How is Judging Organized?

Judges are organized into Category, Special Awards and Finalist teams.

Category Judges
Student projects are entered into either of two Divisions, based upon grade level: 1) High School Division (grades 9 Р12); and, 2) Middle School Division (grades 5 Р8). These two Divisions are judged separately. Within each Division the projects are classified and judged in Technical Categories. Category Judges are being recruited to judge the High School Division, the Middle School Division, or both in each of the categories. Qualified Judges may judge more than one category if they desire and the need exists. View the high school and middle school categories lists.

Special Awards Judges
Special Awards are bestowed on projects by a wide range of professional societies and organizations. While the requirements differ for each of these Special Awards, Special Awards Judges are needed to determine the winners. Judges for special awards will be selected by the donor of the award. Judges may volunteer for Special Award judging consideration.

Finalist Judges
Once the winners in each Category are determined, a panel of Finalist Judges reviews the winning projects in all categories and selects “Best of Fair” winners in both Divisions. High school Best of Fair awardees will participate in the International Science and Engineering Fair held later in the spring. The finalist judging panel needs representation from each of the categories. Finalist Judges are often Head Category Judges. Being a Finalist Judge requires extra time and effort beyond that needed to serve as a Category Judge.

Virtual Judges
With our virtual fairs, all of the above types are needed. Judging is self paced with a few additional deadlines. All members of a category judge group review all virtual entries in their assigned category. The group may meet mid-week to determine the top 4-6 projects for interviews. The fair day itself will include interviewing students with your category judge group via Zoom followed by deliberation to award places and nominations for Best of Fair. For NWSE this occurs from 9-11am.