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Coppice Forest

Abaco Science Fair 2023
"The Bush: The True Value of Bahamian Terrestrial Forests"


Projects should show evidence of research into a topic surrounding The Bush: The true value of Bahamian terrestrial forests. “Terrestrial forests” include pine forests and coppice forests (Blackland and Whiteland) . Students can choose to do a broad project on all terrestrial forests, or choose one specific forest to highlight. Pine forest and coppice forests have a plethora of economic and ecologic importance. Traditionally, coppice forests have been referred to as “the bush” often discounting the true value of these forests. Unfortunately, our terrestrial forests face many threats like deforestation for development, forest fires and hurricanes. 

  • Projects must be based on scientific investigations, an experiment or surveys, including environmental and/or social perspectives. (**All high school projects must include the scientific method. If high schools do not use the scientific method, the project will be placed in the Non-competitive/Display category.**)

  • All information outlining how the project was done, key findings and conclusions, should be included in a poster presentation for lower primary, upper primary and lower high. All information outlining how the project was done, key findings and conclusions, should be included in a powerpoint presentation for upper high ONLY*.


*New component for UPPER HIGH SCHOOL TEAMS : GRADES 10-12 ONLY
This year, instead of setting up a table with a display board, we are asking upper high school students (grades 10-12 ONLY) to prepare a powerpoint slideshow to explain their projects on stage in front of the audience. Students may include props along with the slideshow to help to explain their projects.

Presentations should be no longer than 10 minutes.

  • All teams should also use their research to inform an action component that demonstrates student participation in solutions, behavior change, or community outreach for increasing public understanding of the services provided by the chosen ecosystem(s). Proof or samples of the action component should be provided (photo copies, video, photographs, etc).

  • All projects must include a list of sources/references for any photos, diagrams, definitions etc. that are borrowed for their project.

  • Please note, students who are homeschooled, but live in Abaco are allowed to enter a competitive category. Please make entries based on the grade level they are currently in.

Judging Criteria

There are four components of each project to be judged:


1) Originality (Score 1- 10 points)

Projects should have original information and not just copy and paste from other sources not made by schools (e.g. brochures, internet). Students should be able to demonstrate an original thought process.

2) Content (Score 1- 10 points)

Information should be consistent with chosen topic and relate to overall theme. For high schools: Headings should relate to the scientific method (abstract, introduction, hypothesis, methods, discussion/conclusion including sources of error and methods for improvement). For primary schools: Headings should reflect what you did, how you did it, and what you found out (do not need to use those phrases verbatim).

3) Presentation for lower primary, upper primary and lower high ONLY (Score 1- 10 points)

Project should be well presented. If hand written, it should be legible. Projects should be neat and tidy, and follow a logical order. Projects which are eye-catching will score higher.


3.1) Presentation for upper high ONLY (Score 1- 10 points)

Students should have an organized powerpoint presentation that is easy to follow, easy to read and eye-catching. Presenters should speak clearly when presenting and must not exceed the limit of 10 minutes. 


4) Student Explanation (Score 1- 10 points)

Students should be able to answer questions posed to them by judges and display that they have an overall knowledge of the project.

*In the case of a tie, the project scoring higher on student explanation will be the winner.


You are responsible for projects that are legible, audible, etc. depending on project format. 

Credit your sources of information (including photos, web research, interviews etc).

For lower and upper high school: You must show use of the scientific method in your project (steps listed below).


Registration opens on Monday, September 4th 2023. 
All entry forms must be submitted by Friday, October 27th 2023 the latest.

SCIENTIFIC METHOD...break it down!

  1. Ask a question

  2. Do some background research

  3. Form a hypothesis (educated guess)

  4. Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment 

  5. Make an observation from your experiment

  6. Analyze results and form a conclusion

  7. Report your results


  • Terrestrial ecosystem- Any land‐based ecosystem, such as a forest, desert, grassland, or cropland.

  • Bahamian Pine Forest- One of three forest types found in The Bahamas. The dominant species is Caribbean Pine, also known as Yellow Pine, and they are found only on the four northernmost islands - Grand Bahama, Abaco, Andros and New Providence. These trees are members of a large tree family known as conifers, which characteristically produce cones.

  • Coppice Forests- What Bahamians often call “bush”, being comprised typically of broadleaf hardwood trees and shrubs. This ecosystem is found on every island in The Bahamas. There are two types of coppice forest: blackland coppice and whiteland coppice. The two forest types have many similarities and may even share species, but have visible defining features. 

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