STEM ALL STARS
TIPS FOR STUDENTS
After choosing your invention/problem you want to write about, organizing a well-written response is a key step to winning. Remember that you are not writing a research paper, but an essay full of opinion, thought, and some facts. Here is how participant should approach their essays:
Fully research your invention/problem so you are an expert about it. Take notes and organize your notes in order of importance or detail. Make sure to put aside all of the website or textbooks you used because you will need it to write your bibliography. You can go to www.easybib.com to create your bibliographies.
- Decide how many paragraphs you want your essay to be and map a diagram for brainstorming. Essays can be either expository (explanatory) or persuasive. We highly recommend not to write an informative essay.
- Write your key points and details in one or two sentences so you get a clear picture of the content in your essay. Your hook and conclusion sentences are what draws the reader's attention.
- Writing more than one draft is important because it will allow you to make corrections and re-think. When reviewing, do not add more information unless needed, but try to correct it and see how you can improve it.
- Many authors and writers say that thinking of their title after they are finished with their piece of writing will bring more creative ideas. Do not spend much time thinking of your title. You can create a title according to the information in your essay.
- Check for grammar, spelling, punctuation, transitions, word choice, and sentence fluency. Do not make your sentences choppy or run-on. Keep your essay consistent and in order of importance.
- Get help from a teacher, older sibling, or your parents. Ask them kindly to edit your essay. However, please do not make them write your essay. We need your work, not your parents. We can also distinguish between 3rd graders writing and an 8th graders. Honesty and originality is very important!
Research is a very important aspect in the competition. Stick to reputable sources when collecting information about your problem/invention. Using an invalid resources can ruin the validity of your paper. Ask yourself these question about Internet resources:
- Is the information from Wikipedia? Wikipedia is not a reputable source.
- Does the author list other resources or websites to refer to?
- Can anyone edit this page?
- Does the website list qualification of the author? Does he/she have a PDF? Government and university sites are reputable.
- Is the website biased in any manner?
- When was the article written? Has it been updated and does it have a copyright date?
After asking yourself these questions, you may proceed to gather information from your website.
Remember that the tone of your essay is important. Let your personality, attitudes, and knowledge shine through your essay. We want to know more about your creativity and thoughts! Remember to not make your essay too formal or too slangy. Some students get carried away with flowery language in order to draw attention from the reader. Please do not be one of these people! Although it is important for detail, imagery, metaphors, and similes, keep your writing to the point.
Here is a bad example:
The computer is the most important material invention in the history of mankind. Even though they are expensive to buy, computers can be very beneficial. Charles Babbage was the first person to create a basic electronic computer.? The computer is the greatest invention because it helps us communicate, provides us with entertainment, and can organize tremendous amounts of information.
How did you feel after reading this? Did you feel like you want to read more? Even though the paragraph gets to the point, it does not engage the reader into a conversation about computers. In order to make this a well written paragraph, the author has to include detail, a hook, and more insight!
Throughout the whole process, think out of the box and see what most intrigues you in the field of STEM. Be unique in your own way!
You can prepare a video on your project, which could be posted on our Youtube Channel. Start with writing out what you want to say during the video. Create a well organized script. Make sure your voice is loud and clear in the video. Please film in quiet surroundings.Using a microphone can make your voice clear.Make sure there is enough light in your room. If you are doing an animation, first draw your pictures and organize what you are going to say throughout the animation. Great websites for creating animations are Moovly and Powtoons. IMovie is also great for filming. Do not shuffle the focus too much and place your device in a certain position. It is not mandatory for you to be in the video. You could ask someone else, such as your mom, dad, or friend to videotape your project. More movement will cause disturbance and you could lose points for this. Include the title of your essay. You could write the title on a piece of paper and show it to the audience in the beginning of your video or even simply say it while filming. End your video with a "Thank you for watching my presentation" or any other phrase that wraps up your topic. Enjoy and be creative You could also post this on Youtube and provide us with the link!