NJRSF Judging Process

Category judging takes place on Friday from 7:00-9:30 p.m. Each category is assigned a group of judges with a captain. Each project is judged by a minimum of 3 judges. At the end of the evening, projects are placed (1st, 2nd, or 3rd ) and honorable mentions are awarded. The judging follows a common standard for all categories based on the ISEF judging guidelines. To the extent feasible, projects are not placed based on the quality within a specific category. As a result, a category may include two projects that can receive the same placement (i.e. two projects can be awarded first place). Similarly, it is not necessary that every category will award a first, second and third place. For example at the discretion of the judging committee, no first place may be awarded based on the quality of projects in that category.

Special awards judging takes place on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. till noon. The types of special awards vary from being specific science areas, like the Ceramic Society Award, to more general awards such as the Homebuilt Apparatus Award. Hence, projects may be visited by varying number of judges depending on their eligibility for the different awards.

On Saturday morning, the ISEF panel comprising captains from the individual categories determines the finalists for the ISEF trip awards. A maximum of twelve finalists are selected from the first and second place category winners. At least three finalists are selected from the junior division. All finalists give a ten minute presentation to the judging panel at the ISEF symposium, which is held Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Following the ISEF panel presentations, four winners are chosen for the trip awards, with at least one from the junior division.

Team Projects

In the past, team projects were judged at the same time as the individual projects, and, usually, were not considered for ISEF participation, except under special circumstances. Since 2010, this has changed, thanks to a special grant from AT&T Labs, in support of the extra expenses of the team trips to ISEF for 2010-2013. We are now planning to send at least one team project to ISEF. Since the grant has expired, we are seeking sponsorship support for these trips.

The team judging will proceed as follows: The first step in the judging will be identical to individual projects: the same team of category judges will interview all projects Friday evening. However, they will score and rank the team projects separately, making separate recommendations to *two* ISEF panels, one for individual projects (as above) and one for team projects. The team ISEF panel will conduct further interviews on Saturday morning, focusing on the team projects recommended from the night before. Due to time and space considerations, the team projects will NOT present in the symposium.