Prepare An Oral Presentation And Plan For Your Evaluation (page 2)
This step provides clues for preparing for presentations and judging of your project. Your teacher may require that you give an oral presentation on your project for your class. Make it short but complete. Presenting in front of your classmates may be the hardest part of the project. You want to do your best, so prepare and practice, practice, practice. If possible, tape your practice presentation on a tape recorder or have someone videotape you. Review the tape or video and evaluate yourself. Review your notes and practice again.
Practicing an oral presentation will also be helpful for the science fair itself. The judges give points for how clearly you are able to discuss the project and explain its purpose, procedure, results, and conclusion. Judges are impressed with students who can speak confidently about their work. They are not interested in memorized speeches—they will want to have a conversation with you to determine if you understand the work you have done from start to finish. While the display should be organized so that it explains everything, your ability to discuss your project and answer questions convinces the judges that you did the work and understand what you have done. Practice a speech in front of friends and invite them to ask questions. If you do not know the answer to a question, never guess or make up an answer or say you don't know something. Instead, say that you did not discover that answer during your research, then offer other information that you found of interest about the project. Be proud of the project, and approach the judges with enthusiasm about your work.
As you progress through your project, keep in mind that you may be asked about different developmental stages. Take note of some of the ideas that you had while working on your project. These can be used to hold an audiences interest and impress judges.
You can decide on how best to dress for a class presentation. It is wise to make a special effort to look nice for the local fair. You are representing your work. In effect, you are acting as a salesperson for your project, and you want to present the very best image possible. Your appearance shows how much pride you have in yourself, and that is the first step in introducing your product, your science project.
Most fairs have similar point systems for judging projects. You may be better prepared if you understand that a judge generally starts by assuming that each students project is average. Then he or she adds or subtracts points from that average mark. A student should receive points for accomplishing the following, or have points deducted if any of these tasks have not been accomplished:
- Project Objectives
- Presenting original ideas
- Stating the problem clearly
- Defining the variables and using controls
- Relating background reading to the problem
- Project Skills
- Being knowledgeable about equipment used
- Performing the experiments with little or no assistance except as required for safety
- Demonstrating the skills required to do all the work necessary to obtain the reported data
- Data Collection
- Using a journal to collect data and research
- Repeating the experiment to verify the results
- Spending an appropriate amount of time to complete the project
- Having measurable results
- Data Interpretation
- Using tables, graphs, and illustrations in interpreting data
- Using research to interpret collected data
- Collecting enough data to reach a conclusion
- Using only collected data to make a conclusion
- Project Presentation (Written Materials/Interview/Display)
- Having a complete and comprehensive report
- Answering questions accurately
- Using the display during an oral presentation
- Justifying conclusions on the basis of experimental data
- Summarizing what was learned
- Presenting a display that shows creative ability and originality
- Presenting an attractive and interesting display
Do's and Don'ts at the Fair
Do bring activities, such as puzzles to work on or a book to read, to keep yourself occupied at your booth. There may be a lengthy wait before the first judge arrives and even between judges.
Do become acquainted with your neighboring presenters. Be friendly and courteous.
Do ask neighboring presenters about their projects and tell them about yours if they express interest. These conversations pass time and help relieve nervous tension that can build when you are waiting to be evaluated. You may also discover research techniques that you can use for next years project.
Do have fun!
Don't laugh or talk loudly with your neighbor.
Don't forget that you are an ambassador for your school. Your attitude and behavior influence how people at the fair think about you and the other students at your school.
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