To inspire and nurture the interest and understanding of science among students in grades 1-8, NSF introduced Science Bees in 2010.
Science and Technology are the very fabric of modern life. Children of the modern age are adept at using technology even before they learn to read and write. Science - the basis of Technology - has deeper underpinnings as a part of our daily life. Scientific discoveries have their foundations in curiosity and wonder. Children are curious by nature and fascinated by novelty. Elementary school age is perhaps the perfect time to get them interested in science. Their natural curiosity will drive their learning. Deeper understanding of science will help our children appreciate and relate to the physical world around them. Science education provides children with valuable ideas and skills, and prepares them for potential scientific careers. Men and women of science form an important part of the future of our world. Without science and scientists, we will not be able to predict the weather, earthquakes and other natural disasters or, understand global warming and the impact of our actions on nature, or develop cures for deadly diseases, or develop technologies that enhance our lifestyles.
It is our belief that the NSF Science Bee will provide an additional enrichment to our children’s academic life and better prepare them for scientific careers. There are several goals for conducting the Science Bee, including the following:
- To test understanding of science as it relates to everyday life
- To stimulate enthusiasm and a love for science
- To foster scientific thinking, creativity and ingenuity
- To enjoy the satisfaction, joy, and thrill of meeting challenges
- To meet other students of Indian origin with similar scientific interests and develop friendships
In its first year in 2010, the Science Bee was introduced to a limited number of NSF chapters as a pilot project. The Science Bee contests will be conducted in two steps. In the first round, children will participate in a regional contest, conducted in various states throughout USA. Qualified winners of the regional contests will be invited to participate in the National Finals. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners from each contest at the Nationals will be awarded scholarships of $1,000, $500, and $250 respectively, redeemable in the winners' freshman year of college.
Science Bee competition will be split into three levels based on grade. Although the grouping of two or three grades into a single group does cause some disparity, the grouping is necessary due to logistical reasons and [potential] lack of contestants at each grade level. Younger children are strongly encouraged to participate, on equal basis, solely with the aim of familiarizing them with the contest and earn valuable experience. After all, in the true spirit of the contest, every contestant is a winner, for he/she has mustered the courage to face the challenge!
Science Bee aims to get kids excited about exploring the universe around them!
In addition to all the general contest rules stated by North South Foundation, the following rules are applicable for the Science Bee Competition.
There are 3 levels of competition in Science Bee:
- JSC (Junior Science Bee): Grades 2, 3 and 4
- ISC (Intermediate Science Bee): Grades 5 and 6
- SSC (Senior Science Bee): Grades 7, 8 and 9
- The syllabus for the Science Bee, level-wise, can be found on this website. It should be understood that any syllabus can only act as a guideline, and in the same given category of syllabus, the level of difficulty can vary dramatically from a beginner to an advanced level. This syllabus includes a comprehensive list of sub-topics and science vocabulary words the students will be expected to know. While most of the fielded questions will touch upon the topics listed in the syllabus, question papers may also incorporate a few challenging questions that go beyond factual knowledge but, instead, require interpretation or application of the scientific principles covered by the syllabus.
- Science bees (JSC, ISC & SSC) are held as a written examination only. Contestants should bring their own pencils and sharpeners. Parents are NOT allowed in the examination room.
- Each contestant will be given a set of 30 questions to answer them. The maximum time allocated to answer the 30 questions is 40 minutes. Each contestant is given the question paper along with a blank answer sheet with 30 numbered rows to write the final answer. Each question has adequate space to arrive at the answer with a pencil. No other sheets will be given. Contestants are allowed to use the backside of the question paper to work out problems. Contestants are required to transfer the answers from the question paper to the answer sheet (which is attached to the question paper and contains 30 numbered rows to write the final answer).
- Calculators are NOT allowed at any level.
- All sheets (including question and answer sheets) shall be returned at the end of the contest.
- Unclear and illegible writing might be open for misinterpretation. So, contestants are expected to write clearly and legibly. The decision of the judges is final.
- There will NOT be any partial credits for steps. There will be NO negative points for any incorrect answer. The contestant will be awarded one point for the correct answer and zero for an incorrect answer. Answers that are not transferred to the answer sheet will not get any credit.
Based on the total scores, the judges will determine the winners. The 1st place winner shall be ahead by at least
one point to be declared as the champion. In announcing the ranks 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, the judges will follow these rules:
- Announce Ranks 1, 2 and 3, if and only if there are at least 10 contestants
- Announce Ranks 1 and 2 ONLY, if there are 8 or 9 contestants
- Announce Rank 1 ONLY, if there are 5-7 contestants
- DO NOT announce any ranks if there are less than 5 contestants
- The tiebreaker rules apply ONLY if there are at least 5 or more contestants participating in a given center and at the discretion of the judges/regional coordinator.
After tabulation of scores, if there is a tie, the scheme outlined below is followed in the order given, to break the tie:
- Score among questions 1-30
- Score among questions 26-30
- Score among questions 21-25
- Score among questions 11-20
- Score among questions 1-10
- If the above steps fail to break the tie in question, the foundation may use additional measures to resolve them or award joint ranks.
- Invitation to National Finals is based on the scores of all the contestants nationally and is not based on a direct correlation of ranks achieved by a contestant in a regional contest. Thus, the score of each contestant relative to all such scores around the country will determine whether the contestant will be invited to the National Finals. The regional tiebreakers are only helpful in determining the winners for a particular center, but have no bearing on the Finals invitation.
The following books contain good preparatory material for the NSF Science Bees. These could serve as reference for the Science Bee aspirants to explore and understand various scientific concepts. Students are encouraged to refer other materials as well in preparing for the Science Bee.
Published by Macmillan/McGraw-Hill
Title: Science A Closer Look Grade 1 Student Edition
Title: Science A Closer Look, Grade 2, Student Edition
Title: Science A Closer Look, Grade 3, Student Edition
Published by Macmillan/McGraw-Hill
Title: Science: A Closer Look, Grade 4, Student Edition
Title: Science: A Closer Look, Grade 5, Student Edition
Science: A Closer Look, Grade 6, Student Edition
ISBN : 9780022880118
Published by Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2008
Glencoe Science Level Red
Title: Glencoe Science: Level Red, Student Edition
Glencoe Science Level Green
Title: Glencoe Science: Level Green, Student Edition
Glencoe Science Level Blue
Title: Glencoe Science: Level Blue, Student Edition
Apart from the above book, listed below are several resources students can consult to learn about Science and to prepare for the Science Bee:
- www.harcourtschool.com This is a good free website with lots of visually presented science topics arranged by grade level. This constitutes a good website to begin with.
- Your school textbook: Since the syllabus drawn up for this Bee closely parallels textbooks used in US schools, the textbooks that students use in their own schools are likely to constitute excellent study resources for the Bee.
- Wiki Answers
The NSF Science Bee is intended as an opportunity for elementary and middle school children to study Science and become more aware of the importance of Science in day-to-day events.
It is unthinkable to imagine a world without science and technology. Science and technology are one of the core tenets of human advancement. Our quality of life and our day to day comforts are all results of application of science and technology. Medical advances are saving lives daily; space scientists have put man on moon; Internet and computers have revolutionized the way we access and consume information - the list is endless.
NSF Science Bee intends to ignite the young minds to explore the fascinating world of Science and Technology. Preparing for the Science Bee itself will take you on a journey of discovery and kindle interest in various branches of science. After all, the journey is more important than the destination.
The NSF Science Bee is a brand new product for 2010. A pilot project refers to an initial roll out of a product into production, targeting a limited scope of the intended final audience [def: Wikipedia]. This contest is expected to evolve in terms of content and format based on the feedback received from children, parents and volunteers during the pilot phase. Also, NSF will not be conducting National Finals for the Science Bee during 2010.
Although Science Bee is a pilot this year, the cost of running the contest is the same as other contests. Also 2/3rd of the fee is considered as donation by the parents to NSF. Thus the parents are helping the most deserving poor students going to college in India.
No, a participant can only participate in one Science Bee and in one Regional center only.
Yes. A child in KG is allowed to participate in Junior Science Bee, on an equal basis without any special privileges or concessions. Parents should bring young children into the contest with the primary aim of getting them familiar with the Bee.
Online registration via NSF homepage is generally available, starting January. You can also refer to the NSF Contest Calendar or ask your Regional Coordinator about registration deadlines and contest dates.
NSF Senior Science Bee is available to be offered at all chapters. The local chapter can choose to offer this Bee or decide against it. Please consult your Chapter Coordinator for the specific contests being offered in your location.