Department of Environmental Sciences

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Main Campus
Wolfe Hall Suite 1235

2801 West Bancroft St.,
Mail Stop #604
Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390

Phone: 419.530.2009
Fax: 419.530.4421

envsciences@utoledo.edu

Information for Teachers

Important Dates      

  • December 1, 2018: Teacher Registration opens   If you have students participating please register as a teacher on Stem Wizard Teacher Registration.  This will allow students to register in February.
  • December 15, 2018: Contact Dr. Mark J. Camp for individual/team projects that do not have a qualifying local science fair at their school.  This includes home-schooled students and those in on-line schools.
  • February 1, 2019: Student registration opens.
  • February 20, 2019: Student registration closes.
  • March 2, 2019:  Northwest Ohio District 2 Science Day (NWDSD)
  • March 13-15, 2019: Ohio Junior Science & Humanities Symposium
  • March 30, 2019:  Buckeye Science and Engineering Fair 
  • May 11, 2019: State Science Day  

 Important Information

  • Have students register through the Registration Information section of this website.
  • All form submission is on-line.  No forms are to be sent in. Go to the Rules Wizard  if you are questioning what forms need to be completed.
  • Review the rules and information at Science Day Standards.
  • Students also register for Sponsored Awards online.
  • Pay registration fees online by credit card. 
  • Make checks out to Northwest Ohio District Science Day and Mail to:
    Dr. M. J. Camp, Dept.  of  Environmental Sciences, MS # 604, University of  Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606-3390
  • Judges also register online.

Why Should Students Participate in Science Days?

*Participation in science days helps students develop basic skills they will use daily throughout their life—to sense and clarify problems that exist, to conduct research, to find creative solutions to problems, and to communicate.

*Participation in science day gives students the opportunity to develop the skills, attitudes, and knowledge that will help them be comfortable and successful in an ever changing scientific, technological society.

*Preparing students for citizen participation in the development of science and technology policy and the utilization of science in everyday life are worthwhile goals often ignored in school curricula that are achieved through a student research project.

*Science days offer students the opportunity to define a problem and to design an experiment that will attempt to solve or investigate that problem, thus enabling the student to learn through discovery a topic of their own interest.

*Students can win special recognition for achievement, certificates, cash awards and college scholarships.

*Top students can advance to State Science Day and/or the Buckeye Science & Engineering Fair.

Suggested Calendar

Sept-Oct    Students should begin background work and decide on project. Fill out forms necessary for project that need to be approved before research begins: All projects need Checklist for Adult Sponsor/Safety Assessment Form (1), Student Checklist/Research Plan (1A), (be sure to include research plan attachment) and Approval Form (1B). Sign and date Form 1 and IB and make certain other signatures and dates are on Form 1B. Please also note that Form 1A has two parts. This is for your information; all needed forms will be determined by the online registration site and registrations will not proceed if the required forms are incomplete or incorrectly filled out.

Oct-Nov    Approve project and/or send to Local Scientific Review Committee or Institutional Review Board (Scroll down for information about these committees).  All required forms must be signed by appropriate people before experimentation begins.  Make duplicate copies for your files.

Although all forms will be transmitted digitally, make certain students print out copies of all forms and understand that they are to have them available at their project on Science Day.

Oct-Dec    After project is approved, students:

  • Continue background research
  • Begin experimentation 
  • Collect data and draw conclusions 
  • Write paper and reference properly
  • Prepare presentation/poster board 

Obtain judges for local fair

Dec-Feb     Local fair at your school, school district, county, etc. Arrange for judges for NWDSD. All participating schools must supply two qualified judges for each 5 projects registered. Have your judges register online under the judges section of this website.

Feb. 20, 2019  Deadline for receipt of registrants and entry fees for NWDSD.  These should be superior projects. Every project will require Form 1, Form 1A and attachment, Form 1B, Consent and Release Agreement, and Abstract and may require additional forms, depending on the area of research). Have judges representing your school register on-line and make certain they indicate they are representing your school. Lack of receipt of the necessary number of judges could lead to disqualification of your school’s students. Closer to NWDSD check with your judges to make certain they will be representing your school. Have emergency backups in case some have a change in plans.  We can never have enough judges.

Around NWDSD make certain participants know the calendar of the day's events and where to sign in.

Mar 2, 2019    NWDSD at UT     Support your students by judging at NWDSD or attending as a spectator.

Make certain students are reminded to:

  • Bring poster board, research report, data logs, and copies of registration forms
  • Not bring experimental equipment, specimens, materials, chemicals, plants, animals, bacteria, etc.
  • Attend awards ceremony to qualify for State Science Day and receive special awards.

Make certain qualifying students know how to register for State Science Day. We will mail your school's certificates after Science Day.

May 11, 2019     State Science Day at OSU

Local Scientific Review Committees and Institutional Review Boards

In order to properly oversee science project research each participating school should have a Scientific Review Committee (SRC) and/or Institutional Review Board (IRB).  The SRC is a group of at least one biomedical scientist, science teacher, and other qualified individual that is responsible for evaluation of student research, certifications, research plans, and exhibits for compliance with NWDSD/ISEF rules and guidelines.  An IRB is a committee of at least one science teacher, one school administrator, and one psychologist, psychiatrist, medical doctor, physician's assistant, or registered nurse that reviews research plans involving human subjects to determine potential physical or psychological risk. Please note that teachers or adult sponsors cannot serve as Chair of these committees to avoid obvious conflict of interest scenarios. These committees must meet to review and approve or reject research plans before experimentation begins and again before NWDSD. Projects that do not comply will be ineligible for participation at NWDSD. If your school does not have ready access to the above committee members they may consider combining with other schools and forming joint SRC's and IRB's or contacting the NWDSD Director Mark J. Camp for help.

You may act as the SRC assuming projects do not present any recognized research risks or issues.  When in doubt however, contact the NWDSD Director.

The District level SRC and IRB will review the projects upon registration to NWDSD.  Failure to comply to ISEF standards will result in disqualification.

Typical, and some non-typical, SRC/IRB Violations-What not to do!

  • Written reports and log books failed to disclose and cite where appropriate the specific source(s) of the idea for the project.  Citations must be fully documented with references such as author(s), date, publication, and URL, if website..
  • Equipment, specimens, etc. brought in and at some display sites. Remember only the backdrop poster and supporting paper documents should be at a student's site.
  • Teachers and/or adult sponsor serving as Chair of SRC/IRB. This is a conflict of interest.
  • Improper abstracts; sometimes confused with Research Plans. Abstracts should be one or two paragraph narratives, not entire pages or part of the Research Plan Attachment.
  • Lack of copies of the registration forms at project site on Science Day. Judges may ask to see these.  Copies must be present.
  • Misuse of photos on display boards.
  • Display boards exceeding permitted dimensions.

 HOW DO I ENTER STUDENTS IN  DISTRICT SCIENCE DAY?

  1. Read the information included on the Ohio Academy of Science and NWDSD web pages including: the Ohio Academy of Science Standards, which contains instructions, judging criteria, and research reports..  Be sure to review the following: 

a)   The Rules for the Northwest Ohio District 2 Science Day

b)   Rules for Research Involving Live Vertebrate Animals, Human Subjects, hazardous substances, pathogenic organisms, etc.

c)    Sponsored Awards List (this list often is not finalized until January)

d)   Abstract Writing

  1. Have students identify a topic or problem to study and begin the research project as soon as possible.   Place the research project in one of the following categories: behavioral science, biochemistry, botany, chemistry, computer science, earth & space science,, engineering science, environmental science, mathematics, medicine & health, microbiology, physics, or  zoology. Be sure to complete Checklist for Adult Sponsor/Safety Assessment Form (1), before experimentation begins.  Then complete Student Checklist/Research Plan (1A), (individual or team version) and Approval Form (1B). Note that Form 1B must pass review from the District Scientific Review Committee (SRC). Later complete the registration by filling out forms as specified by the online registration.
  2. If a project involves research at a registered research institution or industrial setting and/or involves research with nonhuman vertebrate animals, human subjects, pathogenic agents, controlled substances, recombinant DNA, human and nonhuman animal tissue, and/or hazardous substances and devices additional forms must be completed and submitted with each registration. Check Science Service for a guide to what forms are required for different research areas. These forms may  include Registered Research Institutional /Industrial Setting Form (1C), Qualified Scientist Form (2), Risk Assessment Form (3), Human Subjects and Informed Consent Form (4), Vertebrate Animal Form (5), Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents Form (6A), and Human and Vertebrate Animal Tissue Form (6B). If a project is a continuation of research from a previous year, Continuation Form 7 will need to be included.These forms are detailed, require certain signatures, have time restraints, and must be carefully adhered to.  Online registration will guide the participant through what forms are needed. If you have any questions or problems please contact the Director Mark J. Camp at 419-530-2398 or mark.camp@utoledo.edu  It is assumed that participating teachers will be familiar with these requirements due to attending the several workshops that have been offered.  If you are a new teacher and are not familiar with the requirements please contact the Director. Classroom teachers may approve research plans in lieu of review by a Local Scientific Review Committee, if the proposed research does not involve recognized research risks or issues.
  3. Have student write a detailed report. The report usually includes a title page; table of contents; abstract; introduction (problem and hypothesis to be investigated); methods and materials of investigation; analysis of collected data; conclusions or implications; graphs, tables, and diagrams; and references.  The student(s) must submit an abstract containing no more than 250 words.   A heading must contain the project title and name(s) of the author(s). The heading does not contribute to the word count.  The purpose of the abstract is to provide a summary of your project that will inform interested individuals of the contents.  The wording must be written in a manner that any scientifically-minded individual, who may not be familiar with the topic, can understand the project's important points.  The following should each be summarized in a few sentences:

    a) Background information necessary to understand the abstract and its importance.
    b) The problem that was investigated and the hypothesis.
    c) Outline of the materials and methods used in the experimentation.
    d) Summary of the results obtained from the experimentation.
    e) The conclusions drawn from the results.
    f) The importance or potential applications the research offers.

Make certain the abstract is a true abstract.  Abstracts should include the key points, be brief and concise and contain complete sentences.  Abstracts should only provide necessary information needed to understand the project's basic points and importance. Abstracts and Research Plans are not one the same; they are separate forms.

The abstract should be a brief synopsis of the pertinent techniques used and a summary of the findings, it is not the same as the report which goes into greater detail of the research process and results.

    5.   Have students set up a physical display. This is a poster display (36" wide x 30" deep) exhibiting data tables, diagrams, graphs, models, reports, etc.  No equipment is to be displayed at the exhibit site; only the poster setup and supporting paper documents.

    6. Conduct a local science fair at your school or at the school district or county level. This allows students to practice their oral presentations before NWDSD. As a general rule schedule this event sometime in January.  The NWDSD date varies because of space utilization, but we’ll always have enough time to process your entries if you hold your local fair early. You should have your local fair no later than February 18, 2019 because online registration will close at midnight Wednesday, February 20, 2019.

  7. Enter winners (Superior rated projects) of your local science fair in the Northwest Ohio District 2 Science Day by completing online registration

  1. Have students complete online registration.
  2. Have students register online for one sponsored award category in which they wish to be judged. To view available sponsored awards click here. All qualified students, if so interested, may sign up for the Tillotson UT District Science Day Scholarship in addition to another award.
  3. Each school is required to provide one judge per five students entered in Northwest Ohio District 2 Science Day. Please use the on-line judging form at our website. We count on these judges! We also need any individuals who would like to judge in selected fields of interest. PLEASE, VOLUNTEER!
  4. Remind students to send in registration fees to:

 Dr. M. J. Camp, Dept of  Environmental Sciences, MS # 604, University of  Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606-3390

Fees may also be paid by credit card via on-line registration. The entry fee for NWDSD is $20.00 per student. The entry fee for team projects (see below) is $20.00 per individual student i.e. $40 for two person team and $60 for three person team. Make checks out to Northwest Ohio District Science Day.

 Can Teams of Students Enter District and State Science Day?

The Junior Academy Council of OAS endorses the concept of team projects at District and State Science Days. The International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) has also adopted the idea.

Rules for team projects for grades 5-12 at NWDSD  are as follows:

  1. A team is limited to three (3) students. All students on a team must play an active role in the science experiment. Individuals should not be used solely for writing reports, making displays, etc.
  2. A 50 point rating scale is used for teams including a category for teamwork.
  3. Each student on a team, and in attendance, will receive the district’s usual recognition.
  4. Points will be deducted for non-appearance of any team member on the day of judging.
  5. Teams will be eligible for local sponsored awards; monetary awards will be divided among team members.

How are Students Judged in Northwest Ohio District 2 Science Day?

Professionals in the fields of science, mathematics, engineering, and education, volunteer their time to judge on Science Day. The judge’s use the criteria set by the Junior Academy Council of the Ohio Academy of Science, and all judges’ decisions are final. The criteria are:

-Knowledge Achieved
-Effective Use of Scientific Method
-Clarity of Expression
-Originality and Creativity

 If a project falls in the engineering category “Uses of Engineering Design” will replace “Effective Use of Scientific Method”.

Students receive between 1 and 10 points for each of the four categories. The points are summed to form a rating category. The minimum number of points for each rating is:

-Superior 36
-Excellent 24
-Good 12
-Satisfactory 4

Team projects are judged in the four above categories plus a fifth category, teamwork.

In order for a participant to have a reasonable chance of qualifying for state competition he/she/ must score some combination of 10s and 9s in each of the four judging categories -- knowledge achieved, use of scientific method, clarity of expression, and originality & creativity -- totaling a 36-40 or equivalent team point total. i.e. a higher superior rating. In order to assure quality student performances at State Science Day please note that judges will be looking for the following:

   1. A Student Research Plan (1A) displayed with an 8-10 page research report. Report must be neat and well organized. Although in most cases judges will not be able to critically review all aspects of the report, any spelling and grammatical errors, notable lack of scientific method, and absence of pertinent references will lower ranking.

   2. All completed forms including special forms for live vertebrate animals, human subjects, recombinant DNA, controlled substances, hazardous substances and devices, human and nonhuman animal tissues, or pathogenic agents..

   3. A well written complete concise abstract.

   4. All superior projects must be free of errors in spelling and grammar on the display board

   5. Verbal presentations of participants receiving 38-40 or team equivalent superiors must be completed without reading from note cards or reports or presenting memorized speeches. Appropriate questions from judges must be adequately answered. Participants must be comfortable with terminology and have a thorough knowledge of their research.

   6. If project involves experimentation, a control or controls must be present and explained. A minimum of 3 sets of data must be part of the analysis.

What About Re-judging?

 Two judges will judge each project following Ohio Academy of Science standards.  If each judge grants a total score within any one rating category (Superior, Excellent, Good, or Satisfactory), that specific rating (Superior, Excellent, Good, Satisfactory) will be granted to the student and no rejudging is permitted. Rejudging is automatic and is permissible only if all three of the following conditions apply:

a. the judges' final ratings are in different categories,
b. the average of the judges' scores is in the lower category, and
c. if the judges differ in their total points by more than five points.

How are Students Chosen to Attend State Science Day?

Each district in the state of Ohio has a quota for students who can participate in the State Science Day at the Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. The quota for our district is  . The procedure for choosing students to fill this quota is:

  1. All 5 to 12th graders with 40 points, in descending grade order (i.e. 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5) are chosen first.
  2. All 5 to 12th graders with 39 points, in descending grade order are chosen next.
  3. Next, students with 38 points are chosen in descending class order (grade 12,11,10,9,8,7, 6, 5).
  4. Then, students with 37 points are chosen in descending class order (grade 12,11,10,9,8,7, 6, 5).
  5. Finally 5 to 12th graders with 36 points in descending grade level are chosen.
  6. If there are more qualifiers in the final grade/numerical score division than quota positions, the final group will be determined by random draw (i.e. If there are 5 positions and 8 freshmen with 37’s, the 5 participants will be determined by random draw of these 8 students). Alternates will be selected via random drawing following the same guidelines as above.

 

  • All students intending to complete at State Science Day must attend the Awards Ceremony in the Ingman Room (Room 2520) of Thompson Student Union or have someone representing them attend in their place.  State qualifiers will be given an entry packet at the awards ceremony and must register online.  Please tell students to read the instructions included with each entry packet immediately as there are important deadlines.


The Buckeye Science and Engineering Fair is March 30, 2019.  For more information on BSEF click here.

State Science Day for 2019 will be held at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, May 11, 2019. For information on State Science Day go to  State Science Day

WHERE CAN I GET HELP  SETTING UP A SCIENCE FAIR PROGRAM?

Materials including books, pamphlets, and videos about conducting science fairs are available from:

The Ohio Academy of Science
1500 W. third Avenue
Columbus, OH 43212
Telephone: (614) 488-2228
Email: OAS@IWAYNET.net
Website – http://www.ohiosci.org

 

Last Updated: 2/18/19