I was judging at a science contest on the weekend, for STAQ, and I had a wonderful time. Each year we receive several hundred wonderful projects from students aged 5 – 18 (7 Divisions). There are six categories: Scientific Investigations, Environmental Action Plans, Mathematical Investigations, Technological Models and Inventions, Communicating Science and Classified Collections.
As I was on the organising committee I didn’t judge too many but I did have a good look at most of the projects. In the Scientific Investigations, students are expected to undertake an inquiry project and communicate the process. As a measure of authenticity, students are supposed to supply their science notebook (sometimes called a science journal in Australian schools) along with their project.
Science notebooks are often used by active scientists, to organise research, record observations, ideas, experiences and reflections, meeting notes, questions, frustrations, etc. They can include written text, drawings, labelled diagrams, photographs…
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