Project Submission Guidelines:

    1. Entrants MUST register their team via the What If Web site prior to 11:59pm US Central Time, March 8th, 2013.

    2. Entrants MUST submit their entry before 11:59pm US Central Time, March 31st, 2013.  See the Submit Entry Section for more details.

    3. Entrants may not change their entry once it is submitted so please ensure you are submitting your final work.

    4. Submissions will only be considered if the essay and a fully complete submission Information Form are emailed to by the deadline.

    5. Any supporting files are allowed but must be submitted along with the essay and Submission Information Form before the deadline.

    6. Submissions must be entirely the work of the student team members.

    7. Submissions must not copy other materials without properly citing the source.

    The What If Management Team will post each team's name, adult sponsor name, school, city and state to the website.

Research Plan Guidelines

Student teams must prepare and submit a research plan for their project. Teams will be evaluated on the quality and thoroughness of the research plan. Plans are limited to 5 typed pages (drawings and graphs, etc. may be included as well, and are a part of the 5 pages). The following components must be included:

    1.Background - this section contains background information about the project, including concise information about the soda geyser reaction, propulsion, etc.

    2.Purpose - Students will state the purpose of the design challenge.

    3.Hypothesis - Teams will develop a hypothesis about how they will be able to propel their vehicle the farthest. The hypothesis should be written in the standard "if...then" hypothesis format.

    4.Procedure - before the challenge is executed, students will develop a procedure for their design and testing. Elements to include are variable(s) including nozzle design(s), materials, vehicle design, and measurement technique.

    5.Observation - Students will record all observations as the design challenge progresses, including any mistakes made and / or changes to the design.

    6.Measurement - this section should include a summary of the measurement technique used, along with vehicle distance measurements (separate judging rubric for this section).

    7.Summary - in the final summary of the design challenge, students will summarize (not just restate) the design challenge, including the purpose, hypothesis and how their hypothesis was or was not supported, along with a summary of the activity. The summary should analyze results of their design and implementation of the design, along with potential areas for further development or testing.

    8.References - any references used for the design challenge should be included in this section and should follow standard APA guidelines.

Measurement Guidelines (to be included in above Research Plan)

Teams must develop a valid technique to measure the distance the vehicle travels. The vehicle must be propelled by the soda/candy reaction alone, and vehicles must travel on a horizontal surface. The measurement tool/technique (used figuratively; it does not have to be a physical tool, although it could be) must be included as a part of the Research Plan. The validity of the measurement tool/technique will be a separate component of the judging process.

Video Guidelines

In addition to the Research Plan, teams will create a short video (2-4 minutes in length) that provides an overview of their design and shows their soda propulsion system in action. In order to address possible privacy concerns, at the discretion of team members and their parents or guardians, team members may or may not be visible in the video. However, team members must narrate their video. The video should include a close-up view of the propulsion system, the vehicle, and the vehicle in action. If possible, the chosen method for measurement should be shown. Other video effects may be included but are not required.

Research Essay Guidelines

The typed, two-page (500 word maximum) research essay should focus on the importance of developing and using green fuels. Information within the essay should include citations (standard APA format), and essays will be judged on the well-developed, creative and thoughtful student ideas, quality research presented within the paper, and proper citation procedures. Students should avoid sights with little to no references and should not use difficult-to-validate sources such as Wikipedia. Multiple sources should be referenced, but with the two-page essay limit, sources should also be limited.

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