The Montgomery County Science Research Competition (MCSRC) is the first step of the ISEF competitions. Projects are presented using tri-fold display boards. Judges walk around, questioning students about their projects. There is no prerequisite to compete at the ISEF Regional competition.
The competition requires a tri-fold display board, log book and research report. Students compete against other students in their category. On the actual competition day, the category judges usually come by the projects in pairs of two. Students are expected to give a brief explanation of their projects and then answer any questions the judges have. Students are required to stay by their projects until their category judging has been completed. The project is judged from two aspects: the project display and the personal interview. Prior to seeing the student the judges will review the information presented in the abstract and at the display. It is critical that the student presents the results in as clear a fashion as possible. The student will explain the project with the judges asking questions either during or after the oral presentation. It is critical for the student to understand the basic concepts of the project. This is where the student’s background research plays a major role. The judges will ask questions to determine if the student has a strong grasp of the principles involved in the project as well as the basic scientific research techniques involved.
The first, second, and third place winners from each category are sent to the State Fair (DVSF).
Divison A – Grade 12, Division B – Grade 11, Division C – Grade 10, Division D – Grade 9, Divison E – Grades 6-8. Students are broken up first by grade, and then by category. The amount of people we can send, per category, per grade is 3.
Special judges are also roaming around the gym during competition day, looking for projects similar to the organization or company they represent. Students should give the special judges a VERY BRIEF summary of their project and answer any of their questions. Oftentimes, special judges will inquire about a student’s interest in that particular category and their school life.
An awards ceremony will take place a few days after the competition. There will the prizes and places be announced and handed out.
The tri-fold follows standard ISEF rules. Additionally, the back of the board, in the center bottom, 1 inch high, place the student name, school name, and phone number. The display board should have the Abstract in MCSRC format (in the registration form) in the upper left hand corner. There should also be a written report that demonstrates that literary research has been done. It should note the principles and procedures involved with the project. A logbook should be kept from the beginning of the project to demonstrate the ongoing progress of the student.
*Here are last year’s forms for reference until the new forms are released.
*See the general ISEF fairs page for more “general” information regarding the fair.