Scientific Inquiry

Scientific Inquiry icon for STEM Expo


Please note: We are in the process of updating our Category Descriptions and Rubrics for STEM Expo 5  (March 7, 2015) - these should be updated by December 1, 2014.


Scientific Inquiry is the basic experimentation category and covers Scientific
Methodology, Research, Hypothesis, Experiment Design, Data Collection and Analysis.

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


A successful Scientific Inquiry entry must have the following:

  • Scientific method must be utilized
  • Ask a testable question
  • Research the topic
  • Make a hypothesis about the outcome based on the research or their own knowledge
  • Design the investigation
  • Conduct the investigation
  • Collect Data
  • Make sense of the data and draw a conclusion
  • Present their findings for peer review
  • Tri-fold display must address all elements of scientific method, must include visuals
  • Project display must be viewer friendly and safe


Additional judging is based on the following:

  • The scientific method shows completeness of thought and cause and effect are clearly explained
  • The Inquiry relates to broader scientific principles, real world applications
  • The idea for investigation is original or innovative
  • The procedure, materials, trial length, etc. are innovative or creative in approach