Q1: What is the ORSF?
The Ottawa Regional Science Fair (ORSF) is a volunteer organization which encourages students in the Ottawa-Carleton Region, from grades 7 to 12, to research, develop, and present projects in the fields of science and engineering. Students from both public and private schools in the Region are invited to enter projects in any science related topic including but not limited to the following:
- Earth & Environmental Sciences
- Engineering & Computing Sciences
- Health Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Physical & Mathematical Sciences
Each year, approximately 300 projects are entered and judged in the junior, intermediate, senior, and special awards categories. Participation in the Fair also ensures the students' eligibility to compete for a position on the team representing the Ottawa-Carleton Region at the subsequent national competition, the Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF). For 50 years, many participants have gone on to successful careers in science and technology. The calibre of entries each year is nothing short of amazing! In recent years, participants have applied for, and received, patents for inventions they have presented at the Fair.
Since its inception in 1961, the Ottawa Regional Science Fair has been conducting its fund-raising at the local level. Included in this challenging task is raising enough funds to send a Regional team to the CWSF each year. Traditionally, our students have been very successful at the national level. What started in a school gymnasium almost 50 years ago has now grown into a significant annual event that showcases the considerable academic talents of our region's youth.
Q2: Where is the Canada Wide Science Fair this year and who can go?
CWSF 2013 is in Lethbridge Alberta, and the 11 best students selected as grand prize winners at the ORSF will get an all-expense paid trip to the week-long event in May.
Q3: How are projects judged and scored?
The ORSF judging sheet used can be found here.
The judges marking rubric is the based on the Canada-Wide Science Fair marking form, however Project Reports are optional and recommended as they contribute to the overall thoroughness, scientific method and impression but will not be explicitly marked like they are for CWSF (where they are pre-submitted for marking).
Q4: Can I take home part of my project overnight (perhaps laptop) Friday and bring it in with me on Saturday morning?
Complete project setup Friday is recommended for preliminary judging that occurs Saturday morning before students enter - the gym will be secured overnight but we are not responsible for lost items. Students can take home valuables overnight if they wish but they must complete complete setup between 9:15 and 9:30am when final judging begins.
Q5: Will there be photos of students taken at the event?
Yes. A Media Release section is now part of the registration process.
Q6: How do I sign up for special awards?
As part of the registration process you have the option to nominate yourself to be considered for up to seven special awards. If you do not nominate yourself, your project will not be considered for any special awards. Follow the instructions during the registration process, if you do not register for special awards you cannot ask to be judged at the event.
Q7: What is available for lunch on Saturday?
Lunch for exhibitors is NOT PROVIDED. All students are encouraged to pack a lunch. The projects/exhibit area will be closed from 12:00-1:00 lunch hour.
There is a Tim Horton's in the Athletics building that will be open on the Saturday of the fair. For greater information about where to find food on the Carleton campus, see this list of dining services and this campus map.
Q8: Where do I go for the fair?
All of the ORSF will be held at the Carleton University Raven's Nest gym.
PARKING - see campus map: http://www1.carleton.ca/campus/
Friday Night - Pay & display parking in lot 5 at Alumni Hall (Raven's Nest Gym)
Saturday - Free parking in lot 5 at Alumni Hall (Raven's Nest Gym)
Q9: I'm worried I will or did miss the registration deadline, what can I do?
The registration process begins with web-based entry but requires the forms to be printed, signed, and sent with the registration fee to the ORSF address below . The deadline is that forms must be received by the "registration closes" date, listed under "important dates".
PO Box 8286, Station T, CSC
Check the "Important Dates" in the Registration section of this website for when the accepted entries will be posted at the "Confirmed Participants" page. If your project is not posted on that date please contact the ORSF ASAP by email using the "Contact Us" listing for the "Education Liaison / Registration" committee member.
Q10: I don't know my school code, so how can I register?
You don't need a school code to register. Even for teachers, this is completely optional. A school code simply allows the school contact name, email and phone number entered on the ORSF system to be changed. If a schools wants to modify this info and require the password, send an email to one of the commitee members.
Q11: How many judges can I expect and when will they come?
Judging of projects without students present occurs between 7:30-9:30 am and 12:00-1:00 pm, and from 9:30-12 and 1pm to approximately 3pm for student presentation. You can expect 3 to 4 judges for category/divisional judging, while the number of special awards judges depends on how many you signed up for. Also, given the large number of projects for some special awards, the judges for these awards may not have time to speak to all exhibitors as they can pre-judge the projects to find ones most qualified for their criteria.
Q12: I am registered but now have to attend another commitment for some small portion of the fair day. The regulations say "students must be present at their projects at all times". What should I do?
Attend the ORSF as much as you can, leaving a note on the exhibit stating when you will return. There is a real possibility that the project may miss some judging and this may disqualify it from winning a divisional or special award, but participation in the ORSF is about more than winning awards. Presenting your work to judges and the public is a great experience, as is seeing the other projects at the fair.