Some of these items are not required for a Virtual Fair. See Virtual Requirements.
Project Data Book
A project data book is a required part of each exhibit. This is the “lab notebook”: all notes, observations, ideas, experimental results, questions, calculations, and so on, are recorded in the project data book. Accurate and detailed notes demonstrate consistency and thoroughness to the judges. Judges want to see this and it can effect your judging to be without.
A research paper is strongly recommended by both NWSE and ISEF at the high school level. Students aspiring to be ISEF Finalists should include a research paper with their exhibit. A research paper includes the following sections:
- Title page
- Table of contents
- Materials and Methods
Every exhibit must display a copy of the project abstract. Each judge receives online access to the abstracts for the projects they will be judging; the abstract is the first part of the exhibit that the judges see. The abstract at the display must be an exact copy of the abstract submitted online so as not to confuse judges.
The abstract is a short summary of the project. The maximum length of an abstract is 250 words. The body of the abstract is generally one paragraph. Science projects and engineering projects are different, so there are directions for each.
For a Scientific Inquiry Project
First, begin the abstract with a statement that indicates the purpose, problem or focus of the investigation. The second part of the abstract provides further information needed to understand why the study was conducted. For example, you may describe prior research findings as a context for your question. By the time the reader reaches the end of this part of the abstract, it is essential the question you are investigation is clear. The third essential section is a brief summary of your procedures. Let the reader know the most important aspects of the design of your experiment. Mention any unusual or newly developed methods. Lastly, close the abstract with a direct statement of findings – a conclusion you might wish to see printed in a local newspaper’s science section. Be sure to tell how your question mentioned previously was answered or perhaps not answered.
For an Engineering Design or Programming Project
Begin by explaining very clearly what you are designing. First state your design goal and the constraints on your design. The second part of the abstract provides further information needed to understand why the design is important or interesting. In the third part use a few sentences to describe your design itself. It is good to break your design into subsystems and tell what they do. Include how your design is supposed to meet the goals above. Describe how your design was tested. Lastly, close the abstract with a direct statement of findings – a conclusion you might wish to see printed in a local newspaper’s science section. Be sure to include how well your design met the goals mentioned at the beginning of the abstract. If you must submit the abstract before obtaining reportable results, say so at the end of the abstract, being very careful to have defined the goals you described as your design.
Abstracts must be submitted at the Affiliated Fairs Online Registration site. Examples of Abstracts
All research projects are presented as free-standing exhibits. Exhibits must adhere to the display regulations. Students who need electricity to power equipment or computers that are part of their exhibit must request it during online registration. Electricity is not to be used to light the display. Students must provide their own plug-grounded extension cords for reaching power connections on the floor, and duct tape for securing the extension cords. Not all requests will be honored. Complete display regulations can be found on the Display and Safety Regulations page of the NWSES Rulebook. A bigger display is not better. Judges want to be able to sit in front of the poster and easily read the information on it. Use your data book for additional graphs and data.
Middle School rules do not allow models or non paper props.
Originals of all signed forms, certificates, and permits must be available at the exhibit. NWSES recommends that these be kept in a folder or notebook. They may be kept in a section of the project data book.