Regional event season officially begins in two days! Thousands of students around the state will soon be presenting their hard work to a team of judges, and for many students, this is their first academic encounter with someone other than their parent or teacher.
Judging can be a nerve-wracking process for some students, especially if they're not quite sure what to expect. Here are a few things students can expect from their judging at a regional event:
- For exhibits, judging will take 15 minutes. For performances and documentaries, judging will take 20 minutes.
- Judges will first view the entry. For exhibits, judges will read the exhibit board and bibliography. Students should NOT have a prepared presentation for their exhibit; the board should stand alone. For performances and documentaries, students will have 10 minutes to present their project.
- After the judges review the entries, they will ask the students questions. Questions vary per judge team and per project, but students can expect questions about their topic, their research and development process, their experiences while creating the project, or their understanding of the topic's relation to the theme.
- The interview is important, but ultimately, judges will choose finalists based on the project and the research.
- Judges will take with them at least one copy of the bibliography and process paper. This is so the judges can refer back to the paperwork while making their decisions.
- At regionals, there is no second round for documentaries or performances. Exhibit second-round judging is done behind closed doors, with no students present. This is why it is critical for an exhibit to stand alone.
- Although it doesn't factor into the judging score, students should refrain from texting or talking on the phone during their judging, should dress appropriately, and should treat the judges respectfully (shake their hands, look them in the eye, etc.). Interacting with adults this way is a great skills for students to learn!