A Brief Explanation of Synopsys: Science and Technology Championship

Synopsys is a competition in which you submit a science or engineering project to get judging. Depending on how well your project does, it can go to nationals and internationals, and you can win many prizes! There are different types of judges, some even representing companies such as NASA. But the very first step is submitting a project.

Synopsys projects have to be unique, as in someone who can't have already done the project. There is the option of improving on a project that you have already done, but it will need to be a significant improvement. For example, if you made an oven that cooks food much faster than a regular oven last year, it would have to have a considerable change like doubling as a freezer that can freeze things quickly or having the ability to bake many things at once. My project was an AI that could use x-ray images and demographic data to detect COVID-19 patients.

To prepare, many forms are required for you to be eligible for Synopsys. Depending on the project, the number of forms needed to be filled out can vary. The primary forms are the project proposal, online application and supplemental forms, and the research project plan. The project proposal is the form to tell Synopsys what your project is all about. Projects are split into two categories, science and engineering. Science follows different formatting than engineering and vice versa. To find the format specific to your project, visit the Synopsys website.

The online application and supplemental forms can also be found on the Synopsys website in the "student" tab or using the search bar feature found on the website. These forms include student and judge safety, project name and title, and many other essential things, so make sure you fill them out! Finally, the research project plan is a form containing a summary (abstract) of your project, variables, success criteria, etc.

Four more things are required for a project. First is the abstract. Just like the project proposal's abstract, the abstract is a 500-word summary of your project, what its purpose is, why we should care about the project and a brief description of what your goals and project were. The project notebook is at least four pages of your notebook that you took in as your project progressed. If you didn't write notes, you should start writing a notebook as soon as possible. The presentation and project video are two of the main parts of your project. Your project presentation is a 12-slide presentation of your project. Synopsys has listed the format for both engineering and science projects on their website. The project video is a short, two-minute demonstration of your project. This step is optional, but we highly recommend it.

Judging is probably the most essential part of the Synopsys experience. Judging is where you answer questions that judges ask you. On the day of judging, there will be time slots where judges ask you many detailed questions. There are also some different kinds of judges: Special judges and Category Award judges. Special judges come from large organizations like NASA and can sponsor you if they are interested in your project. Category Award judges give awards and specialize in different categories; for example, some judges could specialize in projects related to life on Mars, some could specialize in COVID-19 related projects, etc.

A Summary of Synopsys:

Synopsys is a unique experience and gives students knowledge about talking to people whom they don't know, being prepared to answer complex questions, and much more that can prove to be very useful, lifelong skills. In conclusion, Synopsys was an enjoyable event, and we would recommend participating to any interested! Many more details are available at the official Synopsys website, make sure to check it out!

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