1.  The goal should be to recognize the student, not the advisor or the drafting department.

The student’s presentation of the work is the main focus and the learning opportunity:  In learning to present their science well at a young age, being critiqued and receiving constructive criticism, they will gain the presentation skills needed later in life- be it for a grant pitch or in the classroom.

2.  This is a presentation award.  Please provide feedback about the student’s science, but their presentation is what should be evaluated.

The student’s presentation of the work is the main focus and the learning opportunity:  In learning to present their science well at a young age, being critiqued and receiving constructive criticism, they will gain the presentation skills needed later in life- be it for a grant pitch or in the classroom.

3.  Evaluation

Evaluation should be based on criteria such as timing, clarity of expression, effective use of illustrations, organization, and logic.

Oral Presentation
  • Should be audible from rear of room, with reasonably clear enunciation and absence of “um,” “er,” “you know,” etc. (some concession could be made for nervousness and for those who are not native English-speakers, but not too much).
  • Time should be used effectively.  The introduction should not take half the time with results rushed in the last minutes.  Points should be deducted for running more than a minute over maximum time and extra credit may be given if the talk ends early with time for questions.  The student should have practiced the presentation often enough to ensure appropriate timing, so there is no excuse for running over.
  • Slides/view graphs should be legible from the back of room, labeled well and not crowded.  The main point of the figure should be obvious without explanation.  There should not be too many slides and points should be deducted for large data tables or multiple graphs on one figure.
  • If there are questions, the student should handle them with poise, understand the point of the question and be able to answer it.
Poster Presentation
  • The student must be present- their presentation of the poster is being judged, rather than the poster itself.  (For this reason, E-posters cannot be judged.)
  • Students should speak clearly.  They should tell you enough to explain any item, without going into excessive detail (unless you ask for it).  They should explain the poster logically, starting with background and going on to results and conclusions.
  • The figures should be neat and legible.  The poster should be logically arranged, rather than a jumble of figures in disarray.  The title should be easily legible from 10 feet away and there should be an abstract or some short summary for those who just want to read.  Points should be deducted for too much or not enough text.
  • There should be some sort of summary diagram or list of conclusions.
  • The figures should be designed to be informative in a poster context, not just copies of something for publication.
  • Extra credit might be given for eye-catching set-up and use of color.  S
  • tudents should be able to handle the poster presentation by themselves and points should be deducted if he/she turns to the advisor for help.  If the advisor attempts to take over, continue to address your questions to the student.
Oral Content
  • Arrangement should be logical and should explain the problem to be addressed, describe methods (briefly), present result, and draw explicit conclusions.  Points should be deducted for diverging into unnecessary details.
  • The purpose of the study should be clear, not just a description of data.  At least one conclusion should be reached and substantiated by the data.  Although it may be difficult, try to assess whether the student understands the significance of the work or is simply quoting his/her advisor.
  • The study may not be of vital importance, but should be elegant and contribute something new to the field, such as: useful new data, a new model or a test of an old model.  There should be evidence of familiarity with the literature and work of others.
Poster Content
  • Same criteria as noted above.
  • The data should be enough to support conclusions but overwhelming.
  • A few results that demonstrate the trend are better than trying to show every piece of data.
  • Either verbally or visually, there should be a statement of the problem and of the conclusions.