TCCSA Home School Science Fair General Guidelines

The purpose of the Twin Cities area Home School Creation Science Fair is to provide an opportunity for students, K - 12, to display their creativity, work and scientific process skills acquired in their studies. It is an event to spark the interest of all students about the different areas of study that they can pursue in the future. The fair will reinforce the compatibility of real scientific thought and the truth of the Bible.

1. This fair is open to all Home School students (and others) in the greater Twin Cities area.
2. Each student may enter only one project.
3. There will be only individual projects, and team projects will not be allowed.
4. Each exhibit MUST include a Scripture reference. Some ideas are not specifically mentioned in the Bible, but there are verses that develop principles that can be related to your project. The intent is to relate all areas of science to the Creator of the universe.
5. Students must be with their projects during judging and initial public viewing.
6. The Science Fair Board retains the right to reject any unsafe or inappropriate project.

A science project can be: Non-experimental: Descriptive project which explores scientific concepts. OR Experimental: Own or verify others

Grades K - 2
Home School students in Grades K - 2 may have either an experimental or a non-experimental protect.

Grades 3 - 4
Home School students in grades 3 - 4 may have either an experimental or a non-experimental project.

Grades 5-6
Home School students in grades 5-6 may have either an experimental or a non-experimental project.

Grades 7 -12
Home School students in grades 7 - 12 may only have an experimental project.

Pre-registration $5 -- may be e-mailed or mailed, but please mail fee to Julie VonVett -- address below.
(Registration is at the door is $8.)


Exhibit dates:
Saturday, February 14, 2015
One day only
St Paul, Totino Fine Arts Center, Lobby
3003 North Snelling Ave.Roseville Minnesota

Set-up exhibits: 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM,
Judging starts: 10:00 AM, Saturday
Ribbons awarded: 1:00 PM, Saturday

Guest Viewing: Hours-10:00 to Noon
PM Sat. (need not be
present after awards

Each application must be accompanied by a $5.00 application fee payable to TCCSA that helps cover the cost of ribbons & incidental expenses like printing and awards.

All entrants will be given a certificate of participation, and the top three exhibits in each of the categories will receive ribbons.

Exhibit guidelines

1. The exhibit display may not exceed 3 feet wide by 3 feet deep by 6 feet high. University of N has agreed to furnish 8ft. tables. The plan is to put two projects per table on these.

2. The display board should be made out of sturdy materials such as plywood, masonite, pegboard, wood, pressed wood, fiberboard or cardboard. Backboard sections should be joined together securely to make a rigid support for the display. Items should be securely attached to the backboard. Projects must be free-standing for the table display. Select appropriate colors for presentation/background materials.

3. There will be no gas or water outlets provided. Electrical outlets are limited so try to avoid the need for 110v. Use battery operated exhibits if possible and needed.

4. Students should be prepared to discuss their projects from a technical standpoint with the judges and to explain their projects in simplified terms to the general public.

5. For experimental projects the display should include the title, Bible verse, experimental design, background information including problem & hypothesis, results including graphs & tables of data, conclusion(s), technical report, log book, equipment, samples and other items that help tell the story. Keep it neat, clean and simple. Don't overdo!

Experimental Project (Open for both grade ranges)

A project is experimental if:
1. A hypothesis is posed.
2. Student experiment was conducted, using the scientific method.
3. Data/records were collected and analyzed.
4. The solution to a problem was sought. A model and demonstrations may be included in the experimental project. Elementary students entering an experimental project must follow the same basic requirements, but to a lesser degree of detail.

Non-experimental Project (Open only for grades K - 6)

This is a descriptive project that explores scientific concepts. It can be a:
1. Model -- The entry would show how various parts work together to accomplish the purpose for which they were designed. It includes projects which explain how a manufactured item such as a computer works and how a created item such as the leaf of a plant functions.
2. Collection -- The entry which classifies and displays items gathered from nature. It includes fossils, flowers, rocks, etc.
3. Demonstration -- The entry that explains a principle or law found in the physical creation or in mathematical areas, such as why objects appear to lose weight when placed under water.

Items must be identified, using the procedures and names established by the science involved.

Projects must include a display board including a title and pictures, etc., to help tell the story. Students should have a working knowledge of the projects and be prepared to explain it to the judges. An age-appropriate written report is required for grades up to 6. It may be typed or handwritten.

Judging Criteria (Grades K - 6)

1. Visual Display
Is the display board neat and attractive? Does it have a title? Does it include pictures, articles, drawings, etc., to help tell the story of the project? Display items should be identified by name.

2. Knowledge
Does the student understand the principle behind the project? Is the basic who/what/when/where/why/how information explained, as it relates to the project? The student is expected to do more than "fill up space" at the Science Fair; he/she is required to have a working knowledge of the topic.

3. Verbal Expression
Can the student explain the project in knowledgeable terms? Depending on grade level, the student should be able to explain parts, etc., in layman's terms or simple scientific terms, rather than refer to "that thing." Students will be prepared to speak on the project.

4. Written Report
The student's written report should be neat and as complete as can be expected at a given grade level, ranging from a few simple sentences for the younger students to a report of approximately 200 - 250 words for those in 5th - 6th grade level.

5. Biblical Application/Illustration

God's Word should be related to the project, either by a verse directly applicable to the topic, or by an analogy. Although younger students may need assistance in finding and applying the verse(s), the student should be able to explain it in his/her own words. The Bible verse must be part of the display.

Judging Criteria (Grades 7 -12)
1. Originality & Creativity
Does the student have a unique or original problem or approach to the solution of the problem? Is there evidence of initiative? Is there an ingenious use of equipment? Is the display attractive, eye catching? Is it neatly done: lettering, layout, etc.? Is it well constructed and within the maximum dimensions?

2. Effective Use of Scientific Method*
Has the problem been defined and hypothesis stated? Is there evidence of study and literary and experimental research? Has the student been thorough with experiments? Has the student analyzed the observations, stated results, and drawn valid conclusions? Has the project been thoroughly documented through the log book (according to scientific method specifications) and by the written report (with footnotes and bibliography)?

3. Knowledge Achieved
Has there been a correct use of scientific terms? Does the student understand these terms? Is there evidence of acquired knowledge (depth) through the research, or has the student merely acquired a memorizing technique? Does the student show evidence of knowing the underlying principle(s)?

4. Clarity of Expression
Can the student orally explain the project concisely and answer questions well? Discount the student with a memorized speech with little understanding of the principles. Is the written material; the obvious work of the student, in accordance with verbal knowledge of the topic, or has the material merely been copied? Has the student expressed the problem well on the display through the title, any additional writings, and the use of pictures, graphs, etc.? Written report length should be 700 words minimum.

5. Biblical Application/Illustration
What does God's Word say about the problem? Each project must communicate in one of two ways: Application: Information that is usable in everyday life and relevant to the problem being considered. Illustration: Explanatory example, from Scripture, that parallels the given problem. The Bible verse must be on the display.

*Scientific Method

One of the major goals of the Creation Science Fair is to practice and instill the use of the scientific method in the process of the student's research and study.

Steps of the scientific method that will be judged are:
1) Statement of the problem,
2) Research of the literature on the topic,
3) Forming a hypothesis which is a tentative assumption made for the purpose of testing,
4) Procedure used,
5) Observations-Record data in a journal or log book which is a chronological record. of the project's development. It should include the who, what, when, where, why, and how of each days work. The log book must be part of the project display on the board or on the table, according to the student's preference and display design,
6) Results, statistical analysis,
7) Sources of error,
8) Conclusions--The conclusion should include a statement as to whether the hypothesis was verified or nullified,
9) Possibilities for future research,
10) Acknowledgments.

Parental Notes and Safety

Parents as the teachers are responsible for proper supervision of the student's project.

Students should not perform unnecessary or indiscriminate experiments on live animals. No live animals will be allowed at the exhibit; however, your project may include a topic that involves live animals. Examples would be that you surveyed horses for the dominance of hair color or you bred different types of rabbits. You can show photos, statistics, research, conclusions, etc. at your exhibit about the animals, but you may not have the animals present.

Projects involving safety hazards such as high temperatures, rockets, explosives, lasers, high voltage, drugs and others should be avoided. Please no advertising products or comparisons of commercial products.

Students may seek help from an adult or another student with typing, backboard construction and critique of methods. Students must do 90% of the total work at all grade levels. All help must be acknowledged in written form in the exhibit.

Encourage creative and unique study and experimentation that would excite and interest your child
Try to avoid a "canned" project just for the sake of doing it.

The student may wish to enter a project that is a continuation from a previous science fair. The topic must have been researched to a greater degree of detail and additional experimentation work must have been accomplished beyond the previous exhibit.

Because several projects may be similar in ingenuity, originality, scientific approach, the tie breaker may just be the visual presentation including graphics, neatness, color and labeling.

We are very grateful to University of Northwestern St Paul for hosting this event to display Home School Science projects.
Hints from the judges: A good hypothesis is narrow!!! The subject of the hypothesis must be quantifiable and repeatable. If it can not be measured it is not suitable for scientific evaluation. A successful experiment may refute its hypothesis, this is OK; the experiment may also be inconclusive, this is OK. Never overstate your conclusion. Be sure to practice your presentation. We wish you well!

Helps: ABEKA: "A Science Project" or the booklet, "How to do Science Fair Projects," Evan-Mor (EMC 4128) cost about $3.00.


September, 2014 Revision