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Thread: MASC Science Fair Competition 2012

  1. #1

    MASC Science Fair Competition 2012

    The MASC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the 2nd Annual MASC Science Fair. The science fair will be held from Now to July 1, 2012 (or the monthly meeting heald in July). The deadline for entry is January 1, 2012. If you intend on entering into this contest you can fill out the form and put it in this thread, but a hard copy also must be filled out and handed to a BOD member. Below you will find the guide lines and judging criteria. All of the contestants' projects will be presented at our monthly meeting in July of 2012. Our special guest judges will be more active in the process this year, and will be the people who decide the winner. The winner will receive round trip airfare and a ticket to MANCA 2012 in Dallas, Texas September 28-20, 2012. The winner will also receive $500 in CASH. We do have a few surprises from RHM, and from the BOD of MACNA to be announced later on in the competition. All decisions are final, any questions should be sent to board@marinecolorado.org.


    MASC Reef Science Fair Guidelines:

    Everyone is allowed to participate.

    Projects are to be done by individuals only. No collaborative efforts.

    Entrants can choose to focus their project on any aspect of reefkeeping or the marine aquarium hobby.

    Projects should demonstrate a scientific principle, or solve a problem using the scientific method.

    The project should include the following aspects:

    All work must be done by the exhibitor, however, in the case of a minor, any adult may supervise. For minor exhibitors, adults must not do any of the experimentation or build, make, write, print or type any part of the exhibit or report.

    The exhibitor must supply all materials, tools and equipment for the installation of the project at the final exhibition.

    Exhibits should fit on or take up a standard 6ft table area.
    A project data book and research paper are required for each project. Pictures are required and Videos are also HIGHLY recommended. The more detail the better. PLEASE make sure you are taking pictures of progress as well, NOT just the end product.

    Exhibitors must fill out an entry form by January 1, 2011. No late entries will be allowed, unless so dictated by the BOD of MASC

    The special judges for the Science Fair 2012 are:
    1. Matt Pedersen
    2. Bob Fenner
    3. Marc Levenson
    4. Rich Ross
    5. Christine Williams


    1. There would be a 2 month period for people to submit to the judges what their experiment will be about. This will also include a detailed report about how they plan on researching and doing the experiment. This should end at the end of January.

    ------------------The judges would then give them ideas/comments on what they are presented with, at the end of the period. Basically, to guide/coach them to do things that will make their projects successfull. This is probably the biggest and best change. Last year, the special judges were not there to help coach you along the process, and thus were not able to give a concise opinion about what they were looking for. This process would immediately began after #1 and would take about 1 month. This should take us to the end of February

    2. There would then be another 4 month period for you to actually get the experiment done. This would also give you the opportunity to create your formal project, as well as your formal project packet, including pictures, reports, etc. This should take us to the end of June.

    ------------------The judges would then judge all of the final projects and pick the winner. The winner will NOT be announced until all of the RHM and MACNA details are worked out.


    The projects will be judged on the following criteria:

    I. Scientific Thought
    A. Does project follow the scientific method?
    B. Is the problem clearly stated?
    C. Are the procedures appropriate and organized?
    D. Is the information collected accurate and complete?

    II. Creative Ability
    A. How unique or original is the project idea?
    B. Is it significant or unusual for a child this age?

    III. Understanding
    A. Does it explain what the student learned about the topic?
    B. Does the project represent real study and effort?
    C. Does the project show the child is familiar with the topic?

    IV. Clarity
    A. Does the student clearly communicate the nature of the
    problem, how the problem was solved, and the conclusion?
    B. Are the problems, procedures, data, and conclusions
    presented clearly and in a logical order?
    C. Does the student clearly and accurately articulate in writing what was accomplished?
    D. Is the objective of the project likely to be understood by one not trained in the subject area?

    V. Dramatic Value
    A. Is the display visually appealing?
    B. Is the proper emphasis given to important ideas?
    C. Are all the components of the project done well?

    VI. Technical Skill
    A. Was the majority of the work done by the student?
    B Has the student acknowledged help received from others?
    C. Does the written material show attention to grammar and spelling?
    D. Is the project physically sound and durably constructed?
    We look forward to your entries and hope that everyone takes this opportunity to further our hobby and possibly win an awesome experience!

    Contest Entry Form

    MASC Reef Science Fair

    Participants must be 18 years of age or older, and a registered MASC member. Members who are 17 years of age and younger need a valid parent/legal guardian's signature in order to participate. This form MUST be printed and delivered to a MASC board member.

    Parent/Legal Guardian______________________________

    Prize package includes:
    Trip for 1 to the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America(MACNA). Prize includes (a) round trip airfare for 1 from Denver, CO to Dallas, Texas; (b) admission for 1 into the exhibition halls/any speaker presentations; (c) hotel stay for the three days of the conference. All reservations will be made by the board members of the Marine Aquarium Society of Colorado no later than 30 days prior to anticipated departure. Airline tickets may be upgraded, re-assigned or transferred at the expense of the "winner." Not included are meals, bar, phone, and transportation to and from airports.

    Hotel will be provided by Fathom Aquatics.
    Airfaire will be provided by Elite Reef.

    By participating, all entrants acknowledge and agree that they have entered the contest of their own free will, that the full rules and details of the contest have been made available to them in writing and they therefore understand and agree that neither the Marine Aquarium Society of Colorado, affiliates, sponsors, or representatives have any liability with respect to the contestants' participation in the contest or winning a prize and are not liable for any damages out of acceptance and use of a prize. By entering this promotion, participants agree to be bound by these rules.
    Last edited by hurrafreak; December 13th, 2011 at 01:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Exciting stuff! This year should be bigger and better!
    Check yourself before I wreck yourself.

  3. #3
    "The exhibitor must supply all materials, tools and equipment for the installation of the project at the final exhibition."
    Does this mean that I have to drag my 300 gal tank to display my experiment? Or do I just have to bring in my own laptop to play the videos of my tank?

    "Projects are to be done by individuals only. No collaborative efforts."
    Does this mean that my wife can't help?

  4. #4
    you could scale down you tank to duplicate the results if possible ...ultimately that would probably be a good question for the judges if you enter as to how you might duplicate it
    Don ------------making waves like a vortech

    DBTC That I owe:
    2X green monti, 2x henry's zoas, 2x tourqoise milli, 2x rainbow pocci, 2x blue digi, 2x blue riddler,

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Atari View Post
    "The exhibitor must supply all materials, tools and equipment for the installation of the project at the final exhibition."
    Does this mean that I have to drag my 300 gal tank to display my experiment? Or do I just have to bring in my own laptop to play the videos of my tank?

    "Projects are to be done by individuals only. No collaborative efforts."
    Does this mean that my wife can't help?
    1. You could try and drag your 300 gallon to display your experiment, that would be amazing lol! As much information about your experiment is best, but no you don't need to bring your 300 gallon tank lol. BUT to compensate you may want to build a sweet display for the experiment to include as much information, videos, and pictures as possible.

    2. She can assist if there is any sort of building or assembling to be done. BUT as far as data, research, etc. that needs to be done by you only. This counts for minors and parents as well.

  6. #6
    Looking forward to another year of the MASC science fair competition, and with an expanded panel of judges, this one is going to be even more interesting as we debate the merits of each project! Juan asked me to stop on by and introduce myself, and well, I'll do that in a moment but I also want to throw out some advice to contestants as they formulate their projects. Think about results that can be reproduced. Think about the "sample size" that drives your data. Rule out and control as many variables as you can. Don't jump to conclusions...just because your results don't support your hypothesis doesn't mean your project is less valuable!

    And here's my current background / bio:

    Matt Pedersen is an interactive software developer and part-time fly fishing guide. Matt also has experience as a professional orchid breeder and certified fly rod builder. Matt is originally from Chicago, IL and current living in Duluth, MN, USA with his very understanding wife, Renee, and their young son Ethan.

    Matt has been a marine aquarist for 25 years, and an aquarist for 30+. After spending time on every side of the aquarium industry (retail, commercial and private maintenance & installation, wholesale, hatchery), he currently considers himself a "professional hobbyist". Most recently, Matt has currently spawned 24 species of marine fish, successfully raising 9 of them to date including one worldwide first (the Harlequin Filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris), as well as attempted another 6 invertebrate species to date (excluing those that tend to propagate with no special intervention). Most all of this was accomplished with less than 100 gallons of total working capacity, and all in closed culture. In 2010, Matt Pedersen was selected as the breeder of choice to work with the now famous "PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish" from the SEASMART program, and chronicles the efforts to propagate this one-of-a-kind fish online at The Lightning Project.

    Matt Pedersen is credited with starting MOFIB (Marine Ornamental Fish & Invertebrate Breeder's Association) and writing for multiple publications including CORAL, Koralle, Practical Fish Keeping, Marine Habitat, Reef Hobbyist Magazine, Reefs.com and Reef Builders. Matt has spoken at numerous aquarium clubs and events from coast to coast. He has had the honor to serve as one of a handful of Sr. Editors for both CORAL Magazine and AMAZONAS Magazine, and delights in helping his fellow aquarists bring their experiences and insights to the world. He currently sits on the MBI (Marine Breeding Initiative) Council, a project dedicated to bringing the concept of a unified Marine Breeder's Award Program to hobbyist organizations across the country and around the globe. In 2009, Matt was awarded "Aquarist of the Year" honors by both IMAC West and MASNA in recognition of his accomplishments and contributions to the marine aquarium hobby. Matt is a strong proponent of being a lifelong learner.

  7. #7
    I'll have to decide what Iam gonna do this year! Think I have an idea though

    "Each tank is a different world if your bored of yours then go into your fish's world"

  8. #8
    Oh man, the fish man is returning to the competition!!! Sounds like just based off of today we should have a lot more competition this year as apposed to las year.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by the_fish_man View Post
    I'll have to decide what Iam gonna do this year! Think I have an idea though
    i would still ike to see you do what we talked about last year ....im not sure that has been "scientifically" researched
    Don ------------making waves like a vortech

    DBTC That I owe:
    2X green monti, 2x henry's zoas, 2x tourqoise milli, 2x rainbow pocci, 2x blue digi, 2x blue riddler,

  10. #10
    Hi Everyone!

    Thanks for having me on board tohelp judge this year--I am a HUGE science fair fan, having done it myself as a kid and now watching my 8-year old compete every year. Here on Long Island, it is a huge big deal, with the winners from each school competing together at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

    My advice to everyone:

    Complicated and involved is nice, but sometimes the most compelling experiments are simple, elegant solutions. That, and a negative result is still a result! If your experiment doesn't prove what you intended, that may still be valuable information, so don't throw it away .

    Documentation is critical! Write everything down in a notebook, and I mean everything. If it isn't written down, it didn't happen. (I tend to take a lot of photos and paste them in my notebooks so I can remember how an apparatus was set up or what a solution looked like). I say this for two reasons: one, nothing is worse than knowing you did something and not remembering how, and second, this is a habit you want to build early.

    And finally, be safe: make sure all of your creations are built thoughtfully, use GFI's if you're using water, and use proper safety equipment (safety glasses, gloes) when necessary. Chopping off a finger or electrocuting your brother is an automatic disqualification.

    About me...well, I get to do science fairs for a living now, and I assure you the process is pretty much exactly the same on a professional level I am the head of the Mariponics Marine Research Laboratory at BASF, where I do research using marine materials (primarily aquacultured) as raw materials for fine chemicals and active ingredients in skin care. I'm also the microbiology/fermentation expert, so I wear a lot of hats. So many days are spent thinking about a question, formulating a hypothesis, devising a way to prove it, doing the experiment, evaluating the results, etc etc. I've been in the hobby for about 8 years now, since my son was an infant, and primarily maintain small simple systems.

    I'm very happy to help along the way, as I know the other judges are, so please ask lots of questions!


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