Welcome to Regina 2017
Countdown to CWSF
Welcome to Regina 2017
The purpose of the CWSF Awards is to reward outstanding scientific and technological achievement and excellence by Canada’s young scientists at the national level and to recognize those national finalists at the Canada-Wide Science Fair whose achievement places them above the rest.
Rigorous judging standards ensure all projects are assessed critically and fairly. All are judged on the following criteria (Judge's Marking Form):
- Scientific Thought
- Originality and Creativity
About 325 judges from University, the public and private sectors, sponsors and regional science fair partners across Ontario volunteer their time to judge the science on display at the CWSF.
Awards include the Special, Challenge, Excellence (medals), and Grand Awards, with nearly $1 million presented as cash, scholarships, travel and other prizes!
Youth Science Canada, with its National Judging Committee (NJC), establishes the criteria for awards, sets the judging standards, oversees selection of the CWSF Chief Judge, recruits award sponsors and organizes the presentation of the awards.
The CWSF Chief Judge recruits and trains judges, coordinates the judging process and selects the Special, Challenge, and Excellence Award recipients. A special Youth Science Canada panel selects the Grand Award recipients from the gold medal winners.
Awards are assigned to the best eligible project on the basis of ranking projects relative to others at the current CWSF.
Award recipients are selected based on the quality of their projects and presentations. Neither formal nor informal selection criteria based on gender or ethnocultural heritage are permitted in the National Awards Program or at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.
These awards are for outstanding projects that meet specific criteria within a particular aspect of science and often reflect the special interests of the sponsoring foundations, companies and professional associations. All Special Awards include cash awards, trips, summer internships and other prizes for outstanding projects that meet specific criteria established by the sponsor(s).
Self-nomination is required; judges will only consider projects that the finalists have nominated for these awards in the online registration system. The list includes all available Special Awards. A project may be nominated for up to three Special Awards. Only those awards for which a project is eligible will appear in the Special Awards area of the CWSF online registration system.
Special Awards judges spend approximately 10 minutes with each project. Judges expect to hear a brief (5 minute) summary of the project and why it deserves the award, followed by time for questions.
Self-nomination is a commitment to accept the award as offered. If you plan to nominate your project for a travel or summer experience award, be sure you do so only after careful consideration and with parent/guardian approval.
Please note: Certain Special Awards involve travel and a commitment to be away from home for an extended period of time, to travel to another country and/or to live in unfamiliar surroundings. All travel involves an element of risk. Foreign Affairs Canada provides advice to international travellers through their website.
Challenge Awards recognize the top project in each of the 7 Canada-Wide Youth Science Challenges in each grade category. The seven Canada-Wide Youth Science Challenges – Discovery, Energy, Environment, Health, Information, Innovation and Resources – focus on issues that are important to Canadian youth, the future of their country and their world. They are meant to inspire students to exercise their curiosity and creativity by answering a question or solving a problem by doing a science project.
At the CWSF, 3 awards are presented - junior, intermediate and senior - for the best project that addresses each challenge.
During registration, finalists identify the challenge best addressed by their project. Interviews for these awards are unscheduled, and students may or may not see a judge for one of these awards.
Excellence Awards (CWSF medals) recognize science and technology excellence. The judging is a relative process, with medals awarded based on the ranking of consensus scores for each project within a grade category. A total of 70 medals is available in each grade category - junior, intermediate, and senior:
- 10 Gold Medals (including $250 cash)
- 20 Silver Medals
- 40 Bronze Medals
All medals are normally awarded as judged; however, the awarding of a gold medal requires that the following minimum standard be attained:
- The project demonstrates Level 3 or 4 of Scientific Thought (see Judge’s Marking Sheet).
- Analysis and conclusions are appropriate and based on the data;
- The project demonstrates some knowledge of the relevant background and theory; and
- The project contains no glaring or significant errors.
Each judging team is assigned a specific group of projects in the same grade category. Normally, four different judges evaluate each project. Judging is a three-step process:
First, judges read the Project Reports in advance and, on the evening before judging, view the projects without the finalists being present.
On judging day, each of the four judges meets with the finalist(s) for about 20-minutes. Judges expect to spend approximately 10 minutes hearing a presentation about the project, followed by 10 minutes for questions.
After the finalists have left the exhibit area for the day, each judging team meets to discuss each project and assign a consensus score based on the project level and relative merit of each project. After these scores are compiled, representatives of each judging team within a grade category meet to review the ranked scores and determine the Excellence (medal) and Challenge Award recipients. This step involves considerable discussion among the judges and may require additional viewing of projects without the finalists present. Sponsor representatives may work with the category teams at this time to select the recipients of Special Awards.
Several universities provide scholarships to medal winners at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.
The Grand Awards include two Platinum Awards and the Best Project Award, which are presented to the top three projects at the CWSF - best junior, intermediate, and senior. All gold medalists are automatically considered for the Grand Awards.
Each of the two Platinum Awards includes $1,000 cash and a crystal presentation award.
The Best Project Award includes $2,500 cash and a crystal presentation award, making it one of the most valuable and prestigious awards for youth in Canada.
A special panel of Youth Science Canada appointed judges selects the Grand Award recipients.
Every project at the CWSF uses the same display unit - an aluminum frame with two white vertical panels, a triangular table, and a header sign pre-printed with the project title and finalist name(s). Use of the CWSF display unit is mandatory - do not bring a backboard of any kind.
The dimensions of the CWSF display unit (accurate to 1cm) are shown on the left below. The diagram on the right illustrates how standard paper pages fit on a display panel when arranged in a grid. Click each image to download a PDF file suitable for printing.
The following information provides a summary of the display requirements. Finalists, delegates, parents, and Regional Coordinators are urged to review the CWSF Project Displays policy in detail when preparing CWSF display materials and before signing the CWSF Permission and Release Form. Some items accepted for display at a Regional Science Fair may not be permitted at the CWSF.
Before being approved for competition at the CWSF, each project must pass an inspection to ensure that the material on display complies with the CWSF Project Displays policy.
Once the project has been approved, no display materials may be added.
Presentation materials must be attached to the white display panels above the table, and may overlap from one panel to the other. Materials may not be attached to the display unit frame, including the header sign.
Adhesives for affixing presentation materials to the display panels will be supplied; no other adhesives may be used. At the end of the CWSF, display panels must be returned to their original condition, with all project materials and adhesives removed.
Although we will have sufficient tape for all participants, you may wish to bring your own supply of 3M Scotch 110 Heavy Duty Mounting Tape, as pictured, which is available in 1.9m rolls at Staples and Home Depot.
Presentation information including text, graphics, photographs and other data on the display panels must be printed on bond paper (laser, inkjet, or standard copier), or photographic paper. Laminated paper is permissible, but discouraged due to the environmental impact.
Construction paper, Bristol board and papers listed above may be used to outline or border presentation information or to add small decorative elements to the display panels.
If you are preparing a large-format poster, Staples will print a 24 x 36 inch page for about $30. A local municipal office, engineering or architecture firm, land surveyor, or university might be able to print a large poster at lower cost.
Finalists are encouraged to bring a USB drive with the files for their presentation materials saved as PDF files.
Papers presented on the table must be secured in a binder, Duo-tang, presentation folder, plastic sleeve or other appropriate enclosure.
Other display materials must comply with the CWSF Project Displays policy, which includes detailed rules for: fire safety; electrical safety; structural and mechanical safety; chemical safety; biohazards; human subjects; animals & animal parts; firearms; and hazardous materials and equipment.
Computers, tablets, and other electronic devices that comply with electrical safety requirements may be used as display materials. Finalists should remove all valuables from their display when the exhibit hall is closed.
A project may be granted additional space to display an innovation that exceeds the capacity of the display unit table. This request must be made by the Regional Coordinator to the Youth Science Canada Zone Representative. The final authority for approval rests with the National Science Fair Committee Chair.
Display Equipment and Damage
Although every effort will be made to prevent damage to exhibits, Youth Science Canada, the Host Committee or other sponsoring organizations or cooperating groups accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to any exhibit or part thereof.
The Principles of Mentoring
When participating in a mentoring relationship, Youth Science Canada asks that all mentors and mentees review these guidelines, in order to develop a rewarding, beneficial relationship for all who are involved.
Youth Science Canada is dedicated to nurturing the scientific impulse, creativity, and dedication amongst Canadian youth - encouraging them to develop scientific and technical knowledge and skills through project-based science. We are inspired by the potential of Canada’s youth to improve the world through science and we make programs and resources to help realize that potential. We recognize that mentorship from those established in the Canadian scientific community can provide an enriching relationship for youth engaged in project-based science, adding to knowledge and experience.
A mentor is a teacher, guide, or advisor who works with an individual who is developing their scientific knowledge and expertise, providing support, insight, and resources from their own scientific background and experience. Mentors encourage and empower youth involved in project-based science to help them succeed and discover their own abilities and passions in a supportive, non-judgemental manner. Mentors provide an environment in which youth may learn and grow, whether that be in a laboratory setting, or virtual communication.
Mentors benefit from their participation by raising their academic and community profile and developing a relationship with a member of Canada’s youth.
It is the student’s role, and not the mentor’s, to conceive the project’s specific topic. All data taking must be the student’s own, unless the student does not represent it as his or her own and credits the actual data taker properly. Similarly, analysis of the data, the write-up of the project, and any public presentation of thereof are also exclusively the student’s responsibility. A student undertaking a mentored project has the responsibility to disclose that her/his project was mentored and by whom.
Responsibilities of Mentors and Mentees:
- Treat your mentor or mentee with respect at all times;
- Commit sufficient time and effort towards your mentorship. Set clear expectations for each other;
- Always communicate in a truthful manner;
- Do not accept/offer any kind of payment for your mentoring relationship
- Maintain the confidentiality of the mentoring relationship
- Read and respect Youth Science Canada's Academic Integrity Policy.
Responsibility of Mentors:
- Support and encourage the goals of your mentee - be enthusiastic and share your love of science;
- Encourage your mentee to maintain high scientific and ethical standards;
- Provide advice, guidance, and access to facilities or equipment not otherwise available to your mentee where possible;
- Ensure that your mentee is an active participant;
- Avoid the intent or appearance of unethical or compromising practice in communications, actions, and relationships;
- Maintain the confidentiality of all ideas, products, and materials that a mentee has, or may develop. Do not use any ideas, products, or materials from your mentee in order to further your academic, business, or financial career;
- Acknowledge any conflicts of interest relative to competitions involving the project to your mentee;
- Do not make inquiries regarding the decisions made by judges in competitions in which the project is entered;
- Refer your mentee to Youth Science Canada for issues or questions that you feel unqualified to answer;
- Always maintain a professional relationship with your mentee.
- For the protection of the mentor and the student, all meetings should be held in the presence of others during business hours, at the student’s school in the presence of a teacher or staff member, or at another location with a parent or guardian present.
Responsibility of Mentees:
- Clearly communicate your goals and needs for your project to your mentor;
- Maintain the confidentiality of the mentoring relationship;
- Communicate regularly and openly with your mentor;
- Complete any tasks you have agreed to do with your mentor in a timely manner; Maintain the confidentiality of all ideas, products, and materials that your mentor has, or may develop.
- Hold all sensitive scientific information provided through the relationship with your mentor in strict confidence.
- Always maintain a professional relationship with your mentor.
Levels of Mentorship
Youth Science Canada defines the following levels of mentorship:
- Student does not receive any mentoring.
- Student exchanges a few emails or phone calls, and/or meets with the mentor once or twice to discuss the student’s ideas.
- Student occasionally contacts the mentor by email or phone, and/or meets occasionally with the mentor who provided some advice or materials.
- Student has regular contact with the mentor by email or phone, and/or meets regularly with the mentor who provides advice, materials, assistance with design/testing, or data analysis.
- Student has regular face-to-face contact with the mentor and regular access to advice, materials, space, equipment, design/testing, or other personnel in a specialized facility.
- Student works closely with the mentor over an extended period of time to develop the project idea, plan and conduct the research/development, and analyze the results or test the innovation.
Finalists will be asked to enter the level of mentorship received when they register for the Canada-Wide Science Fair.