Students and Parents
Getting off to a Good Start With the Judge
1) Dress neatly.
2) Introduce yourself and your project. (Introduce your partner if you have one.)
3) Attempt to answer every question asked by the judge. Never say, "I dunno," give it your best try.
4) Smile and be pleasant. Don't be defensive about your work. The judges are professionals who are trying to bring out your best with their questions and comments.
5) Have your information and display materials at your display.
Parents are asked during the online registration if they consent to the use of their son or daughter's image on the Science Fair website or in promotional media.
Important documents to help Students and Families.
STUDENT PREPARATION PLANNER
It is key to start from the very beginning writing a log book or diary of sorts that documents your thoughts, findings and work, including any brainstorming during the planning phase. A log book doesn't have to be neat as it is a record often of your stream of consciousness. It should include dates as this gives someone a timeline to follow when looking at the research and effort that went into your project. Any students with ambitions of going on to the Nationals needs to have a log book in order to qualify for prizes.
Finding an idea that captivates imagination and interest is the most important motivation to completing an excellent science project.
Use the following steps as a guide to developing a qualifying quality project.
Project Report and Display Components
A complete Project Report includes the following subtitles and sections:
- Background: how the project came to be.
- Purpose: why the project was conducted and what was hoped to be achieved.
- Hypothesis: proposition to be tested, if applicable.
- Procedure: a brief outline of the materials and methods used.
- Results or Observations: a summary of the results of the experiment, innovationor study.
- Conclusions: what can be concluded from the results and why it is important.
- Acknowledgements: recognition of those individuals, institutions and businesses that provided significant assistance in the form of guidance, materials, financial support and/or facilities for this work.
- References: Detailed references are mandatory for any specific literature referred to in the text of the report. Key sources used in the development of the project must be referred to in the text and listed in an appendix (“References”), using a format consistent with that accepted in the scientific peer-reviewed literature. Author, title, source publication, volume, date and page numbers must be given. Any use of quotations from references must be clearly identified.
- Bibliography: Significant sources consulted but not specifically referred to in the report must be mentioned (volumes, articles, audio-visuals, documents, web sites with dates of access, interviews, etc.).
Depending on the level of the project this may not require the last three components. Some variation is permitted for innovation and study projects that do not follow an experimental protocol.
The Principles of Mentoring
When participating in a mentoring relationship, Youth Science Canada asks that all mentors and mentees review these guidelines, in order to develop a rewarding, beneficial relationship for all who are involved.
Youth Science Canada is dedicated to nurturing the scientific impulse, creativity, and dedication amongst Canadian youth - encouraging them to develop scientific and technical knowledge and skills through project-based science. We are inspired by the potential of Canada’s youth to improve the world through science and we make programs and resources to help realize that potential. We recognize that mentorship from those established in the Canadian scientific community can provide an enriching relationship for youth engaged in project-based science, adding to knowledge and experience.
A mentor is a teacher, guide, or advisor who works with an individual who is developing their scientific knowledge and expertise, providing support, insight, and resources from their own scientific background and experience. Mentors encourage and empower youth involved in project-based science to help them succeed and discover their own abilities and passions in a supportive, non-judgemental manner. Mentors provide an environment in which youth may learn and grow, whether that be in a laboratory setting, or virtual communication.
Mentors benefit from their participation by raising their academic and community profile and developing a relationship with a member of Canada’s youth.
It is the student’s role, and not the mentor’s, to conceive the project’s specific topic. All data taking must be the student’s own, unless the student does not represent it as his or her own and credits the actual data taker properly. Similarly, analysis of the data, the write-up of the project, and any public presentation of thereof are also exclusively the student’s responsibility. A student undertaking a mentored project has the responsibility to disclose that her/his project was mentored and by whom.
Responsibilities of Mentors and Mentees:
- Treat your mentor or mentee with respect at all times;
- Commit sufficient time and effort towards your mentorship. Set clear expectations for each other;
- Always communicate in a truthful manner;
- Do not accept/offer any kind of payment for your mentoring relationship
- Maintain the confidentiality of the mentoring relationship
- Read and respect Youth Science Canada's Academic Integrity Policy.
Responsibility of Mentors:
- Support and encourage the goals of your mentee - be enthusiastic and share your love of science;
- Encourage your mentee to maintain high scientific and ethical standards;
- Provide advice, guidance, and access to facilities or equipment not otherwise available to your mentee where possible;
- Ensure that your mentee is an active participant;
- Avoid the intent or appearance of unethical or compromising practice in communications, actions, and relationships;
- Maintain the confidentiality of all ideas, products, and materials that a mentee has, or may develop. Do not use any ideas, products, or materials from your mentee in order to further your academic, business, or financial career;
- Acknowledge any conflicts of interest relative to competitions involving the project to your mentee;
- Do not make inquiries regarding the decisions made by judges in competitions in which the project is entered;
- Refer your mentee to Youth Science Canada for issues or questions that you feel unqualified to answer;
- Always maintain a professional relationship with your mentee.
- For the protection of the mentor and the student, all meetings should be held in the presence of others during business hours, at the student’s school in the presence of a teacher or staff member, or at another location with a parent or guardian present.
Responsibility of Mentees:
- Clearly communicate your goals and needs for your project to your mentor;
- Maintain the confidentiality of the mentoring relationship;
- Communicate regularly and openly with your mentor;
- Complete any tasks you have agreed to do with your mentor in a timely manner; Maintain the confidentiality of all ideas, products, and materials that your mentor has, or may develop.
- Hold all sensitive scientific information provided through the relationship with your mentor in strict confidence.
- Always maintain a professional relationship with your mentor.