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Judges/Volunteers needed for the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival, February 21-24, 2018 


Science Fest is a competition for students from 23 school districts and 12 counties who are advancing from their local schools. 


Junior (middle school) Division and Senior (high school) Division students submit their projects in one of 17 scientific categories, covering both Life and Physical Sciences as well as Math and Engineering. Judging is competitive and the top three winners in each category from both divisions advance to the state fair in San Antonio. The overall top six projects in the Senior Division, called “Best of Fair”, advance directly to the international competition.

Because judging is competitive, we need subject matter experts to evaluate the projects. About 7-8 projects are assigned to each group of judges (typically consisting of 3 people). After a group has interviewed their assigned students, group members discuss the merit of each project and jointly determine the ranking. Seniors are judged in the morning, Juniors in the afternoon. It is a 2-4 hour commitment, depending on the amount of students in each category. (The Junior Division Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics categories tend to be rather large, for example, and have to be done in two rounds.) We offer orientation sessions in the weeks leading up to the fair.

Judging for next year's Junior/Senior fair will take place on Thursday, Feb 22, 2018 at the Palmer Event Center. Students will register and set up their projects on Wednesday, Feb 21, and projects will be available for previewing that night without students present. Links to the abstracts will be made available the week-end prior to the fair.

Elementary students are judged on Saturday, Feb 24, 2018; judging is not competitive and every project receives either a 1st, 2nd or 3rd  place ribbon. 


Key Questions


The Austin Energy Regional Science Festival (Science Fest) gives students a chance to compare their work to that of their peers', interact with professionals in their field of interest and get new ideas and impulses. It validates the students' efforts and recognizes them for the time and energy spent on projects outside their regular school assignments.
We conduct two separate fairs during the week of Science Fest:
an Elementary Fair (3rd through 5th or 6th grade) and a Junior (middle school) / Senior (high school) Fair.
At the Elementary level our main goal is to encourage young students to stay involved in math and science throughout their school career. Judging is not competitive; each project is evaluated on its own merit and students receive a 1st, 2nd or 3rd ribbon, as well as a certificate of participation. We want to let young students know that science is both fun and rewarding.
The Junior/Senior Fair is competitive. Students submit their projects in one of 17 scientific categories. Projects are judged by subject matter experts recruited from the community, giving students a chance to discuss their ideas with a professional in their field and receive guidance and inspiration. 1st-3rd place winners from our fair in both the Junior and the Senior Division advance to the Texas Science and Engineering Fair; six Senior Division "Best of Fair" projects will advance directly to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.


Event Date

Multiple Day Event

Event Location

Palmer Events Center 900 Barton Springs Road , Austin ,TX ,78704

Approximate location shown on map below


Ingrid Weigand
InPerson Session Type
Classes or Programs
Science Fair competition  
Middle School   High School   Grade 3   Grade 4   Grade 5  
No. of Students
Information Technology and Services  Computer Software  Pharmaceuticals  Medical Devices  Oil and Energy  Mechanical or Industrial Engineering  Biotechnology  civil engineering  physics  renewable energy  medicine  biology  earth science  Environmental  Biomedical Research   plant biologist  biochemist 
Science  Engineering  Math  Technology Industry