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Overview of Day. Orientation until 9:30 a.m. Judging: 10-1:30 p.m. Lunch: 11:00 –1:00 in this room Closing Ceremony: after completion of judging Post-Fair Awards ceremony. Philosophy of Fair. Community event Intended as fun day of science

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Overview of day
Overview of Day

  • Orientation until 9:30 a.m.

  • Judging: 10-1:30 p.m.

  • Lunch: 11:00 –1:00 in this room

  • Closing Ceremony: after completion of judging

  • Post-Fair Awards ceremony

Philosophy of fair
Philosophy of Fair

  • Community event

  • Intended as fun day of science

  • This is not a rigorous competition; it is intended as a learning experience

  • Chester Schools require projects in grades 6-8; extra credit given for participation in the fair

Judging teams
Judging Teams

  • Judges are divided into 3 groups:

    K-2, 3-5, 6-8

  • K-2 judges work without a partner. A separate orientation is being done for K-2 and 3-5 judges.

  • 1st time judges are paired with experienced judges

  • An attempt is made it give the judges a representative cross section of projects within a grade level.

  • Judging is a collaborative effort: Only 1 score sheet submitted by the judge team for each project. Both judges must agree to the score.

Judges packet paperwork
Judges’ Packet -- Paperwork

  • Participation Button: each student is given a button by the judges at the time of the judging.

  • Master schedule of projects includes times for judging, basic info on projects:

  • Master Schedule also has 2 check boxes:

    • Top 10% designation: is this project, in your judgment, likely to be in the top 10% of all projects for that grade? This is obviously a subjective decision since you see only about 10 - 25% of all projects in the grade.

    • “DaVinci for the Day” designation: Award for those projects deemed to have gone “above and beyond” in effort and creativity but are unlikely to win an award based on the scientific content of the project.

Judges packet paperwork cont d
Judges’ Packet – Paperwork, cont’d

  • Score sheet: One of packets per team has a score sheet for each project. This is the sheet that is turned in. The other packet has only a single score sheet. This is for the judge’s reference (a reminder of what is being looked for in the projects).

  • Floor plan and row locator sheet. This is how you find the projects you are assigned.

Judge packet paperwork cont d
Judge Packet – Paperwork, cont’d

  • Scientific Method “Cheat Sheet”

  • Sample score sheet of a “Medal Winner” and a “Ribbon Winner” from last year

Judging considerations awards policy
Judging Considerations/Awards policy

  • Judge the projects against others in the same grade. The students are competing against their grade peers only. The best projects in the grade should receive “outstanding” and the normal score should be “meets expectations”

  • Top 10% of grade gets a medal

  • Next 20% gets a ribbon

  • Special DaVinci Awards for outstanding effort/creativity in a project that did not win a medal or ribbon

  • All students get the participation button

Grades 6 8 judges
Grades 6-8 Judges

  • Judges are paired. An attempt is made to form balanced judge teams (different backgrounds)

  • 1st time judges are paired with experienced judges.

  • Each judge team judges only 1 grade; all projects you see can be judged against one another.

Judging overview
Judging Overview

  • Rubric similar to one used by middle school science teachers.

  • Weighting on knowledge/application of scientific method

  • Please edit student/project title/partner information: important for our recordkeeping.

  • Partners are judged at the highest level on team. Example: a team with a 5th and 7th grader is judged at the 7th grade level

Judging overview cont d
Judging Overview (Cont’d)

  • Students know their judging time, they are expected to be there at the scheduled time. A project cannot be judged by the display alone; a student must be present.

  • Parents arenot to be involved in the presentation of the project. They may listen but not interfere.

  • Students have been given an opportunity to examine scoresheets prior to the Fair.

  • It is suggested that you hold onto the scoresheets until the end of judging to allow for adjustments to earlier scores, if needed.

  • Remember, in general, your “average” project should get a “meets expectations” score.


  • Projects scored relative to their grade peers

  • A project that meets expectations for the grade is “as expected”. Don’t equate this score with a “C” in school.

  • “Exceeds” is intended for projects that display a better than expected understanding and depth.

  • “Outstanding” is for projects that cause you to think “Wow, I’m impressed”

  • “Poor” and “Fair” imply the opposite of “outstanding” and “exceeds”

  • Comments are valuable feedback; they are required for projects well above or below the norm


  • Special Note: Please do not put the check ½ way between two boxes. There is no way to enter this “additional” information in the scoring database. It will be entered at the lower of the 2 scoring levels.


  • You will judge 7-10 projects. Within this group you will some good and some not so good projects.

  • Generally your scoring should be such that the “average” project you see should be scored “As expected”.

  • The best project you see should be a mixture of “Exceeds” and “Outstanding” with possibly some “meets expectations”

  • Clear standout projects should be mostly “Outstanding” with some “Exceeds”


  • If all or most of your projects are “Exceeds” or “Outstanding” you are probably judging too easy.

  • Likewise if your best project gets only “meets expectations” then you are probably judging too harshly.

Overview of day 1333117

6-8 Expected Ribbon Winner








Overview of day 1333117

6-8 Expected Medal Winner








Davinci for the day award
DaVinci for the Day” Award

  • Developed in response to feedback from judges

  • Each team may nominate up to 2 projects. You don’t have to nominate any project.

  • Projects nominated that do not win a ribbon or medal will be awarded the DaVinci Award

  • Selection determined once final scoring is done

  • Distributed at post-Fair Awards ceremony

  • NOTE: This is NOT an award for the best presentation. It is for well-intentioned projects that did not quite work out.

Special awards judging
Special Awards Judging

  • Special Awards judges will be evaluating projects during the Fair. Normally the judging of the projects will occur at a separate time from the main judging.

  • These judges will be using separate criteria developed by the sponsors of the awards.

  • It is possible that you may have a Special Award judge listening in to a presentation

End of fair
End of Fair

  • Notify Fair committee at end of team’s judging; allows us to double-check our information

  • Hand in scoresheets (1 for each project) to computer room.

  • Please check in before leaving the Fair. In the rare case that an issue needs to be addressed we would like to be able to talk with you before you leave.

Judges code of conduct
Judges’ Code of Conduct

  • Emphasis on scientific understanding; physical display is secondary

  • Fair is motivating experience for students; judging interviews are the high point

  • Use an encouraging tone when questioning students; allow students enough time to explain their project.

  • Compare projects only at this Fair

  • Discretion is advised when discussing projects, you never know who is listening to your conversation.

  • Many of the students feel quite intimidated by the process of being judged. Try to put them at ease. They often know quite a bit about their project but are too afraid to communicate it. You can help by asking questions to try to draw that information out of them

Addendum just exactly what is a good project grade 6 8
AddendumJust Exactly what is a good project?Grade 6-8

Overview of day 1333117

Grade 6-8

Independent Variable:

What did YOU change

Meets Ex.= fertilizer

Better = fertilizer delivery system

fertilizer chemical composition

Dependent Variable:

What did YOU measure = must be #s

Meets Ex. = growth

Better = height or # leaves or mass

- may have to develop a scale to compare to

Overview of day 1333117

Grade 6-8


I think IF………THEN…….because……….

Not deep research – what do you think

will happen when you change your IV??

Meets Ex. = I think if I use liquid fertilizer

then my grass will grow better because

it will spread out quicker to the seeds.

Better = I think if I use liquid fertilizer

then my grass will grow taller because

the liquid will diffuse throughout the soil

and be taken into the roots easier than

having to dissolve the solid fertilizers.

Overview of day 1333117

Grade 6-8


BE SPECIFIC – include amounts!!

There’s nothing worse than getting to the point of adding the chocolate

chips to your cookie dough and not having enough!!

Meets Ex. = 5 kinds of fertilizers

Better = EXACT types, sizes

exact differences – liquid/solid

nitrates vs phosphates etc

Overview of day 1333117

Grade 6-8

Control: what you compare your results to

how did you know what happened??

understanding of controls should improve w/ age

Meets Ex. = just water

Better = the height of seedlings that received

just water instead of added fertilizers

Constants: what you keep the SAME

what makes a fair trial

Meets Ex. = type of seeds, environment

Better = type and number of seeds in same

amount of soil – time of day delivery

of water + fertilizer – time span experiment

Overview of day 1333117

Grade 6-8

Procedure: what you did!!!

EXACTLY – should be able to be re-done

list in numbered form to make easy to follow

If testing change need to find the START

and then find the CHANGE

ex height before fertilizer or pulse before exercise

Must use METRIC units

Must have trials or repeats + finding averages

Overview of day 1333117

Grade 6-8

Data Table: ALL of your results

raw data – properly titled and UNITS labeled

The effect of different fertilizer delivery systems

of the height of grass grown in 2 weeks

The effect of different exercisers on the

change in pulse rate

Graph: show analysis of results

– properly titled and UNITS labeled

Usually X axis = IV Y axis = DV

Overview of day 1333117

Grade 6-8

Data Table and Graph need to have enough info to STAND ALONE and show/explain what your project did and found Must have both a table and graph labeled and with measurement units

So Conclusion = WHAT you found out and how that compares to hypothesis

Hypothesis can be wrong

– you don’t necessarily know WHY

– can suggest ideas for further study