Heath Science Fair - Judging Criteria & Awards
Students in grades K-4 will interact with scientists and receive feedback, but there will be no competition.
Students in grades 5-8 are included in the formal competition and will be evaluated using the judging criteria below. Judging takes place by grade. A first prize and, potentially, additional prizes will be awarded in each grade from grades 5-8. It is possible that two grades may be combined depending upon participation levels. Group projects that include students from different grades are classified according to the grade of the oldest participant.
The judging criteria are the same as those used in the MSEF middle school fair. Judge scores are based on a student’s understanding of their project, not its sophistication. You are encouraged to review the Judges Rubric/Scorecard to help your prepare for the experience:
Scientific Approach & Engineering Design (up to 25 points)
- Does the student start with a clearly stated hypothesis/question for experimentation or statement of an engineering goal?
- Does the student demonstrate knowledge of the scientific process in design and method? For engineering projects: Does the student have a clear objective and a tested solution?
- Are the student's conclusions consistent with all the data he or she collected?
- Does the student learn any way to improve his/her scientific approach by doing the project?
Knowledge of Project Areas (up to 20 points)
- How effectively does the student conduct preliminary research using multiple valid scientific/engineering resources?
- What is the extent of the student’s knowledge of the content area related to interpreting data and reaching conclusions?
- Is the student aware of both the scope and limitations of the project?
Thoroughness (up to 20 points)
- Does the student do sufficient research in the literature before starting the project?
- Is sufficient data generated to produce valid results?
- Is thorough use made of all data/observations/ re-designing to reach a conclusion?
Written Records and Report (up to 15 points)
- Does the student keep an original logbook (either digital or handwritten) with all plans, procedures, observations, and conclusions for failures as well as successes?
- Does the student put together an accurate lab report, complete with a bibliography?
Ingenuity and Creativity (up to 15 points)
- Does the experimental question or engineering design show innovative thinking?
- How effectively does the student use his or her materials in the solution of problems?
- Is the explanation of the project clear and precise?
- Does the student identify any further questions or re-designs from the experiment?
Visual Presentation (up to 5 points)
- Is the project displayed in a logical, organized manner and reflects the knowledge of the student?
- Are charts and graphs of the data correct and used where needed?
- Does the video effectively convey the message in an understandable manner?