How will the student competitions work?
STEM Plan competitions at the High School Level:
Teachers are granted the flexibility to have their students develop their STEM Plans based on what works for them and their classroom schedule. Teachers may have their students do their plans during the Fall Semester or Spring Semester, or over the course of the entire school year. Similarly, teachers may have their students develop plans on a compressed time frame (e.g. over a 4-6 week period) or spread their students’ work over the course of the full school year, or anything in between.
Local high school competitions will be run by teachers who will apply the Believe in Ohio standards, rules, and grading/judging rubrics. Local judges will be recruited by the participating teachers. Depending on the number of student plans completed within each school, Believe in Ohio will provide from $300 to $2,500 in funding for awards. The maximum award that may be paid for any awardee plan is $500. Awards should be given to those students that have the highest scores in their local high school competitions, as long as each student awardee plan earns a judged score of at least 24 points. Students may work as individuals or teams of up to three (3) members to compete for awards.
While there will only be local high school competitions during the 2019-2020 school year, top freshman, sophomore and junior students who develop their plans during the 2019-2020 school year may also compete in the Believe in Ohio Regional competition in December 2020.
STEM Plan competitions at the Regional Level:
All local high school plans with an average judged score of 36 points or greater may compete in a regional competition. If this number is less than 20% of all local high school plans, then additional plans up to 20% may compete in a regional competition, provided that all plans submitted must have received an averaged judged score of 24 or greater. Plans qualified to compete must be electronically submitted to The Ohio Academy of Science office within 30 days after competition of local judging, but no later than the annual December deadline that will be posted on the BiO website, whichever comes first. The first annual regional competition will take place in December 2020.
Judging of plans at the regional level will only include an evaluation of students’ written plans. Judging is blind. (i.e. school names and other personal information will not be known to judges). The one hundred highest scoring regionally judged plans, with representation from each region of the state, will each receive a $1,000 scholarship to any Ohio college or university, and also be entered into the Believe in Ohio State Competition.
STEM Plan competition at the State Level:
A third level of competition will be held at the state level by The Ohio Academy of Science with Academy judges applying the same rules and grading rubrics as used at the local high school and regional competition levels. Judging will be by a panel of judges at the statewide level and will include both an evaluation of the students’ written plans submitted at the regional level as well as a short oral presentation (5 min) to judges. The statewide competition will be held on a date in February, and at a location, that will be posted on the BiO website. The first annual statewide competition will take place in February 2021. The State competition will offer hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to Ohio colleges and universities to state competition awardees. To receive any scholarship at the State Level, the plan must receive an averaged judged score of at least 30 points in the state competition.