Judges & Judging
Tom Crawford, BASEF 2005 Judge in Chief
Philosophy of Judging
Science fairs provide a unique learning opportunity for students, teachers, and members of the community to explore science and to increase public awareness of science and the world we live in. Though science fairs are generally a competition, they also provide opportunity for students to display their creative scientific activity beyond the classroom and in the world. The young person comes into direct contact with the scientific and industrial community within the project development.
The judging official, a member of the scientific community, is an essential piece of this experience. The onus is on the judge to provide an experience that is positive and enriching. The experience of judging contributes directly to the student's learning experience as well as the judge's. All judging interviews should be a positive experience for each exhibitor. Most students enjoy the chance to talk about their project with someone both knowledgeable and sympathetic who represents scientific authority. This interaction may directly influence the future scientific activity of the student. The judge must be encouraging, positive, constructive in criticism, and should discuss future research possibilities with the student. All students should be treated fairly in the amount of time given to them for interviews, and in the type of comments made. Judging is a difficult task and should be viewed as an individual process with each student. A student's score should be graded independently, using their knowledge, comprehension and foresight as indicators of their mark. This allows students to compete against themselves in the knowledge basis and experience when being evaluated. Only after scoring is completed does relative ranking take place for the competitive aspect of the science fair experience.
Call for Judges
If you think you might be interested in judging, but would like to know more, please read the 2005 Call for Judges [76 kb pdf]. This document might also be helpful to give to a boss or colleague, when discussing with them the opportunity to judge at the Science Fair
See the judges section of the site for the current or most recent fair for registration instructions.
|Thursday, March 31st, 2005|
|8:00||Meeting of Category chairs and judge in chief.|
|8:30||General welcome and introduction.|
|8:45||Category meetings with all judges and category chair persons.|
|9:00||Begin preliminary judging without students present.|
|11:30||Meeting with category chair person, discussion of preliminary judging; report findings to judge in chief.|
|11:45||Start of Judges' luncheon.|
|1:00||Begin judging with students present; recommended judging interview time is 10 -15 minutes per project.|
|3:30||Tally of scores; report to Category chair persons.|
|4:15||Judge in chief, category chair and awards committee meeting.|
Projects are judged using a five-part form designed to help judges focus their impressions and to weight the judging criteria. Click here [70 kb PDF] for the 2005 judging form.
Judges' Workshop Handout
Each year we have provided a Workshop on Science Fair Judging in preparation for judging at our science fair. This is written especially for new judges, but also serves as a useful refresher for those who may not have judged with us for a few years.
In case you cannot attend any of this year's Workshops, or just want a quick refresher, you can download the Presentation handout document by clicking here [472 kb PDF].
CWSF and IISEF Presentations by BASEF Volunteers
BASEF volunteers presented material on various topics at both an Intel IISEF 2003 Delegates' "ShopTalk" session in Cleveland Ohio, and at the CWSF 2003 Delegates' Workshops, in Calgary, Alberta.
Ray Kranyak, BASEF's Assistant Judge in Chief, presented a paper entitled "Training Judges Workshop" in Cleveland on May 14, 2003. This material describes our ongoing activities in providing training sessions to new BASEF judges, and is very popular at IISEF. This is the second year we have presented on this topic. You can download his presentation as a Microsoft PowerPoint file (1.2 Mb) or an Adobe Acrobat file (14.5 Mb).
Tom Crawford, BASEF's Judge in Chief presented two papers at the CWSF 2003 in Calgary. The first, entitled, "Excellence in Safety at BASEF", described our new process for preparing and carrying out Project Safety Inspections at on-site Registration. This was a very popular presentation, with nearly 50 Delegates from across the country attending. You can download the presentation as a Microsoft PowerPoint file (1.7 Mb) or an Adobe Acrobat file (11 Mb).
Tom also prepared a presentation entitled "Ethics, Safety and the Law at BASEF", which describes the progress we have made over several years in implementing and improving our Scientific Review Process for projects entered into our science fair. This material was presented two times in Calgary, initially to a group of about 15 very interested Regional Science Fair Delegates, and again the next day to the CWSF National Judges Advisory Committee. You can download his presentation as a Microsoft PowerPoint file (1 Mb) or an Adobe Acrobat file (5 Mb).