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.
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.