Judging Information

About 130 qualified judges are needed for the Mid-Columbia Science Fair.  If you have a scientific, engineering, health, agriculture or food sciences background and think you might enjoy interacting with young scientists at the Fair, please volunteer to help judge by completing our online Judging form.

When and Where

Judges need to arrive at 8:30 AM, Thursday, March 8, 2018 at the Columbia Center Mall.  Judges should go to the posters located in front of Macy's, inside the Mall.  Find your name on one of the posters, which will show you where in the Mall to report to your coordinator. Most judges will be finished by mid-afternoon.  Prior registration for judges is required in order to plan the judging assignments.

How Judging Assignments are Divided

Projects and judges are organized into six divisions:

  • 6th Grade Physical Sciences
  • 6th Grade Life Sciences
  • 7th Grade Physical Sciences
  • 7th Grade Life Sciences
  • 8th Grade Physical Sciences
  • 8th Grade Life Sciences
  • Senior Division (all 9th through 12th grade projects)

In total, the MCSF usually hosts 350 to 400 projects and 120 to 130 judges.

Judging Schedule

Judging for all divisions will begin at 9:00 AM.  Lunch periods are staggered to reduce crowding in the food court. Most judges will be assigned to the larger divisions, which require two or three rounds of student interviews plus a concluding judges' discussion.  Judges in the larger divisions will finish by mid-to-late afternoon. A few small divisions will require only one round of student interviews, allowing the judges to leave shortly after noon.

8:30-9:00 AM  Judges check in with coordinator, sign in and receive first round judging assignments.  Please read the Judging Guide.  Use any spare time to do a quick walk-through of your entire division, to get a sense of the overall quality of the projects.

9:00 AM-Lunch First round judging.  You will interview and rank 12 projects.  Students should have a 3-5 minute talk prepared.  You might begin each interview by asking them to tell you about their project.  Follow up with questions and reading their displays.  You must judge 12 projects in this round.  If you find that a project(s) is missing, go on to judge your pre-assigned alternate(s).  Rank 1 through 12, with the best ranked "1".  Before the assigned lunch period, judges must turn in ranking sheets to coordinator.  Please be prompt!  The coordinators have a lot of number crunching to do while you eat lunch.  One late judge will delay the second round.

Lunch Period (coordinators will inform judges of lunch schedule) Judges and students eat lunch while coordinators compile results and organize second-round judging assignments. Judges should report to their coordinator shortly before the end of their lunch period to receive assignments and instructions for second round.

Second round (times will vary): Some judges complete rankings for finalists.  Others choose Awards of Distinction and provide written comments.  Students will be present again, so please actively interview and question them.

2:30 PM Most middle school students will leave for busses going home.

Third Round (times will vary): Many students will have gone home. For these, final judging will be based on their displays.

Final Judges Discussion: The coordinators facilitate a discussion of the final results with the judges. The objective is to reach a consensus on the results.

Judge's Guide

Additional information for judges can be found in the separate Judge's Guide.