Helpful Logbook Tips
Once you've decided on your project subject, start your logbook right away. This can be a detailed day-to-day record of your work on your project. Your logbook may be a simple spiral notebook written in pencil or ink. You may prepare it as a Word document if you prefer. If you type your log entries, print out and assemble them into a folder or binder. You will place your logbook with your project at our STEAMFest.
Pencil in your name on your logbook. This is because you will erase your name when entering the STEAMFest. Your logbook should not contain your name or names of your partners, your school, your district, or your teacher. Nothing in your logbook should identify you or your school. Shortly before our STEAMFest we will send you an exhibit marker with the room number and display spot assigned to you. Pencil this into your logbook. It helps our judges make sure they are reviewing the proper pairing of project and logbook. If your logbook is misplaced, we can more readily return it to your project.
If you have photographs in your logbook or on your display, you should not be able to identify any people involved. Students often take photographs of just their hands performing the work in order to ensure that no faces are visible. Students put a round sticker or label over the person's face in a photo to block the identity.
SUMMARY OF REQUIRED SAFETY FORMS
All projects need the current Safety Form. This is worth 10 points on your overall score. Projects in grades 6 through 12 that involve fire, hazardous materials or bacteria need the current Select Division Safety Form 1A. (Fire projects are NOT allowed in lower grades.) Projects that involve human studies need the current Consent Form for Human Studies. This includes projects on taste testing. All of these forms are available on our website under Safety - Details and Forms.
TIPS FOR A QUALITY LOG BOOK
- Make sure to write a statement of your problem and your hypothesis.
- Carefully hand write or type (i.e., Word document and print out) your logbook. NOTE: Write in your logbook to record everything you do with your project or type in a Word document and print out and place it in a binder for your log book.
- Identify any mistakes by drawing lines through them BUT not erasing them. In this way, the reader can see where you changed your mind, or made a new discovery. If typing, type in a description of the differences (changes or new discoveries).
- Include the results of your trials if you are doing an experiment. Be detailed!
- Include your thoughts and observations as your research continues.
- Include explanations of what you believe your results mean or how you interpreted them.
- Include information that you found at the library, on the internet, or from magazines, etc., that relate to your research. Include the titles, authors, date of publication, and pages you read or gathered information from.
- Review the Kirkwood scoring rubric. Make sure that you have all the components for a blue-ribbon project.