2011 TOPSS Poster Competition for High School Psychology Students
The APA Committee of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) is pleased to announce the 2011 APA TOPSS Competition for High School Psychology Students. There will be four winners, each of whom will receive a $250 award. The submission deadline has been extended to June 6, 2011.
Submit Your Poster Now
Entries must be submitted here through the APA website, Deadline EXTENDED: June 6, 2011.
Although psychology has historical roots in the discipline of philosophy, a contemporary definition of psychology states it is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. The American Psychological Association (APA) recognizes psychology as a diverse scientific discipline with nearly boundless applications in everyday life.
In this competition, students will design an original visual poster on the theme “Psychology is a Science,” and also submit a written explanation of the poster and theme.
The winning posters may be made available through the APA website for teachers and students to download and print. Students are requested to authorize reprint permission when they submit their project online.
Submit a PDF of your poster and a separate written component at the database below.
Part I: Poster
Select one or more theme(s) or topic(s) within psychology that demonstrate(s) that psychology is a science. Students should design a poster that includes the phrase “Psychology is a Science.” The poster should illustrate at least one psychological concept, theory, or research discovery, or an application of psychology in the community. The poster can have text, photographs, graphics, and/or any other medium. Please see Rules below for size and formatting limits. Original or credited artwork must be used.
The poster should be based upon psychological research, and should visually demonstrate the contemporary definition of psychology as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.
The poster can address topics in basic and/or applied research. In basic research, psychologists explore fundamental questions about human and nonhuman animal behavior, whereas in applied research they study how these principles can be put into practice to improve our quality of life.
For ideas, please visit one of the following APA websites:
For example, a student might design a poster around one of the following themes: behavioral psychology, health psychology, sports psychology, anti-bullying, or forensic psychology. These are merely examples and are not meant to be inclusive.
Part II: Written Component
The written component must explain the concepts presented in the poster and state how the poster illustrates that psychology is a science. Students should also explain how they developed the idea for their posters, and discuss how the poster topic or theme was researched, citing the sources used (e.g., journal articles, textbooks, academic websites, and/or books) to develop their poster. At least one citation is required. All resources should be cited in APA Style. A reference list is required.
The written component must not be longer than 500 words, double-spaced, and should also include a cover page and reference(s). The cover page and reference(s) do not count toward the word limit.
Entrants must be high school students.
Entrants must have been enrolled or be presently enrolled in a high school psychology course.
Posters must be submitted as PDF files, 10 MB or less. If possible, posters should be submitted as high-resolution PDF files (with high-resolution photos, if included). The printed poster size should be 11 x 17” maximum.
Submission constitutes the student’s representation and warranty that any materials, figures, information, or graphics incorporated in the poster is either the original creation of the student or is the creation of a third party from whom the student have obtained written permission to reproduce for the purposes outlined herein. If photographs of people are provided, those people must give written permission to have their photographs displayed. APA may ask for proof of permission at anytime.
Submissions constitute the student’s authorization to the APA to reproduce and publicly display the poster in electronic, online, and/or print format, including but not limited to the APA Website and/or PsycEXTRA.
The Written Component
The written component must be submitted as a PDF or Word document file, and must be submitted as a separate document from the poster.
Reference(s) must be in APA style. See the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for details.
Students must include a cover page with the following information (all required): student's name, student's school name and school address, and student’s e-mail address.
Students should be aware that submissions will be screened for originality.
The written component must be no longer than 500 words, double-spaced. The cover page and reference(s) do not count toward the word limit.
No more than ten submissions per school are allowed.
Psychology faculty at the college and high school level will serve as judges.
The paper must be submitted online through the APA Web site, Deadline EXTENDED: June 6, 2011.
Rubric (Out of 100 points)
Part I: Poster (75 points)
A good poster will:
Visually demonstrate that psychology is a science (30 points)
Include the phrase “Psychology is a Science” (5 points)
Illustrate at least one psychological concept, theory, or research discovery, or an application of psychology in the community (35 points)
Use original or credited artwork (5 points)
Part II: Written Component (25 points)
A good submission will:
Explain the ideas and/or concepts presented in the poster and state how the poster illustrates that psychology is a science (10 points)
Include a description of how the student developed the idea for their poster and researched the topic (10 points)
Include accurate use of APA style (i.e., citations) (3 points)
Include a cover page and references, and be no longer than 500 words, double-spaced (The cover page and references do not count toward the word limit.) (2 points)
Please contact Emily Leary at (202) 572-3013 for additional information.