National Children's Science Congress - 2011
National Children's Science Congress (NCSC) provides the children of 10 to 17 years from all over the country a unique opportunity to use their scientific temperament and knowledge to make their own dreams come true. The program was initiated in 1993, with the following objectives
To provide a forum to the young scientists to pursue their natural curiosity and to quench their thirst for creativity by experimenting on open-ended problems;
To make you feel that science is all around and you can gain knowledge as well as solve many problems also be relating the learning process to the physical and social environment of the neighborhood;
To encourage children throughout the country to visualize future of the nation and help building generation of sensitive, responsible citizens;
To stimulate scientific temperament and learning the scientific methodology for observation, collection of data, experiment analysis arriving at conclusions and presenting the findings.
NCSC is held annually from December 27-31. After a thorough scrutiny at district and state levels, about 600 children take part in this five day long deliberations and fun-filled science activities
Who is eligible?
This is a forum open to young scientists in the age group of 10-17 years as on December 31 of the calendar year. This event of NCSC is not restricted to the school-going children only but is also open for the non-school children from the marginalized sections of the society who can be involved as team members.
Areas of research
Every year a focal theme is announced for the CSC. The children are expected to carry out projects related to the focal theme and the identified sub-themes. Activity books are available to help guide teachers and the child scientists. A group of children not exceeding 5 (five), can do the project with the help of scientists, school teachers, coordinators of school science clubs, activists of science based voluntary organizations etc. The teachers/guides receive special orientation on the theme of the CSC every year.
For NCSC-2011, the theme is 'Land Resources: Use for prosperity, save for posterity'. Under the theme you are supposed to work upon small doable projects different sub-themes -
Know your Land
Functions of Land
Anthropological activities on land
Sustainable use of land resources
Community knowledge on land use.
The projects taken-up will have a proper documentation of the existing knowledge. You must try carrying out the suggestion(s) made and demonstrate it.
Tentative Activity Schedule
- i. Selection of subjects for activity and registration of teams : 20 July
- ii. Working on the projects : Next 2-3 months
- iii. District Level Congress : By mid October
- iv. State Level Congress : By mid November
- v. National Level Congress : 27-31 December
Some selected projects from the state also participate in the School Science Education Forum of the Indian Science Congress sessions held every year during January 3-8.
This program is also being linked to INTEL Science and Technology Discovery fairs (ISTDF). This is a direct collaboration between ISTDF and RVPSP, Govt. of India. Child scientists may take this opportunity. Projects with originality and innovative ideas could be picked up at the State Level for participation in National fair of INTEL STDF. Opportunities are also available under schemes of Ministry of Science and Technology, for innovative ideas to get financial support to pursue the idea further to make it reach of conclusive end.
Two best projects from each State are allowed to participate in the Indian Science Congress. The second group member of the project team is eligible to participate in the Indian Science Congress.
INTEL has expressed desire to provide direct entry to NCSC projects.
Technology Entrepreneurship Promotion Program
Selected CSC projects meeting the following criteria may apply for support under this programme-
- i. The idea should be new/novel.
- ii. The idea should have potentiality for translating it into working model/prototype/ process
- iii. The idea should be based on known scientific principle
- iv. The idea should have commercial feasibility/technical viability.
Proposals from individual innovators to convert an original idea/ invention/know-how into working prototype/processes. These proposals can be made by individuals or jointly with any sponsoring organizations
Selected projects will be provided financial support to undertake the above developments, patent support and guidance, scientific/ technical consultancy, fabrication assistance, market information and networking with related research lab/institutes as required.
What is a Scientific Project
A scientific project is a study of a problem carried out with a objective of finding out a solution of the problem. It involves defining the problem, making the hypothesis, observation, collection of data through survey or experimentation, its analysis and then arriving at conclusion to find out the solution.
A scientific study paves the way for a practical solution of a vexed problem. The approach needs to be well planned and systematic otherwise errors may creep in, leading to aggravation of problem than to its solution. Jumping to quick and erroneous conclusions are considered to be unethical in scientific studies.
How to do a good project
Make a group of like minded people numbering not more than five. They may belong to your school or your locality.
Discuss amongst your group the activity you all would like to do. It will be good and satisfying for you all if you take up a local specific issue. Community interaction and cooperation is also expected in all cases. Never select a project that does not give you satisfaction and scope for learning new things.
Depending upon the subject area chosen, now it is time to look for a guide. The person could be your teacher, experienced NCSC participant or any of your family member. Do not let the guide to work for your project. He/She has to be a path finder only.
Analyse the problem and make a work plan. Divide your responsibilities. It is good to discuss the questionnaire, design of experiments, method of community interaction etc. amongst your group. Keep interacting with team member, guide teacher regularly. Do accept critical suggestions which improve outcome of your project.
Do not derive big conclusions as you are working in a small area with a small sample size. Do not generalize your observations/conclusions.
Create community awareness of about your findings and try finding out solutions. You may use media to focus attention of your authorities to help solving the problem, but first have discussions or give representations to the involved authority (ies).
Try finding ways and means of solving the problem by scientific inputs and community involvement. Keep proper records of you're made by you and interest shown by them. This will not only help in making your project report but in the follow-up action with higher authorities/community.
If one strategy or solution does not work try finding out alternative. Do not give recommendations only. You must try implementing of at least a few suggested recommendations first.
You may not succeed in the efforts made to solve the problem but you should be able to find possible bottleneck in implementing your suggested strategy. Keep your record of them.
Once you are working in a group you all have contributed in doing the activity. All should respect and value the efforts made by your team members. Each one of the team members has total understanding about the project, but due to certain logistic reasons only one person is allowed to come to the state/national level. All you should sit together and decide who will represent your group at state and national level. This does not in any way negate efforts of other team members. In the evaluation procedure, co-operation within the team and with community also plays an important role in the selection of the proposals.
Proper documentation will help you in presentation of your report. For writing the project report read the section as guided below under head 'How to write a project report'.
You are supposed to present important findings or innovative procedures with the help of posters. Do not take help of any professional artist for the same. Each poster should be self contained. The posters should be well labeled giving title of project, participants. These posters not only help you while making presentation but also help other children who could not make participate during your presentation to understand and appreciate your work.
Note that in NCSC projects which are innovative (in idea or even methodology) only draw attention; do not spend money on video/audio recording, DTP of your presentation, making unnecessary slides. These display methods do not attract the evaluators.
You may spend money on
developing some gadget, working model(s)
material for awareness generation
The project which keep continuing even after completion of NCSC tenure for a particular year, are source of attraction of evaluators and community. Keep your state coordinators informed about such work even if you are above 17 and cease to be participant of NCSC.
How to do a Survey
Survey is the key to accurate data collection which leads you to finding out the results and drawing conclusion(s) after proper interpretation of the data. The process of surveying is very tricky and needs extreme care. It is very important to be careful in deciding the type and number of questions and size of the sample population among which you will carry out the survey.
Sample size is very important for a survey work to accurate and meaningful. Sample size means number of units/specimen (e.g. persons/families) surveyed. If the size of the sample is very small then there are possibilities of you making wrong conclusions. For your results to be accurate, the minimum number of samples should be 100. This data should be collected using representative sampling procedure.
What is a representative sample? Say there is correlation between a particular observation and economic status of a person, and then while collecting samples we should take due care that a particular number of samples is collected from each group of people having the same economic status. Similarly, if there is a correlation between age of a person and diseases, care should be taken so that samples are taken from different age groups.
How to write a Project
- se A-4 size paper (8" x 11.5") for writing Uthe report.
- To make the cover page of the report use the format given at the annexure.
- You may use regional language to write the report but the information to be provided in the first page must be in English.
- Write on one side of the paper.
- The report should be either neatly typed or handwritten.
- Sketches, photographs may be used.
- Make at least 2 copies of project, one for submission at Registration and other for your use for presentation
- Abstract : Not more than 300 words.
- Why this project? (50 words only) importance of the subject.
- Give previous studies if known, for defining the problem. Analysis of problem and defining of data elements.
- Description : Survey
- i. Methodology/defining area/duration covered.
- ii. Questionnaire used/data collected
- iii. Activities taken up.
- Analysis of Data
- Conclusion(s); Impact of the activity (enclose newspaper clippings, if any).
- Suggested system or material for abatement of the problem.
- Acknowledgements (helpful individuals)
- References used (books/magazines - authors, page number, year of publication).
The report shall contain 2 parts
Part - I : Selection of problem and basic information about the element chosen.
Problem and its measurement and suggested solutions;
Part - II : Field testing of the solution (area, activities taken up), Suggestion for problem abatement. Improvement suggested/systems suggested.
Note : The length of the Project Report should not be more than 2500 words for lower age group (10-14) and 3500 words for upper age group (14+ - 17).
You have done the project in a group but due to logistics only group leader presents the report at National Level CSC. Even at State Level Congress very few states are able to bear travel and lodging boarding expenses for all member of the group.
Each child would be given some specific time of 8 mins to present the report and 2 mins for interaction with evaluators and other participants.
Working models/charts/transparencies can be used for presentation.
If the study has been conducted in a group the group leader shall present the report.
Display of models/charts could be arranged for judgment if required.
Summary of the report in around 500 words should reach the District Co-ordinators 15 days before the Congress. For the cover page use the same format.
1 (One) copy of the project report, with 3 (three) copies of abstract in English/Hindi have to be submitted while Registration.
The Project Report submitted at Registration Counter is evaluated by Judges separately. This helps in making Citation and Assessment sheet of Project for all participant
There is a special session for poster presentation, you should not use more than 4(four) posters. Make your poster unique and innovative. It should contain only the main points of the project.
Model Evaluation Sheets for Written Evaluation
Model Evaluation Sheet for Project Presentation
The Innovative ideas and scientific methodology are the basis of a good project. If you have followed the steps mentioned above in section on 'How to do a project' you have proven your capabilities, your communication skills also to make others listen and understand your findings. And for doing this all, a total co-operation in the group is a must. Accept positive criticism within the group or even from outside and improve your work plan. This will bring you awards and recognition. Your input in various steps for the basis of judgement. The judging criteria being used for screening projects is as follows-
NCSC Common Evaluation Criteria Marks
1. Project Selection10
This covers relevance of problem selected to focal theme and its local relevance, Problem analysis and Originality of the idea.
2. Presentation 25
Usually 8 minutes are given for oral presentation followed by question answer by judges and your peer group. Both oral and written presentation (report and log book) matter.
Formation of proper titke, proper written abstract, clearly defines problem and hypothesis, logically structured project report, well presented data (charts, bars, graphs, visual aids), clarity of presentation and questions answered adequately definitely attract attention of evaluators.
3. Data Collection and Analysis15
This is the basis of your interferences. Be careful in selecting sample sizes, formulating questionnaire and keeping proper record of your observations. Equally important is its proper categorization or classification for data analysis.
4. Experimentation/Validation 10
The innovative method of experiment design which helps you in data validation and quantification is the
5. Problem solving attempt 10
You are a think-tank. Do not give suggestion only. You are supposed to find proper solution for the problem found to be bothering you.
6. Team Work 10
Respect the views of others and give them their due credit, has to be the bottom line of your CSC project.
7. Impact of work and follow-up 10
Have you been able to make the message reach the community? Are you going to continue involving others till the problem is really solved? Have you suggested any action plan? Your effort (report) must answer all these questions.
8. Background correction 10
Due care is taken about the kind of access you have for doing your work. Do not worry about the language you use to document and/or present the report. It should be neatly writen (hand written projects are welcome.)