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Madison High School Science Fair in Need of Judges

Event takes place Wednesday, Feb. 5.

James Madison High School in Vienna; Patch archive photo
James Madison High School in Vienna; Patch archive photo

Love science? James Madison High School is in need of judges for its annual science fair coming up on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Think you can lend a hand? Here's the scoop, from Kristofer Pachla, a science teacher at JMHS who is the judging coordinating :

The timeline on Feb. 5:

  • From 1:30 until 2:30 – judges will be checking in and familiarizing themselves with the projects.
  • From 2:30 until 4:30 or so – judges will be in and amongst the students, watching presentations and asking questions
  • From 4:30 until they are finished – judges will be deliberating on whether to assign 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mention places.
  • Judges are asked to evaluate the students’ projects based on their creative ability, scientific thought, thoroughness, skill, clarity, and teamwork where applicable. Judges are the third-party evaluator as required by FCPS Honors Project requirements. 

What are the qualifications to be a judge?

The only qualification to be a judge is to have an open mind, ask questions and to follow the rubric. We have judges in every form from former scientists to non-science teachers. We provide a rubric for all judges to follow during their time with each project.

How many projects will there be?

This year we have over 200 projects.

What grade level are the students who are creating the science projects?

10th, 11th and 12th graders in Honors Chemistry, Physics and Geosystems create these projects.

Where is the science fair held?

It is held in a number of rooms including the cafeteria, Warhawk Hall and the upstairs science classrooms.

Is it open to the public?

The public (and parents) are welcome to come in anytime after 4 p.m.

When will awards be handed out?

Awards are typically handed out during school on Friday after the Science Fair.

What was the winning project last year?

Last year we sent 20 projects to the Regional Fair at Robinson High School, including one Grand Prize winner; Increasing the Anti-Cancerous Properties of Crocus Sativus Extract through the Utilization of Liposomal Nanoparticals by John Han

How are the projects judged?

Projects are judged on their creative ability, scientific thought, thoroughness, skill, clarity, and teamwork where applicable.

Are students judged on their presentation of the project?

Students are expected to be able to speak with authority on their projects and answer judges’ questions with confidence and care. All students have an opportunity to present their projects to their teachers before the fair and get feedback and practice on their presentation.

If you'd like to help out, email Kristofer Pachla at: kpachla@fcps.edu

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