Science Fair Project Guidelines and Judges Standards

Walnut Acres STEM and Science Fair

February 10th, 2022

Project Guidelines

1. Projects must be entered by an individual, small group (up to four), or by entire classes as class projects.

2. Entry forms are due by January 14th, 2022. Send your form to and/or drop them in the Science Fair box in the office.

3. ALL WORK MUST BE DONE BY THE STUDENT. Select projects that are within the student’s ability.

4. Projects for 3rd and 4th grade students may be an experiment (scientific method), invention, or model.

5. Projects for 5th grade students should be an experiment using the scientific method and, in accordance with MDUSD’s Career Integrated Academics, should have a connection to real life.

6. Any grade can utilize the engineering design process to overcome or show a better way to handle a real world problem.

7. Display:

  • Student’s name, grade and teacher must be displayed in the upper right-hand corner on the back of the display board. The project must have a title that can be viewed from a distance. This information must also appear on any other separate parts of your project.

  • Displays must be free-standing and have a backboard. Students may use the boards available to purchase or another board of their choice. Space is limited to 15 inches deep and 30 inches across.

  • If project requires an electrical outlet, student must supply a UL-approved extension cord with their name on it. Students must indicate their need for an outlet on the entry form.

  • Dangerous chemicals, open flames and explosives are not permitted.

  • Expensive or fragile items are displayed AT YOUR OWN RISK.

  • NO LIVE ANIMALS of any kind can be used in your project. Models, stuffed animals and pictures/photos must be used instead. Human body parts must not be displayed except for teeth, hair and nails.

Judges’ Standards

Grades K-2

1. Students can clearly explain their project and what they have learned.

2. Exhibit is clearly titled.

3. Exhibit is understandable.

Grades 3-5

1) Process/Content (choose one)

· For Experiments: (Scientific Method – recommended for 5th grade)

1. Identify the problem or the question - state specifically what they are hoping to discover.

2. Hypothesis - consider what they know about problem and propose a solution or answer to the problem.

3. Procedure - record the series of steps in the experiment that are done to answer the question/prove that the hypothesis is correct. Include materials used.

4. Results - present data to allow one to easily see relative effects of one or more variables.

5. Conclusion - state what they discovered, evaluate hypothesis (was it correct or not).

· For Engineering Design: (Alternative approach for 5th grade or any other grade – age appropriate design)

1. Use a problem solving process to design and improve technologies or anything made by humans to solve a problem.

2. Utilize engineering design process of: Ask – Imagine – Plan – Create -Improve

3. Demonstrate creativity and ingenuity.

4. Explain why you chose the project, how you went about planning it, and what you learned.

· For Inventions:

1. Identify the invention’s purpose.

2. Identify the materials used and how it was built.

3. Explain how the invention works and the scientific principles involved.

4. Explain the real world application of invention.

· For Models and Demonstrations:

1. Identify materials and methods.

2. Explain conclusions and scientific concept.

2) Creativity – the topic and methods are original and have a connection to real life.

3) Display – the display is neat, organized, well written. It uses pictures, graphs, tables or display items well.

4) Oral Presentation – project is clearly and enthusiastically explained to judges.