Intel ISEF Judging Guidelines ‐ (Revised 2013)

The following evaluation criteria will be used for judging at the Intel ISEF 2013. It has been extensively
reviewed and revised by the Intel ISEF Judge Advisory Committee, with additional input from science,
engineering and educational experts. One of the most significant changes from the previous guidelines is the
use of different criteria for science and engineering projects. As shown below, both criteria have five
sections as well as suggested scoring for each section. Each section includes key items to consider for
evaluation both before and after the interview. Students are encouraged to design their posters in a clear
and informative manner to allow pre‐interview evaluation and to enable the interview to become an indepth
discussion. Judges should examine the student notebook and, if present, any special forms such as
Form 1C (Regulated Research Institution/Industrial Setting) and Form 2 (Qualified Scientist). Considerable
emphasis is placed on two areas: Creativity and Presentation, especially the Interview section, and are
discussed in more detail below.

Creativity: A creative project demonstrates imagination and inventiveness. Such projects often offer
different perspectives that open up new possibilities or new alternatives. Judges should place emphasis on
research outcomes in evaluating creativity.
Presentation/Interview: The interview provides the opportunity to interact with the finalists and evaluate
their understanding of the project’s basic science, interpretation and limitations of the results and
conclusions.

  • If the project was done at a research or industrial facility, the judge should determine the degree of independence of the finalist in conducting the project, which is documented on Form 1C and Form 2.
  • If the project was completed at home or in a school laboratory, the judge should determine if the finalist received any mentoring or professional guidance.
  • If the project is a multi‐year effort, the interview should focus ONLY on the current year’s work.
  • Judges should review the project’s abstract and Form 7 (Intel ISEF Continuation Projects) to clarify what progress was completed this year.
  • Please note that both team and individual projects are judged together, and projects should be judged only on the basis of their quality. However, all team members should demonstrate significant contributions to and an understanding of the project.

Judging Criteria for Science Projects
I. Research Question (10 pts)
     ___ clear and focused purpose
     ___ identifies contribution to field of study
     ___ testable using scientific methods
II. Design and Methodology (15 pts)
     ___ well designed plan and data collection methods
     ___ variables and controls defined, appropriate and complete
III. Execution: Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation (20 pts)
     ___ systematic data collection and analysis
     ___ reproducibility of results
     ___ appropriate application of mathematical and statistical methods
     ___ sufficient data collected to support interpretation and conclusions
IV. Creativity (20 pts)
     ___ project demonstrates significant creativity in one or more of the above criteria
V. Presentation (35 pts)
     a. Poster 10 pts)
          ___ logical organization of material
          ___ clarity of graphics and legends
          ___ supporting documentation displayed
     b. Interview (25 pts)
          ___ clear, concise, thoughtful responses to questions
          ___ understanding of basic science relevant to project
          ___ understanding interpretation and limitations of results and conclusions
          ___ degree of independence in conducting project
          ___ recognition of potential impact in science, society and/or economics
          ___ quality of ideas for further research
          ___ for team projects, contributions to and understanding of project by all members

Judging Criteria for Engineering Projects
I. Research Problem (10 pts)
     ___ description of a practical need or problem to be solved
     ___ definition of criteria for proposed solution
     ___ explanation of constraints
II. Design and Methodology (15 pts)
     ___ exploration of alternatives to answer need or problem
     ___ identification of a solution
     ___ development of a prototype/model
III. Execution: Construction and Testing (20 pts)
     ___ prototype demonstrates intended design
     ___ prototype has been tested in multiple conditions/trials
     ___ prototype demonstrates engineering skill and completeness
IV. Creativity (20 pts)
     ___ project demonstrates significant creativity in one or more of the above criteria
V. Presentation (35 pts)
     a. Poster (10 pts)
          ___logical organization of material
          ___clarity of graphics and legends
          ___ supporting documentation displayed
     b. Interview (25 pts)
          ___ clear, concise, thoughtful responses to questions
          ___ understanding of basic science relevant to project
          ___ understanding interpretation and limitations of results and conclusions
          ___ degree of independence in conducting project
          ___ recognition of potential impact in science, society and/or economics
          ___ quality of ideas for further research
          ___ for team projects, contributions to and understanding of project by all members

Download the 2013 Intel ISEF Judging Guidelines (pdf).