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March 29th, 2010

What’s a Good Entry?

KSC Team

We asked some of our judges what makes for a good entry.  Here’s what they said:

David Clark is a former science teacher for elementary and middle schools in Kansas.  He is currently a science producer for Faraday Studios and the Discovery Channel.
“Scientists use models to explain their ideas.  The students that used more originality in their drawings scored higher.”In addition to the detailed drawings, I wanted the language of the entry to reflect the student’s thoughts and ideas using the scientific process.”

Steve Jacobs is a chief scientist for the Discovery Channel, the science writer for Myth Busters and the former director for science education and production of the seminal Mister Wizard television program.
1. Writing clearly and distinctly.
2. Did their explanation achieve closure….did it make the point?
3. Was it obvious they knew at least some basics / rudiments of the field of science from which their “dream” was drawn?  Did it appear they had found / researched some background information on their topic before they entered…or were they making something up and shooting in the dark…hoping for a good grade?
4. Was the idea focused with a measurable outcome? .. something fairly specific hoped for.
5. Did it stay in line with the rules, regulations, and specifics of the challenge?
6. Did I sense any excitement in their presentation / explanation?
7. Did I sense that it was indeed their personal work?

Kenny Luna is columnist for Discovery’s Tree Hugger, and an elementary and middle school teacher on Long Island, NY.
“I’d ask myself the following:
1. What makes my idea unique?
2. Is my idea realistic in a practical sense?
3. Who would be my target audience with this idea? (who will want to buy/ use it and why?)”

Other judges include:
Michael Templeton, Science Advisor, The Magic Schoolbus, Cyber Chase
Jim Metzner, Producer, The Kids’ Science Challenge
and  participating KSC scientists, engineers and advisors: Bob Full, Christopher Viney, Ron Fearing, James Spencer, Kathleen Corrado, Judy Holmes, Tyna Gaylord,  Mo Lupia, Bruno Battisoli, Stephenie Lievense, David Delgado, Ashwin Vasaveda, and Brett Kennedy.

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