MS Level III Tasks for STEM Projects

Grading Period 1: First Nine Weeks

TASK 1 - Select your project topic.

  • Choose your STEM Project from the “Comparative Experiment” or “Engineering Design” project categories.

  • Choose at least 2 or 3 topics and submit it to your STEM teacher. Teacher will approve one of your choices. 
  • Note, you may select different topics from each category. For example, you may decide to select two topics from "Comparative Experiment" and one from "Descriptive Investigation". In the end, your teacher will approve only one of your choices.
  • Be sure to select topics that you are interested in. Also, consider amount of time it will require, types of materials, safety requirements and grade level appropriateness of the topics.

TASK 2 - Create/copy a Blank Googledoc Presentation

  Step 1: Create a Googledoc Presentation

  • Sign-in with your school email account. If you do not know your school email account, please check database or ask your teacher for it.

  • Select googledoc presentation (PPT) or (See TASK 2, Step 4).

  • Create/copy a Blank Google Presentation slides (see examples from TASK 2, Step 4)

  • You can add more slides by clicking on the (+) sign on the top left corner

 Step 2: Save google doc in this format

  • Save it as “FirstLastName-Grade-Campus-year e.g. JohnDoe-8-HSA-2014

Note: If you have super long name include only first six character of your first name and first six character of your last name.

 Step 3: Create/copy Title Slide

  • Project Title: (write your title if you know it, or you can fill it in later)

  • Project Type: Select “Comparative Experiment or Engineering Design)

  • Add your personal information such as name, campus (initial only), grade, section, school year and teacher’s name.

 Step 4: Add blank slides with “subtitles”

      These templates have been shared with you as "View Only". To make a copy       of the template, go to "file" and then select "make a copy". Save the                  document with the correct title "FirstLastName-Grade-Campus-year". You can      add more slides by clicking on the (+) sign on the top left corner).

     Step 5: Share your presentation link

  • Step 1: Go to the top right corner, click "share", and then select option “anyone with the link can access”. 
    • Hint: Next to the "Copy Link" there is a drop down arrow, click on it and then you will notice various sharing options. Select "Anyone with the link can view".

  • Step 2: Share your presentation link with your teacher. Go to top right corner, select "Share" and add your teacher's email address.

  • Step 3: Share you presentation with stemsos.virtual@gmail.com

TASK 3 - Background Research:

Step 1: Submit it to your teacher

  • Submit a 1-2 pages paper, 12 font, double spaced

  • Include at least 3 reference and cite it properly

  • Include diagram, pictures, equation when appropriate

Step 2: Write summary of your “Background Research” on Google presentation.

TASK 4 - Purpose or Goal(s): 

On the googleslide, that you have previously created, add a new slide and title it "purpose or goal" (see template from TASK 2, Step 4).

  • Describe the main purpose(s) or goal(s) for your experiment or Engineering project.
  • Write a clear statement, stating the main purpose or goal of your project.  
  • Depending on your project type, you may have more than one purpose or goal. Be sure to state each purpose or goal under separate bullet points.

TASK 5 - Hypothesis/Problem/Question:

On the googleslide, that you have previously created, add a new slide and title it "Hypothesis/Problem/Question" (see template from TASK 2, Step 4).

  Hypothesis: If you are doing an “Comparative Experiment” Project

  • Write your hypothesis as an "if…then" statement

  • If you are testing two different independent variables you may have more then one statements in your hypothesis

  Problem: If you are doing “Engineering Design” Project

  • Write a problem or driving question statement for your engineering project 

TASK 6 - Design/plan your investigation:

Click on the link below for more details based on your project category.

Comparative Experiment:

  • Variables (Dependent, Independent, Control)

  • Material(s) with pictures

  • Procedure with pictures

  • Safety (if any) 

Engineering Design:

  • Material(s) with pictures

  • Design Plan with pictures

  • Safety (if any)

TASK 7 - Update all presentation slides for the first quarter.

The main purpose of TASK 7 is to give students an opportunity to complete all previous TASKS.
  • Be sure to complete typing up all project information on to the google presentation slide.  See TASK 2 Step 4 for google presentation templates.
  • If you made updates on your slides for previous TASK, please inform you teachers to regrade those google presentation slides.

Grading Period 2: Second Nine Weeks

TASK 8 - Collect, Organize and Explain Data/Observation/Notes
    State your observation, data and results. Explain what happened, and why the results occurred, using scientific facts and knowledge.
    Comparative Experiment:
  • Observation and Pictures
  • Data Table
  • Graph
  • Analysis and Discussion
    Engineering Design:
  • Prototype Construction Pictures
  • Data Table
  • Graph
  • Analysis and Discussion
TASK 9 - Draw Conclusions and Explain
  • Using a few sentences, explain whether your observations support your purpose/goal or not.
  • If you had a hypothesis, state whether your data supported this hypothesis or not.  
  • State the main points that you have learned from this experiment or project.

TASK 10 - Application and Extensions:
  • State the real-life or daily application of your project/experiment.
  • Explain how the knowledge gained from this project/experiment can benefit you/others/society in general.
  • If you repeat this experiment again, explain what would you change about this project/experiment to gain further scientific knowledge. Ex. would you use different inquiry question?, test different variable, change or combine design plans for model or prototype, etc.

TASK 11 - Synthesis Questions, Bibliography and Final Report

    Comparative Experiment:
  • Synthesis Questions (if any):
  • Bibliography:
  • Final Report:
    Engineering Design:
  • Synthesis Questions (if any):
  • Bibliography:
  • Final Report:

TASK 12 - In-class Presentation to Peers and teacher
  • Present your final Google presentation to peers and teacher.
  • Improve your presentation slides based on peer and teacher feedback.
  • After you have updated your slides, you can use them to create your tri-fold board
    Note: Your Google Presentation can be used to create a digital photo story required for all students and/or simply print out all slides to create a poster board for Science Fair related competitions. 

Grading Period 3: Third Nine Weeks

TASK 13 - Science Competition (Presentation Board)

   Participation in Science Fair is highly recommended for projects from Comparative Experiment or Engineering Design. Middle school students with PBL Level III projects should prepare to participate in School-wide, Cluster-wide, Regional or even International Science Fair competitions.  Check with your teacher for participation requirements and submission deadlines for competitions outside of the school.

    Use your finished Google Presentation slides to create your tri-fold board. Your display can reflect your personality and help you stand out from the crowd! Be creative and colorful while displaying your project. There are many searchable poster board examples online and in reference books, but they all follow general guidelines of being read like a newspaper – left to right and up down. (see suggestions in the side panel here)

Make sure that you have included all parts of your project, and that your name, your teacher's name or any pictures with your face are NOT on your board. Also remember:
  • Your results should refer to your data and analysis.
  • There should be graphs and data tables on your board.
  • Your board should be neat and easy to read.
  • No live animals or anything infectious, like possibly bacteria cultures, please.
  • When in doubt ASK YOUR TEACHER!

**Optional & Additional Choice**
TASK 14 - For students who choose to also participate in DISTCO:

    STEP 1 - Write a Script (Storyboard)

Middle school students with PBL Level III projects are asked to participate in campus, cluster, or regional science fairs. Check with your teacher for participation requirements and submission deadlines for competitions outside of the school. 

    Students may choose to also participate in DISTCO. If so, submit a completed digital story to DISTCO Contest (see TASK 16). You will need to add images, text, sound and narration to your digital story. However, video clips are optional.

Plan and create your storyboard, see this handout for instruction and rubric.
  1. Write a Script
    • Make sure you use the content from your Google presentation,   such as your problem or purpose, your goal/prediction/hypothesis, your design, results, etc.
    • Include scientific facts to explain your work. What did you learn? What is the science behind it? What knowledge supports your conclusion(s)?
  2. Decide on the number of frames you will have and create your storyboards.
    • Frames may include just images, just words, or both.
    • If building something, consider showing an image of your finished product first, then showing the steps and explaining how you built it.
  3.  Add images and/or photo collages. 
    • Try to use a 4:3 or 16:9 ratio for your screen size so that there will be no black borders around your video.
    • All pictures should be original and taken by you during the investigation of your project. If you need to use copyrighted images from the internet, please follow the proper citing guidelines as explained in the "Copyright Issues" section of DISTCO PBL Rules at  www.distco.org/rules 
  4. Submit your work to your teacher for feedback. Make corrections as needed.
     STEP 2 - Create a Video (Digital Story)
  1. Record and edit digital audio to flow with your storyboards (see             right side column of this page for digital story software options)
    • Make sure you are recording in a quiet area without much noise interference.
    • You don't have to use background music, but if you would like to use some, please use instrumental music that will not be louder than your speech.
    • The music should not overpower your narration.
  2. Try to keep the video presentation short (between 2-4 minutes), you can speed up or slow down parts of your video capture depending on your need.
  3. Delete the unnecessary parts of the video clips when you are editing
Software Option 1:
  • Your Google presentation can be directly turned into a digital story (see video tutorial and written tutorial on the side column labeled "How to create a digital story in PPT"). Note: You will need to download and save your Google presentation into Microsoft PPT (you will need a laptop with Windows program), in order to create your storyboard.
 Software Option 2:
  • Use one of the following software options to create your presentation or digital story: PhotoStory 3, WeVideo (Part 1Part 2), Windows Live MovieMaker, or iMovie. 
  • See STUDENT TRAINING MATERIALS in the side column of this page for text and video tutorials.
Submit your completed digital story to your teacher via Google drive (or email).

    Check out the link above to submit your Digital Story to the DISTCO PBL contest.
  • DISTCO Awards: Win iPad Mini, iPod Nano, Gift Cards and Scholarships* (* Grade 9-12).  
  • DISTCO Rubric - Digital Storytelling Evaluation Rubric



Please visit TASK 16 for more information 


(PBL VIDEO PRESENTATION) with Youtube Video Editor
Free Video Download for background music


Written Tutorial
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Written Tutorial
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Alternative Video Link
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