SYNOPSYS CHAMPIONSHIP JUDGING DAY is March 15, 2018, with public viewing from 5-6 pm


The success of our science fair depends to a large extent on the quality of the projects and your judging. This guide will help prepare you. Please review it carefully. The information and guidelines here will make your task easier and more enjoyable. A science and engineering fair is a competition based upon the quality of the projects and experiments done by students. You are judging the results of these experiments and projects. The fair has three purposes: to stimulate young people’s interest in science and engineering, to provide an educational experience to the participants, and to publicly recognize the students’ talents and achievements. The Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship is managed by the Santa Clara Valley Science and Engineering Fair Association (SCVSEFA). The Championship is a Regional Fair affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). Each year in May we send Grand Prize winning projects (from grades 9 through 12) to the Intel ISEF. In addition, almost 100 of our winning projects in grades 6 through 12 are eligible to participate in the California State Science Fair. Selected winning middle school students also have an opportunity to participate in the Broadcom MASTERS program.

Conflict of Interest Policy of SCVSEFA

A judge may not judge projects for which they have a conflict of interest.

Judges must identify any student participating in the fair who:

  • is related to themselves or is a close family friend
  • is or was a student of theirs or was a student at their school
  • was mentored or otherwise advised by them on their current project.


If a judge is assigned to a group of projects that includes a student described above, he or she must notify the appropriate judging registration desk immediately for re-assignment or other adjustment.

Harassment Policy of SCVSEFA

  • SCVSEFA is committed to providing an environment for students, volunteers, and employees, free of harassment of any kind. SCVSEFA will not tolerate harassment of students, judges, volunteers, employees or anyone else associated with the Synopsys Championship.
  • If you feel that you have been harassed or feel you have witnessed harassment, please report the incident to any member of the SCVSEFA Board of Directors.
  • Complete Harassment Policy of SCVSEFA


There are three kinds of awards. Category Awards are given by the SCVSEFA for scientific merit, including the First Place, Second Place, and Honorable Mention Awards in each of four categories. About 30% of projects receive a Category Award.

Grand Prize Awards are given by the SCVSEFA to 10 top high school projects selected for further competition at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. A further 6 top high school projects receive the Grand Prize Alternate awards and win a trip to the California State Science Fair.  Six top middle school projects are given Isabelle Stone or Castro Family Awards and win a trip to the California State Science Fair.

Approximately 88 projects in addition to the grand prize winning projects from middle and high school are selected to be eligible for further competition at the California State Science Fair.

Special Awards are given by various professional organizations and companies. Each organization has its own criteria. Special awards may take many forms, including certificates, cash, trips, equipment, and internships.

Category Awards

Projects are judged in one of four categories in groups of about 8 to 12 projects by a team of judges using specified criteria. At least two judges evaluate each project.  Projects are judged with projects from similar fields of study. Projects done at Regulated Research Institutions (RRI) (grades 9 to 12 only) are judged with other RRI projects. RRI projects are judged by category only. Projects done at school or home are judged against other non-RRI projects. Non RRI projects are judged by grade and category.

Special Awards

The criteria for the special awards are determined by the sponsoring organizations. Judging teams for these awards are usually from the sponsoring organizations but may, if requested, be provided by the SCVSEFA.

Presentation of Awards

Awards will be presented to the students at Awards Ceremonies, to which winners and their families are invited. The ceremonies’ date, times and location will be announced on this website.