Award Announcement

Science Rendezvous Science Fair (S.R.S.F.)

STEM Education Scholarship

Funding Source: U of T Science Rendezvous Classroom Enrichment Fund

Award Amount: $1000 to enhance classroom learning (allocated accordingly, see below)

Classroom Registration Deadline: Friday March 29th, 2019

Poster Project Submission Deadline: Friday April 26th, 2019 

Date of Competition: Science Rendezvous, Saturday May 11th, 2019 (9:00 am  2:00 pm)

Location of Competition: Bahen Centre Atrium, University of Toronto (St. George Campus)


The Science Rendezvous Science Fair (S.R.S.F.) STEM Education Scholarship is a Toronto-wide competition open to Elementary & High School-level science classrooms. Participating educators will assign a poster project in line with this year’s topic, Molecular Genetics and select students to represent their classroom at the Science Rendezvous Science Fair (S.R.S.F.) during Science Rendezvous U of T on Saturday, May 11th, 2019. 

A scholarship of $1000 (allocated accordingly, see below) will be awarded to the classroom represented by the students with the top poster in each division: Elementary (Grades 5 - 8) and High School (Grades 9 - 12). Classroom registration is now open!

PLEASE NOTE ELIGIBILITY & RULES HAVE CHANGED FROM 2018.

ABOUT US


The S.R.S.F. STEM Education Scholarship aims to promote scientific awareness and literacy by recognizing teaching excellence and a commitment to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This is an annual scholarship awarded to Elementary and High School classrooms that demonstrate outstanding student comprehension and science literacy. This award serves to publicly showcase the talent and innovation of Greater Toronto Area students and educators while providing funds that allow these educators to enhance their classrooms. Scholarship funds may be used towards field trips, classroom makeovers, science materials, and/or science equipment necessary to facilitate current and future science education.

This competition offers educators an avenue to supplement classroom funding and spark students’ interests in STEM fields. Furthermore, students are given the chance to

demonstrate their scientific knowledge to the community and showcase their work alongside that of Canada’s leading scientists and innovators.

ELIGIBILITY


All participating educators must teach math or science to grades 5 – 12 students at a Greater Toronto Area school.

*It is recommended (though not required) that schools divide these posters amongst the grades (i.e. two grade 5 posters, two grade 6, two grade 7, and two grade 8 for an Elementary School, or likewise 2 posters for grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 for a High School).

GUIDELINES & JUDGING


POSTER GUIDELINES:

Supervising educators must assign their class a Poster Project on a topic chosen by the Science Rendezvous U of T committee. This year’s topic is Molecular Genetics. Students must choose one of the following questions to answer according to their division.

Elementary (Grade 5 - 8):

1. Science fiction films use fictional-based depictions of phenomena (e.g. genetic manipulation – bringing things back from the dead, giving people superpowers, global pandemics) that are not fully representative of current scientific knowledge.

Choose a genetic – related science film of your choice and fact-check the science presented. Things to consider: Are the scientific concepts possible in real life (using the knowledge and technology that we have today)?

2. Antibiotic resistance in bacteria that infect humans is one of the most important public health problems of our time. Explain how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.

Discuss the detrimental effects of antibiotic resistance using real life cases of the phenomenon.Your answer underlies the importance of not taking unprescribed antibiotics.

3. What are genetically modified foods? Pick a genetically modified food that you love to eat (eg. bananas, corn etc.) and discuss the genetic history of this particular food and how it has evolved over the course of agricultural development?

Compare and contrast the different versions of the food and use your example to debate the advantages and disadvantages of genetically modifying foods?

High School:

1. Science fiction films use fictional-based depictions of phenomena (e.g. genetic manipulation – bringing things back from the dead, giving people superpowers, global pandemics) that are not fully representative of current scientific knowledge.

Choose a genetic – related science film of your choice and fact-check the science presented. Write a correction for the film so that the concepts are scientifically possible. Things to consider: Are the scientific concepts possible in real life (using the knowledge and technology that we have today)? How can the scenes be altered so that they can occur in real life?

2. Kuru is a disease that originated in the Fore linguistic population of Papua New Guinea Eastern Highlands. At its peak, the Kuru epidemic killed up to 2% of the village populations annually and imposed a strong selection pressure on the PRNP gene in the Fore groups affected by the disease.

What is Kuru? Explain the symptoms, disease mechanism, and what led to the epidemic. Discuss selection pressure and what it led to in terms of the Kuru epidemic.

3. What is the Genetic Revolution and how will humans be affected by it? Discuss the potential problems as well as the possibilities that it holds for the future.

What are the possible struggles we could potentially face and what are the potential futures that we foresee? Explain the downsides as well as the benefits with respective studies in the field.

4. Pick one of the following three genetic disorders and explain the cause of this disease in terms of genetics. Draw up an example of a three-generation pedigree of a family with the said disorder and discuss  how the gene is inherited.

Explain the mechanism of the disease, its symptoms, and how this genetic disorder causes the disease phenotype. Are there potential therapies for  this disorder and if so discuss how the treatment combats the disease  

   Diseases: Cystic Fibrosis, Hemophilia & Huntington's disease.

Poster Criteria:

Posters must be created using a self-standing display board. 36” x 48” display boards made of black/white-coloured foam-core or corrugated cardboard are readily available at many retailers including Walmart and Michaels ranging from $4 to $14 per board depending on the material.

Each poster must prominently display:

JUDGING CRITERIA

All Poster Projects will be displayed simultaneously within their division (Elementary or High School) and students will have the opportunity to hone their oral presentation skills through mini poster talks (maximum 7 minutes, dependent on volume of registrants) with attendees and judges.

As part of Science Rendezvous U of T, the S.R.S.F. will be judged by U of T faculty, graduate researchers, special guests and be open to Science Rendezvous’ 30,000+ attendees - giving students the opportunity to showcase their work to leading researchers and innovators in STEM as well as the broader public.

Poster Projects will be evaluated on the following:

Elementary posters (grades 5-8) and High School posters (grades 9-12) will be judged separately.

AWARD ALLOTMENT & RECEIPT


AWARDS

At the S.R.S.F. posters that demonstrate outstanding comprehension and scientific thought will win medals and an allotment from the U of T Science Rendezvous Classroom Enrichment Fund for their educator and classroom.

Within each division, Elementary and High School, there will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners:

        1st  Place – student medal(s) + $1,000 STEM Education Scholarship

        2nd Place – student medal(s)

        3rd  Place – student medal(s)

The $1,000 STEM Education Scholarship will be in the form of:

Elementary: $1,000 (or 100%) for the educator/classroom

High School: $700 (or 70%) for the educator/classroom and $300 (or 30%) for the student(s) presenting the poster (up to $100 each)

All participants will receive a participation certificate, entry into a prize draw, and some Science Rendezvous swag gifts.

RECEIPT OF AWARDS

The $1,000 STEM Education Scholarship will work on a reimbursement basis. Winning supervising educators may spend up to the allotted award amount and submit all official receipts to uoftsrchair@scienderendezvous.org for reimbursement.

Educators have until December 31st, 2019 to spend this award or else forfeit its amount.

REGISTRATION PROCESS


Each school may register up to 8 posters in total, and each individual educator may register up to 4 posters in total. Thus, we strongly encourage educators to consult with their colleagues before registering.

Educators will register their classroom(s) to compete in their respective divisions (Elementary or High School) on a first-come, first-served basis via the following URLs:

Elementary: https://bit.ly/2EwuTGO

High School: https://bit.ly/2Ev9Sw

Registration closes Friday, March 29th, 2019. Confirmation of eligibility and registration will be sent within five business days. If registration for the division is full a confirmation of waitlist status will be sent. Waitlisted candidates will be notified if additional spots should become available.

Successful registrants must select up to three students to represent each poster and submit the following: student name(s), project title, and a poster “proof-of-completion” (a photo) by Friday, April 26th, 2019.

Failure to register and provide “proof-of-completion” will lead to automatic disqualification from the competition.

IMPORTANT NOTES


TO MAINTAIN QUALITY AND FAIRNESS, STUDENTS WHO ARRIVE AT THE SCIENCE RENDEZVOUS SCIENCE FAIR UNREGISTERED BY A SUPERVISING EDUCATOR WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO PRESENT.

TO MAINTAIN QUALITY AND FAIRNESS, SUPERVISING EDUCATORS WHO REGISTER BUT DO NOT ATTEND MAY NOT BE PERMITTED TO PARTICIPATE FOR 1 FOLLOWING YEAR.

RESOURCES & CONTACT


If you have any questions or concerns regarding this competition or this award, please feel free to contact:

Lily Huang
Head Science Rendezvous Science Fair (S.R.S.F.) Coordinator

uoftsr.sciencefair@gmail.com

If you’d like to learn more about Science Rendezvous or stay in touch with us, please visit:


SR National: http://www.sciencerendezvous.ca/ 

SR U of T: http://www.sciencerendezvousuoft.ca/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UofTSR/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UofTSR 
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