Frequently Asked Questions - Judging

NWSE Judges are drawn from local businesses, academia and government agencies. The most important qualification for any judge is the willingness to commit the time and energy to honor the hard work of the students and to encourage their further interest in science, math and engineering. High school category judges have advanced degrees and research or design experience in the category that they are judging. Category Awards are based on the decision of teams of no fewer than 3 judges. Judges for Special Awards often come from the organization sponsoring the award. All judges are volunteers who's highest priority is to encourage students and honor their hard work.

The most important factor in judging is how well scientific and engineering processes are applied in the project. Judges look for well thought-out research and students who can discuss their work with confidence.

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Judging Criteria

Since the judges have already reviewed your poster and abstract, they may ask you questions that clarify the information in them or for a general overview of your project. Judges are not interested in memorized speeches, but simply want to talk with students about their projects. Students should be prepared to communicate their work with enthusiasm.

For virtual fairs, judges will review all the information in your application and may post questions for you to answer. Only the top projects in a category may receive interviews.

Though students should not memorize a formal speech, students should think about how they want to present their projects and practice out loud. Practice talking about a project will help the student feel more comfortable. Often a judge will begin an interview by introducing his or her self and saying "So, tell me about your project." Students will have a much less difficult time answering this question if they have thought about their answer in advance.

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