What to Expect During the Judging
What Should You Do?
1. You should prepare an oral summary of the important points in the
project which you can present in no more than 60 seconds. Your judges
will already have read your abstract, so if you've done a good job there
(see Directions) your summary will
remind them of questions that occurred to them earlier.
2. Following your summary, you may find it useful to prepare several
short capsule descriptions of important aspects of your project. You
know your project better than anyone, so you should have the best ideas
of what is important, but you could prepare answers for such questions
as "Where did you get the idea for this project?" "What is special or
distinctive about your project?" "What is the next thing you would do
with your results?" "What questions has your project now generated?"
You might also explicitly prepare for the question you hope the judges
3. If yours is a team project, one person should act as the team
spokesman at the beginning and present the oral summary. This summary
should include the rationale for the project being a group, rather than
an individual, enterprise, and how each member contributed. Each member
of the group should be fully knowledgeable about the project and be
prepared to then discuss his/her part.
4. You will be provided with a list of judges for your category and
their qualifications. Special and Recognition Awards judges will not
be included. Be sure to have each judge initial the front of your
project placard in the space provided at the conclusion of each
interview. This is your record of your project's judges.
What Should You Expect The Judges To Do?
1. At the beginning of the judging period the chair of your
category's panel may assemble and speak to the entire group of students.
Watch for this.
2. You should be interviewed by at least five different judges for
your category who will spend about 8 minutes discussing your project
with you. It is difficult to space these interviews equally, so don't
get discouraged if there is a long wait between judges. Don't worry
about comparing the number of your judges with your neighbors. You, or
they, may be getting Special and Recognition Awards interviews.
3. Many judges prefer to learn about your project by asking
questions. Be prepared for them to interrupt your presentation.
What Other Things May Happen During The Judging?
The California Science & Engineering Fair is a major event. You may find
that your interviews with the judges will be competing with newspaper
reporters (some with photographers), radio reporters, TV cameras (with
their bright lights) and other video recorders for possible promotions
of future Fairs.
This is also a major event for the California Science Center, and
they are proud to give publicity to you as a promising scientist or
engineer. Although it may interrupt a judging interview as caravans of
officials and VIPs come through the exhibits, you should recognize it
also as an honor for you and your fellow participants.
Finally, during the second session of judging, Recognition Awards
will be presented to students at their project displays. (Special
Awards are presented at the Awards Ceremony later in the day.) These
Award presentations will often be modest and quiet, but some will
involve a sizeable number of presenters who may be accompanied by the
California Science & Engineering Fair
What to Expect