Northeast Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Judging Criteria for All projects

Judging a science project involves judging whether the student has explored the problem with a scientific approach. A simple project done well should receive a higher score than a complicated, "significant" project done poorly. The score for all projects is divided into six sub-scores. Each subscore evaluates a different part of the overall scientific approach. Those scores will be determined by examining each part of the student's project and presentation.

Creative Ability (30 points)

  1. Problem
    • Is this a new problem? If not, is it an original or unique approach to solve an old problem?
  2. Hypothesis
    • Does the hypothesis suggest an original or unique solution to the problem?
  3. Equipment
    • Is project equipment and project material utilized in an ingenious manner?
    • Is the equipment built from a kit, involve parts of a kit, or parts of a packaged project?
  4. Project Design
    • Does the project design demonstrate the student's creative involvement?
    • Is the student aware of other ways to accomplish the same result?
    • Is it evident that the project required student to explore beyond the classroom?
  5. Analysis / Conclusion
    • Has the student used an original or unique method of evaluating the data and drawing conclusions?
  6. Display / Presentation
    • Does the project presentation or display demonstrate a creative or unusual approach?

Scientific Thought (30 points) - not used for Engineering Projects

  1. Problem
    • Is the problem stated clearly and unambiguously?
    • Was the problem sufficiently limited to allow a plausible approach?
  2. Background Research
    • Does the student understand the project's ties to related research?
    • Did the student cite scientific literature, or only popular literature?
    • Does the project show depth of study and effort?
  3. Hypothesis
    • Hypothesis is clearly stated and the project is clearly designed
  4. Project Design
    • Was there a procedural plan for obtaining a solution?
    • Are the variables clearly recognized and defined?
    • If controls were necessary, did the student recognize their need and were they correctly used?
    • Were the scientific procedures appropriate and well organized?
    • Were sampling techniques and data collection appropriate for the problem?
  5. Data/Analysis
    • Are there adequate data to support the conclusions?
    • Does the student recognize the data's limitations?
  6. Conclusion
    • Does the student have an idea of what further research is warranted?
    • Are the conclusions formulated logical, based on the data collected and relevant to the hypothesis?
    • Do the conclusions show evidence of understanding that unanswered questions remain?

Engineering Goals (30 points) - Engineering Projects Only

  1. Objective
    • Does the project have a clear objective?
  2. Relevance
    • Is the objective relevant to the potential user's needs?
  3. Design Process
    • Does the project follow the scientific method?
    • Are the conclusions logical and based on the data collected?
    • Were the testing procedures appropriate? Well organized?
    • Do the conclusions meet common sense criteria?
    • Do the stated conclusions show evidence of the student understanding that unanswered questions remain?
  4. Feasibility
    • Is the solution workable, acceptable to the potential user, and economically or ecologically feasible?
  5. Performance
    • Are the testing procedures appropriate and well organized?
    • Is the solution a significant improvement over previous alternatives?
    • Has the solution been tested for performance under the conditions of use?
  6. Marketability
    • Could the solution be utilized successfully in design or construction of an end product?
    • Has the process or product been tested? Is the concept ready for market?

Thoroughness (15 points)

  1. Background Research
    • Is it apparent the student spent considerable time on the project?
    • Is the student aware of other approaches or theories?
    • Is the student familiar with scientific literature in the studied field?
  2. Completeness
    • Is the study complete? Within the scope of the problem?
    • Does the project exhibit orderly recording? Is the collected data analyzed properly?
    • How complete are the project notes?
  3. Reproducibility
    • Does the student understand the necessity of repeated experimentation?
    • Were the experiments repeated to ensure that the results were consistent?

Clarity (15 points)

  1. Written Materials
    • Are the title, hypothesis, purpose, procedures and conclusions clearly outlined?
    • Is there a working logbook?
    • Was the logbook obviously used as a project tool?
    • Is the final report notebook well organized, accurate, easy to read?
    • How clearly is the data presented?
    • How clearly are the results presented?
    • Does the written material reflect the student's understanding of the research?
  2. Backboard
    • Are the title, hypothesis, purpose, procedures and conclusions clearly outlined?
    • Are the important phases of the project presented in an orderly manner?
    • How clearly is the data presented?
    • How clearly are the results presented?
    • How well does the project display explain the project?
  3. Presentation
    • How clearly does the finalist discuss the project and explain the purpose, procedure, and conclusions?
    • Can the student discuss the project without resorting to notes or prepared speeches?
    • Was the presentation done in a forthright manner, without tricks or gadgets?
    • Can the student make a complicated subject understandable to the layman (judge)?

Skill (10 points)

  1. Equipment
    • Were special skills needed for the conception, construction, or use of project components?
    • Were special test equipment methods and equipment conceived, designed or fabricated by the student?
    • Does the student have the required laboratory and / or technical skills to obtain supporting data?
    • Was the project completed under adult supervision, or did the student work largely alone?
  2. Procedures/Analysis
    • Were special mathematical, computational, or observational skills evident?
    • Were special skills needed for the conception or use of project components?
    • Were special skills needed for the care of living organisms, or treatment of subjects?
    • Do you feel that the project in front of you corresponds to the students capability as demonstrated to you?