Teacher Evaluations May 2013

  • All teachers with more than one project in the VSF are asked to rank their students’ projects and provide a comment for each student. You may also provide a private comment for Larry if you wish. Teachers with only one project are also invited to submit comments.
  • Use standard ranking procedures learned in Stats 101. That is , the best project is rank 1, the second best rank 2, etc.
  • Please have no more than 2 with rank = 1.
  • Please evaluate the entire grade category as one group.
  • Record your evaluations in a Word Document and then email to me.
  • Please include the Team Number and the userid.
  • Judge the projects by viewing online either at


Or by entering the Teacher Zone


  • Students will not see your rankings but will see your anonymous student comments.
  • Your evaluations should be based on your personal criteria.
  • Criteria we use in judging are found in the:
  • Blog – Critical Checklist  http://odec.ca/wordpress/?p=342
  • Checklists on the Rules page   http://www.virtualsciencefair.com/rules.htm
  • Do’s and Don’ts page   http://www.odec.ca/CreatingProjects/dodont.htm
  • Please try to have this done by May 10 If you have any questions or don’t remember your Teacher Userid and Password, please contact me at once.
  • If you wish to also be involved in judging projects other than your own, please contact Larry for more information.
Posted in 2013 VSF, Judging | Tagged , | Leave a comment

2013 VSF Judging Begins

Judging of 2013 VSF projects is underway. As any of you involved in past years know, the judging process takes a very long time. There are a number of steps along the way that each take a significant length of time to complete.

The first step, locking all the accounts, is now complete.

The second step involves reviewing the nearly 500 projects to determine if they  display properly given the URL www.virtualsciencefair.org/2013/userid . Those that do not are removed from the database (not from the server). This second step is now in progress.

The goal this year is to have judging complete with awards and certificates in the mail before June 1.

Posted in 2013 VSF, Judging | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Important Dates plus Testing Updates Frequently

In order to avoid disappointment and frustration, please read the material below.

Upload and Test Your Work Very Frequently

Upload and test in a browser every time you make a change. Remember to refresh the browser or even restart the browser after upload in order to see the revised version of your pages rather than a cached version.

Your project must display using the URL www.virtualsciencefair.org/2013/your_userid

Very Important Dates

Project accounts will be locked as soon as possible after 6:00 pm PT Wednesday April 30. Changes to your website will not be possible after the accounts are locked.  Projects will be judged as of their status on April 30. If you wish to correct a error in your project, that may be done after judging is complete later in May. Help will not be available Tuesday April 29 and Wednesday April 30.

Help Desk Hours

In order to received help, please email me at larry@virtualsciencefair.com  Include your userid and password. As well, identify the software your are using to create your website and the nature of the problem. Do not telephone unless  I suggest a phone call in my response to your email. Help is available but please follow this protocol.

Please Note Help Desk Dates:

Until Friday April 19 there will be significant Help available.

Saturday April 20 to Monday April 29 somewhat limited Help available.

Tuesday April 29 and Wednesday April 30 Help not available.

Posted in 2013 VSF | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Caution – Names on Project Websites

If you wish to have your name appear on your project website, it is best to include your name on an imageNameONTinyPlanetsHeader rather than as text By Larry Oberg. Regular text is detected by search engines such as Google, text on images is not (at least at the moment).

Why this caution?

Most VSF projects remain live on the Internet for many years.  Recently I have had a number of former students ask to have their old projects removed. Typically they are now at the end of their university studies and are concerned that a potential employer may search their name on Google and thus discover their old project. Although there is nothing offensive in the project, it may not be up to the standard they now wish to present to a future employer. I can usually remove the project.

The simple solution is to omit your last name from project websites OR at include your name on an image rather than as text.

This should also be a warning about using FaceBook. It may not be easy to remove Facebook content in the future.


Posted in 2013 VSF, Tips | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Registration Closing Dates – 2013 VSF

Last day for teacher registration Friday March 15, 2013

Last day for student registration Friday April 12, 2013

Projects due Tuesday April 30, 2013 6:00 pm Pacific Time

After 6:00 pm Tuesday April 30, the accounts will be locked and no changes to the projects will be possible.  Plan to have your project website complete and tested well before this date in case of any problems.

Posted in 2013 VSF | Tagged | Leave a comment

Image File Size – ‘Reduce It’

It is very important to reduce the file size of your VSF images. I understand that Facebook reduces the size automatically upon upload. The VSF servers do not, thus you should reduce the size before upload. See the following article on Image File Size odec.ca/CreatingProjects/ImageFileSize.htm

A very good image editing application is Adobe Fireworks. It is rather expensive but has a student price and possibly a 30 day trial.

‘Free’ image editing software that may be useful include:

GIMP   http://www.gimp.org/

IrfanView   http://www.irfanview.com/

Paint.net   http://www.getpaint.net/

Posted in 2013 VSF, Tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Display of Projects 2013 – Update Jan. 6, 2013

Well, having been at this game for many many years I should have known better than announce (See…)  a system improvement before it was in place and working.

Recently I have spent a fair bit of time learning about the creation and publishing of eBooks. Unfortunately, I have concluded that at the moment there is not any practical system for eBooks to be used for VSF projects this year. The eBook world is still sort of the “Wild West” in terms of development and presents just too many complications for general use in project displays in the 2013 VSF.

As well, after countless hours trying to modify the WordPress blog system so that it would be practical for use for VSF projects, I have likewise concluded that this effort has been unsuccessful.

Thus, for 2013 VSF projects will be displayed in traditional websites as has been the case for the past 12 years. Preferably traditional websites will be built using website authoring software. In cases where website authoring software is not available the conversion of office applications (ex MS Publisher) to webpages is allowed.

Actually, websites created with web authoring software provide a much better format for displaying projects than would be provided by either an eBook or even a Blog site.


Posted in 2013 VSF | Leave a comment

2013 Virtual Science Fair – Project Formats

In addition to the regular webpage format used in the past for the presentation of VSF projects, we hope to add additional options for presenting projects.

Plans are to  include ebooks and an online blog type system for displaying projects.  I am confident the ebook system will work, the online blog type system is more of a challenge.

There will be separate divisions of the VSF for the additional formats.  More information will be provided over the next couple of months. Time did not allow for these new formats to be fully developed and tested before the planned opening of Oct 15, thus the delay in registration to Jan 21.

Posted in 2013 VSF | Tagged | Leave a comment

2013 Virtual Science Fair Dates

Registration for the 2013 VSF will open January 21, 2013.

Projects are due April 30, 2013.

Posted in 2013 VSF | Tagged | Leave a comment

Judging Update #8 June 11, 2012 – Judging Step 5

The certificates and cheques have been mailed. Some have been sent via Canada Post Express Post, others via regular mail.

The spelling of the names on the certificates was taken directly from the registration information submitted during registration, so it should be correct.

If any errors have occurred in the certificates, please let me know and I will print and mail corrected certificates. Since I will be away from my office for much of June, it may be more convenient for you to download the Publisher file, add the correct text and print the certificate with the school printer. The  2012 Certificate publisher file is located at  www.virtualsciencefair.org/2012CertificateTemplate.pub

Cheques are issued to the captain of the team. The captain will share the money with the other members of the team.

If any cheques have errors please let me know at once.

Posted in 2012 VSF, Judging, Uncategorized | Leave a comment