All third, fourth, and fifth graders are given the opportunity to participate in the school science fair.
Thank you to all the judges and volunteers that help make Morris Bye's Science Fair such a great success. If you are planning to be a judge for a college class that you are taking, you do not need to contact me. Please arrive by 9:30 for last minute instructions.
The students will either be in third, fourth, or fifth grade. Each project will have a numbered card on it. You can tell the grade level of the student by the digit in the hundreds place. An example of this is 432. The student is in the fourth grade. The card will have six squares for the initials of each judge that evaluates the project.
Use the scoring sheet to get ideas of what to ask each student. Once you have evaluated the project please put your initials in one of the boxes. If all six boxes have been filled in go on to the next project.
When you are evaluating the project please mark your scores by circling the score and writing it on the blank to the right of the question. Then total your score and write it on the blank at the bottom. If you have any comments please put them on the back of the sheet. Remember to put the project number as well as your name on each judging sheet.
Do not be too easy on the students, but take into consideration what grade they are in. If you are too easy on the student he/she will not get as much out of the experience. On the other hand, if you are too hard on the student you may discourage the students interest in science. The bottom line is that you just need to be fair.
Category 1: Attractiveness
Is the project attractively displayed? Readable lettering, correct spelling, et cetera.
A fair display would be messy, crowded, lacking in photographs, or illustrations, to large or too small.
An average display should: be neat, have a prominent title, have correct spelling, include a few well selected illustrations or photographs.
A superior display should include the above and make good use of color, use arrangements of photographs, illustrations to communicate clearly the purpose and the results of the project and include appropriate equipment, samples, and/or models.
Category 2: Purpose
Is the purpose of the project clear? Identified and stated in writing or orally. The purpose of the project does not necessarily have to be phrased in a question. It can also be a statement. Many times it will be an elaboration of the title.
Category 3: Procedures
Can the student explain the procedures used to answer the basic question or purpose? A plan with logical steps. This category attempts to assess the thinking and planning that went into the selection and completion of the project. Logical, step-by-step action and thinking are indicative of a superior project.
Category 4: Methods
Did the student use good experimental design and a variety of methods to collect data? Experimentation, reading, observation, interviews, et cetera.
A fair project would be one that had data collection limited to a single source or experience.
An average project could include readings from three or more books.
A superior project would include a good experimental design, readings from a variety of sources, plus one or more other approaches to gathering data such as interviewing experts, observing and recording data, and surveys.
Category 5: Data Presentation
Is the data expressed using charts, graphs, photographs, illustrations, examples, et cetera.
A fair project would have irrelevant, unclear, or nonexistent charts, graphs diagrams, or photographs.
An average project could include a variety of photographs or illustrations that relate to the purpose of the project.
A superior project would make good use of appropriate and accurate charts and graphs, student made illustrations or photographs that communicate pertinent data, and/or well selected examples. Student quantification of observations is an excellent indicator of a superior project.
Category 6: Knowledge
How well does the student understand the project and did he/she answer the basic question or purpose?
A fair rating could be given to a student who cannot explain what he/she wanted to do, what was done and why, and/or how the results relate to the purpose.
An average rating could be given to a student who answered the questions or met the purpose that he or she stated earlier.
A superior rating should be given to a student who met the intended purpose, but in addition is able to expand on it in a variety of ways such as practical applications, surprising findings, new questions or areas for investigation that he/she identified during the process of completing the project, or an expressed interest in continuing the investigation.
It is important to note that an experiment never fails. It is just that sometimes the results are not what was expected or the plant dies before enough data was collected. These students, and professional scientists as well, learn something if they analyze thoughtfully and carefully what might account for the results that were obtained.