2017-12-16: Support for Chesapeake Science Point Public Charter School Science Fair

Chapter 2017 President Mike Pafford was one of around 50 volunteer judges.

Chapter 2017 President Mike Pafford was one of around 50 volunteer judges.

On December 16, 2017 the INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter participated in the judging of the Science Fair held at the Chesapeake Science Point (CSP) Public Charter School in Hanover, Maryland. The CSP Public Charter School, is one of four charter schools operated in Maryland by the Chesapeake Lighthouse Foundation (CLF). Chapter 2017 President Mike Pafford was one of around 50 volunteer judges using an online browser-based “CLF STEM Fair Scoring Application” on laptops, tablets, and smart phones, to interview and judge more than 200 Middle School and High School science projects. Science project categories included Biology, Botany Microbiology, Behavioral Sciences, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Physics and Engineering, Medicine and Health, Zoology, Math, and Computer Science.

Each science project was judged via observation and short interviews using criteria such as Creativity, Originality, Background Information, Thoroughness, Skill, and Clarity. Using the CLF Scoring application on his iPad, Mike was able to move quickly in and out of 14 classrooms to efficiently help judge over 200 science projects. The online application allowed judges to see in real-time which projects had already been judged, and which others still needed judging. The application user interface enabled clear immediate sliding scale-based scoring for multiple criteria on each project.

The scores for each project were uploaded to the CLF servers in real-time using cellular and wi-fi connections. Each project was scored by four different judges. The CLF scoring application ‘normalized’ scores based on the emergent judging styles of each of the judges (e.g., strict, lenient, etc.). Following the science fair judging, Mike talked briefly with the CLF STEM fair scoring application developer, Mr. Mehmet Sarica. Mehmet gave Mike a brief hands-on demo of the Server/Administration side of the thin client-server based web application. Mehmet later supplied Mike with login and password access to a Test Judging Account.

As the online CLF STEM fair scoring application development, operations, and maintenance are all supported by Maryland public school funding, Mike and Mehmet discussed the possibility of making the application available to INCOSE and other volunteer organizations for real-time collaborative judging of projects at other Maryland public school STEM fairs. Mehmet agreed to bring up the idea with his CLF colleagues.