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Welcome to the BHL Life's a Zoo Contest Page!


Overview

In the Life’s A Zoo project, students in Ms. Tammy Riggins’s AP Biology and Honors Biology classes at West Springfield High School (Springfield, Virginia) have the opportunity to complete a class assignment and compete to win a behind-the-scenes tour of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History Rare Book Library.

Participants will be asked to design a zoological facility consisting of 8-10 animal organisms based on qualified research using the Biodiversity Heritage Library and other reputable resources. The organisms will be within an explained theme of choice. In designing and presenting habitats for these animals, participants must consider animal needs, how they will interact with their environment, and major adaptations.

Ms. Riggins will grade all projects and, with parental permission, submit the top five projects to the Smithsonian to be judged by a panel of Smithsonian staff based on the Smithsonian panel rubric. The grand prize winner will be awarded with prestige and an exclusive tour of the Natural History Rare Book Library of the Smithsonian for the winner, the winner’s parent or legal guardian, and two additional guests.

Details

The final deliverable of this project is a powerpoint presenting a zoological facility consisting of 8-10 animal organisms based on qualified research using the BHL and other reputable resources.

The powerpoint should include (in the following order):
  • Title slide
    • Includes participant’s name, high school, date of birth, and title of the zoo.
  • Theme description
    • A slide with one to two paragraphs explaining the theme and a personal reason as to why it was selected, both tied back to the zoo itself and employing appropriate vocabulary. Participant may include graphs and images.
    • It is strongly recommended that the participant chooses a theme based on the list provided below:
      • Family or similar classification of organisms
      • Organisms within a biome or habitat
      • An evolutionary theme where the participant traces an animal’s predecessors and they are theoretically placed in one zoo
      • Specific adaptations, diets, appearances, or other distinguishable traits
      • Antarctic organisms
      • Based around a particular scientist or group of researchers
      • "Curious and Bizarre Creatures"
      • Dinosaurs or a similarly extinct organism
      • "Monsters are Real"
      • Whales
      • Another theme approved by Ms. Riggins
  • Zoo design
    • At least one slide depicting the zoo’s overall design and layout, inserted into the presentation in one of the following ways: a high-resolution scanned drawing, a digital image from a computer program, a video of a three-dimensional zoo design, or a similar approach that can be placed in a PowerPoint.
  • Biological interactions
    • A maximum of two slides describing biological interactions that occur as a result of zoo design. Participant may want to consider:
      • Predator-prey relationships
      • Environmental relationships
      • Competition
  • Organisms
    • Include 8-10 organisms within theme
      • Note: In judging, quality will be preferred over quantity
    • One to two slides per organism with:
      • Image(s) from one of BHL’s platforms
      • Needs of that organism
        • Basic dietary requirements
        • Habitat size and type (aquatic, terrestrial, or both)
        • Temperature requirements
        • Additional information
      • Adaptations
    • Descriptions should be in detailed but succinct form.
  • References

Research and References

All scientific research should come mainly from the Biodiversity Heritage Library (http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/).

Citations are necessary in the form of parenthesis for direct quotes and images. This should be done in APA style, no annotations necessary. Any plagiarized presentations will be immediately removed from the judging process and, in extreme cases, follow-up with the disqualified participant will occur.

Contest Judgment

Ms. Riggins will grade all projects based on a defined rubric. All students interested in participating in the contest portion of the project will complete a parental consent form and submit to Tammy Riggins.

Ms. Riggins will submit the top five projects (based on her grading and for which parental consent has been granted) to the Smithsonian for consideration for the grand prize.

A Smithsonian panel will judge the five entries based on the Smithsonian rubric. The submission with the highest score when all rubrics are tallied up will be the winner. In the event of a tie, the BHL Program Director will cast the winning vote.

The contest winner will be notified by 12 July 2017 via the email provided in the parental consent form. The Smithsonian is not responsible for undelivered or overlooked emails. Failure to respond by the date indicated in the winner confirmation email will result in forfeiture of the prize.

Prize


The grand prize winner will receive an exclusive tour of the Natural History Rare Book Library of the Smithsonian for the winner, the winner’s parent or legal guardian, and two additional guests as well as recognition on BHL and/or Smithsonian platforms. Several dates in July and August 2017 will be offered for the tour, and the winner must select from these dates.

Parental Consent Form (Terms and Conditions)


In order to be considered for the Life's a Zoo grand prize, participants must sign a parental consent form and submit it to Ms. Riggins. This form outlines the terms and conditions of the contest and prize.

Submission


Tammy Riggins will use this form to submit the top five graded projects for consideration for the grand prize. Please follow the instructions on the form and submit one entry per student.



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