Handbook for Science Fair Coordinators

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Handbook for Science Fair
Coordinators
Prince William County Public Schools
Science and Family Life Education
703.791.7240
The Prince William County Public School Division does not discriminate in
employment or in its educational programs and activities against qualified individuals
on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related
medical conditions, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability. PWCS provides
equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following
individual(s) will handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies, including
Section 504 and Title IX:
Associate Superintendent for Human Resources
Prince William County Public Schools
P.O. Box 389
Manassas, VA 20108
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Introduction
Science projects and science fairs serve four major purposes for students: (1) they motivate students to
pursue an active interest in a variety of science-related fields; (2) they provide a forum for students to
showcase their research findings; (3) they provide students with an opportunity to dialog with science
professionals and with the public and; (4) they give recognition to students for the talents they exhibit
through their hard work.
Science fairs also serve an important purpose for instruction. They create an “event” upon which
teachers can focus to bring to light students’ abilities to independently practice the science processes
and investigative skills teachers have been reinforcing throughout the year in classroom and laboratory
instruction. Science projects are a wonderful way for students to demonstrate their understanding of
scientific concepts and proficiency with research skills, and science fairs create a school and
community event that highlights the importance of these skills in contributing to academic literacy.
Throughout the school year students have many opportunities to demonstrate proficiency in the lab
with science skills, including collection, organization, and analysis of data; identification and
manipulation of variables; and identification of sources of error and implications for further
experimentation. An independent science project allows students to pull all of these potentially
isolated experiences together and offers teachers a testament of what students can do, from start to
finish, with these skills. There is really no better way to ensure that students are truly proficient with
the skills outlined in the Scientific Reasoning and Logic strand of the Prince William County Science
Curriculum and for which they are accountable.
Science projects require a commitment of time and effort from both students and teachers. Students
need to know that teachers recognize the value and purpose of independent inquiry. If they sense less,
then the experience becomes an empty exercise and a waste of time for everyone. Likewise, a science
fair that is coordinated with heartfelt enthusiasm, sincerity, and commitment from the entire school is
one that will succeed in its purpose to give students—and the school community—a chance to
showcase great science efforts and boost school pride.
The purpose of this handbook is to provide coordinators and teachers with resources and information
to support classroom efforts to promote science projects and science fairs. Please take the time to read
this handbook carefully. It is essential that you understand the protocols involved in overseeing
independent classroom research and the guidelines that are in place to allow qualifying students from
your school to enter the Prince William-Manassas Regional Science Fair competition.
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The Science Office is available to assist you as you prepare to undertake the tasks and responsibilities
involved in monitoring student research and presentation. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at
[email protected] or my secretary, Susan Koutnik at [email protected] You may call our office
at (703) 791-7240 if you have questions or require further information or assistance. Keep in mind that
the Professional Development Specialist, Administrative Coordinator for Science and Family Life, and
the E.A.G.L.E.S. Environmental Science Center Coordinator are also available to assist you.
Best wishes as you begin another exciting year of science research!
Sincerely,
Jason Calhoun
Supervisor of Science and Family Life Education
Prince William County Public Schools
Director, Prince William-Manassas Regional Science Fair
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NSTA Position Statement
Science Competitions
Prince William County Public Schools supports the National Science Teachers
Association position on science competitions. All students should have an
opportunity to participate in science exhibitions and/or competitions during each
school year. It is the expectation that all students in advanced science courses be
encouraged to participate in science competitions, exhibitions, and other sciencerelated extracurricular events.
Rationale:
The National Science Teachers Association recognizes that many kinds of learning
experiences, including science competitions, can contribute significantly to the
education of students of science. With respect to science competitions, such as science
fairs, science leagues, symposia, Olympiads, scholarship activities and talent searches,
the Association takes the position that participation should be guided by the following
principles:
Declarations:
• Students and staff participation in science competitions should be voluntary and
open to all students.
• Emphasis should be placed on the learning experience rather than on the
competition.
• Science competitions should supplement and enhance other educational
experiences and be closely aligned or integrated with the curriculum.
• The emphasis should be on scientific process, content and/or application.
• Projects and presentations should be the work of the student with proper credit to
others for their contributions.
• Scientific competitions should foster partnerships between students, the school
and the science community.
—Adopted by the Board of Directors
January 1999
This document can be found online at www.nsta.org/positionstatement&psid=3.
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The Role of Research on
Science Teaching and Learning
Introduction
Research on science teaching and learning plays an important role in improving science
literacy, a goal called for in the National Science Education Standards (NRC 1996) and
supported by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA 2003). NSTA promotes
a research agenda that is focused on the goal of enhancing student learning through
effective teaching practices and that effectively connects research and practice. NSTA
encourages ALL participants in science education, including K–16 teachers of science
and administrators, to recognize the importance of research and assume active roles in
research practices.
NSTA considers a broad range of activities to be within the scope of research, including
research conducted by teachers that can lead to immediate classroom changes as well
as research that contributes to a larger body of knowledge such as long-term or largescale studies. Research on science teaching and learning involves identifying and asking
appropriate questions, designing and conducting investigations, collecting evidence,
drawing conclusions, and communicating and defending results (NSTA 2004).
To produce research that has meaningful outcomes and the ability to improve the
teaching and learning of science, NSTA advocates that research and practice be linked
and support compatible goals. This synergistic relationship between research and
practice includes teachers and researchers communicating goals, activities, and findings
with the greater science education community in ways that make research accessible,
understandable, meaningful, and relevant to teachers, administrators, and policy makers.
The process of research is the essence of the scientific enterprise and of scientific
inquiry. Science education builds on the best of research in both worlds—science and
education. By engaging in continual inquiry into teaching and learning, we can promote
science literacy for students in the 21st century.
NSTA makes the following recommendations to promote effective research on science
teaching and learning.
Declarations
Regarding the focus of research on science teaching and learning, NSTA recommends
those conducting research
• examine questions that are relevant to enhancing science teaching and learning
for all learners;
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• address areas that have not have been investigated, or investigated insufficiently,
and have the potential to improve what is known about science teaching and
learning; and
• extend theories of science teaching and learning in order to contribute to a
coherent body of knowledge.
Regarding the practice of research on science teaching and learning, NSTA recommends
those conducting research
• draw and build upon previous research that may exist in the area of study;
• focus on longitudinal studies that build on promising areas of research and link to
a larger body of work;
• form collaborations and partnerships among those involved in science education
(e.g., teachers, administrators, college faculty, informal science educators) as they
examine science teaching and learning;
• demonstrate, when possible, the degree to which student learning is affected;
• engage in rigorous peer review that challenges the status quo and values varying
perspectives on research pertaining to science teaching and learning;
• view everyday experiences as opportunities to conduct research that yields
findings to improve teaching practices and student learning;
• support the participants in research with ample professional development to
enhance their ability to design, conduct, interpret, and apply science education
research; and
• share research results with the wider science education community inside and
outside the classroom.
Regarding the use of research on science teaching and learning, NSTA recommends
• researchers communicate about research in ways that can be understood and
embraced by science educators, administrators, policy makers, and others in the
science education community;
• researchers make research readily accessible by disseminating it to teachers and
other decision makers using many forms of communication, including
practitioner journals, professional conferences, and websites;
• researchers recognize and state the limitations of their research;
• researchers and consumers of research discuss, critique, and apply findings;
• school researchers have ample administrative support, time, and resources to
conduct research in the classroom, share their findings with colleagues, and
implement results to improve student learning; and
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• science educators embrace a culture of inquiry grounded in research that focuses
on examining practice and improving student outcomes.
Adopted by the
NSTA Board of Directors
September 2010
This document can be found online at
http://www.nsta.org/pdfs/PositionStatement_Research.pdf
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Fast Facts for Science Fair Coordinators
Online Registration
• After your school fair, students who are eligible and wish to participate in the
Regional Science Fair must register online. Online registration will be open in
January and needs to be completed at the student’s school. Each science fair
coordinator has a school-specific access code for his/her school. The school
access code should never be shared with student/parents. Teachers and/or
coordinators should assist students in the online submission of the information on
the Prince William – Manassas Regional Science Fair Participant Entry Form
and Summary of Project / Abstract forms. Copies of the forms are in this
handbook and are also available online. It is suggested that students be given
copies of the forms to complete for “practice” before submitting the information
electronically; once the entry is submitted, changes cannot be made at the school
level. Schools should print a copy of the completed registration form before
submitting the registration, and send it with the student on the day of project
set-up.
Please Note: students can only enter one project into the PWCS – Manassas
Regional Science Fair.
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Experimental Design
• Teachers are encouraged to model and allow students to practice the procedures
for brainstorming topics and the four-question strategy to formulate hypotheses in
the classroom regularly. Teachers should also provide students with opportunities
to develop solid experimental designs. The Experimental Design Diagram is
helpful in assisting students with thinking through this process and provides
teachers with evidence of student-created design components in a consolidated
form.
Mazes
• Mazes are allowed for students in Grades 5 – 8 as long as they comply with the
guidelines on vertebrate subjects. The size of the maze (container) must be in
compliance with the display rules in this handbook.
School-Created Judging Forms
•
Schools do not have to use the Prince William – Manassas Regional Science Fair
Project Evaluation sheet at their local fairs. Schools may develop their own
project evaluation form for judges; however, it is suggested that the local school
evaluation criteria not depart drastically from the regional fair criteria.
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Prince William – Manassas Regional Science Fair
Junior Division (Grades 5 – 6)
Schedule of Events
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Kelly Leadership Center
Registration Deadline
Friday, April 5, 2013
4 p.m.
Project Check-In & Set-Up
Friday, April 12, 2013
Bring proof of online
registration with you
4:30 – 7 p.m.
8 a.m.
Regional Science
Fair Date
April 13, 2013
Students arrive
8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Displays open for
public viewing
9:30 a.m.
Category judging
begins
Judges should arrive by
1 p.m.
8:30 a.m. for a light
breakfast and judges 1 to 2:30 p.m.
meeting at 9 a.m.
2:30 p.m.
Category judging ends
Additional judging of
selected projects
All projects must be
removed
2:30 – 4 p.m.
Kelly Leadership Center closed to the public
4 p.m.
Awards Assembly
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Prince William – Manassas Regional Science Fair
Middle Division (Grades 7 – 8)
&
Senior Division (Grades 9-12)
Schedule of Events
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Kelly Leadership Center
Registration Deadline
Friday, March 8, 2013
4 p.m.
Project Check-In & Set-Up
Friday, March 15, 2013
Bring proof of online
registration with you
4:30 – 7 p.m.
8 a.m.
Regional Science
Fair Date
March 16, 2013
Students arrive
8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Displays open for
public viewing
9:30 a.m.
Category judging
begins
1 p.m.
Judges should arrive by
8:30 a.m. for a light
1 to 2:30 p.m.
breakfast and judges
meeting at 9 a.m.
2 p.m.
Category judging ends
Additional judging of
selected projects
All projects must be
removed
2:30 – 4 p.m.
Kelly Leadership Center closed to the public
4 p.m.
Awards Assembly
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CATEGORIES AND TOPIC DESCRIPTIONS
JUNIOR DIVISION (Grades 5-6)
Schools with students in grades 5 and 6 may enter one project per category. Team projects
(consisting of no more than 2 students) are allowed and can be submitted to represent the category.
Refer to Project Focus Definitions.
Category
Project Focus
Animal Sciences (AS)
animal genetics; animal husbandry; animal physiology; invertebrate and
vertebrate studies
Behavioral & Social Sciences
(BE)
clinical & developmental psychology; cognitive physiology, sociology
(This category includes linguistics, learning, perception; reading
problems; public opinion surveys; educational testing.)
Chemistry (CH)
analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, general
chemistry
This category includes product testing—shampoos, dyes, detergents,
diapers, markers, nail polish, etc.—plastics, fuels, pesticides
Computer Science (CS)
algorithms and data bases; networking and communications; graphics,
simulations/virtual reality; computer and operating systems
Engineering & Mathematics
(EM)
technology applications: civil, mechanical, aeronautical, chemical, and
industrial engineering; material science; robotics; algebra, geometry,
probability and statistics (mathematical analysis of data)
Earth & Space Sciences (ES)
geology, mineralogy, oceanography, climatology, weather, seismology,
paleontology
Environmental Sciences (EV)
air pollution/quality; water pollution/quality; soil contamination/equality;
bioremediation; environmental engineering; forestry, recycling, waste
management
Medicine & Health Sciences
(MH)
disease diagnosis and treatment; epidemiology; human genetics;
pathophysiology; antibiotics and antimicrobials (bacterial and yeast
studies as they impact human health)
(This category includes dentistry, pharmacology, ophthalmology,
nutrition, pediatrics, dermatology, allergies, speech and hearing.)
Physics & Astronomy (PA)
atoms, molecules, and solids; magnetics and electromagnetics; nuclear
and particle physics; optics, acoustics, astronomy
Plant Sciences (PS)
agriculture, agronomy, horticulture, forestry, plant taxonomy and
evolution, plant physiology, plant pathology, plant genetics, fungi studies
The goal of the regional fair is to allow students to exhibit projects that are similar in research focus in
each category. Consistent identification of category place across individual schools is extremely
important. Please call the Science Office if you have questions regarding the focus of specific project
research. The Regional Science Fair reserves the right to re-assign projects to ensure consistent and
fair placement for competition.
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CATEGORIES AND TOPIC DESCRIPTIONS
MIDDLE/SENIOR DIVISION (Grades 7-8 and 9-12)
Schools with students in Grades 7-8 may enter two projects per category. Team projects (consisting of no
more than 3 students) are allowed. Team projects will compete in the discipline category to which they are
related. Schools with students in Grades 9-12 may enter two projects per category except in each engineering
category. Refer to Project Focus Definitions. Also see
http://www.societyforscience.org/isef/project_categories#AS for additional information.
Category
Animal Sciences (AS)
Behavioral and Social Sciences (BE)
Biochemistry (BI)
Chemistry (CH)
Computer Science (CS)
*Engineering (EN—M&B) and (EN—
E&M)
*combined for Grades 7-8 (two entries);
separate categories for Grades 9-12 (one entry
per sub-category)
Earth & Planetary Sciences (EP)
Environmental Sciences (EV)
Mathematical Sciences (MA)
Medicine & Health Sciences (MH)
Microbiology (MI)
Physics & Astronomy (PA)
Plant Sciences (PS)
Project Focus
genetics (all but human); pathology; physiology; systematics
(taxonomy, phylogeny, classification)
clinical & developmental psychology; cognitive
physiological psychology, sociology
chemistry of life processes: molecular biology, molecular
genetics, enzymes, photosynthesis, blood, protein, or food
chemistry; hormones
analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry,
physical chemistry
algorithms and data bases; artificial intelligence; networking
and communications; graphics, simulations/virtual reality;
computer and operating systems; computational science;
software engineering
Materials & Bioengineering (EN—M&B)
bioengineering; civil engineering; constructional
engineering; chemical engineering; industrial engineering;
materials science
Electrical and Mechanical (EN—E&M)
electrical engineering; computer engineering; mechanical
engineering; robotics
climatology, weather; geochemistry; mineralogy;
paleontology; geophysics; tectonics
air pollution, air quality; soil contamination, soil quality;
water pollution, water quality; bioremediation;
environmental engineering; land resource management;
recycling; waste management
algebra; geometry; probability and statistics; applied
mathematics
disease diagnosis and treatment; epidemiology; human
genetics; pathophysiology
bacteriology; virology; microbial genetics; antibiotics,
antimicrobials
atoms, molecules, solids; instrumentation and electronics;
nuclear and particle physics; optics, laser, theoretical
physics; astronomy; planetary science
agriculture, agronomy, horticulture, forestry, plant taxonomy
& evolution, plant physiology, plant pathology, plant
genetics
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Additional information regarding team projects can be found in the 2013 International Rules for Pre-college
Research: Guidelines for Science and Engineering. The goal of the regional fair is to allow students to exhibit
projects that are similar in research focus in each category. Consistent identification of category place across
individual schools is extremely important. Please call the Science Office if you have questions regarding the
focus of specific project research. The Regional Science Fair reserves the right to re-assign projects to ensure
consistent and fair placement for competition.
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PROJECT FOCUS DESCRIPTIONS
Agriculture
The science, art, and business of cultivating soil producing crops, and raising livestock; farming.
Agronomy
The branch of agriculture dealing with field crop production and soil management; application of the various
soil and plant sciences to soil management and crop production; scientific agriculture.
Algebra
A branch of mathematics in which symbols, usually letters of the alphabet, represent numbers or members of a
specified set and are use represent quantities and to express general relationships that hold for all members of
the set.
Analytical Chemistry
The branch of chemistry involved with the measurement of molecules without any particular regard to what the
molecule is.
Bioengineering
The study of the relationship between living organisms and machinery; for example, the industrial application of
the results of biologic research in the field of recombinant DNA technology which permits the production of
synthetic hormones and enzymes.
Chemical Engineering
Deals with the design, construction, and operation of plants and machinery for making such products as acids,
dyes, drugs, plastics, and synthetic rubber by adapting the chemical reactions discovered by the laboratory
chemist to large-scale production.
Civil Engineering
Includes the planning, designing, construction, and maintenance of structures and altering geography to suit
human needs. Subdivisions include transportation (egg. rail facilities and highways); hydraulics (egg. river
control, irrigation, swamp draining, water supply, and sewage disposal); and structures (buildings, bridges, and
tunnels).
Clinical & Developmental Psychology
The study of how humans carry out everyday tasks and how they cope with the constant bombardment of stimuli
during their waking life (perception, thought, memory).
Epidemiology
The study of the patterns, causes, and control of disease in groups of people.
Forestry
The science, art, and practice of managing and using trees, forests and their associated resources for human
benefit.
Geometry
The pure mathematics of points, lines, curves, and surfaces.
Geophysics
The study of the physical characteristics and properties of Earth, including seismology, meteorology,
oceanography, atmospheric electricity, terrestrial magnetism, and tidal phenomena.
Industrial Engineering
Also known as management engineering, this study is concerned with efficient production. The industrial
engineer designs methods, not machinery.
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Inorganic Chemistry
The branch of chemistry dealing with elements other than carbon.
Material Science
The study of the characteristics and uses of the various materials, such as metals, ceramics, and plastics that are
employed in science and technology.
Mechanical Engineering
This area is concerned with the design, construction, and operation of power plants, engines, and machines. It
deals mostly with things on the move. Included are the generation, distribution, and use of heat as it relates to
boilers, heat engines, air conditioning, and refrigeration.
Molecular Biology
The study of the structure, function, and makeup of biologically important molecules.
Molecular Genetics
The branch of genetics that deals with the expression of genes by studying the DNA sequences of chromosomes.
Paleontology
The study of the fossil record of past geological periods and of the phylogenetic relationships between ancient
and contemporary plant and animal species.
Pathology
The scientific study of the nature of disease and its causes, processes, development, and consequences.
Pathophysiology
The study of the deranged function in an individual or an organ that is due to a disease.
Physical Chemistry
A branch of chemistry which is interested in things such as how much pressure would have to be placed on a
solid to convert it to a liquid.
Physiological Psychology
The biological basis for thought.
Physiology
The branch of the biological sciences dealing with the functioning of organisms.
Probability and Statistics
Probability is a branch of mathematics studying chances of random events. Statistics is the collection,
calculation, description, manipulation, and interpretation of data. Statistics is all about data, and probability is
all about chance.
Robotics
The theory and application of robots (a completely self-contained electronic, electric, or mechanical device) to
such activities as manufacturing.
Systematics
are three disciplines which are united under this broad locution: (1) identification—the description of species;
(2) taxonomy—assignment of names; and (3) phylogenetics—the description of the relationships between and
among taxa.
Tectonics
The branch of geology dealing with the broad architecture of the outer part of Earth.
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18
Scientific
Inquiry and
Experimental
Design
19
20
…at Comprehensive Independent
Investigation Skills and Suggested
Student Products
Grade(s)
Kindergarten
Skill Level
Introduction to basic skills
SOL K.1 and PWC K-1.1
The student will conduct
investigations in which they...

observe, classify, measure,
develop questions,
communicate through
picture graphs, recognize
data
1-3
Basic & integrated skills and
simple experimentation
SOL 1.1, 2.1, 3.1 and PWC 1-1.1,
2-1.1, 3-1.1
The student will plan and conduct
investigations in which they...

(all K skills plus) make
inferences and conclusions;
create models; and (at
grade 3) hypothesize
4-5
Basic & integrated skills and
simple experimentation
SOL 4.1 and 5.1; PWC 4-1.1, 5-1.1
The student will plan and conduct
investigations in which...

(all K-3 skills plus) identify
and define variables;
estimate; and (at grade 5)
analyze data and use
classification keys
Emphasis
Student
Products
Skills should be taught through
concept/content instruction
throughout the year. Projects are not
emphasized at this level, as students
are just becoming familiar with
investigative processes and are
practicing scientific thinking.
Individual and
class picture
graphs;
observational
drawings; verbal
and simple
responses
(questions, data
interpretation,
conclusions)
Skills should be taught through
content instruction during the year.
Projects at this level should be
simple in design and allow students
to begin to practice pulling the
processes together to investigate a
question of their own. The major
purpose is to check for student
proficiency with skills emphasized at
these grades and to foster student
excitement and confidence in science.
No emphasis on competition.
Class projects
Skills should be taught through
content instruction during the year.
By the end of grade five students
should be able to carry out all the
steps of the research method, if
imperfectly. Projects at this level
continue to be for the purpose of
practicing research methods and
scientific problem solving. Students
should be able to follow procedural
guidelines and communicate and
defend research efforts and findings
both verbally and in writing.
Minimal emphasis on competition.
Group Projects
and/or simple
individual projects
for “practice” of
research methods
(Grade 4)
Individual or
Partner Projects
(Grade 5)
Interactive
Notebooks
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SCIENTIFIC REASONING AND LOGIC
Strand Articulation, Grades 6-Physics
Virginia Standards of Learning for Science
Grade Six
• The student will plan and conduct investigations that are increasingly
sophisticated and involve a refinement of science process skills.
• Skill emphases include: seeking information, devising methods to test,
hypothesizing, considering alternative viewpoints, designing models.
Life Science
• The student will continue to plan and conduct investigations that are
increasingly sophisticated and involve a refinement of science process skills.
• Skill emphases include: manipulating variables, organizing data,
establishing criteria for evaluation.
Physical Science
• The student will continue to develop proficiency in planning and conducting
investigations that are increasingly sophisticated and involve a refinement of
science process skills.
• Skill emphases include: measuring accurately, using safe lab protocol,
utilizing science research and IMP skills.
Earth Science
• The student will plan and conduct investigations.
(utilizing all basic and systematized science process skills, as related to
Earth Science)
Biology
• The student will apply basic science process skills and systematized problem
solving methods to biology-related concepts and issues.
Chemistry
• The student will demonstrate appropriate mathematical reasoning skills and
techniques as they apply to chemistry principles.
• The student will recognize that experiments have variables that are tested
with repeated trials and produce data that can be organized, analyzed, and
evaluated.
Physics
• The student will extend his/her mathematical skills in a physics context.
• The student will collect, analyze, and interpret data.
• The student will solve problems involving vectors utilizing trigonometric
and/or graphic methods.
• The student will draw vectors to scale.
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A GUIDE FOR TEACHERS
Brainstorming for Experiment Topics
The Four-Question Strategy provides a framework for developing student ideas in
coming up with a topic and a problem question for an experiment. A completed
example of the four-question strategy students might brainstorm as a result of
observations about plants. A blank copy is provided for students.
Below is an example of the four-question strategy that might be used by a student when
he or she wishes to experiment with plants:
What materials are How do plants
readily available for act?
conducting
experiments on
plants?
•
•
•
•
•
•
water
soils
light
fertilizers
temperature
containers
• plants grow
How can I change the
materials to affect the
action of plants?
• type of plant
• type of container
• type or amount of
light
• type of soil
• type or amount or
scheduling of water
• type or amount of
fertilizer
• temperature
How can I
measure the
response to the
action of plants?
• measure the
height
• count the
number of
leaves
• determine the
rate of growth
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The Four-Question Strategy
What
materials are
readily
available for
conducting
experiments
on _______?
How does
________ act?
How can I change
the materials to
affect the action of
___________?
How can I
measure the
response to the
action
of__________?
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For Students
THE FOUR-QUESTION STRATEGY
The Four-Question Strategy is a technique that teachers can use with students to help them generate
original experiments and narrow down their research topics. This strategy enables students to explore
the possible variations of a research topic before they attempt to state a problem, a hypothesis, identify
variables, constants, and the control.
Begin by modeling in class the sequence of four questions for generating experimental ideas from a
general topic....for instance, “plants”.
1. What materials are readily available for conducting experiments on (plants)?
Response:
Soils
Plants
Fertilizers
Water
Light / Heat
Containers
2. How do (plants) act?
Response:
Plants grow.
3. How can I change the set of (plants) to affect the action?
Response:
Water
Plants
Amount
Kind
Scheduling
Spacing
Method of application
Age
Source
Size
Composition
pH
Containers
Location of holes
Number of holes
Shape
Material
Size
Color
4. How can I measure or describe the response of (plants) to the change?
Response:
Count the number of leaves
Count the number of flowers
Measure the length of the longest stem
Measure the diameter of the stems
Mass (weigh) the fruit produced
Determine the rate of growth
Students can learn to write a hypothesis by relating a response to Question 3 with a response to
Question 4 by using the following format: If I change (an independent variable from Question 3),
THEN the (dependent variable from Question 4) will change. Have students design an experiment by
selecting one independent variable and one dependent variable. All other potential independent
variables become constants for the experiment.
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Practicing the Four-Question Strategy
Practice the Four-Question Strategy using one of the following prompts:
•
Goldfish
•
Acid rain
•
Wood stain
•
Baseballs
•
Seeds
•
Television
•
Plastic wrap
What materials are
readily available?
How does (_____)
respond or act?
How can I change
the materials to
affect the action?
How can I measure
the response to the
action?
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USING EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
“Experimental design” refers to a method of planning an experiment, incorporating specific
components. In Prince William County, we use the basic components of experimental design set forth
by Julia Cothron, Ron Giese, and Dick Rezba in Students and Research (Kendall/Hunt, 1989).
The experimental design diagram is a good tool for students to use to plan an experiment. It is not
intended to replace a lab report. The diagram reminds students to consider all aspects of the plan as
they write it in a simple format. For the teacher, it provides a quick way to check whether the student
has planned well to test only one variable at a time and to collect valid data.
The standard experimental design diagram is set up in a logical order to show the whole plan at a
glance, but it is important to teach students that it is much easier to complete the parts in a different
sequence. After the specific assignment or the Four-Question Strategy has led the students to define a
problem to test, the first part of the diagram to be completed is the independent variable, followed by
the independent variable. At this point students should specify the constants. A complete list of welldescribed constants is the key to determining the procedure for a well-designed experiment. Students
find that it is much easier to write the title and the hypothesis after the other parts are decided.
On the next page is a copy of an experimental design diagram that enables one to visualize the
components of the proposed experiment.
Experimental Design Diagram
Question: How does __________ affect __________?
Hypothesis: If ______, then ________ because _______.
Independent Variable (IV):
Levels of
the IV
(Label the
level that will
act as the
control, if
there is one)
Repeated
trials
Dependent Variable (DV):
Constants: (be sure to include measurement where needed)
27
A Brief Look at Each Component of Experimental Design
Question:
One way to assure the question accurately describes the experiment is to use this form:
“The Effect of (Independent Variable) on (Dependent Variable).” The teacher decides whether or not
this form is insisted upon. However, students preparing for science fair competitions are encouraged to
choose a title that will grab the attention of the judges; in such cases it is suggested that a subtitle be in
the form “The Effect of….”
Hypothesis:
The hypothesis predicts the relationship between the independent variable and the dependent variable
and must be written as an “If …, then …because” statement. The student should write the independent
and dependent variable on the diagram before writing the hypothesis. Then the process of completing
the “If…, then….” statement can be implemented in this way:
“If the (IV) is (how the IV is changed in the experiment), then the (DV) will (describe the predicted
effect) because (describe the reasons found in the research to explain this relationship).”
Students often avoid describing the prediction of the effect by using words like “change” or “vary”
rather than thinking through how changing the independent variable will cause the effect. If they do
leave out a prediction, then they don’t have a meaningful hypothesis with which to compare their
actual results. It is suggested that after class members have written hypotheses for an experiment the
hypotheses be read aloud so that each one may be analyzed during a class discussion. In this way
students will practice identifying good examples and will learn to recognize hypotheses that do not
identify the variables or predict results.
Independent Variable (IV):
Levels of the IV
(Label here the level that will
serve as the control, if there
is one.)
Repeated Trials
The independent variable, or manipulated variable, is the one of several possible variables the
investigator has chosen to change. Referring to the Four-Question Strategy, it is the one variable
chosen from the answers to Question 3 (How can I change the set of _______ materials to affect the
action?) that the student has decided to test All the other possible changes listed must be held constant
for this experiment. When the student decides how the independent variable will be changed, these
changes are listed as levels of the independent variable. Vertical lines should be drawn within the
“Levels” box to make a smaller box for each one. These vertical lines should be continued down
through the box for repeated trials.
28
When the student designates the levels of the IV, it is also time to label the level which will act as the
control; if there can be a control. There are three ways to consider how to designate a control. (1) In
many experimental situations the factor that is the independent variable can be omitted and that level
of the variable will be the standard of comparison for the other levels, called the control. If the
purpose is to determine how fertilizer affects plant height, one level of the variable should be to omit
fertilizer, “no fertilizer,” and all other levels will be compared to this control. (2) For some
experiments, there is an outside standard that may be used as the control (e.g., the recommended
amount of fertilizer printed on the bag). (3) In many experiments students choose to do, comparisons
are made and it is impossible to omit the independent variable, so there is no control. Some will advise
that the experimenter may select the level that will be the control; others feel it is best to say that for
experiments that are merely comparisons and omitting the variable is impossible, there will be no
control. For instance, if the experiment is to compare the effect of different soil types on plant growth,
soil cannot be omitted, so there is no control.
The number of repeated trials must be the same for each level of the variable, and for a classroom
situation the number of repetitions is limited by time. If several lab groups are doing the same
experiment, each group’s data may be considered as a repeated trial to be averaged with the data from
the other groups. The purpose of repeated trials is to reduce the effect of errors, so the more the better.
As a guideline for individual experiments, students should do a minimum of three trials for each level.
Since the diagram is a planning tool that allows students to visualize their thinking when they are
designing an experiment, the box under the independent variable should not be transformed into a data
table. Students must draw a data table to correspond to the requirements for recording data for their
experiment.
Dependent Variable:
The dependent variable is the variable that responds to the independent variable. It is usually
measured, and the unit of measure should be indicated. This is called a quantitative measurement. In
some cases the dependent variable may be counted or observed objectively. This is called a qualitative
measurement. It may be necessary for the teacher to work with students to develop specific
descriptions or a scale with which to compare qualitative results. For example, if a color change is
being measured, a color chart can be used for comparisons.
Constants:
To be sure that the experiment will produce valid data related to the effect of changing one
independent variable, all other potential variables become constants. All the possible factors that could
have been changed have been identified in Question 3 of the Four-Question Strategy. Each of these
factors must be specified exactly. It is important to emphasize repeatedly when teaching students to
plan an experiment that what they write must be so clear that all people who read what is written will
know how to do the experiment in the same way. For instance, it is not enough to say “water” is a
constant: the student must say how much water, what type or source of water, and when the water will
be applied.
29
Experimental Design Diagram (E.D.D.)
Title:
The Effect of ________________ on ______________________
Question:
How does ________________ affect _____________________?
Hypothesis:
If ______________, then ____________ because _____________.
Independent Variable (I.V.):
Levels of IV
(How will you
change it?)
Repeated
Trials
Control Group
Dependent Variable:
(How will the dependent variable be measured? Describe in detail including units.)
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
Constants: (The parts of the experiment that remain the same to keep it fair.)
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________
30
Sample: Completed Experimental Design Diagram
Question:
What is the Effect of Fertilizer on Plant Height?
Hypothesis:
If the amount of fertilizer is increased, then the average plant height will
increase.
Independent Variable (IV): Amount of fertilizer
Levels of
the IV
(Label the level
that will act as
the control, if
there is one)
Repeated
trials
0 grams of
5 grams of
fertilizer per fertilizer per
liter of water liter of water
(Control)
10
10
10 grams of
fertilizer per
liter of
water
15 grams of
fertilizer per
liter of
water
10
10
Dependent Variable (DV): Average height of plant
Constants: (Be sure to include measurements where needed)
Plant type - 5 cm tall bean plants
Planting containers- 500 cm3 clay pot for each plant
Soil amount – 400 cm3 per pot
Soil type – Brand X potting soil used for all plants
Water source – tap water
Water amount – 100 ml per plant every 3 days
Fertilizer type – Brand Y plant food used for all plants
Fertilizer application – dissolved in tap water used to water plants
Light – all plants are placed on a plant cart, 50 cm below 100-watt
incandescent light bulbs
Temperature – 30 degrees C
31
32
Coordinating
A School
Science Fair
33
34
For Coordinators
A Suggested Time Line for Getting
Your School Science Fair Rolling
September
<
<
Set a date and location that is suitable to your school schedule.
Determine what type of event you plan for parents; set the date and begin planning. Contact
Professional Development Specialists for assistance.
October: Staff Kick-Off
<
<
<
<
<
<
Attend County Science Fair Coordinators Meeting for updated information. Provide
support resources, handouts, and any local school science fair forms used in your building to
the faculty.
Decide how science fair tasks (such as data processing, refreshments, supplies for judges,
coordinating parent event, etc.) will be delegated to your colleagues.
Discuss science fair rules and protocols with the faculty.
Review science fair categories and provide examples of each.
Encourage group projects.
Begin to advertise your parent event in the school newsletter or newspaper.
November-December
<
<
<
<
Encourage teachers to begin discussing the science fair with their individual classes.
Hold your parent event (any time from November through January).
Review your list of judges; make changes as necessary. Think of trading your judging
services with those of other science fair coordinators.
Initiate contact possible judges by telephone or letter. Suggested minimum number of judges
per category is three.
February
<
<
<
<
Involve students in pair-share or class presentations to practice explaining their research.
Contact the Science Office (703-791-7240) to request the number of county certificates you
will need.
Ensure that all teachers understand the process for entering school winners to the regional
level (fifth grade teachers and above).
Survey the number of students to get an estimate of the number of entries you will have in
your fair. Determine the categories in which each project will be placed. Refer to the
category descriptions in this handbook. If you are uncertain of project placement,
please contact the Science Office.
35
March
<
<
<
Send the judges written communication (with a reminder of date and time; map of the school
highlighting the specific location of the fair; category they will be judging, and any special
instructions).
Arrange for hospitality. Consider using students as hosts/hostesses to provide assistance to the
judges. Remind colleagues of their tasks.
Make a list of necessary supplies (sharp pencils, clipboards, score sheets, name tags).
After the Fair
<
<
<
<
<
Distribute PW – Manassas Regional Science Fair Handbooks to all school fair winners
who are eligible to participate in the Regional Fair. Review rules and procedures with
these students; be sure they are aware of their responsibilities in returning forms and
applications.
Send thank-you notes to the judges and volunteers.
Publicize the results of your school fair.
Publicize the names of winners at the regional fair who represent your school.
Reflect on the success of your fair--make note of changes you want to make this year now!
Encourage everyone on your school faculty to participate in your school’s fair...not only
will it run smoother, be more successful and enjoyable, but it will also create an
atmosphere of excitement for science in your school community!
36
Rules and
Guidelines
Prince William –
Manassas Regional
Science Fair
37
38
Rules and Procedures for Conducting Experimentation
For Students in Grades 5 - 8
•
Human Participants and Vertebrate Animals
o Teachers must give prior approval to all projects involving vertebrates, including human
research. Vertebrate animals cannot be included in the project display. The Student Protocol for
Research Involving Human Participants or Student Protocol for Research Involving Vertebrate
Animals forms must be completed prior to experimentation on humans and other vertebrates.
Alternatives to the use of vertebrate animals for research should be explored. Alternatives include
the “3 R’s”:
 Replace vertebrate animals with invertebrates, lower life forms, tissue/cell cultures or
computer simulations
 Reduce the number of animals without compromising statistical validity
 Refine the experimental design to lessen pain or distress of the animal
o Projects involving vertebrate organisms (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) must be
only observational in nature and must not interfere with the normal life processes of the organism.
There must not be handling of the vertebrate animal in any way that interferes with the life
processes of the organism. It is highly recommended that a veterinarian be consulted in
experiments that involve supplemental nutrition and/or activities that would not be ordinarily
encountered in the animal’s daily life. The following types of studies on vertebrate animals are
prohibited:



•
No vertebrate organism must be subjected in any way to stress such as nutritional
deficiency or oxygen deprivation. Behavioral studies involving mazes or other artificial
structures are permitted, as long as the manipulating effects of the structure is not
stressful to the animal.
Studies of pain
Predator/prey experiments (simulations are allowed)
Informed Consent (Permission Slips)
o The process of obtaining informed consent provides information to the subject (and where
applicable, parents or guardians) about the risks and benefits associated with participation in
research and allows the subject to make an educated decision about whether or not to participate.
Obtaining documentation (i.e. permission slips completed by parents/students regarding research)
is NOT necessary in the following cases:




Research involving normal educational practices
Research on individual or group behavior or characteristics of individuals where the
research does not manipulate the subjects’ behavior in a harmful way
Surveys and questionnaires that are determined by the teacher and/or administration to
involve perception, cognition, or game theory and do not involve gathering personal data
Studies involving physical activity where the teacher and/or administration determines that
no more than minimal risk exists and where the probability and magnitude of discomfort
anticipated in the research are not greater than those ordinarily encountered in daily life
39
•
Chemicals / Drugs / Hazardous Biological Agents
Not Allowed
o Chemicals listed as “not permitted” on the list of Prince William
County Chemical Hazards. Refer to the listing provided in this
handbook.
o Controlled substances (prescription drugs, consumable ethyl alcohol, and tobacco)
o Firearms/weapons as defined by Prince William County School’s code of conduct. This
includes but is not limited to, air or gas operated weapons, pellet, BB, and paintball guns.
(Please see pages 15 and 16 of the PWCS code of conduct for full details)
o Bacteria cultures obtained from nose or throat swabs.
o Biological agents that pose risk of infection or the environment including:



Mycobacterium (tuberculosis-causing)
Streptococcus pneumonia (pneumonia-causing)
Salmonella choleraesius (causing food poisoning)
o Recombinant DNA
o Students shall not use for any projects or experimental purposes blood, skin cells, urine, saliva,
tears, sweat, or other human body fluid or tissue unless it is derived from the student
himself/herself or an immediate family member or has been determined by a certified medical
pathologist as HIV negative. The only exception includes microscope slides properly acquired
from biological supply companies and labeled as to their origin. Use of hair is permitted. Teeth
must be sterilized to kill any blood borne pathogen that might be present. Potentially Hazardous
Biological Agents: Laboratory studies culturing KPC (Klebsiella pneumonia) must be conducted
in a BSL-2 laboratory in Registered Research Institution with documented IBC review and
approval. Self-sampling of capillary blood for analysis can be conducted in a home setting (e.g.
glucometer reading).
Allowed
o The following biological agents pose relatively low risk and
therefore, may be used:
40







Aspergillus niger (commonly found on fruits and vegetables)
Bacillus thuringiensis (naturally occurs in soil; has pesticide properties)
Lactobacillus acidophilus (found in yogurt, milk, fermented milk products)
Micrococcus luteus (naturally found in soil, water, air, and on human skin)
Neurospora crassa (bread mold)
Pseudomonas fluorescens (found in soil and water)
Serratia marcescens (found in water, soil, milk, and some foods)
o Class I and Class II lasers are permitted. Class I consists of low power lasers or higher power
embedded lasers, such as those found in laser printers and other office machines. Class II lasers
emit radiation in the visible portion of the spectrum and include laser pointers. Class II lasers may
be hazardous when viewed directly for extended periods of time; therefore, eye protection must be
worn when experimenting with them.
o Power equipment for the construction of experimental apparatus or project displays but only under
the direct supervision of an adult.
o Heat and open flames during experimentation but only under direct adult supervision.
For further clarification or information, please contact the Science Office.
41
Prince William County Chemical Hazards
NOT PERMITTED
1,2 Dichloroethane
2,4 Dinitrophenol
Acetamide
Acrylonitrile
Anthracene
Arsenic
Arsenic Chloride
Arsenic Pentoxide
Arsenic Trioxide
Asbestos
Ascarite
Benzene
Benzone
Benzoyl Peroxide
Cadmium Sulfate
Cadmium Powder
Carbon Tetrachloride
Chloroform
Chromium III Oxide
Chromium IV Oxide
Chromium powder
Colbalt powder
Colchicine
Diphenyl Ester Carbonic Acid
Ethyl Ether
Formaldehyde
Gunpowder
Hydrofluoric Acid
Lead Arsenate
Mercury
Methyl Iodide
Nickel Carbonate
Nickel 11 Acetate
Nickel powder
O-Toluidine
p-Dioxane
Perchloric Acid
Phenol
Picric Acid
Potassium Cyanide
Selenium
Silver Cyanide
Sodium Arsenate
Sodium Aresenite
Sodium Cyanide
Sodium Nitrite
Sudan IV
Sulfuric Acid (fuming)
Tannic Acid
Thiourea
Toluene
Uranium
Uranyl Acetate
Uranyl Nitrate
Urethane
Vinylite
PERMITTED W/RESTRICTION
1-Phenyl-2-Thiourea
2,2,4-Trimenthylpentane
Aluminum Chloride
Ammonium Bichromate
Ammonium Chromate
Ammonium Dichromate
Ammonium Nitrate
Ammonium Vanadate
Aniline
Aniline Hydrochloride
Antimony
Antimony Chloride
Antimony Oxide
Antimony Potassium Tartrate
Barium Chloride
Barium Compounds
Beryllium Carbonate
Bromine
Butanol
Cadmium compounds
Calcium Cyanide
Carbon Disulfide
Catechol (pyrocatechol)
Chloral Hydrate
Chloretone (chlorobutanol)
Chlorobutanol (chloretone)
Chlorpromazine
Chromic Acid
Cyclohexane
Ethylene
Ethylene Oxide
Gasoline
Hexachlorophene
Hydrobromic Acid
Hydrochloric Acid
Hydrogen Sulfide
Hydroquinone
Iodine crystals
Lead (II) acetate
Lead Chromate
Lead compounds
Lithium
Magnesium
Magnesium Chlorate
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Methyl Methcrylate
Mexitylene
n,n-Dimethylaniline
Nicotine
Osmium Tetroxide
Paris Green
Pentane
Petroleum Ether
Phenyl Salicylate (solol)
PERMITTED W/RESTRICTION
Phosphorus Pentoxide
Phthalic Anhydride
Potassium
Potassium Chromate
Potassium Oxalate
Potassium Periodate
Potassium Permanganate
Potassium Sulfide
Pyridine
Pyrogallic Acid
Silver Nitrate
Silver Oxide
Sodium
Sodium Azide
Sodium Chloride
Sodium Floride
Sodium Nitrate
Sodium Permanganate
Sodium Silicofluoride
Sodium Sulfide
Sodium Thiocyanate
Stannic Chloride
Stearic Acid
Strontium
Strontium Nitrate
Sulfuric Acid
Tetrabromoethane
Thermite and related compounds
Thioacetamide
Titanium Trichloride
NOTE: THIS IS NOT AN
EXHAUSTIVE LIST OF ALL
POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS
CHEMICALS. WHEN IN
DOUBT, CONTACT THE
SCIENCE OFFICE.
BE SURE TO CONSULT MSDS
SHEETS PRIOR TO ANY USE
OF CHEMICALS.
42
Rules and Procedures for Displaying Projects
 Project dimensions for Grades 5-8 are 38cm (15 in.) deep, front to back;
 91cm (36 in.) wide, 274cm (108 in.) high, floor to top. Grades 9-12 are
 76cm (30 in.) deep, 122cm (48 in.) wide, 274cm (108 in.) high.
 Items NOT allowed at Project Display
• While food may be used in experimentation, neither human nor animal food
may be displayed in or at your project area. Photographs are suitable
representations of food and/or procedures involving food.
• Bacterial cultures, yeast cultures, molds or other fungi, or other microbial
cultures (live or dead) are prohibited from display. Photographs are suitable
representations of cultures and/or procedures involving cultures.
• Bare wires or knife switches may be used on circuits of 12 volts or less;
otherwise, standard enclosed switches, conforming to safety codes, are required.
• Neither vertebrate nor vertebrate parts may be displayed. This includes
taxidermy specimens. The only exception includes microscope slides that are
properly acquired from biological supply companies. Such slides must be labeled
as to their origin.
• All chemicals including water (exception is water that is integral to an enclosed
apparatus), and their containers (glass and otherwise).
• Dry ice (or other sublimating solids).
• Flames or highly flammable materials.
• Personal student information (names, school awards) on any project
component (display board, research paper, etc.).
 For projects requiring electricity, a 9' grounded extension cord must be
provided. The extension cord can only be connected during the time the project is
being evaluated by judges. Computers may be displayed and operational; however,
the Regional Fair is not responsible for personal property.
 Prince William County Guidelines allow students in Grades 5-8 to display
plants. Students in Grades 9-12 are subjected to ISEF guidelines, which do NOT
allow plants to be displayed.
43
SUGGESTED PROJECT COMPONENTS
• Project Notebook (Optional)
A project notebook contains accurate and detailed notes and information on the
progress of your research. Good notes show consistency and thoroughness.
• Abstract (Required For Grades 9-12)
An abstract is a summary (250 words, maximum) that includes the purpose of the
research, an overview of the procedures followed, results of data collection, and
conclusions based on the data. It may also include any possible research
applications. See “Writing an Abstract” in this handbook.
• Protocol Forms
Protocol forms - Grades 5-8 for human and vertebrate research must be
submitted to the science office. Hard copies of these forms are located in
Appendix A of this handbook. The Science Office must receive the protocol
forms prior to setup at the regional fair.
• Research Paper / Simple Report
For middle and high school students, a research paper should be displayed
along with a project notebook and any necessary forms or relevant written
materials. A research paper helps organize data as well as thoughts. A sample
research paper simple report generally includes the
sections detailed on the following pages. These sections
should be brief and concise. For high school students, the
longest section is usually the discussion of data.
o
Grades 5 and 6
Students must have a simple report with their projects
for Regional Science Fair. A simple report for
elementary students includes the components described on “Parts of the
Simple Report: Grades 5 – 6”. The Experimental Design Diagram is
required and should be included as a part of the simple report.
o
Grades 7 and 8
A research paper for middle school students includes the components
describe in “Parts of the Written Paper: Grades 7 and 8”.
44
o
Grades 9 – 12
The research paper for high school students follows the components
mandated by the International Science and Engineering Fair:








Title Page and Table of Contents
Introduction (Background & Purpose for Research)
Materials and Methods (Experimental Design Diagram)
Results (Data Tables, Graphs, etc.)
Discussion of Results
Conclusions
Acknowledgments
References/Bibliography
45
Visual Display
The Visual Display is frequently referred to as a standard, “tri-fold” display. The
board is a three-dimensional representation and summary of the steps involved in
the scientific experimentation. It is an “at-a-glance” summary of the experimental
design, results, and conclusion of the research.
HIGH SCHOOL SAMPLE
Display Dimensions
Grades 5-8 - 38cm (15 in.) deep, front to back; 91cm (36 in.) wide,
274cm (108 in.) high, floor to top.
Grades 9-12 - 76cm (30 in.) deep, 122cm (48 in.) wide, 274cm (108 in.) high.
All projects must be self-supporting on the floor or on a flat table. If
a table is used, it becomes part of the project.
46
Parts of the Simple Report: Grades 5 – 6
Sample
Part
Title
Introduction
(Includes
background
research)
Experimental
Design Diagram
Materials &
Procedure
Results
Data Table
Graph
Conclusion
Purpose
Write a sentence that relates the independent and dependent variables that
were investigated.
Describe the rationale, purpose, and hypothesis for the investigation. Use
three questions to guide your writing of the introduction.
• Why did you conduct the experiment? (Rational)
• What did you hope to learn? (Purpose)
• What did you think would happen? (Hypothesis)
Format the experimental process.
List the materials used and steps followed to complete the investigation.
Check the list carefully for accuracy, completeness, and precision. Be sure to
use metric measurements.
Complete a data table and an appropriate graph for the data using the
following guidelines.
• Make a table containing vertical columns for the independent variable,
dependent variable, and derived quantity.
• Subdivide the column for the dependent variable to reflect the number
of trials.
• Order the values of the independent variable—preferably from the
smallest to the largest.
• Record values of the dependent variable.
• Compute the derived quantity.
• Draw and label the X and Y axes of the graph.
• Write data pairs for the independent and dependent variables.
• Determine an appropriate scale for the X and Y axes; subdivide the
axes.
• Plot the data pairs on the graph.
• Summarize the data trends on the graph.
R = Recall: Describe what you did.
E = Explain: Explain the purpose of your experiment.
R = Results: State the results. Was the hypothesis supported by the data?
U = Uncertainty: Describe any errors.
N = New: Write 2 new things that you learned.
Write 2 questions for further investigation.
47
Parts of the Written Paper: Grades 7 – 8
Sample
Part
Title
Introduction
(Includes
background
research)
Experimental
Design Diagram
Materials &
Procedure
Results
Data Table
Graph
Conclusion
Purpose
Write a sentence that relates the independent and dependent variables that were
investigated.
Describe the rationale, purpose, and hypothesis for the investigation. Use three
questions to guide your writing of the introduction.
• Why did you conduct the experiment? (Rational)
• What did you hope to learn? (Purpose)
• What did you think would happen? (Hypothesis)
Provide a literature review and citations.
Format the experimental process.
List the materials used and the steps followed to complete the investigation. Check
the list carefully for accuracy, completeness, and precision. Be sure to use metric
measurements.
Complete a data table and an appropriate graph for the data using the following
guidelines.
• Make a table containing vertical columns for the independent variable,
dependent variable, and derived quantity.
• Subdivide the column for the dependent variable to reflect the number of
trials.
• Order the values of the independent variable—preferably from the smallest
to the largest.
• Record values of the dependent variable.
• Computer the derived quantity.
• Draw and label the X and Y axes of the graph.
• Write data pairs for the independent and dependent variables.
• Determine an appropriate scale for the X and Y axes; subdivide the axes.
• Plot the data pairs on the graph.
• Briefly summarize the data trends on the graph.
Use six questions to guide your writing of the conclusion.
• What was the purpose of the experiment?
• What were the major findings?
• Was the hypothesis supported by the data?
• How did your findings compare with background research?
• What possible explanation can you offer for the findings?
• What recommendations do you have for further study and for improving the
experiment?
48
Writing an Abstract
An abstract is a brief, written discussion of the science project. It consists of a brief
statement of the essential, or most important, thoughts about the project. Abstracts
should summarize, clearly and simply, the main points of the experiment and/or the
main sections of the report.
What is included in an abstract :






Project title
Purpose of the experiment (problem and hypothesis)
Procedures used
Observations/data/results
Conclusions
Works Cited (Bibliography)
A Simple Abstract Sample:
Which Chocolate Chip Cookie Do Third Graders Like Best?
The purpose of this project is to determine which type of chocolate chip cookie third
grade students like best. It is hypothesized that third graders will like the homemade
chocolate chip cookies best.
Cookies were bought at Publix and others were homemade. All third grade students had
previously been given consent forms in order to participate. If someone was allergic to
chocolate, he / she was not included in the study. Cookies were put in the same type bags
marked A, B, and C. Students were asked to fill out a slip revealing their gender and
telling which type of cookie they liked best.
Results showed that third grade boys liked homemade cookies best and third grade girls
liked Keebler cookies best. The hypothesis was not correct. This study could have been
repeated at different times of the day to determine if time of day has any effect on the
choice of third grade students.
Information from this study may be used for mothers who give cookies to their children.
If a mother is planning a happy surprise, the cookies a student likes would be the most
desirable.
Works Cited:
Nelson, Jim. Cooking is Fun. New York: Random House, 1989, p. 95.
Grade
Sample
Abstract:
“Dining
on 8Data,”
Science
Scope. Vol. 17 No.3, Arlington: National Science Teachers
Association, November/December 1993, pp. 26-29.
49
Grade 5 Abstract Sample:
How Sight Affects Your Taste
The purpose of this experiment is to determine if sight has an effect on the taste
preference. It is hypothesized that sight will affect the ability to taste.
Thirty volunteers that liked the taste of ketchup and were not colorblind were asked to
taste three different colored ketchups made by the same company and have the same
ingredients except added food colorings. Each taste tester volunteer was blindfolded and
asked to taste the three different colored ketchups (red, green, and purple), using french
fries as the taste food. Each tester was asked which sauce they liked best, and if they
could tell any difference in the taste of the ketchups. The blindfold was removed and the
tester was asked which sauce they would least like to eat.
Most volunteer taste testers could not taste any difference between the sauces when they
were blindfolded. Most volunteers chose the green colored ketchup as the one they liked
best when blindfolded.
It was concluded that most people tested could not tell the difference between the sauces
while blindfolded, but when the blindfold was removed, all tasters chose either the
purple or the green ketchup as the one they would least like to eat. The results support
the conclusion that sight has an effect on taste preference. Due to our visual perception
and recognition we have been raised to believe that ketchup should be red and that red
ketchup will taste better than other colors of ketchup.
Information from this study may be used by food companies when developing new
products.
Works Cited:
“Dining on Data,” Science Scope. Vol. 17 No. 3, Arlington: National Science Teachers
Association, November/December 1993, pp. 26-29.
Sevin, Jennifer. How to Do a Science Project. Miami: 7-Dippity, Inc., 1993.
50
Grade 8 Abstract Sample:
Green Hair and Chlorine: Who is the Culprit?
The purpose of this experiment is to determine what makes blonde hair turn green in a
swimming pool. It is hypothesized that chlorine in the pool water turns blonde hair
green.
Nine milliliters (ml) of water were placed in a test tube with 1 ml of the following
variables: chlorine, copper sulfate, copper sulfate/pool water, and copper
sulfate/chlorine. One ml of each solution was added into another test tube of 9 ml water.
This step allowed dilution by 10 percent, 6 times each. This method is called serial
dilutions. In each test tube, groups of blonde hair were soaked overnight. The next day
the hair was removed, dried, and placed onto cardboard.
The hair in various concentrations of chlorine did not seem to cause any significant
difference with either the tap water or pool water. The hair in various concentrations of
copper sulfate and did turn green. There appeared to be a direct relationship between the
amount of copper sulfate in the concentration and the color of the hair. The test tube
containing .01 grams of copper sulfate per ml of water turned the hair very green, while
there had to be .0001 milligrams of copper sulfate per ml of water to allow the hair to
turn green.
It was concluded that the “culprit” that turns hair green in a swimming pool is not
chlorine, as was hypothesize, but most likely copper found in the pool’s piping.
Chlorine probably facilitates the leaching of copper from the pipes, but further
experimentation would need to be performed before this can be concluded.
Works Cited:
Johnson, Elaine. “Environmental influences on the hair follicle.” In: Orfanos, Carol et.
al. eds. Hair Research. Berlin: Springer, 1981, pp. 183-94.
Kalopesis, Gary. “Toxicology and Hair Dyes.” In: Montagna, William, ed. The
Science of Hair Care. New York: Marcel Dekker Inc., 1986.
Sample abstracts actual entries from the 2001 California State Science Fair. Some modification of
bibliographic sources was made.
For sample of high school abstracts, refer to the example shown in the 2013 Intel Student
Handbook section of the 2013 International Science and Engineering Rules. Students qualifying
for the Senior (Grades 9-12) Division of the Regional Science Fair MUST submit a 250-word
maximum abstract with required ISEF protocol forms.
51
52
Evaluation
Criteria
53
54
Project Evaluation / Judging Criteria: Grades 5-8
The Prince William – Manassas Regional Science Fair follows the point system and criteria employed
by the International Science and Engineering Fair. Elementary and Middle School local fairs have the
option of identifying their own criteria and evaluation form; however, be aware that projects that
qualify for regional competition will be judged on the criteria and point system below.
Background Knowledge


Depth of study (key concepts; literature review)
Information is presented clearly, logically
Experimental Design











(0-10 points)
All components are present
Evidence of correct grammar, sentence structure, spelling
Clarity


(0-10 points)
Communicates scientific basis of research
Describes design principles, explains data analysis procedures,
recognizes study limitations
Creative Ability / Originality



(0-30 points)
Results are presented with chart, table or graph
(including scale, title, labels, correct units)
Results are directly related to the question and hypothesis
(supports/does not support)
Lab notebook contains raw data and orderly recording of data
Thorough interpretation of data
Conclusion is logical and based on data collected
Conclusion includes questions for future research
Display


(0-25 points)
Question is clearly identified
Hypothesis is clearly stated; related to the question
Procedure clearly tests the hypothesis
Experiment was replicated at least 3 times for reliability
Sample size was large enough to conclude it was not chance
All variables are clearly identified (manipulated, responding, controls)
Results / Conclusion

(0-10 points)
(0-15 points)
Shows creativity and originality in question posed
Innovative approach to solving the problem and using equipment
Study was within the student’s ability range; excessive help not utilized
55
Project Evaluation & Judging Criteria: Grades 9-12
Background Knowledge



(0-9 points)
Key scientific concepts
Literature review
Evidence of procedural plan
Experimental Design



Components
Hypothesis
Independent Variable (IV)
Dependent Variable (DV)
Constants
Control
Repeated Trials
Clearly stated objective
Clear and precise procedure
(0-24 points)
Testable relationship between variables
Factor purposefully changed
Factor that responds
Factors kept the same
Used as a standard comparison
Number of subjects or times repeated
Results / Conclusion

Choice of data display (table, chart, graph, etc.) is appropriate






Data displays reflect IV, DV, derived quantities, units
Data displays are titled and use appropriate scale
Discussion of data includes references to the data, a statement of how the data
support or don’t support the hypothesis
Major findings are stated
Thorough interpretations of data are made
Implications for further study; significant, practical applications are identified
Display



(0-9 points)
Accurate and complete
Attractive and legible; correct grammar and spelling
Consistent with science fair regulations
Clarity: Interview and Research Paper




(0-12 points)
Communicates scientific basis
Describes design principles
Explains data
Recognizes limitations
Creative Ability / Originality



(0-21 points)
(0-25 points)
Research design reflects novel approach to the problem posed
Analysis and interpretation of data demonstrates logical thinking
Design and use of equipment shows creative approaches
Note: (Team projects are now included with category and have same
evaluation criteria)
56
Prince William – Manassas Regional Science Fair Judging Criteria
Background Knowledge and Plan

Knowledge of basic scientific concepts related to the experimental topic. An advanced project may
include a formal literature review.
Are key scientific concepts developed?
Has a review of literature been done?
Does the student cite scientific literature as opposed to popular resources only?
Is there evidence of a procedural plan to obtain an answer to the research question?
Experimental Design / Procedures

Articulation of hypothesis, independent and dependent variables, constants, controls, and repeated
trials.
Does the project have a clear objective?
Is there a testable relationship between variables?
Does the independent variable change?
Does the dependent variable respond to a change in the independent variable?
If controls are necessary, were they used as a standard for comparison?
Is there adequate data to support a conclusion?

Clear and Precise description of materials used and steps followed.
Is there a clear and accurate description of materials used?
Is there a description of the steps and procedures followed?
Results / Conclusions

Presentation of data in tables, graphs, and summary sentences or paragraphs in support of the
hypothesis.
Are the data tables clearly and accurately labeled?
Are appropriate graphs used?
Are summary sentences and paragraphs used with each table and graph?
Is there a statement of how the data support or do not support the hypothesis?

Major findings, interpretations, suggestions for further study, and applications.
Are the major findings adequately described?
Was the purpose carried out to completion within the scope of the original intent?
Are the interpretations of the major findings correct or within reason?
Does the student have an idea of what further research is warranted?
Does the student understand the project’s ties to related research?
Could the solution be utilized successfully in design or construction of some end product?
57
Display

Attractive, legible, accurate, and consistent with fair regulations.
Is the display attractive and complete?
Is there evidence of correct grammar and spelling?
Is the display consistent with fair regulations?
Clarity

The project communicates a scientific research basis, describes design principles, explains data
analysis procedures, and recognizes limitations. It also shows project evolution over time, the
influence of other individuals, and future implications.
How clearly can the student discuss the project and explain the project’s purpose, procedure,
and conclusions?
Does the written material reflect the student’s understanding of the research?
Are the important phases of the project presented in an orderly manner?
Is the data presented clearly?
How clearly are the results presented?
How well does the project display explain itself?
Was the presentation done in a forthright manner, without cute tricks or gadgets?
Did the student do all the exhibit work, or did someone else help?
Does the student recognize the limitations of the project?
Creative Ability / Originality

Creative research should support an investigation and help answer a question in an original way. The
assembly of a kit would not be creative unless an unusual approach was taken. Collections should not
be considered creative unless they are used to support an investigation and to help answer a question
in a creative way.

An original idea for a project shows greater creativity than a suggested project from a textbook.
Keep in mind that some projects may contain some elements that seem original. However, the
material may have come from new curricula in textbooks or laboratory manuals that are unfamiliar to
judges.

Consider how much help the student received. An approach to solving a problem may seem to have
originated from the student, but may have come from a scientist’s or engineer’s suggestions. If a
student received assistance from an outside source, credit for creative ability should reflect the
student’s own contributions.

Does the project show creative ability and originality in the questions asked? The approach used to
solve the problem? The use of equipment? The analysis of data? The interpretation of data? The
construction or design of new equipment?
58
Prince William – Manassas Regional Science Fair Project Evaluation Form
Evaluation Criteria
Grades 5 – 8
Please list Project Number and Category (Example AS3)
Background Knowledge (0-10pts.)
Project shows depth of study (key science concepts; literature
review); information is presented clearly, logically
Experimental Design / Procedure (0-25 pts.)
Question is identified; hypothesis is clearly stated and relates
directly to the question; procedure tests hypothesis; experiment
replicated (3 times, minimum); sample size adequate to conclude
result is not due to chance; variables identified (manipulated,
responding, controls, constants)
Results / Conclusion (0-30 pts.)
Evidence of data (results in charts, tables or graphs, including
correct scale, title, labels, units); results directly related to
hypothesis (supports/does not support); evidence of raw data
recorded; thorough interpretation of data; conclusion is logical
and based on data; conclusion includes questions for future
research
Display (0-10 pts.)
All components present; evidence of correct grammar, sentence
structure, spelling
Clarity (Verbal or Written) (0-10 pts.)
Communicates scientific basis of research; description of design
principles; explanation of data analysis procedure; recognition of
study limitation
Creative Ability / Originality / Skill (0-15 pts.)
Shows creativity and originality in questions posed
Innovative approach to solving the problem and use of equipment
Study was within student’s ability range; excessive help not
utilized
GRAND TOTAL
59
Prince William – Manassas Regional Science Fair Project Evaluation Form
Evaluation Criteria
Grades 9 – 12
Please List Project Number and Category
(Eample PA4)
Background Knowledge (0-9pts.)
Key science concepts and literature review are evident; a clear and
logical procedural plan has been formulated
Experimental Design / Procedure (0-24 pts.)
Evidence of: hypothesis; independent variable; dependent variable;
constants; controls; repeated trials (at least three); multiple test
subjects; clear purpose or objective; precise procedure
Results / Conclusion (0-21 pts.)
Evidence of: data tables (IV, DV, derived quantities, and units
provided); graphs (correct type, scales, title, line-of-best-fit);
summary (sentences / paragraphs about tables or graphs)
Statement of how data support/do not support hypothesis
Major findings summarized
Thorough interpretation of data
Significant, practical applications of research identified
Display (0-9 pts.)
All components present; sturdy construction; evidence of correct
grammar, sentence structure, spelling
Clarity (Verbal or Written) (0-12 pts.)
Communicates scientific basis of research (application of literature
review); description of design principles; explanation of data
analysis procedure; recognition of study limitation
Creative Ability / Originality / Skill (0-25 pts.)
Shows creativity and originality in questions posed
Innovative approach to solving the problem and use of equipment
Logical thinking evident in data analysis
Consideration given to equipment design and construction
Study was within student’s ability range; excessive help not utilized
GRAND TOTAL
60
For The Judges
Judging Hints
1.
Examine the quality of the student’s work and how well the student understands
the project and area of study. The physical display is important, but secondary
to the student’s knowledge of the research.
2.
Look for evidence of laboratory, field or theoretical work, not just library
research or “gadgeteering.”
3.
Keep in mind the age level of the student who performed the research.
Sometimes judges tend to go to extremes, giving students either far more credit
than they deserve or not enough because it is not in the Nobel Prize category.
4.
Compare projects only with those in the same competition and not with projects
seen elsewhere under other circumstances.
5.
If students are present: Judges should keep in mind that the fair is not only a
competition, but also an educational and motivating experience for students. The
high point of the fair experience for most students is their interview with the
judges.
6.
If students are present: As a general rule, judges represent professional authority
to students. For this reason, judges should use an encouraging tone when asking
questions, offering suggestions or giving constructive criticism. Judges should
never criticize, treat lightly, or display boredom toward projects they personally
consider unimportant. Always give credit to the student for having expended
effort to present a project.
7.
If students are present: Remember that students have an opportunity to continue
and expand on their projects in the future. Probe students for considerations for
future research. This gives them an opportunity to let you know if he/she is aware
of any shortcomings in the research or procedure.
61
Suggested Questions for the Judges
Background Knowledge
Why did you decide on this research?
What is the purpose of your project?
What resource did you find that was helpful?
Experimental Design
What was your hypothesis?
What variable did you intentionally change?
What response did you observe or measure?
What did you intentionally keep the same?
What group did you compare the others against? Why?
How many times did you repeat the experiment?
Materials and Methods
What materials did you use?
What steps did you follow in conducting the experiment?
If you had a mentor, in what ways did the mentor assist you?
Results-Conclusion
What results did you find?
How did your results relate to your original hypothesis?
What conclusions did you make?
If you conducted the experiment again, what would you do differently?
What additional experiments would you suggest?
Which groups in the community would be interested in your research?
What recommendations would you make to these groups?
What was the most important thing you learned from the experiment?
From Cothron, Giese, & Rezba. Students and Research, Kendall/Hunt, 1989.
62
Registration Process for Participation
in the Prince William-Manassas
Regional Fair
Project Application
Every student in Grades 5 - 12 who qualifies to enter the Regional Science Fair must
complete the Prince William – Manassas Science Fair Participant Entry Form and
Project Summary/Abstract forms. These forms will be online; hard copies of these
forms in Appendix A are samples only. It is the responsibility of the student to complete
the entry form online and submit it electronically to the Science Office. The teacher and
science fair coordinator should oversee this process. The Science Office will not enter
students into the fair.
Since participants are required to pre-register online, no walk-in applicants
will be admitted.
• Teachers and/or coordinators should assist the students in completing the
online entry form and abstract. It may be prudent to download hardcopies
of these forms so the student can “practice” before submitting the information
online.
• Coordinators will be provided with a school access code. It is up to each school
to determine who will have the access code, but the access code should never
be shared with students/parents. Once information is submitted electronically,
it cannot be changed.
• Protocol sheets must be submitted to the Science Office prior to the fair.
Protocol Sheet(s)
Grades 5 - 8:
Students using human participants MUST complete the Student
Protocol/Research Plan for Use of Humans form and submit
the hardcopy to the Science Office prior to the fair. This form is included
in Appendix A.
Students using vertebrates in research MUST complete the
Student Protocol/Research Plan for Vertebrates form and submit the
hardcopy to the Science Office prior to the fair. This form is included in
Appendix A.
63
Grades 9 - 12:
The protocol forms for research projects in these grades are
specified by Science Service and are located in the ISEF publication
2012-13 International Rules for Pre-college Research: Guidelines for
Science and Engineering (http:www.societyforscience.org/isef).
A link to the forms can also be found on the science webpage.
NOTE: These forms must be completed PRIOR to experimentation!
Back-dating is unethical, unacceptable, and grounds for exclusion from
the science fair.
64
Appendix A
Sample Application Forms
For Regional Fair Participation
All students in Grades 5-12 who qualify and wish to participate in the Prince WilliamManassas Regional Science Fair are required to complete and submit the following
registration and protocol forms. The sample forms included here are for teacher
reference only. It is the responsibility of the student to complete the paperwork in order
to participate in the Regional Science Fair.
The science fair coordinator and/or teacher are responsible for collecting and
submitting all registration forms electronically and protocol forms in hardcopy.
All online registrations must be submitted by 4:00 on the Friday prior to Regional
Fair Set-up.
65
66
Prince William—Manassas Regional Science Fair
Student Protocol for Research Involving Human Participants
Grades 5 - 8
This protocol sheet must be completed by all students entering a project involving human participants in the Prince
William-Manassas Regional Science Fair.
Participant’s Name: _____________________________________________________
School: ______________________________________
Grade: ______________
Project Category: _______________________________________________________
Complete the information below. Please print legibly or type. Forms can be mailed to Jason Calhoun,
Supervisor of Science and FLE, Prince William County Public Schools, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas, VA
20112.
1. Explain why human participants are proposed or necessary for this research.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
2. Describe why there is no potential risk (physical, psychological, or legal) involved.
______________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
3. How will the participants be informed of procedures involved in the investigation? (Informed
consent is mandatory.)
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
4. What is the potential benefit or practical application of this research?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
Teacher Validation of Approval PRIOR to Research
My review of this project plan indicates that there were no risks for this student researcher or for the humans
involved in this investigation.
Teacher/Supervisor Name (Please Print): _____________________________________________________
Teacher/Supervisor Signature: _________________________________Administrator’s Initials__________
67
Prince William—Manassas Regional Science Fair
Student Protocol for Research Involving Vertebrate Animals
Grades 5 – 8
This protocol sheet must be completed by all students entering a project involving vertebrate animals (other than
humans) in the Prince William-Manassas Regional Science Fair.
Participant’s Name: _____________________________________________________
School: ______________________________________
Grade: ______________
Project Category: _______________________________________________________
Complete the information below. Please print legibly or type. Forms can be mailed to Jason Calhoun,
Supervisor of Science and FLE, Prince William County Public Schools, 14715 Bristow Road, Manassas, VA
20112.
1. Explain why vertebrate animals are proposed or necessary for this research.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
2. Describe why there is no potential risk (physical, psychological, or legal) involved.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
3. Describe animal care procedures to be used during experimentation.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
4. What is the potential benefit or practical application of this research?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
Teacher Validation of Approval PRIOR to Research
My review of this project plan indicates that there were no risks for this student researcher or for the vertebrate
animals involved in this investigation.
Teacher/Supervisor Name (Please Print): _____________________________________________________
Teacher/Supervisor Signature: _________________________________ Administrator’s Initials: ________
68
69
70
HIGH SCHOOL
FORMS
PAGES 73-86
71
72
Checklist for Adult Sponsor (1)
This completed form is required for ALL projects.
To be completed by the Adult Sponsor in collaboration with the student researcher(s):
Student’s Name(s):
Project Title:
1) o I have reviewed the Intel ISEF Rules and Guidelines.
2) oI have reviewed the student’s completed Student Checklist (1A) and Research Plan.
3) oI have worked with the student and we have discussed the possible risks involved in the project.
4) oThe project involves one or more of the following and requires prior approval by an SRC, IRB, IACUC or IBC:
oHumans
Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents
oVertebrate Animals
oMicroorganisms orDNA oTissues
5) oItems to be completed for ALL PROJECTS
oAdult Sponsor Checklist (1)
oStudent Checklist (1A)
oResearch Plan
oApproval Form (1B)
o
Regulated Research Institutional/Industrial Setting Form (1C) (when applicable after completed experiment)
oContinuation Form (7) (when applicable)
6) Additional forms required if the project includes the use of one or more of the following (check all that
apply):
o
Humans (Requires prior approval by an Institutional Review Board (IRB); see full text of the rules.)
oHuman Participants Form (4) or appropriate Institutional IRB documentation
oSample of Informed Consent Form (when applicable and/or required by the IRB)
oQualified Scientist Form (2) (when applicable and/or required by the IRB)
o
Vertebrate Animals (Requires prior approval, see full text of the rules.)
oVertebrate Animal Form (5A)—for projects conducted in a school/home/field research site (SRC prior
approval required.)
oVertebrate Animal Form (5B)—for projects conducted at a Regulated Research Institution. (Institutional
Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval required prior experimentation.)
oQualified Scientist Form (2) (Required for all vertebrate animal projects at a regulated research site or
when applicable)
oPotentially Hazardous Biological Agents (Requires prior approval by SRC, IACUC or Institutional Biosafety
Committee (IBC), see full text of the rules.)
oPotentially Hazardous Biological Agents Risk Assessment Form (6A)
oHuman and Vertebrate Animal Tissue Form (6B)—to be completed in addition to Form 6A when project
involves the use of fresh or frozen tissue, primary cell cultures, blood, blood products and body fluids.
oQualified Scientist Form (2) (when applicable)
oRisk Assessment Form (3) required for projects involving protists, archae and similar microorganisms, for
projects using manure for composting, fuel production or other non-culturing experiments, for projects
using color change coliform water test kits and for projects involving decomposing vertebrate organisms
o
Hazardous Chemicals, Activities and Devices (No prior approval required, see full text of the rules.)
oRisk Assessment Form (3)
o
Qualified Scientist Form (2) (required for projects involving DEA-controlled substances or when
applicable)
Adult Sponsor’s Printed Name
Signature
Date of Review
PhoneEmail
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Page 31
Student Checklist (1A)
This form is required for ALL projects.
1) a. Student/Team Leader:
Grade:
Email: Phone:
b. Team Member:
c. Team Member: 2) Title of Project: 3) School:
School Phone:
School Address:
4)
Adult Sponsor: Phone/Email:
5) Is this a continuation from a previous year? If Yes:
a) Attach the previous year’s o
Abstract and oYes o No
oResearch Plan
b) Explain how this project is new and different from previous years on oContinuation Form (7)
6) This year’s laboratory experiment/data collection: (must be stated (mm/dd/yy))
Start Date:
End Date:
(mm/dd/yy)(mm/dd/yy)
7) Where will you conduct your experimentation? (check all that apply)
o
Research Institution
oSchool oField oHome
oOther: ________________________
8) List name and address of all non-school work site(s):
Name:
Address:
Phone:
9) Complete a Research Plan following the Research Plan instructions and attach to this form.
10) An abstract is required for all projects after experimentation.
Page 32
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Research Plan Instructions
A complete research plan is required and must accompany Checklist for Student (1A)
Provide a typed research plan and attach to Student Checklist (1A). Please include your name on each page.
The research plan for ALL projects is to include the following:
A. Question or Problem being addressed
B. Goals/Expected Outcomes/Hypotheses
C. Description in detail of method or procedures (The following are important and key items that should be included
when formulating ANY AND ALL research plans.)
• Procedures: Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection
• Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data/results that answer research questions or
hypotheses
D. Bibliography: List at least five (5) major references (e.g. science journal articles, books, internet sites) from your
literature review. If you plan to use vertebrate animals, one of these references must be an animal care reference.
o Choose one style and use it consistently to reference the literature used in the research plan
o Guidelines can be found in the Student Handbook
Items 1–4 below are subject-specific guidelines for additional items to be included in your research plan as
applicable:
1. Human participants research:
• Participants. Describe who will participate in your study (age range, gender, racial/ethnic composition). Identify any
vulnerable populations (minors, pregnant women, prisoners, mentally disabled or economically disadvantaged).
• Recruitment. Where will you find your participants? How will they be invited to participate?
• Methods. What will participants be asked to do? Will you use any surveys, questionnaires or tests? What is the
frequency and length of time involved for each subject?
• Risk Assessment
o Risks. What are the risks or potential discomforts (physical, psychological, time involved, social, legal etc) to
participants? How will you minimize the risks?
o Benefits. List any benefits to society or each participant.
• Protection of Privacy. Will any identifiable information (e.g., names, telephone numbers, birth dates, email addresses) be collected? Will data be confidential or anonymous? If anonymous, describe how the data will be collected
anonymously. If not anonymous, what procedures are in place for safeguarding confidentiality? Where will the data
be stored? Who will have access to the data? What will you do with the data at the end of the study?
• Informed Consent Process. Describe how you will inform participants about the purpose of the study, what they
will be asked to do, that their participation is voluntary and they have the right to stop at any time.
2. Vertebrate animal research:
• Briefly discuss potential ALTERNATIVES to vertebrate animal use and present a detailed justification for use of
vertebrate animals
• Explain potential impact or contribution this research may have
• Detail all procedures to be used
o Include methods used to minimize potential discomfort, distress, pain and injury to the animals during the
course of experimentation
o Detailed chemical concentrations and drug dosages
• Detail animal numbers, species, strain, sex, age, source, etc.
o Include justification of the numbers planned for the research
• Describe housing and oversight of daily care
• Discuss disposition of the animals at the termination of the study
3. Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents:
• Describe Biosafety Level Assessment process and resultant BSL determination
• Give source of agent, source of specific cell line, etc.
• Detail safety precautions
• Discuss methods of disposal
4. Hazardous Chemicals, Activities & Devices:
• Describe Risk Assessment process and results
• Detail chemical concentrations and drug dosages
• Describe safety precautions and procedures to minimize risk
• Discuss methods of disposal
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Page 33
Approval Form (1B)
A completed form is required for each student, including all team members.
1)To Be Completed by Student and Parent
a) Student Acknowledgment:
• I understand the risks and possible dangers to me of the proposed research plan.
• I have read the Intel ISEF Rules and Guidelines and will adhere to all International Rules when conducting this
research.
• I have read and will abide by the following Ethics statement
Scientific fraud and misconduct are not condoned at any level of research or competition. Such practices include
plagiarism, forgery, use or presentation of other researcher’s work as one’s own, and fabrication of data.
Fraudulent projects will fail to qualify for competition in affiliated fairs and the Intel ISEF.
Student’s Printed Name
Signature
Date Acknowledged (mm/dd/yy)
(Must be prior to experimentation.)
b) Parent/Guardian Approval: I have read and understand the risks and possible dangers involved in the Research
Plan. I consent to my child participating in this research.
Parent/Guardian’s Printed Name
Signature
Date Acknowledged (mm/dd/yy)
(Must be prior to experimentation.)
2) To be completed by the local or affiliated Fair SRC
(Required for projects requiring prior SRC/IRB APPROVAL. Sign 2a or 2b as appropriate.)
a) Required for projects that need prior SRC/IRB
approval BEFORE experimentation
(humans, vertebrates or potentially hazardous
biological agents)
OR
The SRC/IRB has carefully studied this project’s Research
Plan and all the required forms are included. My signature
indicates approval of the Research Plan before the
student begins experimentation.
b) Required for research conducted at all Regulated
Research Institutions with no prior fair SRC/IRB
approval.
This project was conducted at a regulated research
institution (not home or high school, etc.), was
reviewed and approved by the proper institutional
board before experimentation and complies with the
Intel ISEF Rules. Attach (1C) and required institutional
approvals (e.g. IACUC, IRB)
SRC/IRB Chair’s Printed Name
SRC Chair’s Printed Name
Date of Approval (mm/dd/yy)
Signature
(Must be prior to experimentation.)
3) Final Intel ISEF Affiliated Fair SRC Approval
Signature
Date of Approval (mm/dd/yy)
(Required for ALL Projects)
SRC Approval After Experimentation and Before Competition at Regional/State/National Fair
I certify that this project adheres to the approved Research Plan and complies with all Intel ISEF Rules.
Regional SRC Chair’s Printed Name
Signature
Date of Approval
State/National SRC Chair’s Printed Name
Signature
Date of Approval
(where applicable)
Page 34
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Regulated Research Institutional/Industrial Setting Form (1C)
This form must be completed AFTER experimentation by the adult supervising the student research conducted
in a regulated research institution, industrial setting or any work site other than home, school or field.
This form MUST be displayed with your project; Responses must be on the form.
Student’s Name(s)
Title of Project
To be completed by the Supervising Adult in the Setting (NOT the Student(s)) after experimentation:
(Responses must remain on the form as it is required to be displayed at student’s project booth.)
The student(s) conducted research at my work site:
a) o to use the equipment
b) o to perform experiment(s)/conduct research
1) Is this research a subset of your work? oYes oNo
2) Have you reviewed the Intel ISEF rules relevant to this project?
oYes oNo
3) How did the student get the idea for her/his project?
(e.g. Was the project assigned, picked from a list, an original student idea, etc.)
4) Did the student(s) work on the project as a part of a research group?
oYes oNo
If yes, how large was the group and what kind of research group was it (students, group of adult researchers, etc.)
5) What specific procedures or equipment did the student(s) actually use for the project?
Please list and describe. (Do not list procedures student only observed.)
6) How independent or creative was the student’s/students’ work?
Student research projects dealing with human subjects, vertebrate animals or potentially hazardous biological
agents require review and approval by an institutional regulatory board (IRB/IACUC/IBC). Copy of approval(s)
must be attached, if applicable.
Supervising Adult’s Printed Name
Signature
Institution
Title
Date Signed (must be after experimentation)
AddressEmail/Phone
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Page 35
Qualified Scientist Form (2)
May be required for research involving human subjects, vertebrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents, and
DEA-controlled substances. Must be completed and signed before the start of student experimentation.
Student’s Name(s)
Title of Project
To be completed by the Qualified Scientist:
Scientist Name:
Educational Background: Experience/Training as relates to the student’s area of research:
Degree(s):
Position:Institution:
Address:Email/Phone:
o Yes
o No
o Yes
o Yes
o No
o No
o Yes
o Yes
o No
o No
3) Was this study a sub-set of a larger study? o Yes
o No
4) Will you directly supervise the student?
o Yes
o No
1) Have you reviewed the Intel ISEF rules relevant to this project?
2) Will any of the following be used?
a) Human subjects b) Vertebrate animals c) Potentially hazardous biological agents (microorganisms, rDNA and tissues,
including blood and blood products) d) DEA-controlled substances a) If no, who will directly supervise and serve as the Designated Supervisor?
b) Experience/Training of the Designated Supervisor:
To be completed by the Qualified Scientist:
I certify that I have reviewed and approved the Research
Plan prior to the start of the experimentation. If the
student or Designated Supervisor is not trained in the
necessary procedures, I will ensure her/his training. I will
provide advice and supervision during the research. I
have a working knowledge of the techniques to be used
by the student in the Research Plan. I understand that a
Designated Supervisor is required when the student is not
conducting experimentation under my direct supervision.
To be completed by the Designated Supervisor
when the Qualified Scientist cannot directly
supervise.
I certify that I have reviewed the Research Plan and have
been trained in the techniques to be used by this student,
and I will provide direct supervision.
Designated Supervisor’s Printed Name
Qualified Scientist’s Printed Name Signature
Signature
Phone Email
Page 36
Date of Approval
Date of Approval
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Risk Assessment Form (3)
Required for projects using hazardous chemicals, activities or devices and microorganisms exempt
from pre-approval. Must be completed before experimentation.
Student’s Name(s)
Title of Project
To be completed by the Student Researcher(s) in collaboration with Designated Supervisor/Qualified
Scientist: (All questions must be answered; additional page(s) may be attached.)
1. List/identify microorganisms exempt from pre-approval (see Potentially Hazardous Biological Agent rules),
and all hazardous chemicals, activities, or devices that will be used.
2. Identify and assess the risks involved in this project.
3. Describe the safety precautions and procedures that will be used to reduce the risks.
4. Describe the disposal procedures that will be used (when applicable).
5. List the source(s) of safety information.
To be completed and signed by the Designated Supervisor (or Qualified Scientist, when applicable):
I agree with the risk assessment and safety precautions and procedures described above. I certify that I have reviewed the
Research Plan and will provide direct supervision.
Designated Supervisor’s Printed Name
Position & Institution
Signature
Date of Review (mm/dd/yy)
Phone or email contact information
Experience/Training as relates to the student’s area of research
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Page 37
Human Participants Form (4)
Required for all research involving human participants not at a Regulated Research Institution. If at a Regulated Research Institution,
use institutional approval forms for documentation of prior review and approval.
(IRB approval required before experimentation.)
Student’s Name(s)
Title of Project
Adult Sponsor
Contact Phone/Email
Must be completed by Student Researcher(s) in collaboration with the Adult Sponsor/Designated Supervisor/Qualified
Scientist:
1. o I have submitted my Research Plan which addresses ALL areas indicated in the Human Participants Section of the
Research Plan Instructions.
2. o I have attached any surveys or questionnaires I will be using in my project.
oAny published instrument(s) used was /were legally obtained.
3. o
I have attached an informed consent that I would use if required by the IRB.
4. o Yes oNo
Are you working with a Qualified Scientist? If yes, attach the Qualified Scientist Form 2
Must be completed by Institutional Review Board (IRB) after review of the research plan. The submitted
Research Plan must address all areas indicated on the Human Participants section of the Research Plan Instructions.
Check one of the following:
o Research project requires revisions and is NOT approved at this time. IRB will attach document indicating concerns
and/or requested revisions.
o Research project is Approved with the following conditions below: (All 5 must be answered)
1. Risk Level (check one) :
o Minimal Risk
o More than Minimal Risk
2. Qualified Scientist (QS) Required: o Yes
o No
3. Written Minor Assent required for minor participants:
oYes
oNo
o Not applicable (No minors in this study)
4. Written Parental Permission required for minor participants:
oYes
oNo
oNot applicable (No minors in this study)
5. Written Informed Consent required for participants 18 years or older:
oYes oNo
oNot applicable (No participants 18 yrs or older in this study)
IRB SIGNATURES (All 3 signatures required) None of these individuals may be the adult sponsor, designated supervisor,
qualified scientist or related to (e.g., mother, father of) the student (conflict of interest).
I attest that I have reviewed the student’s project and agree with the above IRB determinations.
Medical or Mental Health Professional (a psychologist, medical doctor, licensed social worker, licensed clinical professional
counselor, physician’s assistant, or registered nurse)
Printed Name
Degree/Professional License
Signature
Date of Approval
School Administrator
Printed Name
Degree/Professional License
Signature
Date of Approval
Educator
Printed Name
Degree/Professional License
Signature
Date of Approval
Page 38
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Human Informed Consent Form
Instructions to the Student Researcher(s): An informed consent/assent/permission form should be developed in
consultation with the Adult Sponsor, Designated Supervisor or Qualified Scientist.
This form is used to provide information to the research participant (or parent/guardian) and to document written
informed consent, minor assent, and/or parental permission.
• When written documentation is required, the researcher keeps the original, signed form.
• Students may use this sample form or may copy ALL elements of it into a new document.
If the form is serving to document parental permission, a copy of any survey or questionnaire must be attached.
Student Researcher(s):
Title of Project:
I am asking for your voluntary participation in my science fair project. Please read the following information
about the project. If you would like to participate, please sign in the appropriate box below.
Purpose of the project:
If you participate, you will be asked to:
Time required for participation:
Potential Risks of Study:
Benefits:
How confidentiality will be maintained:
If you have any questions about this study, feel free to contact:
Adult Sponsor: __________________________ Phone/email: ____________________________________________
Voluntary Participation:
Participation in this study is completely voluntary. If you decide not to participate there will not be any negative
consequences. Please be aware that if you decide to participate, you may stop participating at any time and you may
decide not to answer any specific question.
By signing this form I am attesting that I have read and understand the information above and I freely give my
consent/assent to participate or permission for my child to participate.
Adult Informed Consent or Minor Assent
Printed Name of Research Participant: Date Reviewed & Signed:
Signature:
Parental/Guardian Permission (if applicable)
Date Reviewed & Signed:
Parent/Guardian Printed Name: Signature:
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Page 39
Vertebrate Animal Form (5A)
Required for all research involving vertebrate animals that is conducted in a school/home/field research site.
(SRC approval required before experimentation.)
Student’s Name(s)
Title of Project
To be completed by Student Researcher:
1. Common name (or Genus, species) and number of animals used.
2. Describe completely the housing and husbandry to be provided. Include the cage/pen size, number of animals per
cage, environment, bedding, type of food, frequency of food and water, how often animal is observed, etc.
3. What will happen to the animals after experimentation?
4. Attach a copy of wildlife licenses or approval forms, as applicable.
5. The Intel ISEF Vertebrate Animal Rules require that any death, illness or unexpected weight loss be investigated and
documented by a letter from the qualified scientist, designated supervisor or a veterinarian. If applicable, attach this
letter with this form when submitting your paperwork to the SRC prior to competition.
To be completed by Local or Affiliate Fair Scientific Review Committee (SRC) BEFORE experimentation
Level of Supervision Required for agricultural, behavioral or nutritional studies:
oDesignated Supervisor REQUIRED. Please have applicable person sign below.
oVeterinarian and Designated Supervisor REQUIRED. Please have applicable persons sign below.
o
Veterinarian, Designated Supervisor and Qualified Scientist REQUIRED. Please have applicable persons sign below and have the
Qualified Scientist complete Form (2).
The SRC has carefully reviewed this study and finds it is an appropriate study that may be conducted in a non-regulated research site.
Local or Affiliate Fair SRC Pre-Approval Signature:
SRC Chair Printed Name
Signature
To be completed by Veterinarian:
oI certify that I have reviewed this research and animal
husbandry with the student before the start of
experimentation.
oI certify that I have approved the use and dosages of
prescription drugs and/or nutritional supplements.
oI certify that I will provide veterinary medical and nursing
Date of Approval (must be prior to experimentation) (mm/dd/yy)
To be completed by Designated Supervisor or
Qualified Scientist when applicable:
oI certify that I have reviewed this research and animal
husbandry with the student before the start of
experimentation and I accept primary responsibility for the
care and handling of the animals in this project.
oI certify that I will directly supervise the experiment.
care in case of illness or emergency.
Printed NameEmail/Phone
Printed NameEmail/Phone
Signature
Signature
Page 40
Date of Approval
Date of Approval
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Vertebrate Animal Form (5B)
Required for all research involving vertebrate animals that is conducted in at a Regulated Research Institution.
(IACUC approval required before experimentation.)
Student’s Name(s)
Title of Project
Title and Protocol Number of IACUC Approved Project
To be completed by Qualified Scientist or Principal Investigator:
1. Species of animals used:
Number of animals used:
2. Describe, in detail, the role of the student in this project: animal procedures and related equipment that were
involved with, oversight provided and safety precautions employed. (Attach extra pages if necessary.)
3. Was there any weight loss or death of any animal? If yes, attach a letter obtained from the qualified scientist,
designated supervisor or a veterinarian documenting the situation and the results of the investigation.
4. Did the student’s project also involve the use of tissues?
pNo
pYes, Be sure to complete Forms 6A and 6B
5. What laboratory training, including dates, was provided to the student?
6. Attach a copy of the Regulated Research Institution IACUC Approval. A letter from the Qualified Scientist or
Principal Investigator is not sufficient.
Qualified Scientist/Principal Investigator
Printed Name
SignatureDate
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Page 41
Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents Risk Assessment Form (6A)
Required for research involving microorganisms, rDNA, fresh/frozen tissue (including primary cell lines, human and
other primate established cell lines and tissue cultures), blood, blood products and body fluids. SRC/IACUC/IBC approval required before experimentation.
Student’s Name(s)
Title of Project
To be completed by Student Researcher(s) in collaboration with Qualified Scientist/Designated Supervisor:
(All questions are applicable and must be answered; additional page(s) may be attached.)
1. Identify potentially hazardous biological agents to be used in this experiment. Include the source, quantity and the biosafety
level risk group of each microorganism.
2. Describe the site of experimentation including the level of biological containment.
3. Describe the procedures that will be used to minimize risk. (personal protective equip., hood type, etc.)
4. What final biosafety level do you recommend for this project given the risk assessment you conducted?
5. Describe the method of disposal of all cultured materials and other potentially hazardous biological agents.
To be completed by Qualified Scientist or Designated Supervisor
1. What training will the student receive for this project?
2. Do you concur with the biosafety information and recommendation provided by the student researcher above?
oYes o No If no, please explain.
3. Experience/training of Designated Supervisor as it relates to the student’s area of research (if applicable)
QS/DS Printed Name
Date of Signature (mm/dd/yy)
Signature
To be completed by Local or Affiliate Fair SRC: (Check all that apply.)
o The SRC has carefully studied this project’s Research Plan and the risk level assessment above prior to experimentation
and approves this study as a BSL-1 study, which must be conducted at a BSL-1 or above laboratory.
Date of SRC approval (prior to experimentation) _____________________
o The SRC has carefully studied this project’s Research Plan and the risk level assessment above prior to experimentation
and approves this study as a BSL-2 study, which must be conducted at a BSL-2 or above laboratory.
Date of SRC approval (prior to experimentation) _____________________
o This project was conducted at a Research Institution and was reviewed and approved by the appropriate institutional
board (e.g. IACUC, IBC) before experimentation at a BSL-1 or BSL-2 laboratory and complies with the Intel ISEF rules. The
required institutional forms are attached.
Date of SRC approval (after experimentation) _____________________
o The Research Institution where this study was conducted does not require approval for this type of study. The student
has received proper training and the project complies with Intel ISEF rules. Attached is institutional documentation
certifying the above. Date of SRC approval ________________________
SRC Chair’s Printed Name
Page 42
Signature
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Human and Vertebrate Animal Tissue Form (6B)
Required for research involving fresh/frozen tissue (including primary cell lines, human and other primate established cell lines and
tissue cultures), blood, blood products and body fluids. If the research involves living organisms please ensure that the proper human or animal forms are completed. All projects using any tissue listed above must also complete Form 6A.
Student’s Name(s)
Title of Project
To be completed by Student Researcher(s):
1.
What vertebrate animal tissue will be used in this study? Check all that apply.
o Fresh or frozen tissue sample
o Fresh organ or other body part
o Blood
o Body fluids
o Primary cell/tissue cultures
o Human or other primate established cell lines
2. Where will the above tissue(s) be obtained. If using an established cell line include source and catalog number.
3. If the tissue will be obtained from a vertebrate animal study conducted at a research institution attach a copy of the
IACUC certification with the name of the research institution, the title of the study, the IACUC approval number and
date of IACUC approval.
To be completed by the Qualified Scientist or Designated Supervisor:
oI verify that the student will work solely with organs, tissues, cultures or cells that will be supplied to him/her by myself
or qualified personnel from the laboratory; and that if vertebrate animals were euthanized they were euthanized for a
purpose other than the student’s research.
AND/OR
oI certify that the blood, blood products, tissues or body fluids in this project will be handled in accordance with the
standards and guidance set forth in Occupational Safety and Health Act, 29CFR, Subpart Z, 1910.1030 - Blood Borne
Pathogens.
Printed Name
Signature
Date of Approval
(Must be prior to experimentation.)
TitlePhone/Email
Institution
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Page 43
Continuation Projects Form (7)
Required for projects that are a continuation in the same field of study as a previous project.
This form must be accompanied by the previous year’s abstract and Research Plan.
Student’s Name(s)
To be completed by Student Researcher:
List all components of the current project that make it new and different from previous research. The information must
be on the form; use an additional form for 2009–2010 and earlier projects.
Components
Current Research
Project
1. Title
Previous Research
Project
2011–2012
2010–2011
2. Change in
goal/purpose/
objective
2011–2012
3. Changes in
methodology
2011–2012
2010–2011
2010–2011
4. Variables
studied
2011–2012
2010–2011
5. Additional
changes
2011–2012
2010–2011
Attached are:
o2011–2012 Abstract and Research Plan
o2010–2011 Abstract
I hereby certify that the above information is correct and that the current year Abstract & Certification and project
display board properly reflect work done only in the current year.
Student’s Printed Name(s)
Page 44
Signature
Date of Signature
International Rules: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs 2012–2013, www.societyforscience.org/isef
Appendix B
Reference Materials for School and
Classroom Use
1
2
.
What A Science Project IS
1.
Choose a Problem to solve.
2.
State your problem as a Specific Question.
3.
Research your problem.
4.
Form a Hypothesis.
5.
Plan your project.
6.
Set up a Time Schedule.
7.
Make a list of all the Materials you will need.
8.
Conduct your experiments, several times.
9.
Record the data.
10.
Organize the data in an orderly form.
11.
Analyze the Data and Draw conclusions.
12.
Prepare your Research Report.
13.
Construct your visual Display.
What A Science Project IS NOT
1.
A collection of related or unrelated objects.
2.
A list of things.
3.
A fact-based report that is not supported by data or an experiment.
4.
A model, illustration, or piece of equipment unrelated to an experiment.
3
STEPS FOR CARRYING OUT A
SUCCESSFUL SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT
1.
Pick Your Topic


2.
Get an idea of what you want to study. Ideas might come from
hobbies or problems you see that need solutions. Due to limited
time and resources, you may want to study only one or two specific
events.
Consult your adult sponsor.
Research Your Topic




Access many resources for information on your topic, including
computer databanks, Internet resources, publications, etc.
Observe related events.
Gather existing information on your topic.
Use the four-question strategy to narrow your research topic to a
single question.
3.
Gather Materials And Design Procedures
4.
Make a Time Table For Carrying Out Procedures
5.
Conduct Your Experiment and Collect Data
6.
Examine Your Results
7.
Draw Conclusions
4
Good Competitive Projects:
1.
Experiment / Investigate
This requires the manipulation of one
or more variables from an observation
2.
Ask a Question
What is the effect of ____ on ____?
How can I better explain a phenomenon
or scientific principle? (Why does...?)
How can I improve upon or evaluate a product?
3.
Follow a Scientific Method
What do I want to find out?
What materials do I need?
What should I do with the materials?
What should happen?
What did happen?
Did I find out what I wanted to know?
4.
Have Effective Displays
Stand by themselves
Are not too crowded or overwhelming
Are colorful and reactive
Are logically arranged
Contain brief summaries
Show neat printing and construction
Show pride of the owner
Make people want to read it
5.
Measure Data Quantitatively
Display statistics that have meaning
Represent data by tables, charts, and
graphs that show relationships.
Other tips...
--Use photography
--Use word processing
--Make display as colorful and attractive as possible
--Choose a “relevant” project, appropriate to your
level of sophistication
--Make the project fun and something you enjoy doing
--Be your work when conversing with judges; know
what you did and why
5
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