Introduction to Judging – TAERSIF Policy

The success of our Thomas A. Edison Regional Science and Inventors Fairs (TAERSIF) program depends to a large extent on the quality of the projects and your judging. This guide will help prepare you. Please review it carefully. The information and guidelines here will make your task easier and more enjoyable.

Our TAERSIF program is a competition based upon the quality of projects that include scientific experiments and inventions from student participants. You are judging the results of these “pre-collegiate” projects. The fair program has three purposes:

1. to stimulate young people’s interest in STEM fields;
2. to provide an educational experience to the participants; and
3. to publicly recognize the students’ talents and achievements.

img_1374TAERSIF Conflict of Interest Policy

A judge MAY NOT judge projects for which they have a conflict of interest. Judges MUST identify any student participating in the fair who:

♦ is related to themselves or is a close family friend;
♦ is or was a student of theirs or was a student at their school; OR
♦ was mentored or otherwise advised by them on their current project.

If a judge is assigned to a group of projects that includes a student described above, he or she must notify the appropriate judging registration desk immediately for re-assignment or other adjustment.

TAERSIF Harassment Policy

  • TAERSIF is committed to providing an environment for students, volunteers, and fair staff, free of harassment of any kind. TAERSIF will not tolerate harassment of students, judges, volunteers, fair staff or anyone else associated with our Regional Science and Inventors Fairs program.
  • If you feel that you have been harassed or feel you have witnessed harassment, please report the incident to any member of the TAERSIF Steering Committee.
  • Click HERE for complete TAERSIF Harassment Policy.

Prizes & Awards

Annually, our student participants compete for approximately $5 Million in prizes, scholarships, and special awards across local, regional, state, and international levels of competition. Here’s an overview of Prizes and Awards from our Regional Fairs:

img_1391Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis Regional Science and Engineering Fair
  • Category Awards, including First, Second, Third, and Honorable Mention (Place Awards), are awarded by Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis RSEF judges for scientific merit.
  • Grand Awards, including Best of Fair, 1st Runner-Up, 2nd Runner-Up, and 3rd Runner-Up (Senior Division ONLY), are awarded by Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis RSEF judges for outstanding scientific merit.
  • Selected winners in the Junior Division are eligible to further compete in the Broadcom MASTERS Competition.
  • Selected winners in the Junior and Senior Divisions are eligible to compete in the State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida.
  • In addition, 30+ companies and organizations present Special Awards.
Special Awards

More than 30 companies and organizations select projects to receive Special Awards at Regional Science Fair. These awards may include cash, tours, and/or tangible items. Judging for Special Awards is based upon the objectives of the participating company or organization, and any project may be evaluated by a Special Awards judge or judges. The Special Awards judges only review projects whose titles fit their criteria of interest. Therefore, it behooves the student to entitle his/her project so the judges have a good idea what the project involves from the title information alone.

img_1405Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light Regional Inventors Fair
  • Grade Level Awards, including First, Second, Third, and possibly Runner-Ups, are awarded by judges based on Originality, Safety, Research, Marketing, and Presentation.
  • Division Winners are selected in each of three grade levels: Elementary School, Middle School, and High School
    • Elementary, Middle, and High School Division Winners receive an honorary ride in the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade.
Special Awards

Special Category Awards are based on specific merits unrelated to the judges scores. Special Category awards are all donated by private persons or businesses. Exceptions to this would be scholarships offered by local universities, colleges, or foundations where judges scores and special merits are both factored into the selection process.

Presentation of Awards

Awards will be presented to the students at Awards Ceremonies, to which winners and their families are invited. The ceremonies’ date, times and location will be announced on this website.

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