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YBS 2019 | JANUARY 12, 2019 | George Mason University |SCIENCE FAIR


The purpose of the mini science fair is to allow middle and high school students to think creatively, conduct background research, and develop a proposal for a unique solution that can help address important problems that face the public health and medical fields. Through this process, students will be able to think like scientists, apply technologies to pressing global health issues, and learn how to make existing technologies even better.

Registration will reopen when a new date in the fall is determined.

Theme of the Mini Science Fair:
The theme for this year’s youth symposium is Precision Health. This area is broad to allow students room to explore their own interests and see how computational and engineering methods can be applied to global health issues.

Examples of areas in Precision Health include:

Before the Symposium:
Students will be able to form teams to help brainstorm and think of ideas. A few weeks before the symposium, the team will submit a brief abstract of their proposal. The abstract submission will take place on the symposium website.

The Symposium organizer will have research scientists available to help guide the teams.

During the Symposium:
At the symposium, there will be a time when teams will give poster presentations to various visitors at the symposium (family and friends) and will also present their idea to judges. The judges will score and determine the top projects, who will receive an award at the closing ceremonies.

Presentation Details:
At the science fair, individuals or teams can present their project in a variety of ways. The different options include a trifold poster board, powerpoint presentation on a laptop, or even printed out images and notes as a supplement. Presenters are not required to have a trifold poster board, and can instead determine what presentation method is best for them. The symposium organizers will provide a table for each project at the science fair.

Judging Criteria:

--> Click here for a PDF of this rubric.

CRITERIA Excellent (4-5 pts) Competent (2-3 pts) Needs work (0-1 pts)
Scientific question is identified Question is explicitly stated. Hypothesis to address the question or technical solution is explicit. Question and/or hypothesis is implicit Unclear what is the scientific questions and no statement of hypothesis
Significance of problem explained Explains the problem being addressed, including the prevelance or cost to society or the environment. Discussion of other solutions, including deficiency of those solutions Briefly mentions the problem, with some discussion of impact to society. Mention of other solutions No mention of prior attempts to solve the problem; no understanding of significance of the problem
Methods used by students to understand problem and frame the question Student explains how they did their research, e.g. reading the literature, online databases, other onlines sources; discussions with scientists. References included on presentation
Research methods are implicit or references are not included on presentation Research methods are unclear and no references are provided
Methods to perform proposed research, test hypothesis, or create new technology States whether designing computer algorithm, proposing clinical trials, or biological experiments. Includes appropriate control experiments or control computer simulations; OR, Has good plan of technology development and alternatives.
Proposed methods are not stated explicitly. Understands about need for control experiments or simulations but not included in plan; OR, technology plan has no contingencies. No understanding about control experiments or simulations. Experiments or technology development are poorly designed
Presentation Uses good visual aids. Shows deep understanding of the problem domain. Provides good summary of all the information instead of focusing on details.
Some visual aids, but overall too much text. Spends too much time on details instead of focussing on big picture. No or inappropriate visual aids. Reads from written report. Unable to answer questions about project.
Student/Team:   Judge:  


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