- Our primary purpose is to encourage and educate students.
These students have spent time beyond their research project to write a technical paper and defend it. We should make every attempt to identify positive points, and help improve negative ones. Their experience should be positive and rewarding.
- We are looking for research papers for original work – not library research, collections, cookbook directions, or gadgeteering.
The problem does not necessarily have to contribute to the scientific or engineering knowledge base. Duplicating a well-known experiment is not innovative. Duplicating a well-known experiment with the objective of identifying a potential flaw may be very innovative.
- The work we are judging is by middle school and high school students.
It is not a Masters or PhD thesis. Many of these students have limited resources and experiences. We are comparing students in this competition only.
- The project, manuscript and presentation should represent the knowledge and skill level of the student, not a mentor or guide.
It is acceptable for a student to have conducted the work under supervision of a professional, but the work should not be beyond the capabilities of the student. A student should not be penalized for taking help from others (that is common in the research community). However, it is essential that the bulk of the effort be done by the student and that the student understand what he/she is doing. Questions to the student should be aimed at assessing the depth of the student's knowledge about the subject.
- The manuscript should be judged for thoroughness and clarity.
Determine if the paper cites the problem, addresses it, and presents conclusions without diverging from the main point. Look for a clear, logical description of the project and its results.
- The presentation should be judged for understanding and communication skills.
- Don't share scores with students.
This is a rule from the NJAS and the science fair. If possible, provide students with written comments on a separate sheet or on the students paper. Students look forward to receiving written comments and suggestions from the judges.
Thank you so very much for your valuable input of time and expertise. You are an indispensable part of the NMJAS Paper Competition.
- Evaluate the written papers using the manuscript judging form before the presentations. Examine each paper carefully and score it on each point. Take into account where each paper came from. Many rural areas have little access to literature and professional help.
- During presentations, each student will have 10 minutes to present, with five minutes following for questions from the judges. You may want to prepare a few questions in advance.
- Evaluate the presentation using the oral presentation judging form during the presentation to score the oral and visual presentation.
- After presentations, get the combined score totals from both judging forms, then caucus with the other judges to choose the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. If there is a good project as a close 4th you may wish to give and honorable mention.
- Judge's Instructions – Revised for 2021
- Written Manuscript Judging Form (printed)
- Online Manuscript Judging Form - you will get this link by email
- Oral Presentation Judging Form (printed)
- Online Oral Presentation Judging Form -you will get this link by email
- Judge's Critique Form (comments to students)
- Judge's Program Evaluation Form (at the end of the competition)
- Regional Director's Summary Form