Category Awards judging is conducted using a 100-point scale with points assigned to criteria: (1) creative ability, (2 or 3) scientific thought or engineering goals, (4) thoroughness, (5) skill, and (6) clarity. A table of these point values is located at the bottom of this page. The following is a list of questions for each set of criteria which are designed to aid the judges in evaluation of the projects.
1. Creative Ability
- Does the project show creative ability and originality in the questions asked?
- The approach to solving the problem?
- The analysis of the data?
- The interpretation of the data?
- The use of equipment?
- The construction or design of new equipment?
- Creative research should support an investigation and help answer a question in an original way.
- A creative contribution promotes an efficient and reliable method for solving a problem. When evaluating projects, it is important to distinguish between gadgets and ingenuity.
- Scientific Thought
- Is the problem stated clearly and unambiguously?
- Was the problem sufficiently limited to allow plausible attack? Good scientists can identify important problems capable of solutions.
- 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?
- Are there adequate data to support the conclusions?
- Does the student recognize the data’s limitations?
- Does the student understand the project’s ties to related research?
- Does the student have an idea of what further research is warranted?
- Did the student cite scientific literature, or only popular literature (i.e. local newspapers, Wikipedia)
- Engineering Goals
- Does the project have a clear objective?
- Is the objective relevant to the potential user’s needs?
- Is the solution workable? Is it acceptable to the potential user? Is it economically feasible?
- Could the solution be utilized successfully in design or construction of an end product?
- Is the solution a significant improvement over previous alternatives?
- Has the solution been tested for performance under the conditions of use?
- Was the purpose carried out to completion within the scope of the original intent? If not, why?
- How completely was the problem covered?
- Are the conclusions based on a single experiment or replication?
- How complete are the project notes?
- Is the student aware of other approaches or theories?
- How much time did the student spend on the project?
- Is the student familiar with scientific literature in the studied field?
- Does the student have the required laboratory, computational, observational and design skills to obtain supporting data?
- Where was the project performed? (i.e. home, school laboratory, university laboratory) Did the student receive assistance from parents, teachers, scientists or engineers?
- Was the project completed under adult supervision, or did the student work largely alone?
- Where did the equipment come from? Was it built independently by the student? Was it obtained on loan? Was it part of a laboratory where the student worked?
- If the student received help, does the student understand the work?
- How clearly does the student discuss his/her project and explain the purpose, procedure, and conclusions? Watch out for memorized speeches that reflect little understanding of principles.
- Does the written material reflect the student’s understanding of the research?
- Are the important phases of the project presented in an orderly manner?
- How clearly are the data presented?
- How clearly are the results presented?
- How well does the project display explain the project?
- Was the presentation done in a forthright manner, without tricks or gadgets?
Scoring by Category
|Junior Division||Senior Division||Senior Division|
|Creative Ability||0 – 15||0 – 25||0 – 25|
|Scientific Thought||0 – 40||0 – 25|
|Engineering Goals||0 – 25|
|Thoroughness||0 – 20||0 – 25||0 – 25|
|Skill||0 – 15||0 – 15||0 – 15|
|Clarity||0 – 10||0 – 10||0 – 10|