Grand Awards Judging is conducted using a 100-point scale with
points assigned to creative ability, scientific thought or engineering
goals (II a and b respectively), thoroughness, skill, and clarity.
Team projects have a slightly different balance of points that
includes points for teamwork. Following is a list of questions
for each criteria that can assist you in interviewing the finalists
and aid in your evaluation of the finalists' projects.
- Creative Ability (Individual
- 30, Team - 25)
- Does the project show creative ability and originality
in the questions asked?
Creative research should support an investigation and help
answer a question in an original way.
A creative contribution promotes an efficient and reliable
method for solving a problem. When evaluating projects, it
is important to distinguish between gadgeteering and
Goals (Individual - 30, Team - 25)
- The approach to solving the problem, the analysis of
the data, the interpretation of the data?
- The use of equipment, the construction or design of new
For an engineering project,
as well as some projects in categories such as computer science
or mathematical sciences, the more appropriate questions are those
found in IIb. Engineering Goals.
- 15, Team - 12)
- Scientific Thought
- Is the problem stated clearly and unambiguously?
- Was the problem sufficiently limited to allow a plausible
approach? Good scientists can identify important problems
capable of solutions.
- Was there a procedural plan for obtaining a solution?
- Are the variables clearly recognized and defined?
- If controls were necessary, did the student recognize
their need and were they correctly used?
- Are there adequate data to support the conclusions?
- Does the finalist or team recognize the datas limitations?
- Does the finalist/team understand the projects
ties to related research?
- Does the finalist/team have an idea of what further research
- Did the finalist/team cite scientific literature, or
only popular literature (local newspapers, Readers Digest).
- Engineering Goals
- Does the project have a clear objective?
- Is the objective relevant to the potential users
- Is the solution workable, acceptable to the potential
user, economically feasible?
- Could the solution be utilized successfully in design
or construction of an end product?
- Is the solution a significant improvement over previous
- Has the solution been tested for performance under the
conditions of use?
Skill (Individual - 15, Team
- Was the purpose carried out to completion within the scope
of the original intent?
- How completely was the problem covered?
- Are the conclusions based on a single experiment or replication?
- How complete are the project notes?
- Is the finalist/team aware of other approaches or theories?
- How much time did the finalist or team spend on the project?
- Is the finalist/team familiar with scientific literature
in the studied field?
Clarity (Individual - 10,
Team - 10)
- Does the finalist/team have the required laboratory, computation,
observational and design skills to obtain supporting data?
- Where was the project performed? (home, school laboratory,
university laboratory) Did the student or team receive
assistance from parents, teachers, scientists, or engineers?
- Was the project completed under adult supervision, or did
the student/team work largely alone?
- Where did the equipment come from? Was it built independently
by the finalist or team? Was it obtained on loan? Was
it part of a laboratory where the finalist or team worked?
Teamwork (Team Projects only-
- How clearly does the finalist discuss the project and explain
the purpose, procedure, and conclusions? Watch out
for memorized speeches that reflect little understanding
- Does the written material reflect the finalists or
teams understanding of the research?
- Are the important phases of the project presented in an
- How clearly is the data presented?
- How clearly are the results presented?
- How well does the project display explain the project?
- Was the presentation done in a forthright manner, without
tricks or gadgets?
- Did the finalist/team perform all the project work, or
did someone help?
- Are the tasks and contributions of each team member clearly
- Was each team member fully involved with the project, and
is each member familiar with all aspects?
- Does the final work reflect the coordinated efforts of
all team members?