Southern Minnesota Regional Science & Engineering Fair


Southern Minnesota Regional Science & Engineering Fair
Elementary (Grades 3-6) Judge Guidelines for Projects
The following evaluation criteria will be used for judging at the Elementary (grades 3-6)
Southern Minnesota Regional Science & Engineering Fair. Please note that a substantial
change from previous years is the differing criteria for projects that conduct an experiment
(e.g., projects that apply the scientific method) and those that are design or methodology
based (e.g., engineering projects). As shown below, both criteria have five sections as well as
suggested scoring for each section. Each section includes key items to consider for evaluation
both before and after the interview. Students are encouraged to design their posters in a clear and
informative manner to allow pre‐interview evaluation and to enable the interview to become an
in depth discussion. Considerable emphasis is placed on two areas: Creativity and Presentation,
especially the Interview section, and are discussed in more detail below.
Creativity: A creative project demonstrates imagination and inventiveness. Such projects often
offer different perspectives that open up new possibilities or new alternatives. Judges should
place emphasis on research outcomes in evaluating creativity.
Presentation/Interview: The interview provides the opportunity for judges to interact with the
students and evaluate their understanding of the project’s basic science, interpretation and
limitations of the results and conclusions. Judges and Fair Officials will consider the following:
Was the project completed at, or with substantial assistance from, a University, Research
Lab, or other professional service? If so, that is OK, but students should clearly
acknowledge that assistance on their poster board.
If the project was completed at home or in a school laboratory, the judge should
determine if the finalist received any mentoring or professional guidance.
If the project is a multi‐year effort, the interview should focus ONLY on the current
year’s work.
Please note that both team and individual projects are judged together, and projects
should be judged only on the basis of their quality. However, all team members should
demonstrate significant contributions to and an understanding of the project.
NOTE: Students at the Regional Fair will NOT receive copies of the scoring sheet, as those will
only be used for internal rankings and ribbon assignments. Therefore, as judges, it is imperative
that constructive and positive feedback be provided to the students on the comments forms – as
this is what the student’s will get back from the Fair staff.
THANK YOU to all the teachers, judges, administrator, students, and parents that help
our community’s kids become the scientists of tomorrow.
Contact The Science Fair at 507-389-2849 or
if you have any questions.


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