Tips for Success
- Understand the Contest
Read the contest overview and components carefully.
- Focus your effort to respond to the specific evaluation criteria
The Scientific Committee consists of professional scientists, researchers and educators. They evaluate each entry against the specified evaluation criteria for that contest. Content, including science accuracy and excellence, will guide their decisions. Try to be specific and do not write something you have not previously verified its accuracy and most importantly do not write something you do not understand. Try to be consistent and do not stretch your project too much. Focused projects are most likely to be successful as they are more thorough and explicit. Try to organize your project so it will have a rational sequence and structure. Also, try to create an attractive layout.
- Work on the basics
The physical appearance of an entry is often an indicator of serious effort by the students. Neat, well-edited, readable entries, without spelling errors, make any entry a better competitor. If your entry is an essay it is recommended that it will be proofread by someone other than the creators.
- Plan ahead
Make a blueprint of your project, outlining your main course of action. Manage your time so that your work schedule allows time for reviewing and revising your entry.
- Find a teacher-leader
An open-minded teacher-leader can be a great resource in evaluating your entry’s design before you begin developing your project, reviewing your experiments, papers, videos, prototypes etc, and being your go-to person for questions and advice. Your teacher-leader can be your science teacher, or a teacher from another school or a local university with experience in your topic or research methods. Remember, however, that the actual work of the project, including the project design and analysis of the data, must be your own work. In case you are not fluent in English and you would like to submit or translate your entry in English and / or you would need help with using books and other resources in English you should also ask a teacher in English to assist your team. Depending on the nature of your project you could involve apart from science teachers, technology, arts and other teachers, who you might think they could help you develop a successful project.
- Get a team together
The Odysseus II contest is intended for teams of 2 to 3 students to work on. Find other members to form a good team and divide responsibilities among all teammates.
- Seek the support of a Mentor
Check the Odysseus II webpage for choosing a Mentor from your country.
- Brainstorm potential subjects of interest with your teammates, teachers or family members and name some subjects in order to identify topics that interest your team.
- Use the template provided by the organizers to support and document your project.
- Pick a topic that’s meaningful to you. This will make it easier to focus and spend time on your project.
- Develop a research question that will help you define what your entry will answer. Ask yourself, about the relationship between the focus of your project and the outcome you are interested in. Think of it as your entry’s objective or hypothesis stated as a question.
- Draw diagrams or flow charts to organize the information you would collect on space and particularly on your topic and to help you work out how to translate that information into something meaningful.
- Ask any clarifying questions to the organizers by completing the relevant contact form.
- Organize tools, materials and supplies for the contest.
- Find helpful websites on space and sources of relevant material for your project, but stick with reputable and trustworthy sources (e.g. ESA or NASA websites and sites with an .edu suffix). Check the Odysseus II webpage RESOURCES
- Spend a lot of time gathering background information on your topic.
- Make sure that any fact you use in your argument is verifiable by trustworthy sources before considering them to be valid.
- Go in-depth with your research. Try learning scientific concepts and be as detailed as possible.
- Do not get discouraged if you run into problems while creating your project.
- Have fun! Enjoy your space adventure!