How to put an entry together
There are two components to the plant science competition:
Plant Science Project Awards
A series of hands-on experiments and activities about a given topic designed to increase students' knowledge, awareness and interest in the topic and agricultural science in general.
Art in AgRiculTure Awards
An art project with a theme related to the topic studied in the Plant Science Project Awards. Students link science and art in a fun, interesting and creative way to enhance their learning of the given topic.
Students can choose to complete one or both components of the competition (both are recommended).
A full information and instructions document outlining the requirements for the various experiments and activities is available by contacting the Customer Service Centre.
Preparing your project entry
As this is a science competition, we would like to see students set out their research information and experiment/activity results in a scientific report format as outlined below.
A separate science journal must be included with your scientific report entry.
A science journal is a record of observations, experiences and reflections. It contains a series of dated entries which may include written text, drawings, labelled diagrams, photographs, tables and graphs. You can use an exercise book or diary for your journal recording. The science journal is a separate document to your final scientific report.
Using a science journal provides an opportunity for students to be engaged in a real science situation as they keep a record of their observations, ideas and thoughts about the project.
The science journal is a useful assessment tool if you are considering using the competition project for a curriculum activity.
Layout of scientific reports
Scientific reports are used to communicate the results of science experiments and have a formalised structure usually consisting of the following sections:
- Title: Either a title page or a main heading.
- Abstract: Paragraph summarising the project and tasks.
- Introduction: Predictions or hypothesis, aims of the experiment(s), background information on the topic.
- Materials and methods: How you set up your experiment(s) and activities and the materials used.
- Results: A factual account of your findings, observations made, data displayed in tables/graphs, photos/samples/sketches of results.
- Discussion or conclusion: Interpretation and explanation of your experiment results. Compare outcomes to original hypothesis, explore the importance/significance of your results, compare how your results relate to agricultural/environmental issues and current information on the topic, outline any new research questions that your results have suggested, include answers to questions outlined with each competition activity (if applicable), and suggestions for improving the experiments and how you’d do it differently next time.
- References or bibliography: Alphabetical list of books, magazines, journals, websites, interviews, etc. that were used to source information for your report.
- Appendices: Other relevant information that is not essential to explain your findings but supports your results and conclusions (for example: interview question/answer sheets, notes from farm/industry visits), also include results of extra activities/experiments completed.
Presentation of your scientific report
The following formats are acceptable in any combination:
- Hard copy: Word processed or neatly hand written documents. Stapled, bound or presented in display folder.
- Electronic files: Compatible with Windows, Microsoft program software, e.g. Word, PowerPoint, Publisher or convert files to PDF saved to CD, USB stick, or emailed.
- Posters: Electronically designed or hand written text on cardboard sheets (ideal for young students).
- Videos or DVDs: Ensure the sound quality is loud and clear and try to limit the duration to no more than 5 minutes.
Competition entry submission checklist
The following items need to be submitted to form a complete entry in the competition.
- Plant Science Project Awards (if entering this section):
- Scientific report: containing all research information and results from your experiments and activities.
- Science journal: containing your handwritten notes, raw data, thoughts, etc.
- AgRiculTure (art in agriculture) Awards (if entering this section):
Artwork piece(s) in one of the following formats:
- original piece(s) (recommended)
- video, digital or hard copy photo of the piece(s)
- FEAST Camp application (applicable only to high school students 15 years or over)
- Conference Award Application (applicable only to high school students, years 10 to 12)
- Online competition entry submission form
- Queensland Government consent form (PDF, 411.6KB) (if unable to complete the on-line competition entry submission form)
All items that form your entry must be clearly labelled with the student's name, year level and school name and submitted to the Hermitage Research Facility, 604 Yangan Road, Warwick Qld 4370 by the closing date.
Returning your entries
Please specify on the Competition Entry Submission Form if you would like your entries returned. Entries can be collected at the close of the annual Awards Day & Agricultural Science Expo in August, or alternatively will be returned by post in due course.
We may ask that some winning science entries and artwork be kept at the Hermitage Research Facility to be placed on display. Any entries that are not required to be sent back to schools may also be placed on display.