Provide a good experience for the Student Competitors

Be genuine, positive and engaging.

Let the students show their stuff.  Work to put students at ease.  Remember when you were the student's age.
Avoid value judgments.  Ask students about the project concepts, not just what they did.

Give an example for improvement.

Recognize 3 project strengths.  Ask students enough questions to satisfy yourself that they understood the project.
When you have reached the student’s knowledge limit, STOP asking questions.

Show you are interested.  Actively listen.  Encourage conversation.  Let the student teach you something.

Give positive reinforcement to nourish self esteem (say what you like about project).  Have 1 positive comment for every student.  If students are intimidated they will not speak freely.

Sample Questions

These are some good sample questions that will spur on conversations during the judging process.
Why did you decide to study this topic?
What are your controlled variables?
How accurate are your readings?
What future applications can you see from the results of this project?
What one outstanding thing did you learn doing this project?
How would you improve this project if you would do it again?

Personalize your language
I liked….
I enjoyed….
I feel that……
I see that…..
I suggest…
A technique I have used…..
The project would have more impact on me if….
Judging Tips
Arrive at the Fair early
Review all of your entries before starting to judge.
Set timing goals for your exhibits   (10-15 min per project)
Student's understanding is as important as the project
Every project must receive a passing mark
Revise your scores as many times as you need
Don’t tally judging sheet in front of Students
If stuck on a project, talk to any co-judges, Category Chairperson, Judging Chair or Fair Director.