Texas District Takes Science Fair Online
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Conroe Independent School District in Texas recently held a science blog competition, in which it invited fifth through 12th graders to create a blog to explore a science or technology question. Judges in the "SciBlogz" competition evaluated the blogs on criteria that examined how clear and interesting the problem or question was; how effectively the blog design reflected the topic; how creatively and constructively widgets and other elements were integrated and contributed to the overall message of the blog; whether the participant used other graphical elements such as photographs, drawings, animations, or quizzes; and how thorough the research and documentation was.
Shannon Oscher, who won first place in the fifth and sixth grade category, created a blog titled, "Colors in Colors," to examine how paper chromatography could be used to help identify the individual colors used in colored markers. Besides blog entries laying out the question to be addressed, the research to be performed, a hypothesis, a description of the experiment, and an explanation of the results, the blog included photos, a video synchronized to music using Animoto, a tag chart created through Wordle, and an interactive quiz fed to the blog from QuizYourFriends.com.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.