- The 2014 District Science Day (DSD) will be held on Saturday, March 15, 2014.
- Ohio University
- Students from schools in the following counties in Ohio:
Grade 5 to 12 students in the above counties are expected to
participate in their school district's local science fair or academic
fair held in the above counties. Only students who receive a superior
rating at their local science fair or academic fair can apply to enter
The following applies to all students from home schools,
virtual schools, public schools, and private schools that do not have a
local science fair or academic fair held in one of the above counties.
Students who are legal full time residents of one of above counties and
who attend schools that do not have local science fair or academic fair
may send their entry application packages directly to our fairs. They must include a copy of their complete research report.
We pre-judge the written research report of all projects that have not
been judged superior at a school science fair or academic fair held in
one of our 8 counties. We may require proof of residency and age if
DSD is for students in grades 5 to 12. Students who
will reach age 21 on or before May 1, 2014 are not eligible.
What kind of projects?
- Research projects of individual student or teams of two students in 13 fields:
- behavioral science (psychology)
- computer science
- earth/space sciences
- environmental science
- medicine and health
Students with interdisciplinary projects such as forensic
chemistry, gerontology, smoking, nutrition, and material sciences,
should pick the closest area of emphasis of their project. Using the
information in the abstract and the research plan, we may change the
field of judging of a project. The first judges may also recommend that
a project be re-judged in more than one area.
Five Simple Steps to Start Your Research Project
In the following steps, the rules and forms are in the current ISEF Rules and Guidelines of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
Click on the highlighted Intel International Science and Engineering
Fair (ISEF) to view, print, or download the 2014 rulebook, the 4-page
student handbook, and all the ISEF forms you may need.
Two useful resources are:
(1) ISEF Rules Wizard.
This "wizard" ask a series of questions about your planned project and
will provide a list of forms that you need to complete, and
(2) Common SRC Problems.
This list was generated from the SRC (The ISEF Scientific Review
Committee) reviews leading up to the Intel ISEF. Read these to get
pointers on what NOT to do.
- Find a research topic. Be observant all the time and ask questions
of what you observe: what, what for, how, who, why, which, when, where,
etc. Almost any question you ask can be a research topic. Scientists
have made great discoveries from their observations and questions. Not
all your questions can be studied at the moment. But you only need one
question that you can answer by your own research. I recommend that you
keep a secret journal of your observations and questions with their
dates. Add your thoughts as you find answers to your questions, either
through your own research or from research by others.
- Search for references. When you have a question, you
need to do a search of published researches that may have already
answer your question or are related to your question. You may need
references to the method you propose to use. Even if your question has
been answered, you can still do your research if you use a different
method, a homemade device, or if you have reasons to think that the
question may have a different answer. The most reliable primary
references are researches published in "Peer reviewed journals".
Primary implies original research. Peer reviewed means that experts in
the field reviewed the paper before its publication. Your school
library and all Ohio public libraries have free computer access to a
research database called "Academic Research Premier (EBSCO HOST)" for
searching articles published in peer-reviewed journals. You can get the
complete text and references of some articles, and only the abstracts
of others. If the complete text of an article is important, we can help
you find the complete article on the Ohio University Library system.
You need a minimum of five such references.
- Write a research plan that includes (a) Question (or
Problem) being addressed, (b) Hypothesis (or Engineering goal), (c)
Detailed description of method or procedure, including data analysis.
(d) Bibliography of 5 or more primary references. The words in
parentheses in items (a) and (b) are often used for engineering
projects. See the instructions on how to write a research plan that
come with the Student Checklist (1A) form (ISEF Form). Then complete
the Student Checklist (1A) form without entering the actual start date
and actual end date.
- Find an adult sponsor: a teacher, parent, or other
adult with knowledge on the research problem. The adult sponsor will
use the Checklist for Adult Sponsor (1) form to review with you your
completed Student Checklist (1A) and research plan. He will used items
4, 5, and 6 on ISEF Form 1 to tell you if your projects need other
forms besides ISEF Form 1A and 1B and you must secure additional signed and
dated approval before you can start your experiment.
- Complete ISEF Form 1A and 1B and other required
forms and approval before you can start experiments. Hint: To reduce
errors and simplify the above process, don't date forms 1, 1A, and 1B
until all requirements have been met. Then date ISEF Forms 1 and 1B before
the actual starting date on form 1A. If your project requires other
ISEF forms, be sure all these forms (except ISEF Form 1C) are dated before
the actual starting date on ISEF Form 1A.
ISEF Form 1C is required for research conducted in a regulated
research institution, industrial setting, or any work site other than
home, K-12 school, or field. ISEF Form 1C is supposed to be prepared,
signed, and dated by the research supervisors at these sites after the
research is completed. See ISEF Rules or ISEF Form 1C for instructions.
Science Day Standards
- General Standards for Science Day incorporating all actions
of the Junior Academy Council as of September 2012, can be viewed by
clicking on Science Day Standards.
Please refer to the Science Day Standards for information on District
and State Science Days not covered in the following descriptions.
- The Rules on Displaying Projects approved by the Ohio
Junior Academy Council will apply to all exhibitors during the 2014 DSD
and State Science Day (SSD).
For all students:
- Displays at District and State Science Days are strictly
poster format only. Each project shall have only one light-weight,
usually tri-fold, single-sided poster for table top display. The
display is not to exceed 91 cm (3ft) wide, 75 cm (30 inch) deep, and
1.2 m (4 ft) high from the table top. Each table furnished by the
District or State Science Days will be shared by two projects.
Free-standing floor exhibits are not permitted.
- Each poster should only display appropriate
information such as the title of the project, the name of the student
(two names for a team project), an abstract, data tables, diagrams,
charts, photographs, and graphs. "Poster format only" means that no
physical objects can be used in the display and in the oral
presentation. Physical objects such as samples of materials, model,
instruments, and products of your research, etc., can only be shown by
photographs or drawings. If you include the actual physical
objects in your poster, your research notebook, your research report,
or your abstract, or bring any such physical objects into the
exhibition space, your project will be disqualified.
- Contact information such as postal, web, and e-mail addresses, and telephone and fax numbers are allowed for the exhibitor only.
- The only photographs or visual depictions of
identifiable or recognizable people allowed are photographs of the
exhibitor, photographs taken by the exhibitor (with written permission
of individuals received), or photographs for which credit is displayed
(such as from magazines, newspapers, journals, etc.)
- Project research notebooks and a folder containing
research reports, research plans and documentation of research
protocols (including ISEF forms) are expected to be on the table in
front of the poster.
- No 110V AC will be available at 2014 DSD or SSD.
- Battery-powered computers may be used only for
simulation, modeling, or animation integral and essential to the
project results or data display and not for general Powerpoint presentation.
- Absolutely nothing else is allowed at a display.
- Nothing else is allowed in the exhibition hall
except personal clothing, billfold or handbag (for money, cards, or
keys only), medication you must take, and bottled drinking water. These
items should not be on your display table.
- You cannot use anything else not on display or not allowed in a display during the judging.
Suggestion on Photography
- Since you are not allowed to bring anything you have
collected, used, or made in your experiment, you have to use
photographs of these things in your presentation. Be prepared to
photograph your experiment before you start because you may have to use
photographs to show when a particular experiment was done or
observation was made and how an object/experiment looks like at a given
date or time. For example, you are watching the growth of a plant.
Include in the photograph the date and time for chronology and a ruler
for scale. Photograph instruments and apparatus you use in your
research and how you operate them. If you design your own equipment,
bring your drawing of your design and photographs of your equipment,
its important details, the building, testing, and operation of the
equipment. Learn to make close-up photographs of small objects. Learn
to make photographs on the microscope since you are not allowed to
bring the microscope or the slides.
- A team of first judges, ideally composed of one K12 school
teacher and one professional scientist or engineer will judge each
project. The professional scientists or engineers are volunteers from
Ohio University faculty, governmental agencies, and area industries. We
expect each participating school to provide at least one judge for
every five students. Special-award judges from Ohio University faculty
and some prize-awarding agencies
and organizations will re-judge only superior projects for
- There is only one entry fee of $20 per student for DSD.
Each member of a team pays the $20 fee. Do not send cash. Please send
check or money order payable to Ohio University.
- Each student must send a complete entry package. Each
member of a team project must send a separate entry package, check the
box before "Team Project" and write the name of the teammate in the
space following the words "Team Project" on the 2014 Entry Form.
A Microsoft Word version of the new 2014 Entry Form
is available on-line.
It is also available as a PDF file. If you cannot use the on-line Word document,
please contact the Director for a hardcopy form, at the address listed
- All students from any school (including home
schools) must have their entry packages and entry fees sent in one
package, by a teacher, guidance counselor, talented-and-gifted program
(TAG) director, local science fair director, or other responsible
school administrator, in one package, to reach the Director of DSD no later than March 1, 2014, at
Dr. Elizabeth Gierlowski-Kordesch, Director of DSD
Department of Geological Sciences
316 Clippinger Laboratories
Athens, OH 45701-2979
your proposed local fair date is too close to March 1, 2014, please
send by e-mail immediately to the Director with your fair date, the
estimated number of projects from your school that may enter the DSD,
and when and how you propose to deliver the entry package to the
The entry fee may be submitted in one check or money order, or in separate checks or money orders.
The school package must include a School Information Form (blue
form) which must list names of judges and the contact person and their
email addresses. Any relative of one or more students
participating in the DSD is not allowed to serve as a judge or
volunteer and is not allowed to enter the judging headquarters and
judging area between 9 AM till the end of all judging. Please
send at least one judge for every five entries. A minimum of one judge
is required if the number of entries does not exceed five. No entry will be accepted without the completed blue school information form and judges.
The School Information Form is available here
(Microsoft Word) (PDF).
If you cannot use the on-line documents,
please contact the Director for a hardcopy form, at the address listed
If the students have participated in a local science fair or
academic fair at their schools, we expect the school to send us only
students who have received superior ratings at the local fairs. A local
fair may include schools in one or more school districts of the county.
Students whose schools do not have a local science fair or
academic fair in their legal residence in one of the nine counties of
District 12, may submit their entries, including one complete research report for each project,
to the DSD, if a teacher or other responsible administrator of each
school will send all the entries from that school in one package with a
completely filled out blue school information form, including a minimum
of one judge if the number of entries does not exceed five, to reach
the Director no later than March 1, 2014. If there are more than
five entries from a school, the one judge per five entries rule will
apply. Students who are attend public or private schools
located in our 9-county District should contact their school teacher or
administrator before they start their project if their
projects (1) utilize school facilities or people (such as using
classmates or other school adults as subjects) or (2) may require prior
approval of a Scientific Review Committee (SRC) or Institutional Review
Board (IRB) .
Each home school should use a uniform home school name that
begins with the first and last name of one parent or guardian followed
by "Home School". For example, for children of Jack and Jill Hill who
are home schooled, their school name can be either Jack Hill Home
School" or "Jill Hill Home School". The names of both parents or
guardians will be given in publicity release without the made-up name
of your home school.
- All students in grades 5 to 12 are
required to have the following items arranged in the order given below.
The same order is also given in the checklist after the
parent/guardian's signature line on the 2014 Entry form. Send the
original signed copies of the 2014 Entry form and the OAS Consent and
Release agreement. Send only the photocopies of all signed
numbered-ISEF forms, research plan, and abstract and keep the originals
to bring in a folder on the day of the District Science Day. The
numbered forms below are ISEF forms in the current Rules.
Recognition and Prizes
- Each participant whose project is judged will receive a certificate.
- All participants receiving a superior rating will be re-judged for special prizes.
- Departmental prizes in the 13 fields from science
departments in the College of Arts and Science, College of Osteopathic
Medicine, and the College of Health and Human Services, and the
engineering departments of the College of Engineering & Technology.
Prizes may consist of cash or savings bonds from $10 to $100 or more,
books, certificates, plaques, and/or subscriptions, etc.
- American Chemical Society-Upper Ohio Valley Section awards: magazine subscriptions and certificates.
- Ohio Soybean Council awards: 3 awards of $100 each for grades 7 to 12 for best projects in soybeans.
- Ohio Water Environment Association (OWEA) awards on water pollution abatement: savings bond and certificate.
- Ohio Governor's Award for Excellence in Student Research. One certificate in each of the following areas:
- Agriculture and Food Technology
- Biotechnology and Biomedical Technology Research
- Advanced or Alternative Energy Research
- Environmental Sciences Research
- Advanced Materials Research
- Water Resources Research
- Information Science & Technology Research
- Female students in 7th grade who receive a superior
rating at DSD may receive a scholarship to attend the Buckeye Women in
Science and Engineering Research (B-WISER) program at the College of
Wooster in the summer of 2014. Prize to be confirmed.
- Students whose entries receive Superior Ratings may be eligible to participate in the State Science Day (SSD) of the Ohio Academy of Science on May 10, 2014, at The Ohio State University,
Columbus, OH. In this case, a team project is counted as one entry.
Mark Lucas modified this file (http://www.ohiou.edu/scifair/2014.html) on Sept 6, 2013.