Category Judging Criteria


The judging criteria are identical, independent of the project category or field of study. The only difference is to apply criteria for scientific thought to science projects and engineering goals for engineering projects. A team judging projects from several related fields of study should score each project objectively and rank all the projects assigned to the team for awards based on their scoring.

Judging Criteria Points
Scientific Thought or Engineering Goals 10
Creativity 10
Thoroughness 5
Skill 5
Clarity 3
Maximum Total Points 33

Scientific Thought (for science projects; 10 points)

  • Was the problem scientifically significant and the hypothesis clearly stated?
  • Did the student(s) look at different aspects of the problem, and chose a sufficiently limited project – was it well planned?
  • Did the student use appropriate control of variables?
  • Was the conclusion justified and properly drawn from experimental data?
  • Was sufficient literature research performed and applied?
  • Does the student understand what further research is warranted?

Engineering Goals (for engineering projects; 10 points)

  • Was the purpose and engineering design criteria significant and clearly stated?
  • Was the solution to be invented/ engineered relevant, workable and feasible?
  • Could the solution be used in design or construction of some end product?
  • Was there evidence of redesign and retest under conditions of use?
  • Did the student consider inventions, products and applications by others?
  • Does the student understand next steps or possible future improvements?

Creativity (10 points)

  • Is the project topic unique or the approach original?
  • Has the student used a novel approach for checking the hypothesis or testing an engineering design? Projects from the internet or other sources are acceptable if clearly acknowledged, but should be scored lower.
  • Evidence of student’s contributions: What level of assistance was received for the idea and execution?

Thoroughness (5 points)

  • Are there appropriate replications or repeated testing?
  • Are there adequate data, drawings, schematics presented to address the scope?
  • Was the project notebook kept during the project? Has all the work been completed in the past 12 months?
  • Is the interpretation or performance claims supported with data?
  • Are procedures and materials thoroughly documented?

Skill (5 points)

  • Does the student understand the subject?
  • Has the student used good laboratory, technical or programing skills?
  • Did the student build equipment or design experiment?
  • How much mentoring or other help did the student receive to carry out experiments or testing?

Clarity (3 points)

  • Are the abstract, board, and oral communication accurate and understandable?
  • Are the data and test results clear?
  • Are phases of the project presented in an orderly manner?