It’s a great opportunity for you to explore and determine which discipline or field in science you are interested in and may want to pursue in the future. The SBC competition helps you to develop important skills such as public speaking, problem solving, and time management. It is also an excellent way to network and make contacts in the science field. Learn more about the advantages here.
The SBC competition allows you to develop practical knowledge and apply material learned in class directly in the lab through the guidance and supervision of mentors. The competition gives students a real-life, hands-on experience that extends far beyond the high school classroom.
It is a good idea for you to keep on top of recent scientific news and discoveries by browsing through scientific magazines and research articles. Write down questions you may have based on their preliminary readings and research, and develop experiments from those questions. You should focus on a project that interests you and motivates you to do the research.
For the 2019-2020 SBC competition, any research started after July 1st 2019 is eligible. Any students continuing their research from past years must show substantial expansion of investigation and students will be judged on the current year’s work only.
Each student is required to submit a lab journal for part of their project evaluation. The type of lab book required is one that is easily obtainable at stores such as Staples or Office Depot. The recommended type is a Blueline Hard Cover Flush-cut Composition Book (7 ¼” x 9 ¼”). They sell for under $10. Digital lab books are acceptable. More information is available here.
Check out our Tips on Preparing Posters for more information.
You should be prepared to provide your an electronic version of a final report. Your report must be the single slide from which your display poster was printed.
Some general tips:
- Summarize your experiment in a single paragraph of not more than 250 words.
- Write in third person and use the past tense.
- Use one sentence to describe the general topic to be investigated and why it is important. Describe in one or two sentences, the specific question or relationship that you are investigating.
- Tell how you did the investigation in one or two sentences, avoiding a detailed description of procedure.
- Explain in one or two sentences the main point(s) of what you found out. Remember that negative results are useful as well. (If you haven’t collected or analyzed all of your data yet, indicate that and then modify your Abstract when you do your final report and poster board).
- Write a single sentence that summarizes your conclusions about the general topic, question or relationship that you investigated.
The primary concern at the SBC competition is that of public safety. Many subject organisms and materials that may be used acceptably in your research under the supervision and approval of your mentor and his/her institution, are not permissible for exhibition purposes at the SBC competition. Simulations or photographs can be substituted. The display is a presentation of the results, NOT a demonstration of the experiments. More information on safety regulations is found here.
New this year, SBC is now accepting groups of two for presentations at Regional Competitions, in addition to traditional individual competitors. Note that only projects done by individual students may compete at the International Biogenius Challenge. More information on student eligibility is available here.
You should expect to dedicate an average of 10 hours per week between the months of November and March.
SBC does require commitment, so it is extremely important for you to manage your time effectively. Using a planner or schedule is a good way to keep track and use time productively.
- Determine where your interests lie in science
- Start looking for potential mentors beforehand
- Develop questions and experimental designs in advance
- Manage your time effectively
- Have confidence and trust in yourself
- Take advantage of all of your resources
- Communicate with your leaders
Yes, graduate or post-doctoral students can provide mentorship to students under the sanction of the Principal Investigator.