Scientific Inquiry

Scientific Inquiry icon for STEM Expo


Scientific Inquiry is the basic experimentation category where a question is asked,
a hypothesis is created, an investigation is performed, and a conclusion is reached.

Scientific Inquiry requires students to use higher order thinking skills as they learn science using a hands-on minds-on approach.

Pertinent Information and Definitions

Scientific Method

The Scientific Method is a fundamental part of this category. It is, in essence, a sequence of operation for any Scientific Inquiry. The steps are:

  • Ask a testable question.
  • Research the topic.
  • Make a hypothesis about the outcome based on that research and/or the entrant’s own knowledge.
  • Design the investigation.
  • Conduct the investigation.
  • Collect data.
  • Make sense of the data and draw a conclusion.

Entry, Review, and Judging

An entry in this category will be reviewed and judged on the following:

  • General requirements and judging points
  • The scientific method (including completeness of thought processes and presentation of cause and effect)
  • Preparation and display of information about the entry

Additional items which will affect the review and judging conclusions

  • Presentation of the inquiry findings for peer review.
  • Understanding of how the inquiry relates to broader scientific principles and real world applications
  • Originality and/or innovative approaches or concepts


Please review the judging rubric for this category for other items that may be considered.