1.1 The purpose of the CWSF Awards is to reward outstanding scientific and technological achievement and excellence by Canada’s young scientists at the national level and to recognize those national finalists at the Canada-Wide Science Fair whose achievement places them above the rest. Awards include the Excellence Awards, Challenge Awards, Interdisciplinary Awards, Special Awards and Grand Awards.
2 Awards Policy
2.1 Youth Science Canada establishes the criteria for awards, sets the judging standards, approves the CWSF Chief Judge, trains key members of the CWSF judging team, recruits award sponsors, and organizes the presentation of the awards.
2.2 The CWSF Chief Judge recruits judges and works with Youth Science Canada to coordinate the judging process that selects the Special, Interdisciplinary, Challenge, and Excellence Award recipients.
2.3 A special Youth Science Canada-appointed panel, that includes members of the NJC, selects the Grand Award recipients.
2.4 Awards are assigned to the best eligible project on the basis of ranking projects relative to others at the current CWSF.
2.5 Award recipients are selected based on the quality of their projects and presentations. Neither formal nor informal selection criteria based on gender, language or ethnocultural heritage are permitted in the National Awards Program or at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.
3 Excellence Awards
3.1 Excellence Awards (CWSF medals) recognize science and technology excellence. The judging is a relative process, with medals awarded based on the ranking of consensus scores for each project within a grade category - Junior (Grade 7/8), Intermediate (Grade 9/10) and Senior (grade 11/12 or equivalent). Excellence Awards consist of gold, silver and bronze medals with corresponding cash awards and certificates.
4 Challenge Awards
4.1 Challenge Awards recognize the top project in each of the seven Canada-Wide Youth Science Challenges in each grade category. The seven Challenges - Discovery, Energy, Environment, Health, Information, Innovation and Resources - focus on issues that are important to Canadian youth, the future of their country and their world. They are meant to inspire students to exercise their curiosity and creativity by answering a question or solving a problem by doing a science project. Challenge Awards are judged as part of the Excellence Awards (medal) judging; they do not involve separate interviews.
5 Special Awards
5.1 Special Awards are open to all projects in the appropriate grade category and include cash awards, trips, summer internships and other prizes for outstanding projects that meet specific criteria established by the sponsor(s).
6.1 Universities and colleges may provide entrance or other scholarships to specific groups of Excellence Award recipients (e.g., all senior gold medal recipients) in consultation with Youth Science Canada.
7 Grand Awards
7.1 Grand Awards recognize the top projects at the CWSF. The Gold Medal winners from each age category are eligible for the Platinum Awards - the best Junior, Intermediate and Senior projects. Each Platinum Award provides a significant cash prize and a distinctive presentation award.
7.2 From the three Platinum Award recipients, one project is awarded the Best Project Award. This is the pinnacle of achievement for young Canadian scientists, capping the entire local, regional and national science fair program. The Best Project Award includes a major cash prize and a distinctive presentation award.