The Ohio State University at Marion

North Central District Science Day
8. Judging

Each project will be judged by two judges using the criteria of the Ohio Academy of Science. Each judge determines a score for the project, and the two scores are averaged. A fractional average is rounded up.

Individual projects are scored out of 40 points, with a maximum of 10 points awarded in each of the following categories: Knowledge Achieved, Effective Use of Scientific Method or Technological Design, Clarity of Expression, and Originality & Creativity. Individual projects are rated Superior (36-40), Excellent (24-35), Good (12-23), or Satisfactory (4-11).

Team projects will be judged using the same criteria, but judges will also be awarding up to 10 points for teamwork. Team projects are scored out of 50 points, and are rated Superior (45-50), Excellent (30-44), Good (15-29), or Satisfactory (5-14).

The following criteria are used in judging:

  • Knowledge Achieved
    • Correct use and understanding of terms and principles
    • Project exceeds classroom level for the student's grade level based upon the judge's opinion
    • Adequate depth of knowledge
    • Literature search: extent of scientific, engineering or medical journals /sources or just popular literature citations
    • Supplements answers with additional relevant information
  • Use of Scientific Method or Technological Design
    • Experimental design: specific problem or question, clearly stated hypothesis or technological design statement; clear method(s) with correctly defined and measured variables and controls; sufficient understanding of methods from related studies in the literature
    • Data handling, data tables, graphs, statistics; sufficient number of trials or samples for the problem
    • Valid conclusion(s) or discussion of results
    • Well-documented lab journal/data record book
    • Student effectively used professional equipment or correctly constructed/used home-made apparatus, equipment, experimental materials or models
  • Clarity of Expression
    • Abstract with clear statement of results
    • Written report: unambiguous title, organization, results, correct grammar and spelling, citations, references
    • Visual display: neatness, conveys essence of the idea, hypothesis or design statement, results and conclusion(s)
    • Oral presentation: understanding or from memory; questions answered correctly and clearly
  • Originality & Creativity
    • New idea, concept, principle, hypothesis, insight or non-obvious approach or problem definition
    • Novel association or relationship of previous discoveries or knowledge
    • Rigorous and exhaustive analyses of extensive or robust data or results that reveal previously unknown relations
    • Inquiry or design-based rather than a summary of knowledge
  • Teamwork (if applicable)
    • All members have shown active participation and understanding of the entire project
    • Team members participate equally in presentation
    • Individual expertise or contributions are explained
    • All team members participate in correctly and clearly answering questions


Rejudging is automatic if all three of the following conditions apply:

(1) the judges' final ratings are in different categories (Superior, Excellent, Good, or Satisfactory);

(2) the average of the judges' scores is in the lower category; and

(3) the judges differ in their total points by more than five points.

Under exceptional circumstances, a project may be rejudged at District Science Day with the approval of the District Science Day Director or designee.

When a project qualifies for rejudging, the rejudging will determine the score awarded to the project.

Previous page | Next page | Table of contents