showcase their work and can act as a dress rehearsal if the student is also
               participating in a Science Fair such as the STANYS Science Congress or the
               junior division of the Intel Science Fairs.

       •       All Science Fair dates and location

       Send letters that invite faculty to and administrators to the Science Symposium
       Send a letter home that invites parents

                              Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                By Joan Wagner
                                                 Page 10 of 32

February 16, 1994

Dear Parents and Guardians of Enriched 8th Grade Science Students:

You are cordially invited to the first Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Middle School Science
Symposium. It will take place in the Cafetorium on March 17th, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm.

Students in my enriched science class have been working on original research projects. Some are
working alone and some in teams up to three. The topics covered include research in psychology,
learning, genetics, environmental science, energy and botany. In the fall, students worked on
developing their research projects. They were required to submit abstracts that described their
hypothesis and experimental design. A number of the students are working with mentors.

Students will present their research during this symposium. The results of their research will be
displayed on a storyboard. All of these students will also be competing in the Greater Capital
Region Science and Engineering Fair, which will be held at Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute on Saturday, March 26th. In early March, you will receive more information about
this science Fair.

I hope to see all of you there that evening. You are welcome to bring other family members
and friends.


Joan Wagner
(8th Grade Science Enriched Science)
(Director of the Greater Capital Region Science and Engineering Fair)

                              Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                By Joan Wagner
                                                 Page 11 of 32
To: Parents and Guardians of Enriched 8th grade science
From: Mrs. Wagner
Re.: March 19th Science Symposium at O’Rourke Middle School
Date: March 2, 1998

As all of you know, the O’Rourke enriched 8th graders have been working on an original science
research project this year. In the fall they received information about the research and were
trained on how to do research. All research began in January. On March 19th, the students will
have an opportunity to present the results of their research. Parents, guardians, family and
friends are invited to attend. The O’Rourke faculty and staff have also been invited. Below is a
copy of the schedule for that date.

6:30-7:00 pm: Set up Your storyboards on the cafetorium tables (one project per table)
7:00-7:15: Welcome by Mrs. Wagner
7:15-8:15: Begin Presentations
8:15-8:45: Snacks and review storyboards
8:45: Clean-up

The Symposium also acts as a “dress rehearsal” for the Science Fair hosted by Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute on March 28th. Details about the science fair will be sent to the students in
the next couple of weeks.

I look forward to seeing all of you there.


Joan Wagner

                               Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                 By Joan Wagner
                                                  Page 12 of 32
By Excellence in Scientific Research

                                                                     Announcing, 3rd

                                                                                     8th Grade Science
                                                                                             March 19, 1998

                                       Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                         By Joan Wagner
                                                          Page 13 of 32
Background Information About the Symposium                                                   Dear Parents, Faculty, Support Staff,
Students in Mrs. Wagner’s 8th grade enriched science
                                                                                             Administrators and Board of Education,
class will be presenting their original research
covering various topics. Students have worked alone                                          You are cordially invited to the 3rd,
or in groups of up to three. On March 28th, at                                               8th grade Science Symposium.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, they will again be
presenting their research for evaluation by panels of
judges in the Greater Capital Region Science and                                             Date: March 19, 1998
Engineering Fair (an affiliate of the International
Science and Engineering Fair).
                                                                                                        Place: O’Rourke Middle School,
Students were given training on what is considered to                                                             Cafetorium
be good research. In the beginning of the year, they
did a simulation of research and presented their mock                                        Time: 7:00-9:00 pm
results. Students have done extensive background
reading on their topics. This symposium will act as a                                        We hope to see you there!
dress rehearsal for their March 28th presentations. A
program covering the topics of their research will be
available the night of the symposium.                                                                   Sincerely,
                                                                                                        Joan Wagner
Come and review the research storyboards.
Come to this symposium and learn about such topics as the Effects of Microgravity
on Fruitfly Development, Lessons on Rainbows, Fibronacci Numbers and Music
Appreciation and the Effects of Electromagnetic Fields on Ant Colonies.
The above is just a sampling of the many interesting research topics.

                                                               Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                                                 By Joan Wagner
                                                                                  Page 14 of 32
Dear Parents and 8th grade enriched science students,                           involved in science research. Of course, any help from parents
From: Mrs. Wagner                                                               and guardians will be greatly appreciated.
RESEARCH PROJECT                                                                LOCATION OF RESEARCH PROJECT: The students will
Date: September 29, 1999                                                        be given class time to work on their project, though a great deal
                                                                                will also be done outside of the classroom. During class time,
This year all students in the enriched 8th grade science                        the students may use the library for research, Internet or work
program will be involved in an original science research                        on some aspect of their research project.
project on any topic of their choice. These projects may be
done individually or in teams of up to three. The results of the                TIME-LINE: The students will be provided with a time-line to
research will be presented in an evening SCIENCE                                help organize their research. The Science Symposium will
SYMPOSIUM at the Middle School on March 16, 2000 from                           take place on March 16th. Students will present their research
7-8:30 pm AND at the Greater Capital Region Science and                         in the Middle School Cafetorium beginning at 7:00 pm. This
Engineering Fair and Science Congress, March 25, 2000 from                      will act as a dress rehearsal for the science fair.
8:00-5:30 pm. Parents, staff and friends will be invited.
                                                                                MENTORS: In addition to the parents who have offered my
IDEAS FOR AN ORIGINAL SCIENCE PROJECT:                                          students their expertise, there are many college professors and
Students will be given class time to help them develop ideas                    scientists and engineers in private business who are anxious to
for a project. Ideas from science journals, scientists, engineers               help. Professors at Union College, Rensselaer, SUNY Albany,
and lay persons will be welcome. Students will be provided                      Siena and Skidmore are just some of the local colleges who are
with lists of ideas from which to brainstorm. Mrs. Wagner is                    anxious to do what they can to turn students on to science.
Director of the Greater Capital Region Science and
Engineering Fair and Science Congress (an affiliate of the                      GREATER CAPITAL REGION SCIENCE AND
very prestigious INTEL International Science and Engineering                    ENGINEERING FAIR AND SCIENCE CONGRESS,
Fair). Mrs. Wagner has numerous resources from which to help                    MARCH 25, 2000: All students will follow the fair's
students develop an idea for an original piece of research.                     guidelines for research. They will be required to enter their
                                                                                research in this fair. Each student will be given a copy of the
RESOURCES: The school will provide whatever equipment                           brochure. See TimeLine for all deadlines.
and supplies it can. There is much assistance we can obtain
from the community (colleges and business) who are very
interested in getting students excited about science and

                                                  Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                                    By Joan Wagner
                                                                     Page 15 of 32
WHY DO RESEARCH? Doing research is the purist way of learning about the nature of
sience. The United States produces very few scientists and engineers compared to other
industrialized countries. Educators are particularly targeting woman and minorities who make up
over 60% of the undergraduate college population. Though we have some of the finest graduate
schools in the world, they are filled mostly by foreigners who often take their newly acquired
expertise back to their countries. It is the unfortunate belief of many American college professors
that American students do not want to work that hard so they opt out of science or Ph.D
programs (which, ironically, are one of the only "free rides" available for graduate school).

Interestingly, according to an article in the August Scientific American, there is no great shortage
of scientists or engineers in this country. Unfortunately, the reason is that over 60% are foreign
exchange students who choose to stay in this country.

Since research shows that the best years to capture the interest of students in science is in the
Middle School age group, Discovery Communications is sponsoring for the second year a
National Discovery Competition for Middle School Students. Our Regional Science Fair at
R.P.I. participated last year and had a semi-finalist from Bethlehem. Up to three top winners of
the Regional Fair receive an invitation to compete in the National competition. The top 400
semi-finalists are announced in late spring. The 40 finalists are announced in mid-September.
They then are invited (all expenses paid) to a weekend of science fun hosted by Discovery
Communications in Washington D.C. There, the top winner receives $10,000 in scholarship
money, 2nd place $5000, 3rd place, $3000 and $500-$1000 is given to the remaining finalists.

It is my hope that this year's experience in doing science research will be not only a learning
experience, but one that will excite and motivate students to continue to pursue science as a
career choice. When they begin high school next year, they can enter their research into
numerous science competitions and win both recognition and money for college. In their
sophomore year, they may choose to enroll in the new High School, Authentic Science
Research course which offers college credit from the University at Albany. In their senior year,
they can write up the best of their research for the INTEL Science and Math Search
competition (previously called Westinghouse).

Please note that I do three main projects with my regular 8th grade science classes. My enriched
science students will be exempt from doing these other projects with the exception of the 8th
grade Power Point team project.


Mrs. Joan Wagner

                               Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                 By Joan Wagner
                                                  Page 16 of 32
•   Timeline
•   Forms
•   Research components
•   Overview of research
•   Oral presentation
•   Oral presentation rubric
•   Research plan
•   Research project rubric
•   Research ideas

                           Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                             By Joan Wagner
                                              Page 17 of 32

                                       Science Research Time-Line*

Topic Chosen.............................................................................................October 26, 1999

Search the Literature.........................................................................November 29, 1999

Draft of hypothesis, experimental design
and list of supplies and equipment................................................December 1, 1999

Complete Science Fair forms.........................................................December 10, 1999
     •Regional Registration
     •Adult Sponsor Form (1)
     •Research Plan (1A)
     •Approval Form (1B)

Obtain Supplies and Equipment.......................................................January 10, 2000

Begin Experiment.....................................................................................January 11, 1999

Interpret and Analyze Data.......................................................................March 1, 1999

Assemble Storyboard................................................................................March 13, 2000

Present at Science Symposium (7-8:30 pm, Middle School Cafetorium).......March 16, 2000

Complete Research Report.....................................................................March 20, 2000

Refine all Work..............................................................................................March 24, 2000

Science Fair at R.P.I. (8:00 am-5:00 pm)...............................................March 25, 2000

*Please note that these dates are all deadlines...when that part of your research project should be

All students will be assigned mentors (if needed) before the Christmas break (hopefully).
8th Grade Enriched Science

                                        Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                          By Joan Wagner
                                                           Page 18 of 32
Overview of Research Project and Requirements

1. Research Plan (part of requirements for Form 1A). The draft is due December 1st and
the final copy is due December 10th.
Directions for Research Plan: Complete top part of Form 1A. On a separate piece of paper,
word process the following information and attach it to Form 1A.
        A. Problem or question being addressed.
        B. Hypothesis
        C. Description in detail of method or procedures. Carefully describe what you plan to
        do, make sure to state the independent (experimental variable) if your research requires
        that. You also should identify the dependent variable(s) and all factors that need to be
        controlled (the same for all experimental groups and the control group. Make sure to
        describe the characteristics of all groups and the note your sample size. For human
        research, include surveys or questionnaires if used, and critically evaluate the risk. For
        nonhuman vertebrate animal research, you must briefly discuss potential alternatives and
        present a detailed justification of use of nonhuman vertebrate animals.
        D. Bibliography: List at least three major references (i.e., science journal
        articles, books, electronic references) from your research.

2. Storyboard: Using a free-standing board, write a visual story of your research so that a
spectator viewing your research has a quick overview of what you did. The storyboard can
include photographs of your research, including pictures of you doing the research. It should tell
a story by clearly identifying the problem, hypothesis, summary of experimental design, results
(often with data tables, graphs, etc.) conclusion, need for further study. A copy of your abstract
and research paper will be attached to the storyboard during the R.P.I. Fair. Only the abstract has
to be attached to the storyboard at the symposium. Display must fit in an area 48 in (121.9 cm)
from side to side, 30 in (76.2 cm) from back to front, and 108 in (274 cm) in height. No live
plants or animals can be in an exhibit. Exhibits using electricity must have spring return switches
operating only when the button is held down.

3. Abstract of Research: This is due the date of Science Symposium (March 16th). See
specific directions. Attach to storyboard. A copy of the abstract should be the first page in your
research report. The abstract should not be longer than 250 words.

4. Research Paper: See specific directions. (Should be completed by March 25th) Make four
copies of your paper for the Science Fair. One copy should be attached to your storyboard or
placed by your storyboard. I will need to receive one copy of your paper to grade. You can
submit it to me on Monday, March 27th. The research paper may be 5-10 pages long.

5. Project Data Book: This shows evidence of the research you have been doing. It also should
help you write the final research paper. It should be brought to the science Fair and submitted to
me as part of your final evaluation.

                               Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                 By Joan Wagner
                                                  Page 19 of 32
Research Plan
(Enriched 8th Grade Science)

Directions: This is the plan that tells what your research is about and how you plan to carry it
out. In Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin says, "Organization is what you do before you do
something, so that when you do it-it's not all mixed up."
All work must be done on a computer.

Include the following information in your research plan
A. Problem or question being addressed
B. Hypothesis
C. Description in detail of method or procedures (including a list of all materials used and the
concentrations of any chemicals. If doing human research, include survey or questionnaires if
used, and critically evaluate the risk. See Mrs. Wagner about directions for using human
subjects. If using nonhuman vertebrate animal research, you must briefly discuss potential
alternatives and present a detailed justification of use of nonhuman vertebrate animals. See Mrs.
Wagner for more information on this topic.
D. Bibliography: List at least three major references (i.e., science journal articles, books,
internet) from your library research. If you plan to use animals, give an additional animal care

Due Date: December 1, 1999

                              Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                By Joan Wagner
                                                 Page 20 of 32
 Science Research Project
Requirements Summarized
(These are all in the Brochure you received in the beginning of the Year)

1. Project Data Book: This shows evidence of the research you have been doing. It also
should help you write the final research paper. It should be brought to the science Fair and
submitted to me as part of your final evaluation.

2. Abstract: After finishing research and experimentation, you are required to write a
(maximum) 250-word, one page abstract. An abstract should include: (a) purpose of the
experiment. (b) procedures used, (c) data, and (d) conclusions. It also may include any possible
research applications. See your brochure for a copy of a good abstract. One copy of the abstract
should be attached to your storyboard and another copy should be included in your paper as the
second page after the Table of Contents.

3. Research Paper ( 3-5 pages for junior division...Only the actual text of the report is counted
for pages ): Make Four copies of your research paper. Leave or attach one by your storyboard.
The remainder will be given to the judges during registration at the Science Fair. Include the
following in your paper:
       •Title page: Center the project title. Place only your exhibit number on the
       cover page.
       •Table of Contents: Include a page number for the beginning of each
       •Introduction: The introduction sets the scene for your report. The
       introduction includes your hypothesis, an explanation of what prompted your
       research, and what you hoped to achieve.
       •Experiment: Describe in detail the methodology used to collect your data to
       make your observations. Your report should be detailed enough so that
       someone would be able to repeat the experiment form the information in your
       paper. Include detailed photographs or drawings of self-designed equipment.
       Identify your dependent and independent variables. What were the controls
       and experimental group(s)?
       •Discussion: The discussion is the essence (heart) of your paper. The results and
       conclusions should flow smoothly and logically from your data. Include data tables,
       charts, diagrams, graphs, etc. Be thorough. Allow your readers to see your train of
       thought, letting them know exactly what you did. Compare our results with theoretical
       values, published data, commonly held beliefs, and/or expected results. Include a
       discussion of possible errors. How did the data vary between repeated observations of
       similar events? How were your results affected by uncontrolled events? What would you
       do differently if you repeated this project? What other experiments should be conducted?
       Conclusion: Briefly summarize your results. Be specific. Do not generalize.
       Never introduce anything in the conclusion that has not already been discussed.
       Acknowledgements: You should always credit those who have assisted you.
       Bibliography: Document all references.

4. Storyboard (Your Visual Display)
                              Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                By Joan Wagner
                                                 Page 21 of 32
You want to attract and inform. Make it easy for interested spectators and judges to assess your
study and the results you have obtained. Make the most of your space, using clear and concise
displays. Make heading stand out, and draw your graphs and diagrams clearly and label them
correctly. Include photos of you doing your research or of your research. Make sure your display
is logically organized and easy to read. Make it colorful. Bring attention to it.
What to Include:
        •Your Title
        •Purpose of Study
        •Experimental Design: Identify controls,experimental group, etc.
        •Results and Conclusion: Include diagrams, charts, graphs, tables, photos or
        anything else that visual helps to explain your results and conclusions. Make
        sure that each visual is accompanied with an explanation.

                              Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                By Joan Wagner
                                                 Page 22 of 32
Directions for Completion of Forms for the Greater Capital
Region Science and Engineering Fair and Science Congress
Forms Required for all Projects:
       •Regional Registration Form R (one from each person participating in the
       Fair even if that person is part of a team project.
       •Research Plan 1A (one for each individual project and one Team form for
       team projects.
       •Approval Form 1B: One form is required from each participant; individual
       project or if a member of a team project.
       •Checklist for Adult Sponsor/Safety Assessment Form 1: One form per project.

Additional forms may be required if your research falls into any of the following

Forms required if you are using human subjects (surveys or actual subjects in a testing
        •Human Subject Form 4A ...(one per project)
        •Local Scientific Review Committee and/or Institutional Review Board Form S (one
        per project)

Forms required for nonhuman vertebrates
      •Nonhuman Animal Vertebrate From (5) (one per project)
      •Designated Supervisor Form (3) (one per project)
      •Local Scientific Review Committee and/or Institutional Review Board Form S (one
      per project)

Forms required if using hazardous substances or equipment
      •Qualified Scientist Form (2) or Designated Supervisor form (2) (one per project)
      •Local Scientific Review Committee and/or Institutional Review Board Form S (one
      per project)

Form Required if Research in done at a Research Center
      •Registered Research Institutional/Industrial Setting Form (1C) -
      This form is completed by the scientist after the research is completed. (one per project)

                              Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                By Joan Wagner
                                                 Page 23 of 32

March 19, 1998

1. Give some background information about your research.
2. What are you trying to find out?
3. Describe your hypothesis and experimental design.
4. What were your results and conclusions?
5. What else needs to be done?
6. Discuss any problems you encountered.

6:30-7:00 pm: Set up Your storyboards on the cafetorium tables (one project per table)
7:00-7:15: Welcome by Mrs. Wagner
7:15-8:15: Begin Presentations
8:15-8:45: Snacks and review storyboards
8:45: Clean-up

                              Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                By Joan Wagner
                                                 Page 24 of 32
Title of Research_____________________________________________________
Group Members (if a group)____________________________________________

Oral Presentation for Science Symposium Rubric
Criteria                     Excellent                                                           Needs improvement
A. Content
1. Thoroughness*

2. Accuracy*

3. Clarity*

B. Voice Modulation
Varies voice in an interesting manner

C. Storyboard (40)
1. Contains all required information: Abstract, Hypothesis, Experimental Design, Results and Conclusions and is organized in a
logical order.

2. Execution

3. Creativity

Points for Oral Presentation:               ______/20 = _______
Points for Storyboard:                      ______/50 = _______

*Oral Presentation included the following (20):
      •Background Information About Your Research

         •Purpose of Research

         •Hypothesis Stated

         •Description of Experimental Design

         •Results and Conclusions

         •Discuss any problems you encountered

         •Ideas for further study

                                        Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                          By Joan Wagner
                                                           Page 25 of 32
                                         Research Ideas
1. Characterizing ambidextrous people
4. The effects of carbon dioxide or caffeine on the learning of pill bugs
5. Ability of an organism to navigate by sensing a magnetic field
6. Survival value of ultraviolet light for gerbils
7. Pond Studies
8. Odors and Memories
9. Composting worms
10. Bacteria studies...How good are our detergents?
11. Plant studies...Creating fertilizers from household detergents
12. Write a computer program
13. The effects of temperature on the release of trichocysts in Paramecium.
14. Composting studies: Factors that affect composting.
15. Advertising for good health...Is It Working?
16. The Effects of an electromagnetic field on ant colonies.
17. The mathematics of rainbows
18. Fibonacci numbers
19. Chaos Theory and fractals
20. Odors and memories they elicit
21. Heat shocking E. coli and treatment with calcium chloride to test their ability to take up
negatively charged dyes.
22. The effects of heat shocking pond water organisms and their population.
23. Pond, wetland or butterfly field studies.
24. The effects of various soaps on microbial growth.
25. The effects of nicotine or other drugs on brine shrimp and/or Daphnia.
26. Do plants cut down air pollution?
27. The effects of a magnetic field on yeast.
28. the effects of x-rays on seed growth.
29. Factors that affect the metamorphosis of the Tenebrio beetle (mealworms) or fruit flies.
30. Microgravity study
31. Composting worm studies
32. courtship behavior of the Tenebrio beetle.
33. Testing the efficiency of batteries on the market.
34. Turbidity studies and microscopic populations in water
35. Recycling heat from composting.
36. PTC paper tasting and verbal suggestions
37. Best antacid on the over-the-counter-market
38. Correlating temperature and evaporation.
39. Environmental study of the it manages solid wastes.
40. Laser studies
41. UV light studies...effect on pond life.
42. Invent something...better way for students to carry their books.
43. Breast cancer demographic study
44. Effects of UV light on decay.
                               Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                 By Joan Wagner
                                                  Page 26 of 32
45. Acid rain and seed germination studies
46. Will You Eat a Genetically Engineered Plant (with and without knowledge about the
47. Purple Loose Strife.. getting it under control
48. Optical illusions
49. Spider webs...their strength
50. Carnivorous plants
51. Mono-agriculture
52. Vitamins and minerals...effects on plants or invertebrates.
53. Study of Interests of Middle School Students
54. Study of water quality and microbes.
55. Butterflies and UV light
56. Subliminal advertising...does it work?
57. Pheremones and perfumes
58. Butterfly biodiversity: internet study
59. Building a Better Spider Web
60. Odors & Memory

                             Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                               By Joan Wagner
                                                Page 27 of 32
                              Storyboard for Research
                 Project Number assigned to you by the science fair registrar should be on
                 top of project and on all 4 copies of your paper.

 Storyboard Information: This is a visual display of your research. It should be eye catching and well organized
 Maximum Size: 76 cm deep x 122 cm wide x 183 cm high
 Include photographs when possible. Make sure all measurements use the metric system.
 Label all diagrams, pictures and tables. Make sure titles accompany all graphs and data tables. Label axes in all graphs.
 Keep one copy of your research paper by your storyboard on the day of the competition. You must attach one copy of your
 abstract to the storyboard. You may want to make extra copies of your abstract when the Fair is open to the public. This
 part is optional. Since this is a visual display, make it as colorful as possible.

 Brief Description of Experimental Design
 Can include pictures and diagrams

Results: Include data tables, graphs, pictures, etc. This information should also be in your report.
                                                    Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                                      By Joan Wagner

Conclusion                                                             Page 28 of 32

Research Project Scoring Rubric
Research Paper (10):

Content                    Excellent                                                         Needs improvement





 •Experimental Procedure




 •Suggestions for

 •Further Study


Effort (10)

Summary of Evaluation
      Research Notebook* (20) =                 _____
      Oral Report (20) =                        _____
      Storyboard (50) =                         _____
      Research Paper (50) =                     _____
      Effort (10)     =                         _____

Total Score                =                    _____

Title of Project:

*All students doing research must maintain a research notebook. The notebook should be a running record
of all work done by the student. Each member of a team project should have his or her own notebook. The
evaluation of the notebook will be based on the thoroughness of the keeper’s records about the research
project. Dates should accompany all notations in the notebook.

                                       Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                         By Joan Wagner
                                                          Page 29 of 32
Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                  By Joan Wagner
                   Page 30 of 32
Directions in Science Research

                                                                                            Richard O’Rourke Middle School

                                                                                                       SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM
Background Information
        Science Research is a national goal in science                                                   MARCH 21, 2000
education. There has been a shift in emphasis from the teaching
of science facts to science process. Today, colleges encourage
                                                                                                          7:00-9:00 pm
their undergraduates to do science research. Many science
research courses are now offered in high schools. The Capital
Region is very fortunate to have Dr. Daniel Wulff, from the
University of Albany. He was the recipient of a 1.5 million                                                Science
dollar NSF grant to train teachers on how to teach science                                                 Program
research courses. The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School
now has one of those courses that students from the Middle
School will have an opportunity to enroll in if they are
        Students in the Enriched Science class have been
preparing and working on their research projects since the fall.
In the beginning of the year, they practiced how to do research
through inquiry labs and a mock research project. All proposals
for research had to be completed by the 15th of December.
Students were to begin their experiments after the Christmas
break.Their assessment is based on their oral presentation,
research paper and storyboard.

                                                                               Welcome..........Mrs. Wagner

                                                 Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                                   By Joan Wagner
                                                                    Page 31 of 32
1. Educating Mice Through the World of Aromas
Researchers: Katie Campe, Katie Johnson,
Julie Schuldt                                                                10. Correlating Right Brain/Left Brain With handedness
                                                                             Researchers: Michelle Carbonelli, Robin Jess, Lauren
2. Correlating Which Antacid People Use to Which is the                      Reynolds
Most Effective in Neutralizing an Acid
Researchers: Bob Brown, Scott George, Matt Kochem                            11. Can Tenebrio Beetles Learn Based on Their Diet?
                                                                             Researchers: Mike Marr, Mike McGuire, Eric Zagorda
3. The Effects of Vitamins & Minerals in Augmenting
Bioluminescence in Bioluminescent Bacteria                                   12. Engineering a Hat/Helmet
Researcher: Alison Gardell                                                   Researcher: Steve Herrick

4. How Optical Illusions are Viewed by Males and Females                     13. Designing a Dam that is More “Friendly” to Salmon
Between the Ages of 5 and 60                                                 Migration
Researchers: Erin Brooksby, Christopher Howard                               Researchers: Jeff Juron, Nik Schultz

5. The Effects of Different Amounts of Fertilizers on the                    14. The Effects of Radiation on Mealworms that are
Seed Production of Wisconsin Fast Plants                                     Exposed to Folic Acid
Researcher: Lindsay Schwarting                                               Researcher: Ryan Mancari

6. The Effects of Electromagnets on the Growth of Bean                       15. The Effects of Velocity of Cooling on the Conductivity
Plants                                                                       of Metals
Researchers Dan Murdock                                                      Researcher: Chris Trowbridge

7. Is the Design of an Airfoil the Main Cause for Speed of
Lift on a Plane?
Researcher: Joseph O’Connor                                                                          **********

8. Phototropism in Brine Shrimp                                              Refreshments and View Storyboards
Researcher: Emily Litwin

9. The Effects of Acid Rain on Leaf and Root Crops
Researcher: Jessica Brownell

                                               Middle Level Science Research Brochure for Teachers
                                                                 By Joan Wagner
                                                                  Page 32 of 32

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