Scientists communicate their findings in many ways: in writing, through
graphs and illustrations, verbally, and mathematically. Participants in
this event will interpret the "message" being sent for each subject
Number of Participants / Approximate Time
Up to 2 / 50 minutes
Students will observe or read about a scientific phenomena which could
be displayed in the form of a chart, graph, data table, video, live demonstration,
or photographic display. Students will answer questions relating to possible
qualitative or quantitative interpretations of the situation. Samples
of possible tasks include:
1. Given a set of numbers, students should be able to plot the data on
a graph and answer specific questions related to the data.
2. Given a pictoral or graphical representation of some data, students
should be able to interpret and explain the meaning of the representation.
3. Students should be able to select which, if any, of several possible
explanations given could account for observations made from a graph, chart,
or other pictoral representation.
Example: On a weather map, a student may be asked to determine the temperature
of a given city on a given day. The response must be in the correct range.
Teams will have a maximum of 45 minutes to complete the event. Time is
not a scoring factor.
Each specific question is worth one point. Each completed graph is worth
up to five points. Questions that require explanation to report the proper
interpretation are worth up to ten points. 75% of the items will be taken
for readily available mass media sources such as popular magazines, local
and national newspapers, popular World Wide Web sites, and other well-known
sources of raw and collected data. Ties will be broken with pre-determined