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Judging

The criteria judges use to evaluate your project.

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One of the questions you’re probably thinking is, what happens now that my project has been submitted?

The first judging stage is now taking place and after which, the highest scoring projects are closely reviewed before we announce the 90 Regional Finalist projects at the beginning of July. From the group of 90 Regional Finalists, judges will then select the top 20 projects from across the globe to join us in Mountain View, CA, where they’ll present their work to our finalist judging panel.

During the first judging stage, judges will focus on what you’ve submitted as part of your project site. This is your chance to show off your very best work. Your project will be judged using the criteria listed below.

General judging criteria

1. Inspirational entry or idea

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Does your entry inspire and stand out?

We’re looking for entries that make the judges sit up and say ‘wow.’ Did you think big? It doesn’t need to be a totally new area of science or engineering. In fact most breakthroughs simply continue where others left off - and we’re all for that. So, if you’re passionate enough and can prove you’ve explored things in your own way, you might just have a winning project!

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2. Capacity to make an impact

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Is it impactful? Could the science improve the world around us?

Judges will be looking closely to see if your work has value to the real world now or might in the future. So, in your project site, take the time to show how and where your findings could be applied or scaled to real-world scenarios.

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3. Passion for science or engineering

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Are you passionate about your work? Could you be a role model for other young scientists or engineers?

Do you love science or engineering, or both? We’re guessing if you’re reading this then the answer is yes! The judges are looking for young scientists and engineers who are really passionate about what they do and how their interest can shape the future. Here is your moment to be heard - so take a deep breath and let it all out. The “About me” section is the perfect place for this.

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4. Excellence of method

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Have you demonstrated real skill in the planning and doing of your experiment?

Whether it’s a science or engineering project you’ve worked on, we’ll be checking that your Method / Testing and redesign works with your original Question/Proposal - and you’ve discussed the reasons for this. Remember, even if your original idea failed, it doesn’t mean it’s not a good project. Learning from mistakes is all part of succeeding. Just be sure to talk about this, and suggest how it could be improved.

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5. Communication skills

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Is your project presented clearly and with enthusiasm and confidence?

People all over the world are interested in Google Science Fair finalists and winners. You’ll need to be able to explain your project clearly and concisely to people who might not have a science background, but you’ll also have to be able to go into the details for the real experts and judges. Your summary is very important for this. See how well you can communicate your project in just a few words. Google Docs are also available to help you create presentations, graphs and other materials that might be difficult to express in text alone.

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Judging for special prizes

Community Impact Award

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The Community Impact Award, sponsored by Scientific American, honors a project that can make a practical difference by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge. Submissions should be innovative, easy to put into action, and able to be expanded to other communities. All participants will be considered for this award as part of the main judging process.

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Google Technologist Award

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The Google Technologist Award celebrates a project which has the potential to make a difference, through outstanding and innovative work in the computer science and math fields.

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The Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award

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The Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award honors a project in the area of physics.

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The National Geographic Explorer Award

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The National Geographic Explorer Award honors a project in the natural sciences.

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The LEGO Builder Award

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The LEGO Education Builder Award honors those students who use an innovative, hands-on approach to solve some of the greatest engineering challenges.

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The Scientific American Innovator Award

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The Scientific American Innovator Award honors a project in pure science.

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The Inspiring Educator Award

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The Inspiring Educator Award honors the contributions of one outstanding educator who goes above and beyond to encourage their students to achieve great things.

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The Incubator Award

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The The Incubator Award celebrates a student between the ages of 13 and 15 whose project shows extraordinary promise in a field of science or engineering.

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What happens after the submission deadline passes?

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After the competition closes, make sure to stay in touch! We’ll be having lots of great Hangouts and other events up until the announcements.

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