Judging Process

  1. When you arrive at the GVRSF, we will have signage posted to help you find the judging room where you can meet your judging teammates. You will be provided with your judging assignment, judging schedule, and judging forms when you arrive. GVRSF Judging Form and Rubric >
  2. Judging Rounds:
    The students receive a schedule at the beginning of the fair that indicates when they can expect a judge and when they may leave their projects to participate in other activities. For this reason, please stick to the time slots on the judging schedule with which you are provided.
    Although you are a part of a judging team, you will conduct your project interviews individually. The interviews take place in 20-minute time slots; 15-minutes are allocated for the interview, followed by a 5-minute period to write down comments and move on to the next student. The end of the interview period and comment-writing period will be indicated by a bell to ensure that all participants have the same judging experience.
    Take notes as you interview each project, as you will provide written feedback to the student afterwards.
  3. Once you have conducted all of your interviews, meet with your team in the judging room where you will compare your rankings, fill out the final judging forms and provide written feedback for the students. Please do not leave before ensuring that a member of the Chief Judging team has received your rankings.

Our Philosophy

Many students have been working hard for many months in preparation for this fair, and they will find their discussions with you to be a highlight of their three days at UBC.  Many students look up to their judges as role models – as the type of student or scientist they would like to become.  While this is a competitive science fair, our first priority is that all students have a positive judging experience.

Your role as a judge is not only to evaluate the merit of the projects, but also to provide helpful, constructive feedback as an expert in your field.  Please acknowledge the strengths in each project you visit and phrase suggestions constructively.  Detailed feedback and critique should be provided on written comment sheets that will be delivered to the students on the final day of the fair.  Many students are disappointed if they receive only positive feedback and yet do not win a gold medal; please do provide constructive feedback that will give the student some idea of how the project might be strengthened.

Evaluation Criteria

The judging criteria is derived from the criteria applied to the Canada-Wide Science Fair:

Scientific thought (50%): The judges will evaluate the scientific thought in the design, analysis, and interpretation of the work.  New and original experimental research will receive higher marks than projects that duplicate existing work. 

Originality and creativity (33%): The judges will determine whether the project shows a novel approach and uses creativity in its design. Did the student think outside of the box to answer the research question or develop a new prototype, or was there limited imagination put into the project? 

Communication (17%): Communication is evaluated based on four components: the visual display, the oral presentation, the project report with background research and the logbook.  It is important to note that the project report is not mandatory at the GVRSF.  The display, report, and logbook should be logical, self-explanatory, complete, and reflect the student’s scientific skill.  The oral presentation will be evaluated based on the student’s enthusiasm, ability to effectively communicate findings, and ability to answer questions. Remember that the students will show their scientific thought and creativity through their presentations!

After Round 1, a second round of judging will take place to ensure consistent ranking of the projects across judging teams.  You will be provided with further instructions when you receive your judging assignment and when you arrive at the fair. Please be sure to arrive 30 minutes prior to the official start of the judging round: arrive at 1:30PM for Round 1, and 5:30PM for Round 2.

There are several types of projects, challenge categories and grade levels.  More about this >

Please refer to our Judging Booklet for more information.

Written Feedback

We ask that each judge provide written feedback for each student they evaluated, using the form provided. These forms will be given to each student after the Awards Ceremonies on Saturday. You should have sufficient time during the judging process to ensure that this feedback is specific and complete.

Please acknowledge what was done well and provide constructive suggestions for improvement or future work.


Gold, silver and bronze medals, and honourable mentions will be awarded to the overall best entries in each age category.

As well, entries to the Greater Vancouver Regional Science Fair are eligible for Provincial Awards. The British Columbia Provincial Awards Program is administered by the Science Fair Foundation BC and is available to all participants of British Columbia Regional Science Fairs. Learn More about Provincial Awards >

Special Awards sponsored by our generous Award Sponsors may be judged by representatives from the organization sponsoring the award, or judging teams assigned to the Special Award, depending on the award. These prizes include scientific apparatus, merchandise, scholarships and cash awards. See the List of Special Awards > 

The top Regional Science Fair entries will be awarded the Grand Award: an expense-paid spot on Team GVRSF to the Canada-Wide Science Fair, a week-long event held in a different Canadian city each year. Learn More about Team GVRSF >