APS Middle School Science and Engineering Fair to be held on April 7, 2018.  Registration to open on December 1, 2017

All Andover Public Schools middle school students are invited to enter and participate in a district-wide science and engineering fair that will take place on Saturday, April 4, 2018 from 9:00am to 12:00 pm at Andover High School. Here are the details:

This event will be open to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students in Andover Public Schools.

Participants will be able to enter either as an individual or as part of a team of 2 or 3 students.

Two divisions:
  Competition - enter if you want to compete to move on to the Region IV Middle School Science and Engineering Fair.  Judges will evaluate and assign a score to your project.  All team members must be present when project is being judged at the fair.
  Exhibition - enter if you want to present your project but do not want to compete against other projects. Judges will not assign a score to projects but will offer feedback on projects.  Projects in this division will not be eligible to qualify for Region IV Middle School Science and Engineering Fair.

The project guidelines and judging rubrics for this fair follow the rules set by the Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair - these can be found at 

http://scifair.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2017-MSSEF-MS-manual.pdf .

For more fair information
, check out steadily growing FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page.

To register, please complete the online registration form found on the Registration Page.

Step-by-Step Instructions For Participating in a Science and Engineering Fair 



The Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair organization has produced a document called Student Guide: How to Do a Science Fair Project and it can be found https://www.massscifair.com/sites/default/files/student_guide_312_0.pdf.

A 12 Step Summary of the Science Fair Project Process is presented below:

1) Decide on a question to investigate scientifically or a design problem to solve that truly interests you!
​If you are having trouble deciding on a question or a problem, try visiting the Science Buddies website for help with ideas: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas.shtml 

2) Once you have an idea about what your project will be about, decide whether you will work alone or on a two or three person team.  Also decide if you are going to compete for the regional fair or if you are developing an exhibition project.  You can now register for the APS Middle School Science and Engineering Fair using the link above or going to the Science Fair Registration Page.

3) Get yourself a scientific notebook (must be sewn-bound - no wire bindings or glued bindings)  This is where you will record all of your information about your project including research, questions, experimental designs, data, findings, basically everything.  All entries must be original, hand-written, and dated.  A composition notebook works well. 

4) Research your question ​  Using any and all available text and internet resources, find out as much as you can about your project topic and your specific question and record this information in your scientific notebook.  You must include a bibliography in your final report, so include all information about your information sources.  In the Resources section, you will find a worksheet called Note Taking Outline that can help you.  For more information on what info is needed for each bibliography entry, go to http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_bibliography.shtml

5) Next, you need to develop your experimental design plan or engineering design plan.  However, read the Don'ts List first to know what is not allowed.
For a science project:
What is your hypothesis?

What are the variables involved in your experiment?
How will your experiment be designed?
What data will you collect?
    In the Resources section, you will find worksheets on How to develop your project proposal and How to identify variables and hypothesis 
For an engineering project:
What is the problem or challenge you are trying to solve?
What idea(s) go you have for solving this problem?
What will prototype be designed?
How will you test your prototype? 

6) All projects in the competition division must complete a project plan for approval by the Massachusetts Region IV Safety Committee before you can conduct experiments.  
This process requires the completion of Forms 1A and 1B (found in the Forms section) to be submitted to the regional safety committee for approval.  Mr. Sanborn will submit these forms for Andover students - you can either scan and email the completed forms to Mr Sanborn at ssanborn@aps1.net OR ask your teacher to send them to Mr Sanborn at Andover High School through inter-school mail (make copies for yourself). Even if you perform well enough at the Andover fair to qualify for the regional event, you cannot enter the Regional Science and Engineering Fair without prior approval by the Regional Safety Committee of Forms 1A and 1B (as well as C and/or D if applicable) - these forms must be given to Mr. Sanborn as soon as possible but no later than March 3, 2017.   

7)  Does your project involve human subjects?  ​If so, you will need to complete Form C - Human Subjects (found in Forms section) and submit it for safety committee approval along with Forms 1A and 1B.  Once approved, every person participating in your study will need to sign a copy of the completed Form C before the participate.

8) Does your project involve non-pathogenic microorganisms?  If so, you will need to complete Form D - Designated Supervisor (found in Forms section) and submit it for safety committee approval along with Forms 1A and 1B​.  Work with non-pathogenic organisms must be completed in a laboratory setting with a designated supervisor (exception: use of Baker's yeast or Brewer's Yeast).  Also, use of power tools or chemicals require completion of Form D as well. 

9) Conduct your experiment or build your prototype - Remember to record all of your notes, drawings, data, and other information in your scientific notebook.

10) Prepare your presentation board    Cardboard or foam core trifold board are most commonly used.  There are specific restrictions and guidelines found in the MSSEF Middle School manual (http://scifair.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2017-MSSEF-MS-manual.pdf) that must be followed.  Judges are not expecting you to reproduce your experiments - use photos, graphs, charts, simulations, etc. to present your work.  Only 5% of your project score comes from your project visual appearance - judges will evaluate scientific or engineering approach (25%), knowledge of project area (20%), thoroughness (20%), written records and reports (15%), and ingenuity and creativity (15%). Specific project judging criteria can be found under Judging Criteria.
     
The following web sites offer information on how to put together a presentation board:
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_display_board.shtml 

https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/blog/2012/01/30/science-fair-911-display-boards/

http://www.super-science-fair-projects.com/elementary-science-fair-projects.html#.WJzXEBIrLwc

http://sciencefair.math.iit.edu/display

11) Prepare your final lab report    Judges will be looking to review your final lab report that should include the following sections:
  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Background Research
  4. Materials List
  5. Experiments
  6. Data Analysis & Discussion
  7. Conclusion
  8. Ideas for Future Research
  9. Acknowledgements
  10. Bibliography
12) Your presentation    Outline and rehearse you verbal presentation to the judges - be sure to practice your presentation.  Judges will want to explore how much you know about your project topic and question so review your research.

For a possible script outline of what you might say, visit http://sciencefair.math.iit.edu/presentation/outline

More presentation tips:
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_judging.shtml
http://www.super-science-fair-projects.com/cool-science-fair-projects.html