Step 1 - Arrival Procedure and Judges’ Briefing Session (7:15 - 7:45am):
On arrival, please check in and pick up your judge’s nametag. If you cannot find your judge’s nametag, please go to the registration table and one will be made for you. Help yourself to a complimentary continental style breakfast. There will be a short briefing session that will include a review of the judging criteria and procedures, a description of the layout of the exhibits in the Biden Center, identification of your fair coordinators as well as information about your team meeting. This is a great time to ask any additional questions that you may still have about your responsibility as a member of a judging team.
Step 2 - Team Meetings (7:45 - 8:00am):
Judges will be divided into teams and be assigned to judge science fair projects submitted by students from the 6th through the 12th grades from schools located throughout Sussex County. The number of judges assigned per team will depend on the number of science projects entered per grade level. The goal is to have each judging team have less than 10 projects to review and judge. The Fair Coordinator in charge of the judges will assign a lead judge for each of the judging teams. If you are not assigned to judge the category of your choice, it is because we need you in another area and we greatly appreciate your flexibility.
Step 3 – Survey of Assigned Grade Level (8:00 - 9:30am):
In the morning, no students will be at their exhibits. You should begin by trying to get a general estimate of the quality of the research that your team would be judging so that you will have some frame of reference to decide which may be the better projects. Remember that you are comparing the projects with each other and not with similar projects from past years or other fairs. Some projects are continued over several years, but only the current year’s work should be considered in the judging process. Some projects are conducted in a specialized laboratory. This in itself should not be considered as either an advantage or a disadvantage in the evaluation process. Consider only the work actually conducted by the student.
Step 5 – Break, Student Interview Preparation (9:30 to 9:45am):
Step 6 – Student Interviews (9:45 to 11:15am):
The student interview should be taken into strong consideration when evaluating the student’s project
. Avoid taking notes in front of the students. Most students say they enjoy talking to the judges and
it is the high point of their overall science fair experience! Some students may begin with a 2 to 3
minute overview, but you may ask questions during or after their presentation. Consider having one member
of the interviewing team to act as the timekeeper who will stop the interview when the allotted time has expired.
Divide the first 30 minutes between the projects on your primary list and divide the remaining 45 minutes among
all of the other projects at that grade level. Please follow this schedule closely so that all students receive their full time.
• Questions You May Not Ask Of A Student
1. His/Her last name.
• Some Topics You May Want To Cover With The Student
1. Why the student picked that project?
Step 7 – Working Lunch and Deliberations (11:15 to 12:30am)
• The Lead Judge will chair the deliberations for all judges at the same grade level.
The first three places will be determined by a consensus of the judges based on the
project score sheets, interviews and presentations. One and up to four Honorable Mentions
may also be awarded at each grade level but only if the student’s science fair project actually warrants an honorable mention.
All judges are welcomed to attend the award ceremony held at 12:30 PM