Category Judges

Registration and Role

Category Judges must be available from 11 AM to 5 PM on Thursday, March 15th, 2018 to judge student projects and recommend projects for Category Awards. Judges must register on our website to provide information on their background and judging preferences. We use this information to assist us in assigning judging teams. Returning judges must update their registration, since the information we need to form judging teams has changed.

Students provide information which determines their category and designate a field of study for their project. Each project is assigned to one of four categories and given a unique project number. We use the field of study to form project groups and assign to judges with appropriate interests and qualifications. Further information on categories and fields of study may be found on the Project Categories web page.

Project Categories

Projects are divided into categories based on (1) the amount of professional mentoring and access to non-school laboratories the student received, and (2) the subject matter of the project (biological vs physical science/engineering).

RRI Projects (grades 9–12 only) include biological or physical science or engineering research projects conducted under the guidance of professional research staff from…

1. A Regulated Research Institution. (Government regulations for institution’s use of animals in accordance with rules of IACUC, or use of chemicals/processes following Good Laboratory Practice,(GLP rules), etc.) —

2. A professional research staff at a company or government lab. —

3. With advice and guidance of a professional research scientist or engineer. —

4. Mentors, other than teachers, who provide substantial guidance, data or sophisticated equipment not available in schools. —

Judges will use Form 1C to determine student contribution to the research.

Non-RRI Projects (grades 6–12) include all projects from grades 6 through 8 and projects from grades 9 through 12 NOT mentored by a professional research scientist/engineer or professional mentor.

Fields of Study

Biological Sciences and EngineeringPhysical Sciences and Engineering
Behavioral SciencesChemistry
Plant SciencesChemical/Environmental Engineering
Animal SciencesEarth and Environmental Sciences
Biochemistry/MicrobiologyPhysics and Astronomy
Computational Biology and BioinformaticsElectrical Engineering
Biomedical and Health SciencesMechanical Engineering
Biomedical EngineeringMathematics
Software Engineering

On the day of the Fair, you will evaluate projects in one category and related fields of study. While you are judging the results of the student’s research projects, an important role is to ENCOURAGE students’ interest in science and technology and INSPIRE them to pursue this interest further.

Please review the following links which give more information about Category Judging: