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Judging Criteria

Judges of the secondary science fairs are asked to judge projects by the following criteria: 

Project Objectives (20%)                    

Project Design (30%)                  

Project Presentations (20%)

Project Execution (20%)                        

Project Conclusions (10%)

The lab notebook is a critical part of the project.  A quality lab notebook is as important as the information on the backboard.  The SEFH web site at  has excellent lab notebook guidelines.  Among the most critical are:

  • the notebook should be bound.  The cover should contain a title and time period for the data.
  • the first two pages are table of contents, with remaining pages numbered on top outside corner of the page.  No page should ever be removed.  Written entries should be in ink and printed if the researcher’s handwriting is difficult to read.
  • right-hand pages should be used for formal entries and left-hand pages for calculations, doodling, scratch paper, etc.  The entry should be dated when information is added. 
  • Photos, computer printouts and other such items should be glued or taped on a right-hand page, and then labeled. 

The lab notebook is a working document and may definitely show signs of use.  However, entries should be legible and complete and the book should reflect all the work carried out by the student, including “wrong turns”.