(Entrants Please Take Note)
  • QUALITY OF ABSTRACT AND BIBLIOGRAPHY:  Does the abstract provide a clear statement of the problem? Does the abstract concisely summarize methods and procedures? Are findings condensed and clearly summarized? Does the bibliography indicate an appropriately thorough review of available literature? Are bibliographic entries well organized? Does the project show evidence of investigation of library resources to find previously published similar research? Judges are required to deduct one (1) point if a school identifier is observed.

  • ORIGINALITY OF PROJECT/EVIDENCE OF CREATIVE THINKING:  Does the exhibit show ingenuity on the part of the student(s) in the planning and execution of the project? Does it demonstrate or incorporate new or improved ways designed by the student to express or communicate scientific concepts? Ask student(s): "How did you come up with this idea?"; "How did you devise this procedure?"; "Did you design or construct this apparatus or process yourself?".

  • PROJECT DELINEATION AND HYPOTHESIS FORMULATION:  Is the hypothesis phrased in a format that it may be tested? Is the hypothesis based on preliminary gathering of research? Does the hypothesis relate specifically to the original problem as stated? Does the subsequent experimental design attempt to prove or disprove this hypothesis?

  • EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN- SAMPLING TECHNIQUES, USE OF CONTROLS WHEN APPLICABLE, EQUIPMENT:  Is there a planned use of the scientific method? Does the project show verification of laws, or a cause and effect? Is the equipment used appropriate for the investigation? Ask student(s): "How did you provide for a control in this experiment?"; "Why did you use this size sample?"; "What weaknesses were there in your experiment?"; "if you were to repeat this experiment from the start, what would you do differently?".

  • IMPLEMENTATION OF DESIGN:  Does it appear the student has invested sufficient time and effort to complete this investigation? Did the student keep a lab notebook/log of daily activities, procedures, and findings? Did the student carefully measure and record data? Ask student(s): "Did you do a statistical analysis of the data you collected?", "What difficulties did you have to overcome?".

  • EFFECTIVENESS OF DISPLAY- NEATNESS OF WORKMANSHIP, OVERALL ATTRACTIVENESS, RELEVANCE:  Is this exhibit more attractive than others in the same field? Does it catch and focus attention? (Guard against allowing a high rating on dramatic value to influence your ratings in other categories). Consider neatness, correct spelling, expression, eye appeal. Does the display disclose organized procedures? Are guide marks, labels, and descriptions neatly, yet briefly presented? Is there sensible progression of the spectator across or through the exhibit? Is the exhibit sound and durably constructed? Is good craftsmanship shown? Does it indicate substantial time and effort on the part of the student? Judges are required to deduct one (1) point if a school identifier is observed.

  • ORAL PRESENTATION:  Will the average person understand what is being presented? How enthusiastic of this project is(are) the presenter(s)? Did only one member of the group do all the talking? Did the presenter(s) appear to be prepared and well rehearsed for this presentation? Did the student(s) stick to the point or was too much time spent on superfluous, tangential, or background information? Ask student(s): "What do you most like about doing this experiment?"; "What did you least like about doing this experiment?".

  • ABILITY TO ANSWER JUDGE'S QUESTIONS:  To what extent do(es) the student(s) understand the underlying concepts and implications of the project? How successfully are questions posed by the judge answered? Does it appear from the answers provided that student(s) truly did this work on their own? Ask student(s) to explain underlying principles of the investigation to determine the extent to which they really understand what has been done. Ask student(s): "What is the importance of what you have done?".

  • VALIDITY OF CONCLUSIONS-OBJECTIVITY, DOES DATA SUPPORT THE CONCLUSIONS, EVALUATION OF OBSERVATIONS?  Does the project display tell a complete and concise story about the project? Is the proper emphasis given to important items? Do the data tables and/or graphs (if any) clearly reflect the findings of the experiment? Ask student(s): "Of what practical importance is your project?"; "How might your work lead to a new hypothesis?"; "How does this graph (or table) indicate what you have concluded?".

  • EVALUATION OF SUGGESTED FUTURE RESEARCH STEMMING FROM CURRENT PROJECT  Does the project lead to further avenues of research? Is the student aware of potential additional investigations? Does the project have any application in today's society? If no additional course of study is projected, why not?

Ronald J. Kiceina
Send comments to: ComputerMgr@liscicong.org
Copyright 2001 [Long Island Science Congress]. All rights reserved.
Revised: May. 1, 2012