General Judging Guidelines for all Judges of the South Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair
Judges should keep in mind that the SFRSEF is not only a competition, but an educational and motivating experience for the students. The high point of the Science Fair experience for most of the students is their judging interviews.
As a general rule, judges represent professional authority to students. For this reason, make the experience positive for each student. Please give encouragement and constructive criticism for the work accomplished.
Judges should not criticize, treat lightly, or display boredom toward projects they personally consider unimportant. Always give recognition to the student for completing a challenging task and/or for their success in previous competitions.
Students may have worked on a research project for more than one year. However, for the purpose of judging, ONLY research conducted within the current year is to be evaluated. Although previous work is important, it should not unduly impact the judging of this year’s project.
Types of research/investigations presented will range from 1) Scientific Projects, 2) Engineering Projects, 3) Computer Science Projects, 4) Mathematics Projects, and 5) Theoretical Projects. Although the majority of projects may follow a scientific method based research, some may follow a different process, which may change the way you complete the scoring forms used during judging.
Examine the quality of the student’s work, and how well the student understands his or her project and area of study. The physical display is secondary to the student’s knowledge of the subject and his/her ability to explain their work.
Look for evidence of investigation in a laboratory or field setting and theoretical work, not just library research and poster display.
Compare projects only with those competing at this SFRSEF and not with projects seen in other competitions or elsewhere under other circumstances.
It is important in the evaluation of a project to determine how much guidance was provided to the student in the design and implementation of his or her research.
When research is conducted in an industrial or institutional setting, the student is required to include Intel ISEF Form 1C with the project documentation. Judges should review in detail supervisor's comments on Intel ISEF Form 1C when evaluating research conducted in an industrial or institutional setting.
Please be discreet when discussing winners or making critical comments in elevators, restaurants, or elsewhere, as students or adult escorts might overhear. Results are confidential until announced at the awards ceremony.
Do not tell students that their projects should win or move on to the State or International fairs, since this information will be deduced from all the scores and is not determined by one judge alone.
Sample Rubric: http://science.dadeschools.net/scienceFair/pdfNppt/ProjectBoardRubric.pdf
Note that if the project is not following a scientific method based research, the following sections may need to be modified:
- Variables and Controls --> Construction and Testing
- Data Collection --> Results of testing
- Data and Error Analysis --> Redesign and Retest
Additional information that students receive can be found in the Student Handbook from ISEF.
Please review the form before hitting the submit button. Thank you.