CWSF Judging Process

3. Programs
Policy Number:
Policy Section: 
CWSF Judging
Approved by: 
Executive Director
Date Approved: 
Tue, Mar 1, 2011
Date Effective: 
Date Last Amended: 
Mon, Jul 6, 2015
Date of Next Review: 
Wed, Aug 1, 2018
National Judge in Chief or Executive Director

1 Background

1.1 The judging experience and process is central to a science fair. It shapes the students’ perception of the entire event, their further interest in project-based science, and the distribution of approximately one million dollars in awards and medals. This document describes the process whereby a flawless judging experience for both finalists and judges will be achieved.

2 Mission Statement for CWSF Chief Judges & Judging Process

2.1 The judging experience must be exemplary for both the finalists and the volunteer judges. It must be conducted in a professional manner and must be devoid of major crises. The judging operation must be well integrated with the rest of the fair and judging team members must interact positively with other members of the Host Organization and volunteer workers. The outcome of the judging operation depends substantially on the qualities, experience, commitment, and performance of the CWSF Chief Judges. The judging operation at a CWSF is a more complex operation than at a regional fair, both in the organization of the judging itself and in the connectivity to other parts of the overall fair. Creating the environment for a successful judging operation at a CWSF is demanding. It requires a strong commitment over an extended period of time, advanced planning and organizational skills, advanced leadership and interpersonal skills, very good problem solving skills, ability to work long hours at a high performance level, ability to see the big picture and pay attention to details, and good “floor management” skills to be employed on site..

3 The Chief Judges

3.1 The YSC National Judge in Chief has the final responsibility for the success of the judging process.
3.2 The CWSF Chief Judge Recruitment, a member of the Host Committee, is responsible for recruiting about the 350 judges, of which about 75 are bilingual to ensure an exemplary judging process.
3.3 The YSC Chief Judge Operations is responsible for assigning the judges to teams, and for running the judging process on judging day.

4 Operational Policy

4.1 The judging standards for the Canada-Wide Science Fair are the responsibility of Youth Science Canada.

5 Judging Process

5.1 The judging process is described in detail on this web site:

6 Photographs of the Exhibits taken by Judges

6.1 Some judges like to take pictures of the projects during their review of their assigned projects in the absence of the students. These pictures are to be used for study later that night. These pictures are to be treated just like the Reports, and must be deleted after the judging process is over.

6.2 Judges are not to request permission to take pictures on judging day. The CWSF official photographer will take pictures of all the exhibitors, and these will be available on the web, a few weeks after the fair.

7 Judges Representing the Sponsors of Special Award

7.1 Some Special Award sponsors provide judges as part of their agreement with Youth Science Canada. The YSC Chief Judge Operations, in consultation with the YSC National Judge in Chief and Executive Director shall ensure that:

  1. Sponsor judges are assigned to judge their sponsored award(s).
  2. One of the sponsor judges is assigned as the Special Award Team Leader whenever possible.
  3. Sufficient and/or the requested number of additional judges is provided, subject to availability
  4. Sponsor judges are not assigned to judge other awards without their prior consent. Such requests of sponsor judges must be approved by YSC prior to approaching a YSC sponsor-supplied judge.

7.2 YSC shall direct sponsor judges to register in the online system and shall ensure that they are identified as sponsor judges.

8 Grand Awards Judging Panel

8.1 The YSC Judge in Chief is responsible for coordinating the Grand Awards judging. The Grand Awards Judging Panel is a task group assembled with approximately nine members who are responsible for selecting the winners of the Grand Awards (i.e., Best Junior, Intermediate, Senior, and Best-in-Fair) from the gold medallists.

9 Project Classification

9.1 CWSF Projects are classified for judging according to YSC Policy

10 Judging Decisions

10.1 All decisions of judges at the CWSF will be reported to the CWSF Chief Judge Operations. It will be the responsibility of the Chief Judge Operations to check these results and then to report them directly to the National Judge in Chief for ratification. Upon ratification results will be communicated to the Executive Director without due delay.

11 Contact between Judges and Finalists after Judging Day

Judges may wish to contact students after the CWSF to offer them advice, mentoring, or a place in their laboratory. Under no circumstances may a judge contact students directly, ask finalists for their phone numbers, email addresses or initiate or propose any future contact. The judge will send an email to the YSC National Judge in Chief. Such contact will be facilitated by the YSC National Judge in Chief, but only with the approval of the delegate, and parent or guardian. The student can then decide whether or not to respond.

Likewise, a student may wish to contact a judge. Students may not contact judges directly. The student will send an email to the National Judge in Chief. Such contact will be facilitated by the National Judge in Chief, but only with the approval of the delegate, and parent or guardian.

If a student does choose to contact a judge directly, the judge must contact the National Judge in Chief to give details of the request. The National Judge in Chief will facilitate the contact, but only with the approval of the delegate, and parent or guardian. Only then may the judge respond to the student.

12 Judging Information Supplied by Third Parties

Occasionally, Youth Science Canada receives information that relate to the judging of individual projects.

Information related to judging must follow these guidelines.

  • It must be evidence-based.
  • References must be provided.
  • The name and contact information of the sender must be supplied.
  • It must be sent to the YSC National Judge in Chief.

Youth Science Canada will ignore all information provided anonymously. An acknowledgement will be sent. The email will then be deleted.