Seeking all future scientists and curious Owls! We are gearing up for another Doss Science Fair. There are many key dates and deadlines leading up to the big event on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, and we are here to guide you every step of the way. Check out the documents below, and stay tuned to Living Tree and The Blast for up-to-date information.

Background

While participation in the Science Fair is required of our fourth- and fifth-grade students, it is open to all Doss Owls, from kindergarten on up. Students will not only become knowledgeable on their chosen topic, but also learn critical thinking, problem solving, use of scientific methods, and presentation skills. That experience, and seeing the confidence students gain throughout the project, are why we encourage every Owl to participate in Science Fair.

Learn More

A long-term science fair project can often be overwhelming for students, so we have multiple help sessions available to get them started and keep them going. We kick it off with our Parent Information Sessions, providing parents all they need to know about helping their Owls prepare. Afterward we will have eight support sessions for students.

  • The Student Help Sessions go over key components of project work, from finding an experiment to forming a hypothesis to putting it all together.
  • The One-On-One Sessions pair students with teachers and volunteers for some individualized help on any aspect of their project. NOTE: We’re asking parents to please register students planning to attend the One-On-One Sessions so we can make sure to have enough adults on hand! Please sign up your students at http://signup.com/go/GGuFMkr
  • And finally, we’re adding two Independent Work/Study Hall Sessions to give students a quiet, supervised space to do research or writing or even perform their experiments!
  • Tues Nov 6, 3-4p, Cafeteria, Help Session: Selecting a Topic
  • Wed Nov 14, 3:15-4:30p, Ms. Crawford’s Room (Portable 404), One-on-one student help
  • Tue Nov 27, 3:15-4:30p, Ms. Crawford’s Room (Portable 404), Independent Work/Study Hall
  • Wed Dec 5, 3-4p, Cafeteria, Help Session: Hypothesis/Procedure
  • Tue Dec 11, 3:15-4:30p, Ms. Crawford’s Room (Portable 404), One-on-one student help
  • Tue Dec 18, 3:15-4:30p, Ms. Crawford’s Room (Portable 404), Independent Work/Study Hall
  • Wed Jan 9, 3-4p, Cafeteria, Help Session: Board Design/Presentation Help
  • Tue Jan 15, 3:15-4:30p, Ms. Crawford’s Room (Portable 404), One-on-one student help

Fourth and Fifth Grade

Participation is required of our oldest students, but we encourage the students to look at the Science Fair as an opportunity to learn how to complete in-depth, long-term projects – something they will need as they advance through middle and high school. These students will also be graded on their projects by their science teachers. (Please note their classroom grade does not affect their Science Fair score, and their Science Fair score does not affect their classroom grade.) Students must complete an experiment, complete with a testable questions, hypothesis, procedures and results, and be prepared to present their project to judges and answer questions. While the Science Fair is on Jan. 30, 2019, note that projects are due to their teachers on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. Please click on the packet link below to learn more!

4th-5th Science Project and Fair Guide

Kindergarten through Third Grade

All of our Doss Owls are encouraged to participate in the Science Fair. Students in these grades can choose to complete an experiment, or they can create a collection, a model or demonstration. The collections, models and demonstrations will be judged using a separate set of requirements, though students are still expected to present their project to judges and answer questions.

Is it the right time for your child to enter the Science Fair?

  • Does he or she have time beyond homework and extracurricular activities?
  • Do YOU have time to help him or her in the evenings or on the weekend, buy supplies, etc.?
  • Is your child motivated? Interested in science? Remember — this is your student’s project (not yours)!
  • Is your child ready academically? Can he or she organize well? Comfortable speaking to adults?

If your answer is NO to any of the above — STOP! Volunteer as a judge, bring your child to the fair, and “absorb” the excitement of being around inspiring young scientists. Try again next year!
If your answers are YES to all of the above — START NOW! The earlier the better, and be sure to follow the guide!

While the Science Fair is on Jan. 30, 2019, note that projects are due to their teachers on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 Please click on the packet link below to learn more!

K-3rd Science Fair Guide

Mistakes we see every year.  Remind your kids to not make them

  • Wikipedia, Google, and other search engines are NOT considered strong references and do NOT count as references for the Science Fair. Please use other resources — or see the awesome Doss librarian Mrs. Lang for help!
  • Photographs should have the photographer’s name credited by each photo.
  • NO growing mold or bacteria of any kind (this includes any moldy food studies).
  • Keep a journal! Whether it’s in a notebook or Google Docs, record and doodle every step of your process, from brainstorming to presentation.
  • Your experiments are done – now what? Time to put together your project board and practice your presentation! Click here for some tips!

Awards

Throughout the day on Jan. 30, volunteer adults will be busy judging each entrant. Two judges will review each project, listen to the student’s presentation, and ask questions. The judges will use a form to score the project. These two scores are then totaled, and judges add any comments, all of which are forwarded to the student the following week. A group of teachers will then select 15 Best In Show winners from those fourth- and fifth-grade students who achieve First Place scores, as well as one Best In Show winner from the first-, second-, and third-grade entries. The Best In Show winners in grades 3-5 are eligible to advance to the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival, happening Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, at Palmer Events Center. Award categories are as follows:

Award categories are as follows:

Best In Show

Top 15 projects among first-place finishers in 4th and 5th grades

  • One winner for each grade in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades
  • Selected by teachers
  • Best In Show winners from grades 3-5 are eligible to advance to Regional Science Festival on Feb. 23, 2019

First Place

  • “Experiment” projects scoring at least 44 points AND no “0’s” (or top 50 scores)
  • “Collection, Model or Demonstration” projects are not eligible

Second Place

  • “Experiment” projects scoring at least 38 points
  • “Collection, Model or Demonstration” projects scoring at least 18 points

Third Place

  • “Experiment” projects scoring at least 30 points
  • “Collection, Model or Demonstration” projects scoring below 318 points

Scientist

  • Awarded to every student who does not place or who makes a Kindergarten Robot

Open House and Judging

Once all of the judging is complete and awards distributed, we will open the Doss Gymnasium to the public on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, from 6 to 7:30 pm. Parents, family, and friends of our Owls are invited to come celebrate all of the students’ hard work. The Doss Science Fair is organized and run almost completely by volunteers. If you love seeing students find joy and satisfaction in reaching their goals, then you will adore helping out with Science Fair. We will be asking for parents to help with judging and logistics in the coming weeks. And don’t worry — you don’t need to be a scientist or science lover to judge! We have created an easy, step-by-step judging process that is a cinch to follow. We hope you’ll consider donating an hour of your day to these awesome Owls!

2018-2019 Science Fair Committee