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Rules for SCIWAY's 2002 K-12 Web Design Contest


Welcome to SCIWAY's second statewide web design contest for South Carolina K-12 students.

To take part in this contest, a student design team must create a web site about some South Carolina topic. All entries must be received by 5:00 pm, Friday, March 15, 2002.

The rules for this contest are explained below. It is important that students and sponsors read these rules closely.

We also recommend that you visit some of the sites that won last year's contest.

  1. Who can participate?
    All South Carolina K-12 students are eligible to participate in this contest, regardless of whether they attend a public, private, or home school.

    Students who live outside South Carolina cannot take part in the contest.

  2. Divisions and prizes
    Prizes will be awarded in three divisions: grades 1-5, 6-8, and 9-12. First prize in each division is $500, and second prize is $300.

    In addition, as many as 12 other student web design teams may receive SCIWAY Excellence Awards of $100.

    All winning teams will receive trophies, and links to their web sites will be added to SCIWAY. (Home school teams can choose marble paperweights for each team member instead of a trophy.)

    The division a team competes in will be determined by the team member who is in the highest grade. For example, if a team consists of four 8th graders and one 9th grader, it will compete in the grades 9-12 division.

  3. What is a web design team?
    In this contest a web design team is a group of three or more students who work together to develop a South Carolina web site. We require that contest sites be created by a team of students because producing good web sites requires a variety of skills ... and because we want to provide students a practical opportunity to learn teamwork skills.

    Each team must have an adult sponsor – normally a teacher or parent.

  4. Choosing a topic
    Two goals of this contest are to encourage students to learn more about South Carolina ... and to promote the creation of useful, interesting, and usable South Carolina web sites.

    We strongly recommend that you focus on a fairly narrow topic and explore it in depth ... and that you pick a topic about which there is little information on the Internet.

    One of last year's first-place winners was a one-page elementary school site about South Carolina dinosaurs. To our knowledge, it is the best web site about this subject on the Internet, and when you search for "South Carolina dinosaurs" on Google, it pops up as number one.

    Some of last year's best sites were based on original, local research. Students visited places, conducted interviews, took pictures, and then developed some genuinely captivating web sites.

  5. How can a team enter?
    A design team sponsor can register a team by completing our online entry form.

  6. Who can work on a contest web site?
    Only student team members can work on a contest web site. Sponsors, parents, teachers, and friends can suggest ideas, teach skills and techniques, and lead group discussions ... but all research, writing, artwork, photography, and web page design and production must be done by team members only.

    Please follow this rule faithfully. If you see a need for an exception (especially with grades 1-5 teams), please write contest@sciway.net.

  7. Where will web sites be developed?
    Once a team has registered, we will provide it secure FTP work space on a SCIWAY web server. All web sites must be created on SCIWAY's server from the beginning of the contest ... rather than uploaded from a personal computer or school server at the end. This will enable teams to test their sites thoroughly and make sure their pages display quickly.

  8. How many teams can enter from the same school?
    There is no limit on the number of entries from a school, and SCIWAY will provide web server space for each entry.

    However, because of the amount of time it takes to evaluate a web site, each school that has more than five entries must have an in-school contest to select the five sites it will enter in the statewide contest. The names of these five sites must be mailed to contest@sciway.net by 5:00 pm, March 15, 2002.

  9. Is there a limit on how large a web site can be?
    Yes. The total size of all the files that make up a web site cannot exceed the capacity of a floppy disk (1.4 MB, or 1,400,000 bytes). "All files" includes text, graphics, audio, and any other types of files a team may create.

    SCIWAY will provide contest teams a simple tool for measuring the amount of server disk space their sites use. Many sites will be much smaller than 1.4 MB.

    Please do not exceed the 1.4 MB size limit. If you do, your site will be disqualified from the contest.

  10. Are there any other web site limits or guidelines?
    Yes. We want contest sites to work well and to be used by people throughout the world for years to come. And we have learned from experience that the following practices help:

    1. Do not put files in subdirectories. All files must be placed in the single directory we provide you.

    2. All file names must be lower case - florence.html is fine, but Florence.html is not. (SCIWAY uses Linux servers, which are case-sensitive.)

    3. File names cannot contain spaces.

    4. All of a site's web page file names must end in either .htm or .html. Please don't mix .htm and .html extensions within the same site.

    5. Each site's home page (top page) must be named either index.htm or index.html.

    6. When you link to a page within your own site, simply use the file name – for example, saluda.html – rather than a "full path name" such as http://sciway3.net/101a/saluda.html.

      The reason for this rule is that at the end of the contest, we may move your files to a different directory, and if you have used full path names, your links won't work.

    7. A web site's text must be written by team members. If you quote or paraphrase information from another source, please site that source ... and, if possible, link to it.

    8. If a team uses photographs or artwork created by others, these images must either be in the public domain or the team must obtain the written permission of the owner to use them. In both cases you should put a small credit (preferably a link) directly below the image.

    9. In general images should not exceed 20 KB, as larger images take too long to display. Adults can help teams compress or "optimize" their images.

    10. Provide correct widths and heights for all images. This will help your pages display faster.

    11. The color of your text should differ considerably from your background color. Otherwise, it will be difficult for people to read the text.

    12. Do not use FrontPage extensions. SCIWAY's server does not support them.

    13. Do not put any advertisements on your pages.

    14. We discourage the use of frames because they make pages difficult to print, and many search engines don't index framed pages. We want people to find your site!

    15. We also discourage the use of java scripts, video files, Flash, and continuous animation (two-cycle animation is OK). They may be cool, but they cause web pages to display slowly, and they're not what most Internet users care about. Most people just want good information they can find quickly.

    16. Please do not create links that open new browser windows. This often confuses people because they can't return to where they were by clicking their browser's Back button.

    17. People who look at your pages at 800x600 screen resolution must be able to fully view them without having to scroll horizontally. (800x600 is the resolution used by more than half of SCIWAY's visitors, and it is the resolution that contest judges will use when they evaluate your site.)

    18. A site's home page must include the name of the design team's school or home school group and its location. Example: Clifdale Elementary School – Spartanburg, South Carolina

    19. A site may include a credits page that identifies the members of the team who developed the site as well as their school and sponsor. This page may include pictures of team members and sponsors, and there should be a link to it on the site's home page.

    20. Before you upload the final version of your site, double-check for spelling and gramatical errors ... make sure all your links work ... and delete all files you decide not to use.


  11. What software tools should design teams use?
    Student design teams may use any software they want to develop their web sites. This includes simple HTML editors, Dreamweaver, FrontPage, Netscape Composer, and any other programs team members know how to use – or learn to use during the course of this contest.

    We recommend simple HTML editors and Dreamweaver because they produce faster loading pages (smaller files) and because the HTML code they produce is easier to understand and fix.

    SCIWAY does not support FrontPage extensions such as counters and guest books, so please don't use them.

    We recommend that teams use WS FTP to transfer their files to SCIWAY's server.

    We strongly recommend that you use graphics software such as PhotoShop to reduce the size of image files (photographs and graphics) without noticeably degrading their appearance on a monitor screen. Adults can help teams compress or "optimize" their images.

  12. Contest deadline
    The final version of contest web sites must be uploaded to SCIWAY's server by 5:00 pm, Friday, March 15, 2002.

  13. How will web sites be evaluated?
    Entries will be rated on these five criteria:

    1. The quality, depth, and accuracy of the information provided ... and the quality of original artwork and photography.

    2. The extent to which the information provided is new – that is, not already on the Internet.

    3. How well the text is written – good grammar and correct spelling and punctuation are essential.

    4. How usable the site is – Is it easy to navigate? Are pages easy to read?

    5. How well the site functions – Do all of its links work? Do its pages display quickly?


    All entries will be judged by SCIWAY staff. The judges will begin by viewing each entry and selecting 40-50 finalists. Then each judge will independently rate each of these top sites. Finally, we will compare notes and select the winners in each division.

  14. How and when will contest prizes be awarded?
    Contest winners will be announced Wednesday, April 17. Trophies and prize checks will be mailed to the sponsors of winning teams by May 1. Teams may use or distribute prize money in any way they want.

  15. Who owns contest web sites?
    All contest web sites that receive awards become the property of SCIWAY, LLC. However, the teams that create these sites are welcome to display them on their school or school district web servers.
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