How are projects judged?

There are now three major categories in the Young Scientist Awards, STANSW Scientific Investigations, IIATE Models and Innovations and MANSW Working Mathematically.

Surveys have been included as a subsection within Scientific Investigations. These projects involve the gathering of data in a specific area of interest using a range of sampling techniques to locate and classify features of interest, identifying variants.

There are four age groups in the Young Scientist Awards, each is judged separately:

  • Years K-2
  • Years 3-6
  • Years 7-9
  • Years 10-12

Within the Scientific Investigation category in the Years 7-9 and 10-12 age, judges will be allocated to one of the following categories:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Earth and Environmental Science

It is important to note that the same rubric and judging criteria applies to each of these four disciplines. For instance, students entered into Chemistry will be judged primarily on their investigative skills and not necessarily on their chemistry knowledge and use of chemical formulae.

The judges will only assess entries according to a set of published judging criteria. The rubrics shown below are used by the judges to assign a Level 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 to each student project.  These criteria are closely tied to the processes of Working Scientifically, Working Technologically and Working Mathematically in the respective NSW Syllabus documents.

These criteria are represented in the following scoring rubrics. Follow the links below for your age group to gain a picture of what the judges will be looking for. To assist the judging process, a corresponding scoring sheet has been developed, for each rubric, that allows the judge to make an assessment of a student’s attainment of each specific judging criteria.

  • MANSW Working Mathematically
    Years K-2  rubric                             K-2 WM Scoring Sheet
    Years 3-6  rubric                                 3-6 WM Scoring Sheet
    Years 7-9  rubric                                7-9 WM Scoring Sheet
    Years 10-12  rubric                             10-12 WM Scoring Sheet

It is essential that you read the criteria before you start your project, and also at the end as a checklist to ensure that you have included everything. Ask your teacher or parents for help if you do not understand what is required. The best entry will be one that meets the criteria at the highest level.

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