OSEF Judges

2021 Virtual OSEF Judging

The 2021 Ozarks Science & Engineering Fair will be a VIRTUAL Fair, held entirely online. Senior Division will compete March 1 - March 5 and Junior Division will compete March 8 - March 12. ​​​​​​​

Thank you so very much for being interested in judging at the 2021 Virtual OSEF.  Due to the pandemic, we have elected to hold the OSEF Regional Fair virtually utilizing Zoom interview sessions.  We learned a great deal last year, when we had to shift gears at the last minute to the virtual format.  One thing that we learned was how much both the students and the judges truly enjoyed the interview format.  We will be following that strategy again. 

OSEF has two divisions, Junior for grades 5-8, and Senior for grades 9-12.  We have multiple categories and will be awarding placement and special awards to winning projects. 

What does it take to be a judge?  We need individuals who have a willingness to talk to students about the work they have performed; an understanding of the scientific method; and a wish to reinforce the students' pursuit of research and knowledge.

How does virtual judging work?  Each project has been assigned a day and time for the judging interview.  Senior division projects will be judged the week of March 1-5.  Junior division projects will be judged the week of March 8-12.  All interviews will take place on a web conferencing platform called Zoom.

Judges will select the category and time frame that best fits their schedule and area of interest or expertise.  Time blocks will extend between 1-2 hours.  During this time frame, you will interview between 4 – 8 projects. 

Each interview session lasts for 15 minutes followed by a 5-minute break for the judges before the start of the next project review.  The first 5 minutes are provided to the student or research team to explain their project (their elevator speech).  The remaining 10 minutes are for discussion between the student researcher(s) and the group of judges.  At the conclusion of the entire judging block, judges will have 15 minutes to discuss project highlights with the other judges and then complete and submit the Judge Scoring Form.  (I have attached a copy of the scoring form to this email).

Judges will be given access to a folder in Drop Box that contains the Abstract of each project and set of 5 PPT slides (in pdf format) that outline the student project and will be utilized by the student during their presentation.  Judges will have access to this file as soon as they have confirmed the session they wish to judge.

What does a judge need to connect to the online judge session? -  OSEF will be using Zoom for the live judge interview session.  Once a judge has signed up for a specific category, they will be contacted via email with the following information:

  • Zoom session link, specific to your category
  • A list of the project numbers, student names and project titles for projects assigned to your category.
  • A DropBox link, with the student files for your category consisting of the project abstract and a PDF file of the PPT slides the student researcher(s) plan to reference during the interview. 
  • This information will be sent a few days prior to your scheduled session. You will have a chance to test out Zoom, look over the materials, and talk with the other judge(s) prior to the interview.   IMPORTANT: Please ensure your mic and speakers work, and you can connect to Zoom prior to the meeting!  We also encourage the use of a web camera.  We found last year that being able to see the students and the students see their judges truly enriched the entire experience for everyone involved.  An OSEF Committee member will facilitate the session and assist with minor technical difficulties.

How does someone sign up to judge?   Those interested in judging should access SignUpGenius and select the division, category, day, and time frame that they wish to judge. 

Senior Division Judging – https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080C45ACA92FA0FA7-senior1

Junior Division Judging – https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080C45ACA92FA0FA7-junior

Rules – OSEF follows the rules of the International Science and Engineering Fair to which we are affiliated. https://www.societyforscience.org/isef/international-rules/

Judge Scoring - A copy of the Judge Score Sheet is attached to this email.  Judges will submit their scoring electronically through Survey Monkey, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2021_Scoresheet

Lastly, all information regarding OSEF Virtual Judging can be found on the judging page of the OSEF website, https://k12science.missouristate.edu/Judges.htm

Thank you again for your support of our regional science fair and most importantly, the support of our students and their science education. 

Problems with virtual judging?

The OSEF team cannot express how grateful we are to our judges for being flexible during this turbulent time, and we are here to make this as smooth a process as we can for you and the students.

It is very important that you are prepared and test your equipment prior to the interview times, as it may take a little time to resolve issues over email.  Regardless, we are here to help where we can.  If you encounter problems, feel free to contact us:

Michelle Norgren, Executive Director



Ben Dalton, Judge Coordinator



Sue McCrory, Website and Volunteers