Divisional Judging: Thursday afternoon, 1:00 - 3:30 pm. If possible, you can arrive an hour or two ahead of time, to pick up your package and preview the projects before the students arrive.
Special Awards Judging: Thursday afternoon, 3:30 – 5:00 pm. If possible, you can arrive early to pick up your package and preview the projects before the students arrive.
Plan on chatting with each student for 5 - 10 minutes. If you have previewed the projects ahead of time, this will be enough. You will need another 5 minutes away from the student, to write up your thoughts or to score the project, if you are a divisional judge.
Once you have completed all of your interviews, you need about 10 minutes to meet with your partner or team to make a short list. Leave time to return to projects to clarify questions and make a final decision. Make good use of your time by studying the map provided; visit the projects which are closest together first, so that you are not wandering back and forth.
Being a good listener, being curious about scientific topics, and bringing students’ knowledge out in conversation are more important than being a top-level expert in your field. We hope you can help us make this a positive and enjoyable experience for these young people.
Students consistently report that the best part of their science fair experience is their conversations with knowledgeable scientists who treat their work with respect.
Judges’ registration closes on March 30, giving us time to place you on a specific judging team in your primary area of interest and expertise.
Register by March 30, so that we have your information. However, be sure to state that you will be a “drop-in” judge if you are able to get time off, and that you will be willing to help in any area of interest as needed.
First, suggest that they look at the website. If they are qualified and would still like to judge, they can register online.
First, read the sections on this website, especially the FAQs. We also encourage you to visit the projects on Thursday morning; this will give you uninterrupted time, before the students arrive, to read their projects carefully and to think about what you would like to ask them.
A smile, lots of patience, eyeglasses, and a favourite pen or pencil.
Suit and tie are not necessary; business casual is fine. You will be given a nametag when you sign in at the judges’ table.
Take the second entrance into the UFV campus (going south on McKenzie Rd from King Rd), and park in the lot closest to the Envisions Athletics Centre (Lot 10). Obtain a parking pass from the registration table.
The judges’ table is in the foyer of the Envision Athletic Centre at UFV.
Introduce yourself, and smile; they are surely more nervous than you are! (“What a good looking backboard. That must have taken you a lot of time to do.”)
Tell them why you are interested in their topic. (“I had a horse when I was your age.” “I have always wondered why . . . “)
Start with warm-up questions (“Why did you chose this topic?”). By then, you will both have relaxed, and you will very much enjoy the rest of your conversation – guaranteed!
For more details, please refer to “Judging Process” on this website.
Ask the neighbours: “Do you know where Julia is? Is she here?” If not, write the time on your list of projects, and add “student not here”. Ask the neighbours to tell Julia that you missed her, but will be back later (some students might have to come from a distance).
It is easy if you arrive at the start time. We suggest that teams meet initially in the foyer, and determine the next meeting time and place.
If at all possible, arrive early. There are so many students, judges, and parents milling around during judging that it is almost impossible to catch up with another judge.
If you are early, you can unhurriedly pick up your judging package, preview your projects, and be back at the judges’ table at the start time, to meet your team and decide together when and where to meet after you have completed your individual interviews. If you do arrive late, you will have to keep checking back at the judges’ table to see if you can locate your team members.
Each backboard has a corner tag listing the names and grade level of the student(s). Please initial the corner tag. This will also confirm for the students (and anxious parents) that judging has occurred.
You will be judging with a team, so the responsibility of deciding will be shared. Together, you need to find the Best-of-the-Best (or the Best-of-the-Mediocre). This is not always easy. Passionate discussions among judges often result, and that is invigorating! If you can’t come to a decision, speak with the chief judge.
We DO like to distribute all awards every year; keep in mind that the science fair is not only a competition, but also a motivating experience for students to continue their interest in science. Receiving a ribbon or special award can be a turning point for a student, so give the award to the best of this year’s projects.
Divisional judges are given score sheets; see the sample on this website: “Judges' Marking Sheet”.
Your scores and totals are for your use only, to help you rank the projects. Don’t be concerned if you are marking too hard or too soft, compared with the other judges. You will compare your “short-lists” based on your personal relative rankings, and come to a good-better-best decision together.
Your list has only a portion of the projects; please refer to the information on this website under “The Judging Process”. You will discuss your favourites with the other teams of judges in your division. Traditionally, about 10% of the projects in a division receive Gold, 20% Silver, and 30% Bronze. If you and your team wish to deviate from that guideline, please speak with the chief judge.
Binders and written reports are indicative of the depth of research undertaken by the students. They often contain rough notes made during the research, and printouts of background research. They can give you ideas for questions to ask the students. In divisional judging, their quality counts for up to 14% of the total mark. If no binder or written report is provided, that is a serious problem.
First, ask the student where the binder is. Sometimes it has been left at home, and the student is really distressed about that! Which means you’d better reassure him/her. If the response is “What binder?” then probe the depth of the student’s preparation. Divisional marking will suffer.
Honour the student’s work with a good-quality interview. Sometimes teachers or parents don’t read the criteria carefully when students register; that student will not be chosen for the special award, but should feel satisfied with your conversation.
The Chief Judge can be found at the judges’ table who is there to support you!
Again, we thank you for your interest in making the Fraser Valley Regional Science Fair an extraordinary experience for our children!