Community Education

Helpful hints

(1) Leave every student with a positive attitude about his/her project.

(2) Talk to each participant; that's the only way to determine how involved he/she is in the project.

(3) As a general rule, judges represent professional authority to finalists. For this reason, judges should use an encouraging tone when asking questions, offering suggestions or giving constructive criticism. Judges should not criticize, treat lightly or display boredom toward a project they personally consider unimportant.

(4) Remember: A valid science fair project may have a hypothesis that has been rejected. (If scientists got it right the first time, we wouldn't call it research)

(5) Don't diminish a student's project by asking questions like "Why did you do this project-what use is it?" A valid science project doesn't have to have practical applications.

(6) A good science fair project should involved the scientific method:

(7) Finalists may have worked on a research project for more than one year. Although previous work is important, it is not to be considered as part of this year's project.

(8) Examine the quality of the finalist's work, and how well the finalist understands his or her project and area of study. The physical display is secondary to the student's knowledge of the subject.

(9) Look for evidence of laboratory, field or theoretical work, not just library research.

(10) Judges should keep in mind that the fair is not only a competition, but an educational and motivating experience for the students. The high point of the fair experience for many of the finalists is their judging interview.

(11) Please be discreet when discussing projects or making critical comments anywhere outside the judging rooms as finalists or parents might overhear. Results are confidential until announced at the awards ceremony.
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