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
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
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,