Q.R.S.T.F. - Virtual Science Fair Tips

Information-Project:

- Use a platform like Google Docs to write up your project.
- This will allow you to copy and paste your report to the new QRSTF online platform when you are ready to have the judges evaluate it.
- Keep a logbook that can be uploaded as a .pdf file for the judges to see.
- Organize your project into at least 5 main sections that correspond to the elements of a good report.  Suggested headings include:  Introduction and or Purpose; Methods or Procedure; Observations and or Results; Conclusions and or Discussion and or Applications; References. This information will be uploaded to the appropriate online platform.
- Prepare a downloadable .pdf of your information and have it available for the judges.
- Back up your work… have multiple copies. The worst thing is to have to start over
- Take a lot of pictures during your experiment or case study
- Make sure that you have a log book while doing your project.

Video:

- You will record a 3-to-5-minute video to describe your project with either your webcam or phone.
- Keep the camera steady by propping it up or by using a tripod.  If another person is holding the camera, have them prop their arms up on the back of a chair.
- Make sure that at least your upper body is showing. This allows the judges to see any visuals, materials, models or props and see your hand gestures.
- Get the lighting right. Natural light is best but if this is not possible, add lamps around your area.

Background:


- Make sure that the background to your video is pleasant and does not have items that you do not want on the video.
- Add items to your background – e.g., Posters, diagrams, graphs.
- Eliminate background noise (telephone, siblings, pets) and prevent people/pets passing behind.

Clothing:

- Dress for success - present a positive, confident appearance. (no PJ. s or funky hairdos)
- A good first impression is very important.
- Wear colours that encourage viewers to look at your face.

Voice:

- Speak confidently. This will set people at ease and add to a good impression.
- Speak clearly, slower than in normal conversation. Your pitch (high vs low voice) should change appropriately.

Hardware:

- Before you start, check the battery status of your phone/camera and computer. It is very frustrating to have a battery or equipment failure in the middle of your presentation.
-  Software should be properly installed and open.
- Put the camera at eye level.

Presentation:

- Rehearse your speech so you can speak fluently to the camera.
- Practice your presentation from beginning to end. Include any pointing at visuals or graphics.
- Start your presentation with an interesting opening. The opening sets the tone.
- Start with personal information, statement, story, a "did you know”, quote, or an illustration that demonstrates the main focus of your project.
- Include questions of your own that have arisen out of your work. E.g.  What would you do to extend your project or what would you research next.
- Have a positive attitude and try not to be nervous.
- If you have a board, you can point to the board or a title and go over that section.
- You should have a clear ending. Use humour or a thank-you.
- Stand don't sit, straight back but not stiff.


Visuals:

- Visuals can add information quickly to your presentation. These may include photos, videos, bar charts, graphs, gifs, memes and your own pictures (especially those of you doing your project).
- When you add visuals, remember that too much may overshadow your presentation.
- Pictures of your work are more important than pictures of you.
- The visual should help explain the point you want to get across – not just be decoration.
- Does the visual make my video too long? Remember, you have a time limit.
- if you do visual editing, you can add titles and some effects but not so much as to detract from your presentation.

Models/Props:

- Models and props can be used to explain an invention, or a case study display. Reveal them at the appropriate time in your presentation.
- The model can be in the background, ready for you to show at the right time.