Judging FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is qualified to be a judge?

A judge should have the following qualifications:

A college degree in a scientific, technical, or educational field (Exceptions may be made for related experience);
Enjoy working with grade school students; AND
Be available during judging hours on judging day (Saturday, February 4, 2017, from 7:00 AM to approximately 3:00 PM).

Can parents or teachers of students participating in the fair judge?

NO, parents and teachers of participating students should NOT volunteer as judges. Parents and teachers of participating students that wish to volunteer are encouraged to do so in a different capacity. Please check the Volunteer section of the website for additional information.

Why are there THREE kinds of judges?

We have (1) Category or General Judges, (2) Grand Prize Judges, and (3) Special Award Judges for determining these kinds of awards.

For Category or General judging, each project is evaluated by at least three qualified judges for awards in one of thirteen Science Fair Categories (and related Fields of Study) and awards in one of thirteen Inventors Fair grade levels so that every student has the opportunity to interact with several knowledgeable judges. A small number of highly qualified and experienced judges are asked to evaluate the top projects for grand prizes and advancement to the California State Fair and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Special Awards are given by various professional organizations and companies. Special awards may take many forms, including certificates, cash, trips, equipment, and work fellowships. Criteria for the special awards are determined by the sponsoring organizations. Judging teams for these awards are usually from the sponsoring organizations but may, if requested, be provided by TAERSIF.

What are the different categories for Category Judging?

The Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis Regional Science and Engineering Fair has 13 Categories and 22 Fields of Study. Categories and Fields of Study within each category are listed below. These Categories and Fields of Study are new for 2016-17 and represent a reorganization of categories featured during prior years.

Students MUST choose a Category and Field of Study (if applicable) for their project. An accurate choice of Category and Field of Study ensures alignment with affiliate fairs (SSEF of Florida, Intel ISEF), and increases the likelihood that your project will be assigned to judges who understand and appreciate your project. Click HERE for a complete list and descriptions of Project Categories and Field of Study, as well as related Research Areas.

Click HERE to review Judging Category Flow Chart (OLD to NEW)

Science Fair Category Judges are asked to choose their preferred Category during online registration. We use the Category to form project groups and to assign teams of judges with appropriate interests and qualifications to judge about 8 to 12 projects.

Will there be event parking for  judges?

Yes, general parking is available on a first-come, first-choice basis in the adjacent parking lots located around the FGCU Athletic Complex. Note: Parking for the Fairs will be directed by the University Police Department and FGCU Athletics’ Facilities and Operations Event Staff. Click HERE for additional parking information.

Will the judges and volunteers get lunch?

Yes, we provide a choice of box lunch, including a vegetarian option. Lunch service for our judges begins around 11:30 AM or as soon as Round One Judging is complete. If you have special dietary needs please make sure to inform us by email ahead of time.

Can I bring my son/daughter along during judging?

No. Other children are distracting to the students and other judges. Interested family members may attend only during Public Viewing. Click HERE for Public Viewing times.

However, if your son/daughter is of college age or older, then you may want to encourage them to consider participating as a Non-judging Volunteer. Click HERE for information on volunteer opportunities.

When is the Presentation of Awards?

Our Regional Inventors Fair Awards Ceremony is schedule for Monday, February 6th, 7:00 PM at Edison Park Creative and Expressive Arts School in Fort Myers.

Our Regional Science and Engineering Fair Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, February 15th, 7:00 PM at Alico Arena, Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers.