The following list of General Procedures has been provided for Judges ....
- Judges will show knowledge of the field he or she is judging as demonstrated by academic degrees or experience in the field.
- New judges will submit a registration form to the Judging Committee.
- New judges will attend an orientation session conducted by the Judging Committee.
- Judges should make sure that a timekeeper is available with an official log sheet and that the projection equipment is working properly. It is imperative that no one enters or leaves the room during the presentation. Judges must maintain proper decorum inside and outside the room so that no student can be interrupted during his presentation. We suggest that a member of the judging team explain these operating procedures to those in the room at the beginning of the session.
- Each student will give his presentation in the order listed in the program book. Judges may make an exception for unusual circumstances, such as special interviews, multipleprojects, or a wide disparity in grade levels.
- Judges may NOT add a student to their unit without official written notice from the registration committee or its representative.
- Students are not in competition with each other for some single top award; rather they are evaluated on how well they succeed in fulfilling the 5 PJAS State Criteria. Therefore, there is no limit to the number of each award that may be awarded in a given Presentation Room.
- Only judges are permitted to question the presenters. The questioning period will not exceed five minutes.
- Each judge’s evaluation of the presentation shall be made independently from other members of the judging team. However, after all the presentations have been heard, judges are encouraged to consult with one another in determination of the final awards.
- It is important that all judges in the team return to the judging headquarters when the individual worksheets are completed to record their scores on the official tally sheets. All worksheets and the tally sheet must be personally signed when they are submitted. Furthermore, judges are often called upon to fill out individual comment sheets on the students or make recommendations about special awards for which they may be eligible.
- Awards will be solely based on the mathematical averages of the scores. But judges should be aware that data entry into the computer scoring program is by using the individual judge’s scores in each of the 5 criteria.
- Room Technicians. The judging team will be assisted in the presentation rooms by one or more technicians. Their duties are to:
- Act as a timekeeper, using flash cards to aid the participant and judges, recording the times on the official log sheet.
- Set up the audio-visual equipment, aiding in its use during presentations, and returning equipment at the end of the session.
- Control the door and hallway so that the participant is not distracted during his presentation.
- In rare cases where no technician is available, judges may NOT serve as timekeepers themselves. They should make arrangements with student presenters to serve as timers. Students at the front or back end of the “batting order” are usually more amenable to this request.
- Remember these PJAS participants are CHILDREN who are just beginning to work and think as scientists; they are not Ph.D. candidates
- Questionable Research Topics: Judges should know that PJAS adheres very closely to the rules and procedures of the International Science and Engineering Fair regarding living vertebrate and human subjects, recombinant DNA, tissue acquisition, the use of lasers, and the use of controlled substances.
Before any such experimentation can be registered for regional competition the student and his sponsor must submit detailed research plans and obtain a series of certifications and clearances to ensure proper adult supervision during the planning and execution of the project.
For a project in the above list to appear at a Regional or State PJAS competition, the judge must assume the project has met the necessary qualifications at the regional level. The judge is welcome to ask the Judging Committee to check the validity of the certification that resides in the hands of the Regional Director.
More precise details about the certification process can be obtained from the booklet PJAS Rules and Regulations for Conducting and Judging of Student Research or The PJAS Sponsor Handbook.