Changes from 1996 - 1997
The California State Science Fair strives continually to improve the
quality of the event for its participants throughout the State of
California. As part of these ongoing efforts we will be implementing
several policy changes this year. Some of these changes are the result
of recommendations presented at the last County Coordinators' Meeting
which was held during the 1996 California State Science Fair.
- Policy Changes
Application vs. Registration
Several category definitions have been modified.
In all but one case (below) these changes are minor and are made mainly
to clarify earlier intent of the definitions. The category in which
projects will be placed will ordinarily not be affected by these
changes. For details, see
Categories for the
1997 California State Science Fair.
The category Team Projects has been eliminated.
However, students may still work in teams of 2-4 members, and present
their project as a team. The only difference from previous years is
that the judging of these projects will now take place in the
appropriate science subject category.
As a consequence of this change, the restriction in previous years that
Team Projects were not eligible for the Project of the Year award has
now been lifted. All first place projects in every subject category,
regardless of number of authors, will be considered by the Project of
the Year judging committee.
In recognition of the greater resources of time and effort available
to team projects, as contrasted with individual projects, all judges
will apply slightly modified criteria in evaluating team and individual
projects. As of this writing (November 1996) the wording of these
criteria has not received final approval by CSSF. When it is approved
(presently predicted for January 1997) these criteria will be listed
here, as well as in the
Submission of an Application to the California State Science
Fair does not guarantee acceptance to the Fair.
The Fair has always maintained the right to refuse admission to
projects on the basis of inappropriate content, and this fact has
always been published in the Application Packet. Beginning this year,
projects which are substandard (poor quality) or incomplete will also
be rejected. The basis for this judgement of quality is exclusively
the Student Application Form and Project Summary on its reverse side,
particularly the Project Abstract. The California State Science Fair
does not consider other submitted materials or awards won at affiliated
By this approval process, it is not our intent to limit the number of
participants but rather to improve the quality of the event and ensure
that the students are able to effectively communicate their projects to
The following is the official list of acceptance criteria:
Acceptance to present a project at the California
State Science Fair requires the approval of an Application
submitted by the student(s).
Applications without a Project Abstract will be
rejected without recourse to appeal. Each student on a team project
must complete his/her own personal Application, but the Project
Abstract need only be given by one member of the team. As long as
the Abstract is provided by at least one member, other members
of the team may choose to provide or omit the Abstract without
Abstracts must demonstrate a level of knowledge
and investigation that is appropriate for the grade of the student and
discipline and which is beyond what is considered common knowledge. In
other words, the investigations must demonstrate knowledge that is not
found in middle or high school textbooks.
Abstracts must communicate ideas effectively, use
standard English, and be legible.
The methodology and experimental design should be
appropriate for the student's grade and discipline, and should include
the following where appropriate:
experiments are appropriate to achieve
the stated objective;
the sample size and/or number of trials
is sufficient for projects where replication is necessary to
the statistical analysis is appropriate
for the students' grade and discipline;
the conclusion is relevant to the stated
Projects which are merely
demonstrations, display collections, and literature searches are
generally not acceptable. In order to be acceptable, the
student must use the demonstration, collection, or search results, to
extract new information not previously known to the student.
Applications may be rejected for failing to
satisfy the rules of the Fair.
The Application fee is not refundable if the
application is rejected.
All rejected Applications will be reviewed by the
Directors of Judging and are subject to appeal (with the exception of
those applications which do not contain an Abstract).
It is our sincere hope that by instituting these guidelines and requiring
higher standards for project abstracts the quality of the Fair and the
experience for the participants will continue to improve.
Mon Jan 13 19:47:06 PST 1997
California State Science Fair
Changes for 1997