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Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis

Science and Engineering Fair


1.  7:00 am – 8:00 am – Check-in and orientation.

  • Each Judge receives a unique Judge Number and Category on name badge.
  • Captains for each category provide judges on their team with a colored Score Card for each project they will score.

2.  8:00 am – 9:00 am – Judging process begins.

      • Judges can scan their projects and display boards before students enter hall.

3.  9:00 am – 11:00 am – Interviewing student

    •  Sign the Student Locator Card on table – Interview student – Review project notebook.
    •  Record notes and scores on Judges Recording Form. Keep all notes and scores private.
    • Transfer Scores and enter Judge Number on colored Score Card.  Double check to assure accuracy of scores and project numbers.
    • Give Score Card to Student Assistant for transfer to normalization team.
    • Using each colored Score Card, repeat steps for each project.

4.  11:00 am – 11:30 am – Student Break.

5.  As Soon as Possible – Compiling results after judging completed.

    • Complete Referral Form for Grand Awards Judges and turn in first.
    • Timely conclusion is critical so the Grand Awards team can begin its process.
    • Use norming score sheet and discussion to reach consensus and prepare final category awards list.
    • All team members sign final Category Awards list – turn in to Fair Director.

Judging Process

1.  In order to insure fairness in the Judging Process:

    • A judge should not evaluate a category that they judged at a School Fair this year.
    • A judge should not evaluate a project of a student that they know or have provided previous support or help to.
    • In either of these cases or any other instance a judge should choose a different Division, or a different Category.

2. Three things critical to the judging process.

    • Every student is judged by at least 3 judges.
    • The visitations should take 5 to 7 minutes, but the students must be allowed to make their full presentation.
    • Students can be overwhelmed by more than one judge at a time.  If a new judge needs to shadow a seasoned judge, please be sensitive to the students and please submit your own independent scores.

3.  Important points.

    • This is a learning experience for the student – be encouraging.
    • A judge represents an authority figure.  Try to put the student at ease so that you see the best, not an incomplete presentation caused by fear or intimidation.
    • This may be a student’s first attempt, and we want the experience to make them want to continue with further research, not shy away from a painful memory.
    • These projects are all about science and should follow the tenets of objective research.  When a project fails in the basic processes, this should be sensitively brought to the attention of the student, while avoiding overly critical comments.  Suggestions should be made in a positive, supportive way.
    • Be sure to put your judge number and initials on the card at the table for each project you judge.

4.  Concepts for Judges to focus on.

    •  Work that the student did in the current year?
    • How well a student followed the scientific methodologies?
    • The detail and accuracy with which the research was documented in the data book?
    • Evidence that experimental procedures used in the best possible way?

5.  Qualities for Judges to look for.

    • How well thought-out the research is.
    • How significant the project is in its field?
    • How thorough the students work is.
    • How much of the experiment’s concept and design is the student’s own work?

6.  Suggestions for talking with the students.

    • Applaud those students who can speak freely and confidently about their work.
    • Pay less attention to memorized speeches and polished PowerPoint presentations. Talk with the student about the research and rely on the clarity of those responses.
    • See if the student has a good grasp of the project from start to finish.
    • Ask questions to test the student’s insight into the project, “What was your role?”, “What did you do?”, and “What would be your next step?”

7.  Using the Recording Form.

    • Students receive points for Creativity, Scientific Thought, Thoroughness, Skill, Clarity, and Teamwork.
    • Each of these areas is subdivided and described by several descriptive phrases.
    • Use these qualities and related point values to arrive at a single “Grand Total” score for each project you judge.
    • Do not discuss or show any number scores to students.
    • Keep notes on the Recording Form for your own reference.  These notes will be shredded after the team has finished its decision-making.
    • Record the grand total score on a colored Score Card for each project judged and give to a student assistant.  They will submit the scores to be used in the normalization process.

8.  Normalization and the Team Decision-making process.

    • All individual judges’ scores will be normalized prior to creating the rank-ordered list of projects.
    • Each judge will use their own notes about projects they viewed.
    • Judging teams will select projects for awards based on the normalized scores and discussions among all judges on the team, and reach final consensus.

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