For Judges

Throughout its rich history, the Coriell Institute Science Fair has always relied on the contributions of outstanding volunteer judges. Our Fair draws the best and brightest students from all across South Jersey, and in turn we recruit the best and brightest experts to help judge the myriad of project submissions. We appreciate your time and your support of local student scientists!

We have assembled some helpful information to guide you as you prepare to assist us Saturday, March 20, 2021 at the 40th Annual Coriell Institute Science Fair.  The Fair will be held safely and virtually this year, taking place via a digital poster presentation and Q&A interview session with participants. Due to the remote nature of this year's event, all judges will be subject to a name-based background check. We will assist in coordinating this and will follow-up with judges.

If you have any questions leading up to the Fair, please email If you think you may know someone interested in volunteering to judge, we encourage you to share this webpage! 

 Judges' Schedule

Week of Fair—March 15 - March 19
On your own time throughout the week Review project submissions. Judges will be provided access to each participant's project folder, which will contain their project contents, including their abstract, digital poster, and supplementary documentation such as a journal log and data sets.
Day of Interviews—March 20
8:00am – 8:30am Judge check-in. To ensure we have enough judges to cover each category, we are requiring judges to check-in virtually with a member of the Science Fair team prior to the interviews. We suggest business casual dress for all judges even though it is virtual.
8:30am – 9:00am Judge training. This is an instructional session for all judges. Please arrive promptly! You will meet your judging group and together we will review forms and judging criteria and discuss special awards available to standout students.
9:00am – 9:30am Discussion/Review Time. Candidate submissions due to Special Award Judges.
9:30am – OPEN Student Interviews. Judges will view students' projects and conduct an interview via Zoom regarding the project. Each session will last 10 minutes. Judges are excused once their interviews are concluded and evaluations submitted but are invited to return for the ensuing award ceremony.
1:00pm Deadline by which all judges' results must be submitted.
2:00pm – 3:00pm Virtual awards ceremony to announce winners.

Judging Criteria

While reviewing projects at the Coriell Science Fair, there are several essential requirements for which judges should look. The following information will also be included in the worksheets available to judges on Fair Day. 

  • Creativity and originality – Use of innovative methods or design
  • Scientific thought – Employment of scientific method, variables, repetition, controls
  • Skill, craftsmanship – Does the project demonstrate excellence in design, performance, and data analysis? Does the project demonstrate exceptional problem solving ability?
  • Thoroughness, effort, perseverance – A comprehension of the project's background, a well-researched approach, attention to detail
  • Interview – Can the student successfully communicate important project information? Is the student passionate about the subject matter?


For the 2021 Fair, all judges – regardless of whether or not you have judged with us before – need to submit the interest form below. We will follow up with next steps.