Judges’ Policies

Judge Etiquette

Please conform to the following rules to assure a good judging experience for all judges:

  • Judges should not break in with questions or comments while another judge is interviewing a student. Wait until the interview is completed.
  • Interview projects for no more than 10 minutes. Set a timer on your phone. Be aware of other judges waiting to speak to a student.
  • If another judge’s interview lasts more than 10 minutes, ask the judge if he or she is about to finish.
  • Do not correct or criticize another judge in front of the students.

Conflict of Interest

A judge may not judge projects for which they have a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest arises in the science fair when a judge has competing interests or loyalties that can interfere with their objectivity.

Judges must identify any student participating in the fair who:

  • is related to themselves or is a close family friend,
  • is or was a student of theirs or was a student at their school,
  • was mentored or otherwise advised by them on their current project, or
  • is the child of a close business associate.

If a judge is assigned to a group of projects that includes a conflict of interest described above, he or she must notify the Fair Manager immediately for re-assignment or other adjustment.

Judges should refrain from talking to their children, children’s friends or teacher-chaperones during the judging period to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest.