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Report like a Scientist OR Captivate like a Journalist

Posted by on December 12, 2011

An interesting backboard will help you communicate your results

After your project is done and your backboard is made, you will need to work on your interview skills for presenting your project to the class, your teacher, and/or the science fair judges. You have 2 choices here. You can present your project the way a scientist would, that is, in the logical order in which you proceeded: Question, hypothesis, experimental design, results, and finally your conclusion. Or you could present it the way a journalist would write about it: conclusion first, supported by the details about how you arrived at such a conclusion. Since the science fair will be judged by science-oriented folks, they will expect the presentation to follow the first choice. I recommend you practice the second approach and surprise them with a dynamic interpretation of your findings.

Other tips:

1. Dress neatly. Yes, you could win in ripped jeans and lose in dress clothes, but appearance matters and dressing neatly will communicate that you cared enough to take the presentation seriously.

2. Treat everyone in the room as if they were your only judge. Sometimes there are people there to judge a special award category. If you see someone wandering around, looking at all projects, take the initiative to invite them to your project. At the very least, you gain experience interviewing.

3. Double check that all your graphs and tables are fully labeled with numbers and units

4. Practice, practice, practice.

Tomorrow I will be judging a fair in Washington, DC (3rd-6th grade). I will be looking for creative projects that: (1) I have not seen before and (2) are executed with proper scientific method.

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