04 Website Design

This event is limited to the first 18 entries

2019 Topic: Microplastics in the Environment


Plastic has been ubiquitous in our society since the 1950s, yet surprisingly the use of plastics goes back to before the common era.  When we think of plastics, we usually mean synthetic plastics used in place of cloth or wood.  
◦ Like cloth and wood, plastics break down into smaller pieces with use.  
Unlike cloth and wood, those small pieces of plastic are not decomposed by the environment - they persist

This year's Website Design event focuses on Microplastics - small bits of plastic that have found their way into our environment, and are very difficult to remove. 

Students are expected to review:
- Sources of microplastics
- The chemistry of microplastics
- Current state of microplastic pollution - where, how much, local and global levels
- Current and future solutions to microplastic pollution
The website will define the issue, including a breadth of various plastics that lead to microplastics in the environment, and review processes and policy to address it, with a focus on the chemistry of the problem.


Design a website that:

  • Educates the reader on the origin of synthetic plastics and the chemistry involved in making them. You must include the history of plastics, the chemistry of types of plastics including monomers and polymers, and reactions involved.
  • Describes and details the processes in making and using plastics. Show the chemical structures of each substance, emphasizing the role of chemistry in its creation and how chemistry is used to change the properties of plastics.
  • Make sure to include information on processing plastics and durability of plastics.  Include chemical transformations, chemical formulas, structures, reactions, and reaction conditions (as appropriate) involved with each substance.
  • Include citations for ALL sources of information. Use at least three non-web resources such as academic papers and science books.
  • Make sure the site is attractive and easy-to-use.


  • The website should be developed using current standard HTML5 coding with CSS 3. Javascript and Jquery are allowed, but not required.
  • Use of site building services such as Wix is discouraged but not prohibited.
  • HTML / CSS coding knowledge must be demonstrated by all teams.
  • No plug-ins such as Adobe Flash should be assumed or required for viewing of the website.
  • Focus primary efforts on the content of their website, especially the chemistry -- NOT on distracting "bells & whistles"
  • Please be aware that external links to other websites may be included, however, they will not be accessible on the day of the competition since you will be presenting your website directly from your CD with no Internet connection. Any external links included will be evaluated by judges during the first phase of judging, prior to the day of your presentation.



  • TWO identical labeled CDs containing their website, (submitted in separately labeled sleeves, NOT jewel cases) labeled with:
    • Name of School
    • Team A or B designation, if applicable
    • Names of Students
    • Name(s) of Coach(es)
    • URL where site can be accessed publicly
  • Double check that your final CD works as a standalone website. Test it on a different computer not connected to the internet before submitting it for evaluation.

The previously listed items must be received by the NJCO Event Coordinator by the deadline indicated in the Requirement Overview.  The website on the CDs and the publicly-accessible website must be identical. No changes of any type are allowed to either between the time of submission and the day of the competition. The judges will examine both the CD website and the URL website in the judging. 


There will be two phases to the judging. The first phase occurs after receipt of the submitted CDs and URLs. The judges will examine the websites and evaluate them as to:

Website Design (25% of total score)

  • Website is well-designed, easy to navigate and functions without error from the website and the CD
  • Website is visually appealing and promotes interest in the topic
  • Website is original in its style and content

Chemistry Content / Use of Resources (50% of total score)

  • Website demonstrates an understanding of the history, chemical processes, and reactions involved in making plastics
  • Accuracy & quality of information to educate about chemical processes and reaction, transformations, and other information relevant to the creation of microplastics.
  • Accuracy & quality of information to educate about chemical processes and reaction, transformations, and other information involved in the processing and durability of plastics.
  • Site uses photos and diagrams to illustrate the chemistry content of the site
  • Website summarizes information from sources including but not limited to websites, textbooks, and academic papers that are credible and properly cited with a complete bibliography


The second phase of judging occurs on the day of the competition. Each team will make a short 5-minute summary presentation of their website. This presentation will be made using the CD submitted earlier. There will be no Internet access for the presentation - teams should plan their presentations accordingly. The audience will include both judges and may include fellow competitors. After the presentation, there will be a brief question-and-answer period during which time the judges will pose questions about the website and/or the chemistry of microplastics. Questions will deal with both the web page design and the chemistry content of the site. All team members will be expected to have at least some knowledge of both aspects. This phase will be evaluated as follows:

Presentation (25% of total score)

  • Each member participates in the presentation to the judges and is able to describe their role in the development
  • Provides a succinct understanding of the chemical principles and website development techniques. (Talks are a maximum of five minutes not including questions and answers.)
  • Responds to questions posed by judges in a well-informed manner that demonstrates an understanding of the chemical principles and technical aspects of website development

The publicly-accessible URL and the two CDs must be received by the deadline - there will be no extensions. The content of the Internet and CD websites must be identical. No changes to either are permitted after submission. The URL must remain active and publicly accessible throughout the time period from the date of submission until the day of the competition. All material on the website must be original or properly cited.  Violations of any of these provisions are grounds for disqualification.